I spent the better part of the afternoon following the policy change. So right there, the change in policy was a bad idea, because I probably wrote like 80 words today.
But hey, at least I can’t be shelved in “Asshat Authors who Should be Writing Instead of Following This Post” or something.
I ended up commenting on the post and decided to do this blog post, not because I think you’re the devil or whatever, but because I fear that these policy change isn’t the greatest of all ideas.
Reviews are for readers not authors. And I’d strongly suggest authors to seek feedback anywhere but from reviews for an ass load of reasons from you can’t please everyone to saving your sanity to keeping your ego in check. And I always believe that your sandbox was a place for reviewers to review books and to follow authors on the website who are also reading books. To me, it’s not a site for authors—not like it is for reviewers. Negative reviews, snarky and gif-filled, shouldn’t be deleted. Reviews that cross the line, and we all know that some have, should be. But the vast majority doesn’t cross that line. That doesn’t mean they’re nice. Most negative things are hard to swallow. That’s the nature of… something negative.
I have seen professional reviews (Kirkus, PW, Library Journal, etc) that have cut a bitch worse than some of the “bullying “ reviews on your site. Just wanted to throw that out there.
And as an author, I don’t see anything wrong with shelves titled “Authors Behaving Badly” or “Authors Acting like a Jerk.”
“Authors to be Avoided” might not mean something negative. Maybe that author writes books about issues that are triggering to the reader. There are a lot of authors out there that only write “issue” books that could end up in shelves like that.
I’m still going to support you, because there’s a community of book lovers there that rock my world and I think you meant to make things better, but it just didn’t quite work out that way. And I’ve actually met some of the staff from your sandbox in person and they were just lovely, and I will continue to do my Goodreads thing, but I seriously hope you reevaluate these changes. Because I and many, many authors don’t get butt-sore over a negative review or a name of a shelf. We rather have our readers able to express themselves in whatever matter they see fit, and I fear that this gives authors a bad rep as a whole and further deepens the wedge between authors and reviewers.
After all, you’re the reviewers’ sandbox. Not the authors.