Tuesday, January 3, 2012

An Open Letter to Those Who Review on Goodreads

Dear Reviewers,

I love Goodreads too. I love it as a reader and as a drama-loving red-blooded twenty-year-old extroverted Aries, but I also love it as a writer.

I'm sorry that we've fucked up Goodreads.

I'm having a hard time writing this because I'm so fucking frustrated, and because I'm goddamn ashamed of how I've seen people behaving lately. I feel like this is Boy Meets World and we have to keep learning the same lessons every week and then we go back and make the same fucking mistakes.

I want to tell you that I get why there is vitriol towards YA writers.

We keep doing this shit to you, and I'm so sorry.

I'm not giving any links because this isn't an isolated incident, but in case you've missed what's been going on lately, the gist is that we invade reviewer space, whether on reviews of our own work or a friend's, and act like assholes.

While I don't support anyone's decision to act like an asshole, it's really stupid for us. I get that sometimes you want to take that writer hat off and be a real person, or be a reader. Hell, I still have internet spaces for real hannah, and they're not invisible; you can go friend me on Facebook and watch me exchange videos with my girlfriend and discuss Motion City Soundtrack with my mom and post half-naked pictures from Rocky Horror, you know? (Just drop me a note saying you're a blog reader so I know you're not a random creeper looking at my half-naked pictures from Rocky Horror, cool?)

But I don't really get to be a reader anymore, not fully, and that's just fucking reality. And maybe it's not altogether awesome, and maybe I miss it, but it's a pretty small price to pay for being a motherfucking author.

That doesn't mean I can't write reviews, even negative ones; I do sometimes, and there are some amazing combination writer/reviewers out there--Phoebe North, anyone?--but it does mean that if I go out there and comment on bad reviews with sarcasm and bitchiness and general asshole-dom, I make writer-hannah look like a fucking idiot.

What's more, I embarrass my fans, I disrespect people who support me, and I give YA writers a bad name, and that just isn't how this shit is going to go down.

I don't know why this is such a hard concept for some of us, and I'm so, so sorry that we're just not fucking getting it.

If we can't stand Goodreads, we shouldn't go there. But if we choose to anyway, it is fucking ridiculous of us to think that just because we get those sexy author profile pages Goodreads is suddenly our space to be assholes to people who are doing what Goodreads was made for: reviewing books and interacting with people who love (and hate) books as much as they do.

Don't get me wrong, I love that we have a space where we can obsessively refresh to see how many people have added our books and see what page people are on and read what quotes they've added (THIS IS MY FAVORITE THING IN THE WORLD) and cry over bad reviews and cry over good reviews and cry because this shit is stressful, damn it.

But we are guests here, and Goodreads is your space, and I'm sorry we keep being idiots about it.


P.S. to authors: I know that bad reviews can hurt. I know that sometimes bad reviews are objectively WRONG. Shut up anyway. If you're a decent person with a good book, your readers will defend the thing. And that's the dream. That's what Goodreads is for.