Friday Fuckery: Another author just crapped her bed.

I come home on a fine Friday evening and what do I find buzzing all over Twitter? Why, it’s another author who makes a total ass of herself at the sight of a negative review of her book!

Julie Halpern, published through Feiwel & Friends, which appears to be a perfectly respectable imprint of MacMillan, woke up this morning to find a less-than-positive review of her novel, Don’t Stop Now. The blogger, Allison Dayle, included in her “nasty” review such vicious bon mots as:

To be frank (and slightly mean), Josh is a sorry excuse for a male MC. He is a total jerk. (Take my word for it. I’ve already given my copy of Don’t Stop Now away so I can include specific examples.) Lillian was funny, mostly intelligent (other than in her choice of friends) and incredibly nice. Girl: you can do better. I promise.

[…]

If you have read and enjoyed it – make sure and let me know what I missed! I love talking to people with different opinions.

Okay, so those are just edited highlights, and I’m leaving out most of the criticism, but still. This is what we’re looking at. And because she found this in her morning Google-herself ritual, author Halpern threw a hilarious temper tantrum on her blog, which attracted some sympathetic attention for Allison Dayle and some not-so-sympathetic attention for Julie Halpern. When the heat got to be too much, Halpern deleted the blog post…but not before the blogger of Good Books and Good Wine screen-capped that sucker. For our copy-paste convenience, The Book Vixen saved us some Google-cache goodness where we can see Halpern’s “insights” including but not limited to:

And, like I noted in my other post, the blogger goes there: “A plot line made up so that a road trip could come into play.” Ugh! I didn’t make it up, beyotch! I had a friend who faked her own kidnapping! Grrrr. She insults my main character and writes this amazingly insightful line in her “review” : “The plot of Don’t Stop Now is totally weird.” Wow. Great. Okay.

[…]

Because what you’re doing is DISCOURAGING PEOPLE FROM READING. Even a negative review, when written well and from an open-minded perspective, can give readers insight into whether they, no matter how the reviewer feels about a book, might like it. As a librarian, I may hate some books, but I would NEVER stop someone from reading a book. I even suggest books I hate to people because who am I to say whether someone else should or should not read a book? So, Ms. Blogger, you say you’d like to get your Library Science degree? Time to start thinking like a librarian.

Yeah, so…THAT happened, and when shit started getting real in her comment section, Halpern dug that hole a little deeper:

And if you think my blog was not cool in some way because I used the word “beyotch” then you obviously wouldn’t find my books funny anyway. All of y’all who said I was mean because I mentioned things from the blogger’s bio: you are correct. But one can never assume that what an author writes in their fiction is “unrealistic” or “ridiculous” because SHIT HAPPENS.

Let us note the difference between an “assumption” of plot inspiration and “assessment” of storytelling ability.

But I hope this is a wake up call to bloggers that AUTHORS ARE READING YOUR REVIEWS. That doesn’t mean you need to like every book, but try to be a little more thoughtful about the way you see things. I wake up and google myself because I love to read NICE things people say about my books.

“OH MY GOD! AUTHORS ARE READING OUR REVIEWS! THIS IS TOTALLY NEW INFORMATION!” No, they don’t need to like every book. Just every book by Julie Halpern. Got it.

So all you book bloggers out there, try to make your next review a positive one about a book you really liked. Let’s get more people reading instead of spewing hate.

Let that sit there for a moment: “Let’s get more people reading instead of spewing hate.” The self-unawareness is strong in this one.

This is why we have LiveJournal: there are times when you need to blow off steam and say things you won’t be proud of, so you put it under a friends-lock. It’s okay to behave like an asshole…where only your friends can see. A negative review of your book doesn’t have to hurt your sales figures. Making an ass of yourself where all of the Internet can see you, however, isn’t doing you any favors.

2 thoughts on “Friday Fuckery: Another author just crapped her bed.

    • Upon reflection, I think much of what’s bothering Halpern is that the book’s plot was apparently based on some events in her real life, and Dayle saw it as a poorly-constructed excuse to make a road trip happen. The implication is that Halpern’s storytelling is so shoddy that a based-on-real-life plot point looks like a transparently contrived plot device. I’m sure that must sting for a writer. If someone had a similar reaction to a story of mine, I’d be hurt, too.

      Meanwhile, I suppose Halpern also thought that since she was only posting on her own blog to say rude things about Dayle, rather than show up at Dayle’s comment section to say her rude things, that she wasn’t really doing anything wrong. (See also: Jacqueline Howett) I guess that’s the risk of getting too cozy in your author blog; it might come to feel like your living room. She may have underestimated her web presence and assumed that her rude remarks wouldn’t get back to Dayle, but if that’s the case, then it doesn’t track very well with assuming she’ll find nice things by Googling herself every morning.

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