I’m Done

I’m done reviewing indie books.

Effective immediately, I am no longer accepting books for review directly from authors. I’ll still write reviews for books I get through Amazon Vine, or for books I buy and decide to review. And I will review everything that I already committed to. But I’m done dealing with sociopaths.

A couple of days ago, I had to ask Amazon (again) to remove some drive by one-star reviews. I had sent an author a private email informing him that he probably did not want me to post the review because it was negative. I did, however, provide him with a private copy of the review for his own reference (at his request). He then turned around and posted that review to my books.

This happens two to three times A YEAR.

Meanwhile, this morning I got a series of vulgarity-filled emails calling me words I won’t even type because I declined to consider a book for review. Fact is, I took one look at the blurb and realized the author had a minimal grasp of the English language, so I just told him I couldn’t review it at this time. The guy is on my blacklist now and blocked, but who the hell knows what else he is going to do.

I’m done.

I don’t have the time or energy to deal with these people anymore. And a part of me feels guilty, because most authors I deal with are great and appreciate the reviews. But the problem is that it has gotten to a point where about one out of every ten is at best unprofessional and at worst potentially unstable. And frankly it is not worth the risk anymore. I am not going to continue and wait around for the day somebody shows up at my door to “discuss” a bad review while holding a gun or something. And yes, I fear it has gotten very close to that point.

Granted, my Director of Security, Chewy, has demonstrated his willingness to protect me by valiantly barking at both the mailman and the occasional squirrel that runs across the yard. But I’d rather not put him in that position if I can help it.

16 thoughts on “I’m Done

  1. I am relieved that you are taking steps to protect yourself. I am sorry at the loss of your contribution which was so valuable but your safety comes first, obviously.
    I am new to the Amazon discussion sites but am pretty well versed in identifying sociopaths and other related personality disorders and I am frankly astonished at the sheer NUMBER of disturbed people self-publishing and flooding discussion boards to order us to buy and like their ‘books’ and to punish us if we point out it was unreadable. All those narcissists and sociopaths have ‘rushed the gates’ believing that their worst effort is better than any classic and all who stand in their way of ‘stardom’ must be annihilated. It’s astonishing and sad. Thank you for hanging in there as long as you did!

  2. That stinks! What is really worrying is that you DIDN’T go ahead and post a negative review, just quietly informed the author why you couldn’t review in a positive vein. I don’t blame you one iota for refusing to review on request. Like others though, I mourn the retirement of someone who contributed to the enjoyment of others at their own expense and trouble.
    I’m an indie author, and gladly read and review on request. Sometimes I can’t get past the first chapter even after several tries. When this happens I just quietly refuse to respond to the author. Cowardly maybe, but I’m not an editor, or paid for my time and as your experience proves, some people cannot handle critisism, and there are some very weird people in cyberspace.

  3. Sad thing. What does that mean? One out of ten Indie authors nowadays is a bigot sociopath?

    I know it’s tough to get a bad review. But even a bad and biting review is publicity. Taken professionally, it’s a good thing, perhaps there’s even something to learn from it.

    I’ve always appreciated your writing, Julie! Get over it, and I hope those crazies will soon find something else to turn their attention to.


  4. Wow. You are surely doing the right thing, after all, what do you get from reviews? They are something you’re pretty much doing out of the kindness of your heart, and they’re an expenditure of time that could be spent on other things.

    I wouldn’t feel guilty, if this kind of thing happens, and is allowed to happen, then it’s the system/community that’s failing, not you. Bail out and go and do something safe and rewarding instead.


  5. No one who has ever provided a review of someone else’s work will blame you. Those who have a thin skin should not be in this business. Still your safety and peace of mind come first. Take care and thanks for all you do with B-n-S.

  6. Dear Julie, I don’t know you but I read your post on the Kindleboards and just wanted to say so sorry that someone would do that. It’s really ashamed that there are some people in the world that you can’t extend the olive branch of helpfulness to. All the best in your future endeavors and I sincerely hope that if this is something that you enjoy doing you don’t allow a few bad apples stop you from it. Take care…


  7. This guy ( and his ilk) infuriates me. His childish (and brutish) behavior ruins things for those of us who play by the rules. He doesn’t bother to learn his craft but insists on high praise. Good reviewers are hard enough to come by. Sorry we’ve lost you.

  8. Julie, you have my complete sympathy. I’ve had the same thing happen with people who want me to review their books on my blogs. I will only review books that are my choice and will not finish reading — thus not review — crap. But there are psychos who have spammed my books the same way you have described. It’s just not worth it.

    Best wishes.

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