Once you reach a certain point in your career, regardless of what field your specialty lies in, you’re afforded a level of “I don’t care”-ness that allows you to put up with personal attacks from nameless critics in a way that doesn’t impact your day to day life very much. Even better, you can also afford to reach out on behalf of people who are not quite yet at your level and defend them against similar attacks.
While Good e-Reader has covered the news of alleged author and reviewer bullying on Goodreads, this time it was bestselling and revered author Anne Rice who posted her position on author bullying, as well as warns authors that this behavior is no longer limited to Goodreads but has worked its way over to Goodreads’ parent company, Amazon.
Rice posted on her Facebook page yesterday this warning to authors about the activity she’s witnessed, and even been subjected to herself:
“Anti-Author Bullies are a real problem on Amazon.com, especially in the Amazon Discussion Forums. Authors, especially indie authors, need to be warned about this small but toxic underworld thriving in the shadows of Amazon.com…keep in mind: my post here has nothing to do with authentic customer reviews on Amazon, both positive and negative. I’m talking about a little subculture that specializes in trying to lecture, browbeat and humiliate authors. They are gangster bullies. These people desperately want a place at the table in the world of books and readers, and they have worked their way into the Amazon system like termites in a beautiful wooden structure. Beware.”
Rice also linked to a well-known website that focuses on the bullying issue, StopTheGRBullies.com, which highlighted through screenshots several comments directed at–and responded to by–Rice herself on forums where she attempted to defend authors’ rights to write and publish their works without being subjected to personal negativity.
Rice has supported authors’ craft through a variety of discussions on Amazon boards on many different topics, but those discussions are now closed. Many reviewers and authors have spoken out on the topic of online aggressive behavior and have called out for Amazon to take action against the practice. While sites like Goodreads have evaluated and adapted their terms of service in an attempt to foster only healthy and constructive book discussion, Rice’s post on the topic opens the door for further discussion on what steps still need to be taken.