If you all haven’t heard by now, Nathan Bransford, an author and former literary agent, who is a major force within the publishing industry and who was once one of the most sought-after agents, wrote an article on the Goodreads bullies yesterday after he had come across a few offensive reviews of a book that he had read and enjoyed (much like another author we know who came across the same thing — an offensive, author-bashing review — and wrote about it on her blog).
In the article, Nathan mentions the attack on Lauren Pippa, cites our Goodereader article, and placed a link to our site, telling his readers about a website that reports on authors’ horrifying experiences on GR. He ends his post stating that the bullying needs to end and appeals to the bullies’ humanity (a futile attempt we could have told him, as the bullies don’t seem to have any humanity):
And guess who descended upon him like a pack of ravenous wolves? That’s right. If you read the comments, you’ll see some familiar names, as well as one of our Biggest Offenders, who berated him for making a point that is perfectly valid.
After this, the anti-bullies stepped in and the whole thing blew up like a nuclear bomb. We stopped taking screenshots when the comment count got to be over 100. Last time we checked, they were at something like 270 and growing.
We did find one, however, that was rather insightful:
Anyone see the irony in Pixie’s review?
Amazing, isn’t it? Her self-awareness is literally nonexistent.
Of course, as you may imagine, much of the debate on the comment thread was about our site, with the bullies making ridiculous claims against us as they usually do: that we stalk and harass people, that we publish private information, that we encourage bullying, that we kick puppies, that we slap babies, or whatever nonsense they’re spewing about us these days.
The fact is that our site was made and designed to expose the bullies and their behavior. And they HATE that. We have NEVER encouraged anyone to stalk or harass the bullies (as we’ve said many times). We make lists so that our readers will know who to STAY AWAY from. We are here to help the victims and teach them what to do when they are attacked as several of them testified in the comments of Nathan’s post:
As you read through these comments, you’ll see there are more people agreeing with him than not. And did any of their comments convince the bullies that their behavior is horrid and unacceptable?
Of course not.
Because it’s impossible to reason with ignorance.
But we will say that Nathan’s examples of bully reviews, in our opinion, are a bit mild in comparison to real bully reviews. Here are the reviews he mentioned (two of which are written by people on our BBG list):
Are these reviews filled with venom and hatred? Of course. But they are still talking about the book.
The real bully reviews are ones that attack the author, like these:
These kinds of reviews are unacceptable and should be REMOVED from GR, not just hidden. Most agree with this sentiment, we think.
Except for those strange few such as Mike Mullin, who like Stacia Kane, is a well-known bully kiss-up and who thinks that authors should be demeaned and dehumanized in order to sell books. Here is what he says in his reactionary post to Nathan’s article:
Wow! So, like Stacia, he thinks authors should bend over and take it just so they can sell books. We can’t even begin to tell you how repulsive we find this, nor can we express the degree to which we loathe Mike’s attitude toward authors who speak out against abuse. We will show you, however, Nathan’s response to Mike which sums up rather nicely (and respectfully) a few of the points we wanted to make:
Nathan is right. GR does actively recruit authors. Why? Because that’s how they make their money:
“We’re in the media business today. We’re in the business of helping authors and publishers market their books to readers. And that’s where we make our money. We sell book launch packages to authors and publishers and really help accelerate, build that early buzz that a book needs to succeed when it launches and accelerate that growth through ads on the site.”
- Otis Chandler, founder of Goodreads
And why won’t GR do anything about the bullies? Why do they keep protecting them?
The answer is simple. It’s one word — MONEY:
So, until GR is forced to do something about these bullies (more on that to come in future posts), they will continue to let the bullies have their way, just like the good little mom in Daniel Radke’s comment — a comment that pretty much sums up what happened to Nathan yesterday: