alice grass

Author behavoir...to read or not read their books?

Thursday, December 4, 2014
Once upon a time I had an author upset me. Yes.. it sounds crazy.  I mean really.. I got all hurt by an author??  It's actually kind of funny now.  Plus I wonder why it even bothered me so much.  I run a group on goodreads called The Young Adult Book Club.  I have run the group since 2007... back then it was one of the only Young Adult book clubs on goodreads.  There was a time when I would contact authors and try to get them to stop by the group for a Q&A.  I kind of stopped doing this because there was a lot of inactivity in the book club though I am going for it again.  At this time though.. things were going great.  We had a month where we were reading Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater.



I was extremely excited because when I contacted Maggie she agreed to do a Q&A with the group! It was the first time an author agreed to do one with the group.  I was in heaven.  I advertised it as best I could.  Got the group to get excited also.  Maggie decided she would do it live even.  Wow.  Well the month went on and we discussed the book.  Maggie even joined in the discussions with the group member.  Mistake #1... don't let authors join in the chat have them ONLY do the Q&A.  I learned that because she was reading the reactions of the group members and the parts they didn't like this turned her off from the Q&A. She emailed me and told me she didn't really like what the group was saying and so wanted to cancel the Q&A.  I was devastated.  I of course didn't tell the group this was the reasoning.  Though I did find out that a week later she hoped over to another YA group on goodreads and did a Q&A there.  My group members found out and went over there and asked the hard questions.


Ok... so now it's years later.  YEARS.  I am still a little butt-hurt about it. But now I feel like maybe in my mind I was too hard on her.  At the time she was a new author.  Her book had only just came out. She might've had a hard time with criticism.   I am sure by now she is much better.  I have put off reading any more of her books because I was so bothered by the incident.  Now I wonder.. am I missing some good books because my pride was hurt????  I was embarrassed by the incident at the time, but now I realize really what does it matter. The people who were group members at the time aren't even members anymore.  Life went on and people love Maggie.  I even tried again with authors after that and many have stopped by the group and the Q&As have gone really really well. Maybe.. just maybe I should give her books another chance. 


What about you?  Have you ever had a odd or uncomfortable experience with an author that made you not want to read their books?   



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46 comments:

  1. Okay, firstly, I myself didn't really enjoy Shiver much but her Raven Cycle is INCREDIBLE, in my opinion!!! <3 I love it!
    Well, there was this one time... I joined GoodReads around half a year-ish ago, around April. So, this author sent me a friend request and you know how it goes... PMs me, "hey, I have a book, wanna review?" And I'm like a total newbie and knew nothing about anything, so I was like, Why not? When I read it, I really liked it and gave it 5 stars on GR but my tastes have evolved, I've reread Harry Potter, Percy Jackson and have discovered how great a book can really be and so, I changed it to 3 stars.... And then I get another PM from the author (and we hadn't contacted from the day i gave her a link to my review, btw) and it's all like, "you've hurt me and my books and my characters when you changed your rating. Me and (character's name) both hope that it was just a mistake and yadi-yada-yah." And I was just like... WTF? And just gaped at it. So... ya. I won't be reading the sequel. (After reading this,I know what you mean by it sounds silly! XD)
    Oh, also, Orson Scott Card. So, I tried Ender's Game cuz there was a movie coming out but it just wasn't for me, so I DNF it. However, I have that guilty conscience that was pestering me, maybe I should give it another chance. Then, I heard about what a horrible person he truly is and I'm like, Never mind...
    Great Post! Hopefully you can bring yourself to give her books another chance (if you don't like Shiver, try Raven Boys which is kinda slow at first but when stuff starts happening... dang!)

    ~Fari 0:)
    A Recent Blog Post: Preview Review: A Darker Shade of Magic @ My Little Corner For Books

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  2. I try and separate the work from the individual for the most part. An example would be Mr. George R. R. Martin. Sometimes his remarks to fans about how he manages his writing time can seem a bit...brash, but you know what...he's got his own life, personality and priorities and regardless of how he comes off as a person - I still watch the TV series and read the books. I'm an Ice and Fire fan all the way!

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  3. Lisa @ Captivated ReaderDecember 4, 2014 at 11:35 AM

    Thank goodness I haven't had a bad experience with an author or thought their behavior was rude or offensive. If I did, I'd probably stop reading their books.


    I think I would of been hurt by Maggie's reaction too, but I can see why she did what she did too for the reasons you expressed. I think you learned something valuable and that is to not let them participate in the chat, only the Q&A.

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  4. Heh. My only bad experiences with an author comes AFTER my review, and then only twice. Once was pretty crappy, the other I thought the author was decently respectable though several of my friends felt different based on his comments.

    I admit I thought I was opening another post about Requires Hate when I clicked the link though.

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  5. That is an interesting story. I don't have any personal experiences with authors I've soured on, but I did witness what felt like 90% of the Sookie Stackhouse fandom turn on Charlaine Harris right before she was about to release her last book in the series. Someone leaked the ending on Amazon, and I've never seen a group of fans so pissed off in my life. Wow.



    And I don't blame you for being butthurt over that. I would be too, that's lame for her to back out before she could do something she agreed to do.

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  6. I went to a conference where Orson Scott Card was speaking. when it was time for his session to end, he wasn't done talking. The hostess was respectful and gave him a time warning. When he still hadn't wrapped up by that point, she must have said something else like "we are out of time, you'll need to wrap it up." I know this only because he abruptly stopped speaking mid-sentence, swiveled, gave her a dirty look, stormed off the stage, out of the room, and slammed the door. All the air seemed to be sucked right out of the room. I remember thinking 'I will never order another one of his books for my library. NEVER.' I couldn't believe how immature he was. Well, I have since "forgiven him" and have purchased two more of his books, though I avoided the Ender's Game movie (my silent protest.) It is like the old adage "You can't learn from a teacher you don't like." I have trouble reading a novel by an author I don't like. Sigh.

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  7. That is too bad. A lot of authors stay away from reviews and things unless a friend tells them it's okay to read.

    I would give Maggie another try. I just The Raven Boys and LOVED it! I haven't read the Shiver books. I liked Scorpio Races a lot too.

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  8. I haven't had any bad run-ins with authors. All my experiences have been good. However, there are two things that have bothered me from posts I've seen on Twitter, Facebook, or articles in magazines.


    1. I hate when authors dis their fans. I felt this way after an article last year talked about life after Twilight for Stephenie Meyer. I'm a Twihard and I still love the books. But, the mania in the fandom, especially over the movies, has turned me off a little bit but I still enjoy the books. When Stephenie said what she did in this article, it felt like she dissed her fans and it left a very sour taste in my mouth, especially since I've witnessed her do it before. I honestly think she just doesn't know how to word things and it comes off like that, but it's still hard.


    2. I hate reading about authors political opinions. I know that sounds really close-minded and harsh. But, while I'm okay with the fact that everyone has differing opinions, I try to avoid politics like the plague. I hate how polarizing they are and how much intolerance there is when people don't agree. People can't just be courteous or listen, they have to argue, name call, and other kinds of douchy things. So, when I read about an author's political opinions on Twitter or Facebook, they kind of go down in my estimation of them.

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  9. So far, thankfully, I didn't have experiences like that. I do try to ignore all the drama or even finding out personal details about author. But sometimes they are louder than the most so you can't ignore them.

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  10. I've never had a negative experience with an author but I'm new and haven't done much seeking out. I'd probably be done with her books to be honest. Even if it was subconscious I probably wouldn't pick them up. In general if I don't agree with the author politically or an opinion based view that doesn't affect me reading their books but meanness would definitely get them on the no list. Really great post and that Princess Diary gif is freaking awesome.

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  11. CREEPY!! This is why I don't like reviewing books for smaller authors. I mean... they really do take it personally. I have heard about so many people where the author actually contacts them personally. It is a little crazy to me. I too have heard about Orson Scott Card. I don't let authors views bother me. I do believe we are all entitled to our own opinions and so long as the book isn't pushing the views on me I will read it.

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  12. OH WOW!!! Now that is quite a story. Very Very awkward and sad for the girl who had to tell him to stop talking. Sometimes authors can make things awkward. I went to comic con in San Diego a few years ago and went to the Game of Thrones panel and he made that awkward because he wanted to control the questions. The next few years he didn't lead the panel.

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  13. I think authors should stay away from reviews. I think newer authors though will go and read them. Which is too bad.

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  14. You know who else id that to fans?? The author of Fifty Shades of Gray. I remember her saying the people who were reading her books weren't really readers. I was like ... WHAT! I mean... I did read the first book and it was a little simple as far as the words went ..... but I mean to say your readers are not readers I think is insulting!

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  15. I think now with the internet it is hard to avoid what an author believes or thinks. I sometimes wonder what it was like before the internet if you were curious about the author. How would you even know what their views were back then?? Even book reviews would've been different back then.

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  16. I remember taking it so personally. I shouldn't have. But I was so excited. I remember jumping up and down that I had an author join my group an do a Q&A!! I did the Q&As for a long time but eventually got tired of hunting down authors to get them to participate and then go through the marketing of trying to get group members to participate. It just got to be too much work.

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  17. Hmm yeah I think this could totally happen - I'm trying to think if I've had anything quite like it. I have met authors in person at signings that I didn't feel were as friendly as they could have been and that put a damper on my fervor to read their books and then met authors I didn't plan to read their books that were so awesome it made me want to read their stuff. So yes personal interaction can have so much to do with it.


    I feel bad if I loved a book or loved meeting that person in real life and then don't love the book because then its like I feel like they are so nice and I'm so rotten for not loving what they wrote. But honestly its a book and if it sounds good to you then read it. I don't tend to go in for that whole "authors behaving badly" thing - if I wanted to read a book before I found out about crazy drama I'll likely still read the book because hey I'm reading the book not marrying the author who wrote it LOL.

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  18. I've never had a personal bad experience with an author, but there have been at least three horror authors whose FB rants against conservatives and Christians have been so insulting and hateful that I refuse to promote their books and have no interest in ever reading them again. This said, there are many non-religious, liberal actors/singers/authors that I enjoy and never miss a thing by them. If one doesn't have the talent or the ability to balance their strong opinions with some lightheartedness or understanding of different views, then they may lose some fans. I can easily wash my hands of an author and not worry if I'm missing out because there are thousands of excellent books I could read that I'll never be able to get to. So I'm OK with it.

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  19. That's too bad! I understand how that goes, though. Not in the exact circumstance you describe, but for me, it's been twitter interactions. Joe Hill was so rude, repeatedly, that even though I was highly motivated to read his catalog, I stopped after Twentieth Century Ghosts. Twitter has been eye-opening for a lot of authors/ celebs, actually - it's hard for me to maintain objectivity when I see them ranting about this or that or the other. Of course, celebs/authors are only human, too, and like you say, it's good to keep in mind where they might be coming from or where they're at vis-a-vis the work they're discussing. But sometimes it's hard to overcome a bad impression.

    Other times (with Owen King, for example) I'm so impressed with someone's kindness or reasonability on twitter or elsewhere that it works in the other direction, and I become even more of a fan/ better motivated to read their stuff. I much prefer it when that happens!

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  20. I haven't had a bad experience with an author - mostly the opposite where someone is really cool and I *really* want to like their books but then just kind of don't... or not as much as I wanted to. And I feel bad about that. Though sometimes I do like the book and having met the author makes me enjoy it even more.


    I can see though, if you had an experience like that where it leaves a bad taste in your mouth where it would be hard to enjoy someone's books until you sort of reconciled yourself with what happened. Very interesting story, thank for sharing it :)

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  21. I like her Raven Cycle books but I wouldn't say she is my favorite author. My wife and I met her at a book signing and she seemed really nice and funny.

    That being said I have to say that all of the author interactions I've had were really great. They only made me want to read there books more. I've been really lucky in that respect.

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  22. Oh no how disappointing. The Raven Cycle is one of my favourite series ever and I just love MS's writing. And she always seems to genuine on twitter. Like you said though maybe as a newbie author, the criticism was too hard to take.
    I haven't had any bad reactions with authors AFTER I've read the book. I had a few get awkward on their review requests but now I just ignore the ones I don't want to read and state that on my review policy.
    I know it would put me off the author but in this case I really do think you are missing out. The Raven Series is fab :(

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  23. I definitely know what you're saying here. I'm not going to name names, but I was at an author event in Washington DC this past spring and I was so excited that a HUGE new adult author whose first book I loved (and the others I enjoyed) was going to be there. There were about 15 authors there, but she was one of the four I was ridiculously excited to meet. When I finally made it to her table, she was cold and unfriendly and really just acted like she was doing me a favor signing anything. I asked to get a photo taken with her (not uncommon at events like this) and it was just obvious she was less than thrilled about it. I wasn't impressed and it's definitely impacted how I look at her books. I've spoken with others who were are the same event and they said she was rude, too. I've only read one of her books since then, and it was totally overhyped and I really didn't enjoy it. I don't think it was because of her attitude that day. I think it was just bad. She has a legion of followers and fans online, but she's also prone to some "author behaving bitchy" times, so I've just stopped following her and I'm pretty sure I'll never read another of her books again. I'll certainly never feature one on my blog. There's just no excuse for this kind of behavior and I refuse to support it.

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  24. Stephanie Takes-DesbiensDecember 7, 2014 at 7:00 AM

    It's hard to separate the author and the work. But that writer has ha history of issues with bloggers that is not stellar.
    Some writers are wonderfully accepting of our opinions, some are really nice. It is hard to separate a deeply felt piece of art from one's self as its creator. All kinds of artists get very attached to their work. And for some avoiding the critique is hard.
    It sounds like MS was trying to avoid being asked hard questions and ending up getting burned (in her experience) anyway. So it was probably a great lesson.

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  25. I've never really had an uncomfortable incident with an author and never really contacted an author as such. But.... I have to say that even the review requests I find a bit difficult to handle. It's true, I am a bit of a coward and don't want to hurt them... if I don't like the book. I find it too difficult to handle and don't accept review requests any more.

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  26. You know what? I vaguely remember some negative press surrounding Maggie when her books first hit the market, and it left such a bad taste in my mouth that I never bothered to pick up any of her books. But nowadays, many bloggers rave about her Raven Cycle. I wonder, were they not around when the bad press surfaced? Do they just not care anymore? But more importantly, why haven't I picked up these books yet? At some point, I think I need to separate the author from their books. A good story is a good story regardless of who wrote it, and why should I deny myself the pleasure of a good story just because someone behaved in a certain way...like three years ago?

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  27. I joined Library Thing a couple years ago and won a string of eBooks. One of the books I read was really awful! The book read like a bad slapstick comedy which is something I just don't get or like. It was so predictable. The author contacted me because I had given the book a low rating (he didn't have many ratings at the time) and was upset. I explained to him in more detail why I didn't like the book. He still didn't get my low rating. I actually deleted my Library Thing account after that incident (I also found it hard to balance 2 book tracking sites).

    Terri M.
    Second Run Reviews

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  28. Oh I have a list of authors I will never read again for one reason or another because of their behavior. Even if they're favorites (one of mine recently landed there for bad behavior). I don't want to support authors who act like that. Unless they come out with a REAL apology I'm done with them. I may miss out on their books but really there are hundreds of thousand other books and ones just as amazing I can spend my time on and not feel icky about supporting.

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  29. I have only been to three author signings and they were well... good. They were BIG authors though so really the lines were out the door so we were hurried through anyways. You could really only say one sentence to the author and that was pretty much it. So I didn't really get to get a feel from there.



    I do agree about reading the book even if I heard about the author drama. I think though that is because that author drama happened to someone else and not directly to me. When it happens to you it's a little different. You aren't on the outside just giving an opinion.

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  30. You know.. I am not one to go out and be public about my opinions and make people hear them and all that jazz. For example, my personal facebook page is fun. I post fun pictures, maybe some updates on my life. I don't go on there and discuss this and that. Really it's because of the simple reason I don't want confrontation on there and for me it doesn't matter what you believe. If you are nice.. then great let's be friends. If someone posts something on their own wall well that's fine too and I just leave it alone. It's hard for me to decide if an author should censor themselves just because they are an author. Great comment!

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  31. Oh yeah... TWITTER! I forgot about Twitter. Joe Hill uses twitter a lot I've noticed. Twitter is a world where everyone thinks that they can say whatever and just stick a smiley at the end and that makes it all ok. Like when someone insults you but laughs at the end as if they meant it as a joke.



    I agree about seeing celebrities / author using their fame for good. Having a wonderful charity. I know that Bill Gates might donate a lot of his money for a tax break... but he has donated 28 billion to do good in the world. Wow.

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  32. I usually have good experiences with authors on Twitter. They can be so fun on there and usually get right back to me if I have a question or something. As you can see.. it has taken me a few years to get over the whole Q&A thing. Now when I do a Q&A with and author I am so paranoid if it is really going to go down or now. I am like... is this going to happen!! LOLOL!

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  33. I have seen Maggie in interviews and what not and she does seem really nice. She was never rude to me or anything like that. I don't even have the email saved so I don't remember how the conversation went. I think I just said ok thank you. Then one of the members who was apart of another group is who brought it to my attention that she was going to do a Q&A the next week or so at another group. At the time there weren't very many Young Adult book clubs on goodreads. In fact... Maggie was an active member in the group prior to this and even lead a book discussion one month for Stardust by Neil Gaiman.

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  34. Yes... she was very new. I think at the time Shiver hadn't been out for very long. I bet now she would be like whatever because I am sure there are tons of negative reviews on goodreads and blogs. I get a lot of review requests and some can be so impersonal. I just ignore them all because I don't review books. I think of some of those review requests as spam. Some don't know my name or the name of my blog.

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  35. It would be really hard if you were super excited to meet someone and they let you down. I think this happens with a lot of celebrities. People meet them sometimes and it is totally not what the expect. Sometimes people even catch these things on video/pictures!! The fact that other authors said she was rude is pretty bad. I always like to think maybe someone has a bad day or something but in the end ... an experience is an experience and something you won't forget.

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  36. I agree... I think in the end it was a lesson for me at least. I learned how to better handle Q&As later. I knew that if an author started to participate in the discussion to stop them. I would just be honest and say "from an experience in the past... blah blah" and all respected it. You are right about hearing a bad opinion of something you do is hard. And just not in art... parenting.. work related... whatever. None of us want to hear bad things about it because hopefully we did do our best.

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  37. I remember the first few times I contacted authors for the Q&As for this goodreads group. I was nervous wondering if I was bothering them or wording things right. After a while I was more comfortable with that. I have reviewed only two books from review requests and it is someone who works with my mom. I would never give those bad reviews... it would be so awkward. That too is why I have never reviewed any other author who I am talking to personally and know. It is awkward.

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  38. YES YES to this comment!! I do hear a lot about the Raven Cycle too. In fact... I think seeing her books around recently is what got me thinking about writing this post. Then again... when I am unsatisfied with a product do I keep buying it??? No... (unless it's McDonalds, they always get me) I avoid the brand and try something else out. It is just difficult to decide and with so many books out there to read and not enough time do I take my reading time and read one of her books??? AYE!!

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  39. Yeah... that whole author contacting people thing is odd. So many book bloggers go through this. Then there was the whole ordeal on goodreads where some authors freaked out and goodreads went through and deleted ANY book reviews that say anything personal about an author. So, for example, if I posted this post along with my book review of Shiver on goodreads they could potentially just delete that book review. It's the reason for a while there people left goodreads in a mass exodus. Crazy.

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  40. You to me are a big blogger too... you promote a lot of authors. So for you to do this might really impact them. I don't think authors get that. I never bashed Maggie or told the group why she canceled. I wanted to ... of course I did. But I knew that in order to keep a group with integrity and keep authors wanting to come for a Q&A I wanted to act like a professional moderator of the group. You are right though.. there are just too many books out there that need reading!

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  41. Oh see you're much nicer than I am. lol I still feel like a small blogger but I'm good with voicing my opinion. I won't openly bash an author but if someone asks my opinion or the author tries to start something I'm good with finishing it, ya know? I think a lot of authors don't thinking about word of mouth often enough. What's said in small groups or book clubs or just with friends. That can really have an impact I think.

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  42. I remember that! I do try to separate the author's personal views/actions from their novels. Of course unless those views/actions are really being pushed in the novel I'm reading.

    Terri M. , the Director
    Second Run Reviews

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  43. OSC is the only author I avoid now, despite enjoying Ender's Game. Although once I bought a book on writing and really liked the narrator there, and lo and behold, Card's name was on the cover. I don't know how I failed to notice that. So, OSC, you got me. But I am still avoiding your fiction because your personal beliefs are lame.

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  44. I can totally understand this. Especially if you are passionate about a topic and the author is against what you are passionate about. Reminds me a little of Chick-fil-a when all people got really mad about what they were doing with their money. Some people don't shop at Walmart either... it just really depends on what you believe.

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  45. That's exactly how I feel - it is so awkward if you don't really like the book and, really, it's probably no more than a 3 or 2 star at best. But I also know how hard it can be as a new author ... but than, I can't give 4 and 5 stars if it is not deserved! And that's another reason I don't accept review books any more.

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  46. I don’t believe I’ve ever had a bad experience with an author personally, but when I see fellow bloggers being verbally abused or trashed by an author that really makes me uncomfortable- a reviewer does their job. I’m not in for author bashing or anything like that, but I don’t stand for authors who ridicule reviewers because they got a bad review or whatever. I stop reading those writers work, more likely than not.

    I’m sorry that you had a bad experience, especially early on when it would’ve been more of a shock and disappointment. I’m glad you’ve been able to have many good experiences, since then, though! X

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