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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Author Who Fell From Grace With the Mob

One of the latest Internet viral have-you-seens is the author who had a comment meltdown on a book reviewer's blog after he reviewed her book. (You can Google for it if you want.) I thought it was a fair review, even generous. Her reaction was insane, irrational, and out-of-place doesn't even begin to describe how out-of-place it was, but everything she said doesn't come close to the pathetic reactions of these packs of faceless people that came running for the chance to feel righteous and cast their digital stones.

The early part of the review's comment thread was entertaining, and enlightening as a lesson in why authors should either not read reviews or learn to not take them personally, but then the mob showed up and the discussion turned into an invective spewing, self-reenforcing circle-jerk of self-righteousness. The blogger closed the comments, but that just sent the gang to the book's Kindle page to shower it with one star reviews and hateful comments.

I'm not saying the book doesn't deserve low ratings---it's not very good---or that the author's reaction to the review wasn't entirely inappropriate, it was. I am saying the author doesn't deserve to be victimized by an anonymous Internet mob that isn't interested in books, but is only interested in finding it's next fix of gang indignation.

On a side note, I checked the book's sales rank when the hew and cry started. It was abysmal, down around 340,000 for so. By today it was up to 26,000 and just now it's at 38,620. It doesn't take a lot of sales to get that kind of a jump in that range. Still, the author is getting an nice bump from the controversy.

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