I wasn't going to add any more to this on social media. I stepped into the wrong review on Goodreads, thinking they wouldn't mind and stirred up some controversy and subsequent review bombing on my latest book. I was a mix of amused, amazed, and sometimes horrified by events. So bizarre to have a reddit thread about myself. Believe it or not, I am just a person, like you.
However, when someone on my temporary street team asked me to address a rumor that I had bullied someone, I realised it would (probably) be best to say what happened. Thank you Amy, for that question.
For anyone not in the know, I pointed out a hair color fact the reviewer had wrong. I'm a bit anal about facts. (screenshot below) After which I apologized for intruding and said, thank you, when she amended the review, though really just agreeing in comments would have been enough for me.
Goodreads deleted my comments on her review, as well my own review and graphic - I never rate my own, it's a promotional thing that some authors do.
I have OODLES of low-starred reviews (1s and 2s) after decades of writing and may have commented on 2 of those over ten years??? I tend to read them all, good and bad - many times I have said this on Facebook. Many authors read reviews. Some, like me, read them all.
My 2 following comments on her review I have no copy of, but approximately those said this ~>
Comment 2: Thank you for amending the review. That, yes, the hair color was mentioned in just one descriptive passage in my book, but that it was also a fairly large part of her review - which was why I asked her whether it was in her version of the book.
(And it was late at night when I made that first comment and early morning when I made the 2nd and 3rd (bad idea).)
THEN I read her review more thoroughly and saw she was alarmed that Cecile commented.
I said I had reread, that I'd missed some of her main points due to skimming. I said "Karma?" thinking I'd just done what she had done in the book (selfdeprecating, as I do, but I can see some might misinterpret that.) I explained I hadnt asked Cecile to comment, but that she is devoted reader.
I can't recall the rest well, but I know I said something like I read reviews like a crack wh*re, because it now seems someone saw that as an insult to the reviewer? (I've said this about myself a few times, prior to this) I do read reviews like an addict. lol My bad habit. Also an awful simile, but I've no idea how anyone saw that as anything but me explaining my addiction to reviews.
Then I said "I won't comment again. Promise."
I also said thank you once (?), apologized for intruding, once. I was trying to be VERY polite.
After it was deleted, I redid my 'review' of my book with less 'confrontation' - the Goodreads Support word.
However, here is the original full transcript that was on my review, GR emailed me THIS after deletion. I feel this says everything way better than I have above.
I'm aware of the posts? going around about authors not commenting on reviews, specifically me, this time. I am amazed someone thought to make a reddit thread on this! I haven't read it, hah, but I do have an imagination. Holy cow. Cannot believe that one.
If you want to have a discussion here, rather than on the review that began this, have at it. Just please don't get too heated. Possibly the original reviewer is getting tired of the attention? I won't be mediating the discussion though.
To add even more context. I read all my reviews, always have, since over ten years ago.
Yes, I regard reviews as being for everyone.
You might disagree but I LOVE reading them. I don't know where I would be without them. If you have written one for one of my books, 99 percent of those I have read. I read because it lifts me up, it makes writing worthwhile - and yes, although the 'bad' reviews (and what exactly IS bad?) don't do it as much as the good ones, I WILL NOT DISPUTE your right to review how you wish to. Every book gets hated on by someone.
Have I commented on reviews here? Yes, probably 10s of times. Once, it was because the reader didn't understand that books may get re-released once the publishing rights return to the author. Generally, we just chat in comments.
Considering the discomfort of this latest reviewer, I will stick to ones in the upper ratings bracket, if I do comment. My fans see it all the time.
If anything, I avoid ones I feel are too heated, so commenting means I think you will be okay with me doing that. I've already been super polite on that review, so I will leave it be, and not say more there.
However, when I commented, I just wished to -
A/ Correct a fact.
B/ I was also a tad worried I might have edited out that part of the book (hence the question mark after that quote I left). I thought not, but still, I am a worrier.
I've definitely uploaded over 6 new ebook versions, and I do correct small errors if readers inform me of them. Just to give you some insight into me running about like a mad squirrel during release time.
I am open to people telling me of mistakes inside my books. Please do. If I can fix an error, I will do so.
As for the review bombing...or is it ratings bombing? I'm bemused.
Reviews are prose and some of them are SO WELL WRITTEN they are works of art in themselves.
Thank you for all the reviews, people. (Not the bomb versions, sadly) I'll still be reading reviews, because I'm addicted to them, because they validate me, they make me feel like I have written a book that is worth being in the world. Not a masterpiece necessarily, but a BOOK.
If I'm unsure if you'll welcome a comment on a review, I'll definitely try to ask first, with a small comment.
For all those wanna-be authors out there, do it. Write that book. Just do it and make yourself into a writer.
I know I'm unlikely to change your opinion on this, whichever way you fall, so please don't come on here just to yell about it. Either way. Let's be civil.
END OF ORIGINAL POST
In the interest of full disclosure, I could add the link to the reddit - but I gather it's easy to find on search with my name. I could link to her review, but I prefer if people who like me, or even those who dislike me due to my rabid reading of reviews, to simply leave it be.
I'm not a bully, though I am a pita over facts. For that I will apologise.
So that is it. The saga laid out from my side. I can see some detest authors commenting on reviews, and some are horrified we even READ them. Many of my fans do like me commenting but I will be sticking to those higher reviews in future.
Just remember, strangers are reading everything you write...
Leaving this here on that note of horror.
(If this blows up, I'll be in my nuclear bunker)
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Copyright Cari Silverwood 2011. All rights reserved. No part of these publications may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission of the author.
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Cari Silverwood is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling writer of kinky darkness or sometimes of dark kinkiness, depending on her moods and the amount of time she's spent staring into the night.
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