What happened to me on Goodreads: #MyAuthorNightmares
I would like to start of by saying I’m kind of ashamed that it has taken me so long to talk about this. However, with the growing backlash against trolls disguised as book reviewers, I finally feel safe enough to talk about this.
A few months ago I decided to stop querying agents and go indie! For any author that’s HUGE! You hear about all this stigma against indie authors and are told how impossible it is to get readers and you just want to run to the hills fast! But I wanted my book out there. I wanted to share the characters in my mind with other people because for once in my life I had thought I found my thing!
I’m not the best in math, science, sports, or english (not my first language) however as a child/teen, I tried my best to be. Everyone else in my family was. I found myself always running to books, but never imagined I could write one due to my dyslexia. I loved telling stories, but the moment I tried to put them into words, I got scared. I remembered the kids who would laugh at me for reading (which I still do), or for just talking too long.
However somehow last summer, I was able to write not one book, but four (I still don’t know how.) I had never felt so happy in my life. I went to my teachers, friends, and a few members of my family for advice and honesty. Of course they told me they liked it. I kind of expected that. Of the four, I thought only two of them were good enough to publish.
Adela Arthur and the Creator’s Clock was one of them. You see, I had grown up on books in which black people were never really around. (I’m really not trying to make this a race thing.) And females didn’t go on the same adventures that guys did. (My opinion? It could have just been the books I chose.) So instead of complaining about it, I wrote.
Which brought me here:
All because of this blog post.
1. Only Steph Sinclair—the writer of the blog post had read my book.
My Crimes against the “gods and goddess” of book bloggers have to be broken up into two categories:
What they said I did and what I actually did.
What they said I did:
Steph Sinclair said she believed my book was a Harry Potter rip-off… That was alright. It was the first time anyone had told me that since I sent my book to be reviewed, but again it was her right.
Another blogger by the name of Melody had actually liked my book and started talking about it in the book blogger community, which was great until she got into some hot water with other reviewers. She had posted fake reviews (the irony) to build street credit.
So how does this effect me?
Well good ol’ Steph here claimed I was Melody. That I had step up a fake twitter account and blog and bought followers not only for Melody, but for every review of my book! I was sock-puppet she claimed.
I tricked bloggers to read my book and so the post above was my master plan!
Step by step, she lays out “proof” on how I tricked her to read my book through fake accounts.
After posting her review, she went all over my social media to prove what a horrible author I was. Then, she got other bloggers to join in.
What she could have done? Checked the IP address, but if she had, sadly her post wouldn’t have gone up.
Instead, I sat there and watched as someone lied about me, made fun of me, and just plain degraded me over her beef with another blogger.
1. Any person using WordPress should know that the amount of followers you have is a mixture of twitter, Facebook, and your actual blog. It isn’t “buying” bloggers. It’s the set up of WordPress. Or at least mine is.
2. If a lot of people were talking about my book, it was because I went to any blog that would have me and sent out book review request along with giveaways. Not because I was making fake accounts.
None of that mattered. I was a “bad author.”
What I actually did.
I may have been over zealous in booking blog tours. I’m a first time author who had no clue what to do, but was told over and over not to expect readers to just find my book. All the advice blogs said promote! Promote! So I tried. I wasn’t aware there was a limit of book tours you could use. But that didn’t matter either because after Steph’s post, I lost almost all of them.
One of the blog tour owners, Sharon Goodwin of fictionaddictionbooktours.com, went out of her way to make sure the other bloggers knew of Steph’s post. How? She posted on another blog tour going on. Why I’m not sure?
Funny enough I was the one who contacted her to let her know. I wanted to be honest with her and anyone else working with my book. I even told her she could drop me. I told her I didn’t know I wasn’t supposed to book so many tours. She told me it wasn’t, but the last thing she wanted was to be associated with an author like myself.
No other blog tour host commented. A lot of them were really nice about and explained to me that canceling they tours were all the could do.
To her credit Mrs. Goodwin did refund me all my money.
That weekend I had never cried so badly in my life. My parents were so proud of me, they kept telling share my book with other family members and even with my high school. But I felt ashamed, and scared. This great thing I did, felt like a curse. I wanted to stop writing.
I emailed goodreads begging for them to take my book down. But they told me no.
I deleted my goodreads and just tried to hide from the attacks
Neither of them read my book.
However Steph made it her personal mission that weekend to make sure those who supported me were to afraid to review. (I understand and I wouldn’t want anyone to be attacked because of me.)
Unless she knew the blogger of course
I forgot to mention two of my crimes.
- I asked Steph for a review.
- I spent the little money I had left to advertise on her blog and others.
A month ago, I wanted nothing more than to just die. That may seem dramatic. But when you’re afraid to open your email or get on twitter or Facebook because you’re afraid of being attacked, being alive sucks.
Steph can’t be much older then myself. I’m 20 (17 at heart) and I could never imagine doing this to another human being over a book…anything really. It just proves high school never really ends.
I was angry, hurt, and in a real dark place after this happened. Steph and her gang of trolls took away my passion for writing and my pride….for a whole month.
And that is what happened to me on Goodreads.
For those of you who say authors should have thick skin, you’re right. But that doesn’t give “readers” the write to ban together and go on a witch hunt.
Bullying is bullying.
At 20, I wrote a novel. You, Steph, you read a book and published a mean-spirited blog post.
In 10 years, I’m not going to feel like an asshole. I’m going to keep writing. Not because I’m dying to “get rich”, but because I love story telling.
What’s next for Adela Arthur and the Creator’s Clock?
I think that series will die with one book. I wanted to delete it off the web, but fans told me “I was letting them win”, so I just made the ebook free. I don’t really have control over the book price on amazon though.
My book is #109 on the list above. I wonder if I will break top 100 after posting this.
How do I feel about that?
Sorry for all errors, grammar/spelling.
Also there is a Petition going around please sign!