Your book sucks: are authors being bullied with one-star Amazon reviews? (via @hayleycampbelly, HT: @text_publishing)

Hayley Campbell over on the NewStatesman ponders the notion that writers are slaves to star ratings:

Go find a book you love. Click the one-star reviews – there will always be some. Cancel your plans for this evening.

But one-star Amazon reviews are more than a space for performance art or green-ink rantings. Some authors believe that they amount to “bullying”.


I'm luckily not famous enough to be exposed to the world of being rated publicly. As most of my work is short fiction I'm luckily not on websites, either, so I don't really have much experience of feeling bullied. And the reverse is true, too: well-known authors forgetting the 'Do Not Engage' rule and setting their social media followers on hapless critics:

[Anne Rice] took umbrage with a small potatoes blogger (who not only didn’t like her book but cut it up for some arts crafts project), posted a link to the offending review on her Facebook and invited comments. Essentially she just set her fanbase on someone who didn’t like her book, and opened the blogger up to a world of shit-slinging from the more slavish of the group (others called Rice out on it).

Read Hayley's piece here, it's an interesting consideration: