Friday, April 22, 2016

Follow Friday - There Are 252 Ways to Place Four Pieces on a Connect Four Board

It's Friday again, and this means it's time for Follow Friday. There has been a slight change to the format, as now there are two Follow Friday hosts blogs and a single Follow Friday Featured Blogger each week. To join the fun and make now book blogger friends, just follow these simple rules:
  1. Follow both of the Follow My Book Blog Friday Hosts (Parajunkee and Alison Can Read) and any one else you want to follow on the list.
  2. Follow the Featured Blogger of the week - AV Griffin.
  3. Put your Blog name and URL in the Linky thing.
  4. Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say hi in your comments.
  5. Follow, follow, follow as many as you can, as many as you want, or just follow a few. The whole point is to make new friends and find new blogs. Also, don't just follow, comment and say hi. Another blogger might not know you are a new follower if you don't say "Hi".
  6. If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the love . . . and the followers.
  7. If you want to show the link list, just follow the link below the entries and copy and paste it within your post!
  8. If you're new to the Follow Friday Hop, comment and let me know, so I can stop by and check out your blog!
And now for the Follow Friday Question: What's your criteria of a misbehaving author/reviewer?

Over the last several years I have seen a lot of author misbehavior. Usually it is authors making a big fuss over a review or a comment they don't like. I don't know if authors misbehaving badly has actually become more prevalent over the last decade or so, or if it is just that this sort of misbehavior has become more noticeable, but there definitely seems to be an upward trend in this area. I suspect that we are seeing more authors misbehaving for a number of reasons: (1) Many less experienced (and therefore, less professional) authors are now getting wider exposure due to the existence of the internet, and (2) the divide between authors and reviewers used to be smaller. Now, a reviewer is often an amateur who reviews on their blog or on a site like Amazon in their spare time. In the past, the only reviewers who got noticed were those who were published in magazines or newspapers, so they had the gravitas that comes from being a paid professional, which probably made authors more reticent about lashing out against them.

No matter the reason, I think there has been a rise in author misbehavior over the last decade to decade and a half. We've seen authors melt down over reviews. Authors track down reviewers to attack them. Authors threaten to hunt down reviewers and kill them. Authors who send internet mobs to harass reviewers they don't like. Authors who try to set the police on people they don't like. And so on. For an example of an author behaving badly, I give you Lou Antonelli.

The paradoxical thing is that this usually makes the thing that offended the author much more well-known than it would have been had they simply let it go. In Antonelli's case, for example, if he had simply ignored my tweet, pretty much everyone on the planet would have forgotten it by now.

On the reviewing side, I am aware of less actual misbehavior. Perhaps it is because I am on the reviewing side of the equation, but it seems to me that, as a group, reviewers are better behaved than average than authors. I think that the group "Stop the Goodreads Bullies" has muddied the waters so much regarding what counts as reviewer "misbehavior", that pretty much everyone (including me) discounts many stories of alleged reviewer misbehavior as being wildly exaggerated, or, in some cases, simply made up. In effect, a lot of cases of "reviewer misbehavior" come from invented claims made by misbehaving authors to justify their actions, or authors acting as reviewers under false names in order to plant fake reviews of their own works and the works of their rivals (see, for example, R.J. Ellory). I'm sure there is an actual reviewer somewhere who has misbehaved at some point, but authors have thrown up such smoke on the field that it is nigh impossible to identify actual cases.

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