I had an end of summer story to share with my readers, but a troll attack of significant proportions burst onto the web igniting an explosion long awaited by Indie and Traditional authors.
Celebrities put up with harassment, stalking, threats, and in some cases death. One would not consider a writer would elicit the same bullying, trolling behavior, but they do. The reason most readers are not aware of this happening is because authors are afraid of reviews taking them down into oblivion.
A lot of writers are peaceful people who pour out emotions onto pages that are gobbled up by the masses and books are read and recommended or discounted by one on one, word of mouth. So one person hating your book has a ripple effect ripping you from or thrusting you into the public’s perception.
Many writers have thin skins, and when attacked gather into themselves, many putting down their pens, pencils, keyboards, or tablets. There are seasons and needs for perfecting skills, but there also is an innate talent that will grow and conquer if one will stay the course. Mostly introverted leaves too many talented writers to die in obscurity.
This has been going on as long as man has attempted to create. Poe was both wounded and one that hounded other contemporary writers in his stint as an editor and critic. While he left us with a legacy of extraordinary stories, his personal life was riddled with alcohol, disappointment, and despair.
In today’s world of instant communication, there is still a blind sight to specific problems. If we don’t notice, surely it will improve or go away. After all, it just is a small portion of our society it affects, not majorly serious enough to get upset about.
A lifetime ago, I was conversing with a friend and he pointed out how many fewer murders per capita there were in San Francisco to New York City. And a hundred or so was easier to accept as a norm rather than the thousand plus, in NYC. I did not agree. I did not consider having a lower level was any better but rather zero killings would be optimal.
Tell the statistic that it is reasonable to expect their elimination as cost of doing business.
We have lives that are now passing, as it is, in these temples of clay, and to have our dreams and happiness derailed by someone or a cabal of some ones who think they have the right to seize, shred, or destroy our bodies or our psyches is wrong. Taking away happiness so functioning in our callings is murder of the soul. Shredding ones opinion is killing ones spirit.
I am not talking about not being smart enough to make the cut. I am talking about destroying potential, so we give up our dreams telling ourselves we are not good enough to compete.
Reviewing a book, by definition is an overview over a subject or a section of a subject usually written. A critique or criticism is a review in which judgment is passed. In both, it requires knowledge of the field it is reviewing or critiquing. On some on line sites touted as author and reader friendly, rather than being monitored by staff, it is run by volunteers who are to be monitored by a skeleton staff. In theory, this is a good, cost effective approach.
However, as a business grows, so must the overseeing. When this does not happen, there is an exponential growth of ego which in turn births tyranny. The reviewer dons the mask of the reviler. Fear is instilled until no one speaks out or if they do, are banned but reviled continuously on ‘reviewers’ blogs that have a thin veneer of respectability.
The fledgling enters the cage, going unnoticed until they promote their book and if they innocently ask, “Why did you give me a one star review when you did not read my yet to be published book?” The rapacious vultures lurking in the shadows, backed by others with slightly more power, are allowed to execute the unwary, into either retaliating or abandoning the site, turning off their plans to launch their production.
Yesterday, not only did one young writer decide to stay her publishing, she decided the underbelly of the writer’s world was too scummy to navigate. She made a decision not to publish ever. She made this decision because she is a victim of bullies during her formative years and her first venture into a job she loves, was met head on with the bullies that damage the place with the rules laid down by its founder, “The Reviewer is in control and no author is to question or reply to them.”
Authors know that not everyone is going to enjoy their book and accept valid reviews and know that a reviewer that takes the time to critique without malice but with purpose is welcome in the growth of the writer. Shelving on inappropriate named shelves indicative of shaming is not reviewing, it is bullying. Telling an author to ‘suck it up, you’re in the big time now’ is bullying.
Here are links for petitions against bullying:
What comes to mind in the bullying of Lauren Pippa, and all predecessor victims is the asylum is being run by the inmates, and they indeed are touched with the power of suppression – “Because we can.”