Last year, I posted this big rant about one of my indie book reviews being [kind of] censored. I’m not going to link to it because it turned into a mess, but I’m here today with another rant centered around an indie author. (Not naming her, fyi.)
And it’s worse?
Earlier this year I had the privilege of beta-reading a dystopian trilogy for an indie author whose books I enjoy. She’s not my favorite indie author, but she’s written some good stuff and created at least one character I really like so I jumped at the chance to help her out in the beta-ing department. I read all three books, gave her my comments, and that was that.
Until yesterday, when I saw that she’d posted the final book to Goodreads (so it was now available for rating/reviewing). I added it to my shelves and rated it two stars.
EXPLANATION: I was stressed yesterday about completely unrelated things. I was in a hurry to get the book on my shelves, wasn’t really thinking, and since the book left almost no impression on me…I rated it two stars. I admit that I should have taken more time to think about my rating and maybe leave a short review, but I didn’t. (And, I mean, it’s not like I’m required to by law.)
Later that night, I opened up Facebook Messenger to find a super long message from the author in question. Why, she asked, did I dare to rate her book only two stars? If I had issues with it, why didn’t I bring them up when I beta read? (To be completely open with y’all, I pointed out any typos I found when I first read the book and honestly answered all the questions she had for the beta readers. It’s just that the story/characters didn’t connect with me and I definitely didn’t like it as much as some of her other books.)
“I was planning on offering my beta readers paperback copies in reward for their assistance during the process. Sorely disappointed I can’t do that for everyone involved now,” she said, passive-aggressively. (Spoiler alert: I’m grateful for the gesture but I have limited shelf space and that offer doesn’t tempt me to raise my rating.)
Still, none of the above would have been enough to prompt this blog post. Yeah, I’ve bought all of her books and reviewed some and helped her in any way I could and micro-managing reviews and ratings is Bad Form, but…I would have let it go.
Except that she blocked me on Messenger directly after sending the message.
I had a thoughtful response planned out, explaining that I’d not really been thinking and that maybe I could see my way to bumping my rating up to three stars. But then I tried to send that message and, yeah, it didn’t go through. I was ‘no longer able to reply to this conversation’. In one of the most juvenile moves imaginable, she blocked me from her author page’s messaging system so I couldn’t defend myself.
So, yeah. I’m kind of mad about that.
I’d been reading a different book by the same author and was really enjoying it until all of this happen. I’ll still finish it, but the whole thing has gone sour for me. Indie authors, please don’t try to keep your rankings high by following up with every single reader and asking them why they didn’t rate your book higher. As a reader, I’m not required to post a positive review – or any review. I’m sure that when I become a published author, I’ll get reviews that will make me shake my head. But I’m not going to engage.
I’m not quite sure what the point of all this was, except to get my response out there since I couldn’t do it in private. I’ll probably look back on this post in a couple weeks and roll my eyes because I thought this was such a big deal, but I’m honestly angry right now.
Have you ever had a similar experience with an author (indie or otherwise)? Or do you have a happy author interaction story to share? Let me know in the comments!