I've been a silent observer over the last couple weeks of the whole Kathleen Hale insanity. Now an author named Deborah Smith has jumped into the fray. I also read a post about another author, male this time, who stalked and physically assaulted a woman who reviewed his book. All I can say about all this is What the Fuck???? Have you all lost your freaking minds?? I can't even roll out any southern "Bless Your Hearts" because you're all too fucking out of it for that.
So, let me see if I have the story straight. A publisher (whoever) sends an author's book to be reviewed. Bloggers willingly accept the book with the knowledge that they are going to give an HONEST review of the book. The review will be posted hither and yon and tons of people will see the review. From what I can gather, no money exchanges hands, no guarantees are given that the blogger will like the book. The whole idea is that the book gets out to the public.
For those of you confused about why this situation is a positive for an author, let me spell it out for you. The posting of the review is what is called free publicity for the author. FREE publicity is a good thing.Authors like FREE publicity because that gets our name and book titles out to the public . . . for FREE!
No where in any of this exchange is an author guaranteed anything but a review. From where I sit, Kathleen Hale received a review as did the male author. They weren't promised a good review, but an HONEST review. This is where the problem lies and where the confusion has obviously set in.
I have been a published author for over 10 years. I've got a bunch of books out and I appreciate every single person who takes an interest in my books. If you are an author who has yet to be published or is being published for the first time let me give you some awesome advice. Stick with me this might hurt, but I swear once you read this you will not become crazy stalker chick.
1. A book is just a book. Even if you write it. Once you finish it, it's over. As Elsa says in Frozen "Let It Go!" You finished it, it's finished, there's nothing you can do about it.
2. If your mom and dad, grandma, grandpa, aunt, uncle tell you what an amazing writer you are that's so wonderful. But they're not good judges. They love you and want to encourage you. You need to hook up with REAL authors and editors who will help you grow in your craft. If you cannot stand criticism and will not take criticism STOP NOW! You are not ready to be a real author. Real authors accept criticism and grow from it.
3. When you see a review of your book remember it's just someone's opinion of your book. They are not judging you. They are talking about the book. It is their OPINION and everyone has a right to theirs.
4. No one has positive book reviews all the time. Everyone, even Nora Roberts, has been dinged by someone. Shrug it off and move on. Or better yet, don't go looking for a review. If you do see a review and it hurts your feelings, you're allowed to get a bit mad. BUT and this is a big BUT once you see it remember Elsa and "LET IT GO."
5. If you decide you want to talk to the person who reviewed your book to explain or complain or whatever. DON'T!!! This is not healthy behavior. Remember, it's a book. Believe me, in about two or so years you may reread what you consider a masterpiece and cringe because it's so horrible. If that happens, pat yourself on the back, because you're probably a better author.
Was Kathleen Hale wrong for stalking the blogger who reviewed her book. Hell yes!!! It was wrong. No normal person does something like that. I was diagnosed with clinical depression many years ago and take meds each day. If what Hale did sounds crazy to me, then it's crazy, take my word for it. Let's not even get into the male author who stalked and physically attacked the female blogger who reviewed his book. That is total what the fuckery.
If you're an author and think what Hale and the other dude did is an okay thing, I'm going going to tell you now YOU'RE WRONG! Bloggers are out there to help authors. They don't get paid, they do what they do because they love books. If you can't stand to have your tiny feelings hurt then my advice to you is go away. Do not attempt to be a published author. Go sit in your room and write stories to share with your family who will love them. But if you long to have the world read your stories grow a pair, accept criticism, and be thankful you can get anyone to read your books. If someone buys your books, even better!!