Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Trolls, Unprofessional & Drama Llamas

So a while ago I mentioned some drama that was going on in the book community that was pitting reviewers against authors. This problem has not gone away. If anything it's gotten worse.

Now I'm not going to try and document this whole drama llama, but if you're interested, just Google "authors behaving badly" or "stop the goodreads bullies". Or, there is a great thread on Absolute Write that documents a lot of this. But I'll try to summarize it for you.

There are two major parties involved, the Author and the Reviewer. The Author writes a book, the Reviewer reads the book and then post a review of it somewhere on the great Internet. Pretty nice arrangement right? And if the Reviewer liked the book and does a positive review then all parties win. Author adds a good review to their resume and Reviewer read a good book and gets to recommend it to others.

Where this all starts getting ugly is when there is a Negative review. From this point on our two parties get separated into two smaller sections. There becomes Troll Reviewers and Honest Reviewers. And then there is your Professional and Unprofessional Authors. (I use Professional as in the way they act, it has nothing to do with how they were published).

First, let's talk about the Honest Reviewer. An Honest will read a book and if they didn't really like it, will give it a low rating and then explain why they gave it that rating. They will talk about the problems they had with the book and try to be fair with their critique. They are simply sharing their opinion.

On the other hand, a Troll will give a negative review whether or not they've read the book. Their review will be overly nasty and sometimes talk about the author personally. Trolls are all over the internet. They live to be mean and make people miserable. And sometimes, good normal people can act like trolls. Emotions, they make us crazy.

Now what Author does about the Negative review is what divides them into Professional and Unprofessional Authors. A Professional Author will do one of two things with a Negative review, no matter if it's Honest or a Troll. They will either not respond at all, or thank the Reviewer for taking the time to review their work. Minimal drama.

The Unprofessional will respond in anger, no matter if it's Honest or a Troll. They will tell Reviewer they are wrong for having an opinion and make all sorts of accusations. This is where the Crazy Drama Llama comes in and starts shitting on everything.

So what parties are in the wrong here? The Troll and Unprofessional. The Troll is of course wrong because they're just trying to hurt people and summon the Drama Llama. Trolls live for this stuff. And in the grand scheme of things they're just little people who have no control over anything and need to get laid more.

The Unprofessional Author is a whole other creature. They get angry about a Negative review (which they have a right too) and then take that anger out on other people. When they get angry at a Troll it's simply a waste of time. Most people who've been on the internet a while know that you Do Not Engage The Trolls. You're just giving them what they want.

And then the Drama Llama has a good ol' time when an Unprofessional acts out against an Honest Reviewer. The UnP will whine in the comments of a review and then go onto their own blog and talk bad about the Reviewer. This is where the UnP shows their true colors and their thin sensitive skin. And this is where the Internet steps in and starts making people look like fools, because the Internet is For-ev-er.

So, how do we keep the Drama Llama at bay? If you're a Reviewer, be fair and honest with your reviews. Don't attack the author, keep everything focused on the book and try to be objective. If you're an Author, your best bet is to not respond to bad reviews, even the Trolls. Having one or two bad reviews is a lot better than the career suicide you'd be committing by battling it out on the web.

There's my two copper colored round metal objects worth. :)