Friday, July 20, 2012

How to stop the GR bullies - some handy buttons for authors!

It has come to my attention that some authors have felt so unhappy about some things book reviewers have said on Goodreads that they have begun threatening and intimidating those reviewers by exposing personal information about the reviewers' habits and homes and children online, and even called these women at home – as a way of “stopping the bullying” and keeping things civil. 

Exposing personal info crosses a significant line, and seeks to intimidate people, particularly women in this case, and silence free discussion. Some reviewers are now frightened to voice their true opinions lest the same thing happen to them.

A post at Dear Author recaps this problem, and has called for the community to work to solve it. 

Well, I am working to solve it! With badges and buttons designed to alert GR bullies to the consequences of not being nice!  

I feel these buttons will not only save reviewers and those "gangs" of bookish bullies at Goodreads the hassle of buying and reading books and giving unwelcome opinions, but they will also save the author the time and trouble of having to enforce niceness by hunting the reviewer in real life! 

This first helpful button, above, tells reviewers in a lighthearted way that an author prefers only “I heart this book” type reviews. If reviewers take the “decorative underlining” in the wrong way, so be it. 

A fun rhyming button, which can be placed on an author’s Goodreads profile, signaling to the snarky reviewer to expect terrifying real life consequences for any opinions delivered in a less-than-nice manner. 

A more subtle version, and I think, more poetic way of saying, hey, if you knock my book, I might just knock on your door!!! Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me…except if you say them about my book! Take that, Goodreads bullies!

People must realize that if something is put out for sale, or put on a site where customers are asked to freely give their opinions, it doesn't mean they are free to give an upsetting opinion!! When people say upsetting things, free speech no longer applies! 

Most people understand that the thumbs down is not nice. But, you never know if a goodreads bully has simply forgotten that fact! Maybe they deserve the benefit of the doubt! I think this helpful and informative reminder would do the trick of jogging their memories that thumbs down is bad..and hopefully encourage them to change to a thumbs up. Yay!

This one is my most artistic ones! It’s a fun way of heading off trouble before it starts, with a nod to the famous painting. Still I think it gets across the message effectively.  

A fun and lighthearted variation on the earlier one. This would especially speak to reviewers who love animals. I think this button is a great way of saying that you're all for free speech, but even then there are limits, like if you feel upset!

Here is a stylish button that helpfully signals to a reviewer that one-star and two-star reviews sometimes carry real-life consequences.

I might use this one for my next book, to alert hapless reviewers that one- two- and three-star reviews are inappropriate for such a brilliant book, and...well, let's just leave it at that, shall we? 

I think this is an attractive way for an author to signal his or her dedication to niceness, and commitment to the fight against bullying. But, if you look closely at the word 'only' it carries a special message to bullies who do not share that commitment to niceness.  

After all, if we don't police the Internet by exposing these trash-talking bullies to harm, who will? It's not as if a person can simply walk away from the INTERNET!!  

This button, in an attractive diamond shape, helps a reviewer understand, through simple symbols, the type of attitude that is expected on sites where people give their opinions. 

I hope this is helpful. Please feel free to utilize these buttons.

Have a nice day!

**This is a joke post. Just in case that is not clear. I cherish free speech, and this GR bullies thing has been keeping me up at night for how upsetting and wrong it is. Giving an opinion on the Internet, no matter how hurtful or deplorable, should NEVER carry terrifying real-life consequences, such as getting people's real life information exposed!!! 


Book Savvy Babe said...

hahaha, thank you for the hilarious buttons, and for bringing up the issue in a humorous fashion. Like you said, people CAN just walk away from the computer... if only we all understood that...

Carolyn Crane said...

Hah! Thanks, Babe! I feel so upset about this issue, and what the reader/reviewer victims are enduring from the GR Bullies site.

Hilcia said...

CJ, thank you for a great post about such an upsetting issue! As always you can say it just right... and make me smile. :)

It's just sad that you had to place that explanation at the bottom of your post, but at this point?... :(

Jamie said...

HAHAHA! Love this post. Thank you!

"This button, in an attractive diamond shape, helps a reviewer understand, through simple symbols, the type of attitude that is expected on sites where people give their opinions. " LOL - you're forgetting the rainbows and Kool-Aid, lol!

Janicu said...

Thanks for making me laugh at something that's been pretty upsetting the past few days. :)

B.E. Sanderson said...

You have got to be shi... kidding me. Authors are actually stooping to bully tactics in order to stop negative reviews? :shakes head sadly: WTF is the matter with people these days?

I don't post negative reviews because I still subscribe to what my mother always told me: "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all." But I don't threaten people whose parents didn't teach them that. I hope that whoever's getting bullied by these ass... people are reporting them to Goodreads.

Love the post and the buttons, btw. It's just that my humor button is broken today.

Joanna Chambers said...

You do make me laugh!! :-)

When I looked at that poisonous site, I felt physically sick. The sheer bile is staggering.

Sullivan McPig said...

I love you!!!!!

Unknown said...

I, for one, will use these handy and attractive buttons. Do you mind if I colorize them?

Laura Kreitzer said...

I don't agree with any of these buttons. I believe negative opinions are just as worthy of free speech as positive ones are. I'm an author and have had my fair share of negative reviews. But you know what? I say bring them on! The reviews AREN'T FOR THE AUTHOR; THEY'RE FOR THE READERS! I'm embarrassed that this is even being discussed to the point of making buttons to *warn* reviewers. It's disgusting!

Carolyn Crane said...

Hilcia: Thank you! I feel very passionate about this issue.

Jamie: Yes! Rainbows! Kool-aid!

Janicu: Me too! I feel so emo about it all.

BE: I wish the whole site would go away!

Sully: xoxo!!

Joanna: Hey, thanks!

Carolyn: Of course you may colorize! LOL

Laura: I agree with you. This post is satire, trying to get the point across in a new way.

Kaetrin said...

I <3 you. That is all. :)

Jody W. and Meankitty said...

I need a unicorn farting rainbows onto reviewers button.

A Buckeye Girl Reads said...

Love this post to pieces. :)

Alisha Cunningham said...

You made my day! I like the stars and skulls!

Anonymous said...

You are awesome!!!!! <3 Love it!!

Carolyn Crane said...

Hey, thanks so much, you guys, for the rainbow luv and stopping by. I just hope something good will come out of all this scandal...maybe? Hopefully?

BR Kingsolver said...

I figured out a way to stop a reviewer from posting a bad review. On my second book, I asked if she'd beta read it. She really did help. ;)

Anna said...

Love your buttons! Publishers could make easy peel stickers of them. Bookmarks would work, too! LOL

This whole episodie is taking a Stephen King-ish quality. Shake up James Caan and Kathy Bates' roles in Misery and presto change-o!

May this get resolved pdq. : /

Jen Twimom said...

Bwahahaha! Your artistic talents are being wasted... I'll have you design some buttons for me!