Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Author Behaving Badly: Emily Giffin

Seriously authors, what is it about negative reviews that draw you to them like kittens to catnip flavored milk? Ignore them. There is no good aftermath to reacting to negative reviews.

Today's ABB is actually a husband behaving badly. Maybe not "Candace Sams is calling the FBI bad", but it's pretty abhorrent behavior for any author, let alone a professional one.

Author Emily Giffin recently received a one star rating on her book Where We Belong, which released last month. The review read as follows: (click here to go straight to the review)

This book was so disappointing. I have read all of Emily Giffin's books, and have found that her last few books are getting worse and worse. Where We Belong had the ability to be a great story. However, telling the story from two points of view, Marianne and Kirby, led there to be little depth to either character. Also I found both characters to be very unlikable. The story was trite and unbelievable. I also found that Giffin put a very negative spin on adoption. Giffin's last books have been a disappointment and this one was no different.

A little light, but overall it's not some angry missive where the reviewer is just slinging bile. It's one of the more mild negative reviews I've seen out there and I've seen some reviews that completely rip a novel to shreds and use it as kitty litter. (Not that those kinds of reviews are wrong, just that people can and have been more harsh in their criticisms of things.) The reviewer did at least try to state why they didn't like the book.

That's where Giffin's husband stepped in. I'm posting the following exchange "as is".

Initial post: Aug 13, 2012 3:06:35 PM PDT
Really? An "avid reader" that has written one review in their entire existence on amazon. Beware people. Psycho alert.


In reply to an earlier post on Aug 19, 2012 9:46:54 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 19, 2012 9:56:49 PM PDT
UES says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Hide post again.]
What an incredibly petty and mean comment, Emily Giffin. And you must have forgotten that by clicking on "a reader from ATL" we see your signed diatribe against another author who's unfortunate enough to share your name. And now you're calling someone a "psycho" simply because she didn't like your book? Jeez. What a horrible human being you seem to be.

Since you'll probably delete your comment once you realize you've been caught insulting a reader who didn't like your book, I'll do others a favor and post your comment here:

"a reader from ATL says:
Really? An "avid reader" that has written one review in their entire existence on amazon. Beware people. Psycho alert."

Classy, huh?


In reply to an earlier post on Aug 21, 2012 6:31:01 PM PDT
UES, I'm not Emily Giffin. I'm her husband. I see the link you're referring to and I suppose when that issue came up Emily responded from my computer. My issue is this - anybody is entitled to express their opinion and I don't want to ever discourage that. But I get sick of seeing these posts by jokers who have never reviewed a book and write a one line, one star review because they have some other issue. You, in fact, use some pretty hateful language yourself. I was merely sticking up for my wife who, as a matter of course, doesn't read the reviews on here. If somebody hates the book then fine but some of these are not objective reviews.


In reply to an earlier post on Aug 21, 2012 6:53:47 PM PDT
K. Seri says:
I truly am an "avid reader" of Emily Giffin (love her books!) but I am also the daughter of a restaurant owner. On behalf of my father, I check reviews daily, and oftentimes find myself wanting to reply in defense. Of course I agree that everyone is entitled to an opinion; however, it's extremely frustrating to read reviews from people who review out of spite, hatred, or some other personal reason rather than write an educated, unbiased review. Props to Emily's husband for recognizing a lame reviewer and sticking up for his wife! :)


Posted on Aug 21, 2012 7:18:34 PM PDT
C. Flores says:
I've read all of Emily Giffin's books and love them all. My only complaint (or rather, wish) is that she has more books published!


Posted on Aug 21, 2012 7:20:39 PM PDT
Ash says:
Can I just point out that "avid reader" did not even spell the main character's name right?? Further proof he/she did not read it. After seeing her name so many times on the pages that mistake stuck out to me like a sore thumb! And good for you, Mr. Giffin, I love to see a husband stick up for his wife and I truly believe it was warranted!


In reply to an earlier post on Aug 21, 2012 7:30:50 PM PDT
Alicia Brown says:
Bravo to you, Emilys Husband, for sticking up for your Wife!:) I have not had the privilege of reading this one, but if anything like her others, then I'm sure it's wonderful!:)


Posted on Aug 21, 2012 7:38:06 PM PDT
A. Albert says:
I too think it's wonderful that you're sticking up for your wife Mr. Giffin :) and like the others have said before me; unbiased reviews are hard to come by. I am an avid reviewer of all life experiences. I haven't yet had a chance to read WWB yet but I plan to, because I've read and love all of Emily's other books. Sometimes reviews have to be taken with a grain of salt and it's a shame that people take the time out of their lives to be so negative and hurtful. Karma is a b****.


Posted on Aug 21, 2012 7:41:52 PM PDT
Did you read the same book? Negative spin on adoption? Unlikable characters? It was believable to me! I loved it, I just wish there was more for us to read! Part 2 please?! :-)


Posted on Aug 21, 2012 8:11:15 PM PDT
"UES" why all the hostility? I also read Emily's response to finding her name associated with the "erotica" writings of the other Emily Giffin, and I thought her response was intelligent, appropriate, and free from the harsh spin that you have put on your review - hardly a "diatribe", as it is not insluting, harsh, or even negative at all. Perhaps its time to start reading the dictionary.

Classy, huh?

To "Mr. Giffin" kudos to you. I am also one of Emily's facebook friends who is here to support her. I loved the alternating points of view - only hoping to see one from Conrad along the way. I found the story believable, as one of my sisters gave a baby up for adoption at 16, and another one of my sisters has two beautiful adopted daughters. My third sister is EXACTLY the type of person to take someone shopping as a way of calming herself, and feeling like she is in her own elementas she tries to will an awkward or uncomfortable situation away.



There is no excuse for coming on and attacking a reviewer like this, calling them a "psycho" because they only have one review to their name. All that could mean is that this reader felt so strongly about this book that they decided to leave a review. It's fairly common and guess what? It means that at one point that reader was such a big fan of Giffin's work that the letdown to them was that much more of an impact. It doesn't make her "psycho" at all.

Now you'll notice that there's a huge lag time between responses. Why is that? It's because about three hours ago (8/21/12) Giffin posted about the review on her facebook account, bragging about her husband's actions on facebook.


She pretty much acknowledges that her husband went onto Amazon and then attacked a negative review. She then posts a link to the Amazon entry with a comment about where the review is located on her facebook page, which pretty much sends out the message of "go downvote this review and comment yourself". This is why most of the comments are so recent. 

Now if this had been a particularly venomous review, I could almost understand the temptation to post. It's hard to see someone talk smack about something someone you know or love wrote. But this wasn't a bad review. The reviewer said nothing about the author, just that they were disappointed with the book and had been disappointed with the books for a while. And they got attacked because of it and labeled a "psycho" because they dared voice their opinions and was a new reviewer to Amazon. 

His statement of "not wanting to discourage opinions" is pretty invalid considering that he took to Amazon to insult someone who was simply voicing their own opinion in a free forum of their choosing. His only justification is that the reviewer didn't have a five paragraph review and a twenty page history of product plugs. Where's his indignation for the positive reviewers who posted a 1-3 sentence brief five star review and not much (if any) of a purchase history on Amazon? Why isn't he angry that people are taking to Amazon to post reviews that are more skimpy than the negative one? (And yes, there are reviewers who left positive reviews prior to the negative one's posting that have just a few sentences and have only reviewed this one book.) 

What's even worse are the people on facebook and on the Amazon review defending Giffin's husband's actions. Why is it that posting a negative review is "psycho" but someone searching out reviews, insulting reviewers, and then sending out a cattle call for everyone to go gawk at the negative review (thus ensuring they'll downvote and bully the reviewer) isn't? I do acknowledge that Giffin only tells people to read the review, but come on... what does she expect them to do? They want to support their author and keep her happy, so they do what they think she'd like them to do: attack and downvote the review. I'm sure that Giffin would probably deny this, but she didn't get to where she is in the world by being an idiot. She knows full well what happens when authors send their readers to negative reviews. There's been enough stories about the aftermath of this, after all. Besides, a follow up post shows her husband grinning over the review's bombardment on Amazon, so again- she is probably fairly aware of what the end result of such actions are, even if she didn't personally read any of the comments. 



So seriously authors, don't do this. I wasn't a fan of Giffin to begin with, but this pretty much cements that I'll never pick up one of her books again and I won't be buying any as gifts for anyone else. I'm not going to tell you not to read her books, but I will warn you that if you post a negative review you'll run the risk of being insulted by her husband or Giffin for your troubles. 

Now they'll probably consider me psycho for posting screencaps of all of this, but stuff like this has a tendency to disappear from the internet when the authors and family members realize that not everyone is so approving of the whole "sling a reviewer, hold them up to your fans for target practice" thing. I know that this is Giffin's husband that attacked the reviewer, but Giffin's actions show that she's fairly aware of what's going on. And again, with all of the author fiascoes going on with both well known and indie authors, there's no way that she could be so clueless as to not be aware of how badly this would be received in the general literary world. 

UPDATE:

I did a quick Twitter check and sure enough, she posted it to Twitter as well. Seriously Giffin, bad move. That is a tasteless, classless thing to do to someone who took the time out of their daily life to read your books. It might hurt that they didn't like it, but you and your husband should have taken the high road and simply not responded at all. That you decided to brag about your husband's bad behavior, ensuring that more people would know about it and hound the reviewer (and thus drawing attention to said bad behavior by your husband) is pretty much encouraging bullying. I honestly thought you better than that. 

So authors, if you see someone you know (husband, friend, etc) posting on Amazon or any other review forum in response to a negative review, your reaction should be to snatch the keyboard out of their hands and try to do damage control as quickly as possible. If possible, delete the comments and stay away from the kerfuffle. And above all else, do NOT post about it on your facebook page with glowing comments about your husband attacking a reviewer. (And make no bones about it, what your husband did was an attack. The reader purchased your book via Amazon, didn't like it, then posted a review. It's valid and he had no business calling them names and accusing their review of being a slight against you as an author.) You know full well that it's just endorsing an attack on the review. Negative reviews happen. Sometimes they can get incredibly personal and insulting. This was not one of them.

UPDATE 2: 

I've seen where a reviewer (Corey A Doyle) on Amazon has changed their review rating because of how the whole Giffin scenario affected them. I'm a little leery of this this since you've always got to be incredibly careful of changing ratings after the fact as well as talking about the whole author thing in the review, as talking about authors in review spaces sort of paints a tempting target on your back. In any case, I see where Giffin's assistant has commented on Corey's review. (Click here to go to the review.)  I'm posting this verbatim from Amazon:

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 22, 2012 1:56:04 PM PDT
CrimznTider says:
I'm Emily's assistant, Kate. Shame on you for changing your review from FIVE STARS to ONE STAR b/c of something personal. As a vine reviewer, you know that isn't even allowed by Amazon. If your review was FIVE stars when you read the book, why should it be ONE now b/c you don't like something she or her husband did??? Her husband was defending her against an unfair, personal attack, like the ones above. Her husband is human and gets upset when people upset her...

As for the rest of your accusations, you are just plain wrong. Emily is a wonderful person--she shared with you how she felt about not reaching her goal to be #1 in on facebook. It was a sweet, heartfelt, honest post... Here it is:

"On my way to Naperville for my hometown signing. I have to admit to you guys--I'm really, really disappointed and sad not to have broken the Buffalo Bills spell... especially because I believed that based on the numbers/sales figures all week, that this book would be #1.... That said, i also want to say that I would rather have your support and love and kind words than a dozen number ones...."

So clearly, she never blamed anyone or criticized another author. Why can't she be honest about her feelings ON HER OWN FACEBOOK PAGE? In addition, she has been told by hundreds of girls and every manager at every bookstore she has ever visited how kind she is. She came back from an exhausting tour and did everything she could to be nice to so many. She has sent literally hundreds of free things to people on her own dime.... How dare you all say these personal things about her?? This is her passion and her career and she doesn't deserve to have your unfair thoughts about her reflect on her work.

I can see where one could argue that the #1 post wasn't that bad. I can understand complaining about that to a degree, as I'm sure that it is fairly disappointing to get so close to the first spot and not achieve it. That I'm not really going to criticize any as that's not really behaving bad as much as it's an overachiever thing.

What bothers me is that the assistant saw the original review, the one that started all of this, as a personal attack and that the husband was justified. It was not a personal attack against the author. I can't stress this enough. The review was just an ordinary, average reviewer stating his or her reasons as to why they disliked the book and that they'd been disappointed with the books for a while. That is not a personal attack. A personal attack would be if the reviewer had said something along the lines of "Giffin is just stuck up and thinks she's too good to eat her vegetables, she's the anti-christ" or something like that. That's a personal attack and if the original reviewer (AvidReader) had said something like that in their review, I'd agree whole heartedly that it would be an attack. But they didn't state anything like this.

I also don't think that charity work excuses awful behavior or condoning her husband going on line and picking at reviewers. She could have given a kidney to a sick child, but that doesn't mean that she or her husband have the right to attack reviews. That's just not appropriate and being an otherwise good person does not mean that after you give out 100 books your husband gets to call a reviewer names while you extol his virtues online and brag about it. That's like saying that after I finish feeding the homeless I get to swipe a dollar from the offering plate at church.

The assistant also claims that Giffin never slammed another author. That's nice and I encourage Giffin to not slam another author. But this is different. This is Giffin's husband slamming a reviewer and Giffin indirectly encouraging her fans to go titter at the remarks and downvote the review. I say indirectly, but any time you link to a negative review you're pretty much full on endorsing an attack on a negative review. There's no getting around this fact and it doesn't take a genius to figure out that you're painting a target on a person who is not a professional, bought your book with their own money, and then decided to take their time to write a review. This is actually a little worse than slamming another author because this was a comment to one of your fans. You know, the people who buy your books, pay your salary, and put you where you were? That's biting the hand that feeds you and regardless of how many hands you have coming your way, it's incredibly nasty to accuse someone of being a psycho just because they wrote a negative review.

UPDATE 3:

I was just informed in the comments that Corey has received harassing phone calls, getting one where someone told her to go kill herself.

Seriously, what is wrong with some people? I don't know if anyone who called her has or is reading this, but seriously, that's not cool. Now if we want to bandy about the term "psycho" then this is a situation where it would apply. Corey changed her vote rating based upon her personal feelings. I might not necessarily be 100% comfortable with it, but it's her personal freedom and right to do as she pleases with her review. It's her review and she can do whatever she wants with it. If she wants to recite the National Anthem backwards then that's her prerogative to do so. It might not be what I'd write, but guess what? It's not my review and I have no right to tell her what she can or can't say. Neither, might I add, does anyone else, regardless of what your personal feelings might be.

Where the line gets drawn is when you have someone taking the time to track down someone's personal information, call them, and tell them to go kill themselves. Let me repeat that: someone feels that Corey should die because she *gasp* changed her mind on a review and gave it one star. Not because she's done a Casey Anthony or because she stole from a million orphans, but because she wrote a review that someone didn't agree with.

So guys, that's not cool. Actually, I'm fairly sure that there's probably harassment laws created specifically against this sort of thing. You are not being a good fan by calling Casey and telling her to "go kill herself". If you really want to support Giffin despite the actions of her and her husband, then do so with your wallet. Buy her books. If you enjoyed them, leave her positive reviews. That's how you support an author. Not by calling people and harassing them. Not by bombarding reviews and saying nasty things to them like "you only read Harlequins, this book must be too advanced for you" or insinuating that they're in any way defective for having an opposing opinion to yours. The only thing you're doing is further dragging your author's name through the mud. That's not being a good fan.

Negative reviews will always exist. Some of them you might agree with even if you loved the book. Some of them might seem personal. Some of them might be so short you wonder if it can count as a review at all. They will always exist and regardless of how you personally feel about them, attacking them is not the answer. Ignore them. If you're the author or just a particularly devoted fan, rant privately to yourself and move on. Nothing good has ever come from commenting on a negative review. If Giffin's husband had ignored the original review to begin with, nobody would have blinked at this review. If anything, the average shopper probably would've just slid their eyes over it and moved on to the next review without really giving it a thought. It's not that in-depth of a review. It states why the reviewer didn't like it, but it's not like it goes into such detail that it'd stick out in your mind. Unless the reviewer dramatically edited their review down, which I very much doubt, there was nothing in the review that would constitute a personal attack on the author. Being a new reviewer and stating that the recent books have disappointed you does not mean that they're doing this to slight the author in the least.

UPDATE 4: THE UPDATENING

I just found an apology written by the author's husband. (Click here to go straight to it) Like the last time I posted his words, I'm posting them straight from the source "as is":


Posted on Aug 22, 2012 6:37:08 PM PDT
Hello all. This is Emily's husband. i just want to officially go on record as apologizing to "avid reader", Corey Doyle and anyone else I offended by commenting on a review. This is not an excuse for my actions, but only an explanation: For weeks Emily has been harassed by one person on the internet. When I looked up "avid reader" and saw that he had only ever reviewed ONE book in his life--and it was a one star of WHERE WE BELONG--i jumped to a conclusion that this was the same person and acted in hasty emotion. Although I regret the post and the language I used, I'm sure any of you who love someone and feel protective of them might understand my actions. She put two years and her heart in this book, and I hate to think that anyone would review her work based on anything other the merits. I also hate to think that my ill-conceived defense of Emily would hurt her further. Also, for the record, Emily had no idea the actual content of the exchange when she posted on Facebook. She doesn't read Amazon reviews, and she thought this was harmless banter because that is how i presented it to her. And because I'm not on Facebook, I didn't know what she had posted. Please accept my apology. You can continue to discuss if you wish, but I am bowing out, along with Kate, Emily's assistant who was also just trying to defend a good person. We encourage everyone to post honest reviews of the book, whether good, bad or the ever-insightful mixed.
I do understand to a degree. I also want to say that if someone has been badgering the author and extremely harassing the author beyond the usual internet chatter, that's not cool. I'm not sure if Mr. Giffin's idea of harassment is the same as mine, but if they were going around from place to place with the intent of hurting the author emotionally or physically then I can understand being a little jumpy. (On a side note, I do believe that people can discuss an author's merits or the lack thereof in their work on multiple forums without that actually constituting harassment. I also don't think that posting reviews in multiple places is harassment either. I don't know what was being done, but I wanted to be a little clear on what I don't consider harassment. If you want to see what I do consider harassment, just google "Christian Weston Chandler" and you'll see true harassment of an individual.)

In any case, we can keep talking about how the husband should have known better, how his public persona can damage his wife's rep as much as her actions could, how nobody would've known about the review if he'd never posted on the review in the first place or if Giffin herself had decided not to comment on it three days later, or any number of things. It's done at this point and we can't really change it. I can only hope that the Giffins have learned a lesson from this, that it's never a good idea to go off on a reviewer. It doesn't matter what slights you think they might have done or if you think that the reviewer is someone who has been harassing you. There are very, very few situations where an author will come out of a situation like this looking good. I know it might not seem fair that authors don't have as much freedom to respond to negative reviews of any type, but they also have more to lose from responding because it's so easy for responses to be taken so many different ways and end up costing you reputation or fans. If the person writing the review truly is being inappropriate, report the review. (And be aware that just as your response can be interpreted differently by others, you might be interpreting the review in a different light than the reviewer intended.) If a person truly is trying to sling barbs or harass you, the worst and I repeat worst thing you can do is give them the attention they're seeking. None of the reviews I've seen so far were written to harass or slander, so I don't want people thinking that I view any of these reviews as bad. I'm just giving general advice for anyone that might read this. Sometimes the best thing to do is just walk away and take the high road.

UPDATE 5: THE FINAL UPDATE (hopefully)

I noticed I made STGRB. I was wondering when that'd happen. In any case, the one thing I want to specify from that site is that I never specifically said that Giffin told her fans to downvote anyone. I just said that she's intelligent enough to know what would inevitably happen if she pointed out any negative review or her husband's actions online. Let's put it this way: if you put a piece of candy next to a hungry, candy-loving toddler, the toddler will eat the candy. We'd all like to think that the toddler would leave the candy alone and would simply look at it, but the kid just wouldn't be able to help themselves and they'd assume that your whole reason for leaving the candy next to them was because you wanted them to eat it, regardless of whether or not you said anything. The same premise applies here. If your husband comments on a negative review and you make a post on facebook that even remotely looks like you're putting his comment in a positive light, people are going to assume that not only did you feel like his actions are OK, but that the best way to get your approval is to downvote and post comments themselves. Even if Giffin did only intend for people to look, past events with other authors and similar scenarios have shown that fans will go after anything they feel is an attack against an author or anything that the author or their people feel is an attack. At some point you can't cry ignorance over this because so many of these scenarios have been so incredibly public and very, very painful for pretty much all of the people involved.

It was bad manners for Giffin's husband to post what he did. But it was incredibly foolish for Giffin to post about that review on various social media sites. She's not a silly woman. Giffin has graduated with a law degree and has traveled the world. As such, I'd imagine that she's fairly aware of what her actions could lead to in any given situation and I don't think this situation is much different. If she truly and completely never intended for any of her fans to go out and harass someone, then I do apologize for saying anything different. But I just don't entirely believe that. That's my personal opinion on the matter and not fact, but you've got to figure that with all of the various fusses over authors replying to public reviews and news sites of varying degrees of importance reporting on this over the years, she'd know better and know what could happen in a situation like this. I'd just really like to believe that someone who went through law school, represented various people in court, and writes about "real life" situations would have more common sense than this. But since I can't prove this, again I'll state that this is just my personal opinion. There was just no point to her posting about the negative review and given that her husband had posted on the review about two to three days before she ever put a post on facebook about it, there was plenty of time for the comment to have been removed and for Giffin to look into what he was writing. (Hint: if anyone tells you that they're doing battle in your defense and you're a very public figure, ALWAYS look to see what they're writing because in the end it's your reputation that gets ruined.)

All I know is that she will likely never do this again. We can all only hope that maybe we won't have another author/reviewer drama from anyone on our hands for quite some time. I'd much rather post nice little blogs about various author successes than dramas.

Update #(dunno):

I was just given this screencap by Corey. Previously I'd said that Giffin had never actually posted anything that told people to comment or down vote reviews. Then I was showed this image. Most of the post was written by the assistant, but in the end she's still posting a comment that's telling people to go to the reviews and "defend her". That is a fairly loaded statement, to be honest. The only reason I'd heard about this in the first place was because a few other people had heard about this via her facebook page and saw that people were going over to attack Avid Reader. Maybe they just meant to go over and have a civil conversation, but considering that at this point the reading community was starting to implode on itself over the comments that were previously left, posting this is really not helping anything. Neither is consistently refusing to go and read what's going on. At this point with all of the things that have been said for her and about her, it'd probably be a good idea to know what's being said about her rather than hearing it all secondhand. You can't properly defend yourself if you don't know what's going on, after all.

I'll just say that after reading this, I'm actually starting to believe that Giffin is probably clueless enough to where she didn't think anyone would do anything other than read the review. Either she's being insanely passive aggressive or she's just insanely naive. I'm honestly not sure which would be worse. In either case, I really really recommend that she go through her agent or publicist as far as comments go because in one scenario she's passive aggressively sending people over to fight her battles. In the other she's being so clueless that she's almost a danger to herself. Either way, going through her agent or publicist for advice would probably have kept things from getting so pear shaped.




In any case, the above post is deleted off of the facebook account so hopefully things will eventually die down. Again, if anyone that wants to support Giffin is reading this and disagrees with any of what I've posted here or with any of the reviews, getting angry and nasty with the reviewers is not the answer. Support her by purchasing her books and leaving positive reviews for the books of hers that you've read. Post them in any venue you can find, whether it's Amazon, Goodreads, or wherever. That's how you support an author or at least how you should support an author. Not by calling and harassing people or leaving snippy comments in reviews, but by purchasing their stuff.

Update: The Final Frontier

Hi all! I just wanted to let you know that Corey has written up a blog post about her experiences with this, so I wanted to post this here and direct you all over there to read her experiences. She's pretty comprehensive about it all, so if you want another take on the matter and all of what's happened to her in such a short period of time, I definitely recommend reading it.

81 comments:

  1. Awful. I'm so tired of people getting their sockpuppets to attack reviewers. Reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, etc. are for readers, not authors. I know it must suck to get one-star reviews, but letting your husband call people who buy your books psychos, then unleashing your facebook fans on them is so not cool. I checked her page and she has 110+ fans on FB.

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  2. Well-articulated post, and I agree. I'm a new fan of yours. ;)

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  3. This is beyond ridiculous. I'll never read a single book of hers again.

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  4. This is simply horrible. I feel bad for the reviewer, and Ms. Giffin and her husband should be ashamed of themselves.

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  5. What made me angrier as I wrote this is that the review in question wasn't that bad, all things considered. It's the type of negative review that's written by someone who was and probably would still consider themselves to be a fan. (Well, not sure if that applies after they got personally insulted by the author's husband.) It's the type of review written by someone who so desperately wants to like the books and would probably keep reading in the hopes that they'll get that same spark that they initially received from earlier books. The type of reviewer who despite not liking the previous book would still purchase the next one with this type of mindset.

    It's not like the type of person who picks up the book to enjoy it in an Ed Wood, train wreck type of perspective, although there's nothing wrong with going into books with that mindset. This was someone who really, genuinely liked the books, was terribly disappointed with the latest book that they bought, and since it was the latest in a line of disappointments, decided to post their first review about it on Amazon.

    And they got bit for their troubles. Maybe as some of the people on the review have stated, Giffin will continue to sell regardless of how many of us don't buy/rent/read the books, and I believe that. But I knew people who do and I'm a person who buys books as gifts. Nobody will be getting a Giffin book from me and besides, the internet has a long memory. Anne Rice, Laurell K Hamilton, and DeborahAnne MacGillivray's actions are all still remembered years later despite it all happening years ago. Any time Giffin takes a wrong step or says something harsh, someone will inevitably say that she's one of "those" writers and recount all of this. That's the way it goes. Rice has tried pretty hard to erase her past actions to no avail. Bad behavior might not ruin your career but it'll ruin your reputation and won't ever go away completely.

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  6. I watched as all of this unfolded last night and was one of the first two people to tell her she should watch what she's doing. Unfortunately for her career, she didn't! Shame on Giffin, her husband AND her readers for behaving in such a disrespectful manner. I know Amazon has removed her husband's first post to the reviewer, but this was absolutely uncalled for. I will not ever (never-ever) read one of her books again and hope others find out about this and follow suit!

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  7. I'm glad that she had someone telling her to be careful! If she does it just right, Giffin could probably recoup some of her losses in this with a carefully worded apology to the reviewer in question.

    On a side note, I'm glad to see that nobody is taking to Amazon to post retaliatory one star reviews. If they read the book and dislike it that's great, but I don't like it when people use the reviews on Amazon as a way to lower ratings for books they haven't read.

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  8. I agree with what everyone has said so far: this was a very mild negative review. For all that it was short, the reviewer stated her opinions fairly objectively, but from the way everyone is attacking her, you'd think she'd just made a few blanket statements and then proceeded to personally insult Giffin and every member of her family, i.e. acted like the many trolls we see on the internet.

    There's been so much talk about the overabundance of positive reviews, and after seeing something like this, it's easy to see why. The beauty of books and other forms of culture is that they inspire different opinions. Yes, it hurts to read something negative about the book you labored over and love like your children, but nothing is going to be universally beloved, and Giffin and her family members should know that by now.

    I've never read Giffin's books, but quite a few friends are fans and I was on the brink of reading her newest. I'm going to divert my attentions elsewhere instead.

    ReplyDelete
  9. *sigh* it seems like it will never end. And it seems like a coward's move to sic her fans on a reviewer, while kind of staying out of it herself. I loved some of her books, but I won't be buying any more; that's for sure.

    Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She may claim she's 'staying out of it herself', but it feels more like she's standing back, siccing her dogs on the reviewer. She claims she told her husband not to read reviews, 6 years ago, but you can almost see the smirk when she posts about him 'doing comment battle' on Amazon.
      Did she make him stop? She eggs on her followers on Facebook and Twitter, but pretends that her hands are clean.
      It's not sock-puppetry, which implies a 'hands-on' approach. More 'marionettes', with her pulling the strings.

      Delete
  10. A week ago, she moaned and complained that she was #2 on The New York Times bestseller list. Last week, she praised readers for buying books for less fortunate readers (like she wasn't benefiting too) and now she proudly shares her husband's bashing of a reviewer. She needs to get over herself.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. #2 on the NYT bestseller list, and she's complaining? I DREAM of the day that I will even be LISTED...Had never heard of this woman until today, and have been completely turned off by this whole nasty, disgusting fiasco. Rule #1 to being an author, do NOT react to poor reviews. #2 rule: Keep your family, friends, and assistants out of it, as well.

      Delete
    2. She has goals! Her goal was to be #1 and so she was a little disappointed the she didn't make it, but still thrilled to be #2! She is an amazing author and some of the reviews are not about her writing. Also, I don't think she has control over other peoples actions. They have their agency! You both need to get over yourself!!

      Delete
  11. She's always been a bit of a social media drama queen. When the Something Borrowed movie came out, she pulled this stunt:

    http://www.facebook.com/somethingborrowed/posts/185622748154535

    ReplyDelete
  12. I took my review from a 4 star down to a 1 star due to this debacle and she's now pointing her minions in my direction on her Facebook page.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's funny how you call her fans minions. I and another fan started referring to her mass followers as minions as well because Gid forbid you have an opinion that differs from hers or theirs! The Gestapo comes out. Love her work but enough is enough. We're not "jealous" if we don't like something! We are humans who refuse to bandwagon for the sake of meeting the standards of the "sorority" that has become EG's Facebook page.

      Delete
    2. Are you the one her assistant is currently attacking on Amazon? This is becoming hilarious. How embarrassing for her. I only follow her on facebook for the lolz.

      Delete
  13. Actually this whole exchange reads as another case study of the Wild West that internet. Reviewer posts negative review. Husband of author calls the reviewer potentially psycho. Another person jumps on to call husband, mistaking him for the author a "Horrible Human Being". Wackiness ensues with all kinds of mudslinging going on.

    ReplyDelete
  14. My review, which is now getting bashed now that Emily called attention to it on Facebook.

    http://www.amazon.com/review/RD7J3JGI8EW5N/ref=cm_cr_pr_cmt?ie=UTF8&ASIN=0312554192&linkCode=&nodeID=&tag=#wasThisHelpful

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's because your rating should be about the book! Gosh! THAT is the point.

      Delete
  15. Perhaps I'm missing something, but where are the so-called personal attacks on the author? If the one star review in question is the one above, well how is that personal? People should not be afraid to have opinions... lengthy or brief. There are some fans on the FB page calling out negative reviewers as "jealous". Really? If you don't like something you're jealous?! There are some very "interesting" fans on the EG Facebook page. Most of whom want no more than to get in the good graces of a famous author.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They got deleted.

      Delete
    2. No reviews have been deleted actually.

      The only thing deleted was the comment from the 'husband' calling the original reviewer (AvidReader) a 'psycho'..


      Please get your facts right before you post.

      Delete
  16. Why would you pull a review from a 4 star to 1 star over this? That means your review is not really about the book but rather your opinion of the author. That's not what the review section is for.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
  17. 38 Calibre ReviewsAugust 22, 2012 at 2:37 PM

    Truly tacky behaviour from another author bloated with self entitlement.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Corey, I saw that her assistant is going after you. Funny how EG posted that everyone needs to stop, but she's not bothering to control her employee...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She's also reposting her assistant asking for help battling me on Facebook. Not quite invoking peaceful measures.

      Delete
  19. Also, I'm reading that people are saying that I probably never read and just bash authors.

    I am an avid reader and read 150 or so books a year. Not record breaking but I wouldn't categorize myself as a non-reader who doesn't know good stuff when they see it.

    http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/866083-corey

    ReplyDelete
  20. How people behave online reflects how they behave in everyday life and says alot about their character. Repeated classless behaviour isn't something that suddenly pops up, either. It's ingrained and can be traced a long time back. Money can't buy grace or humility, unfortunately.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I'd be careful about changing ratings on books as far as this whole thing goes. If you heard about all of this while you were reading the book and it really shattered your enjoyment of the book, that's one thing. I had that happen with an author once and the author's antics really ruined my enjoyment of the novel to the point where the rest of the book was ruined for me. I kind of had to mention it and change the rating because my enjoyment really suffered. But if you did enjoy the book then I'd probably leave the rating as is and just leave a comment below the review. If you enjoyed the book but disliked what the author's husband and Giffin did to the other reviewer, it's not entirely fair to change the review entirely based on that. It's kind of a tricky situation since I don't want anyone getting accused of being as bad as I feel that Giffin and her husband were. I can see where someone's entire past opinion of the book would be altered by this, but you've got to be careful that you don't turn the review space into a battleground. The last thing I want is for someone else to become a target. That said, I don't think that it's entirely appropriate for Giffin's assistant to come onto Corey's review to comment. That's just throwing gasoline onto the fire, in my opinion.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sorry but after seeing what happened to AvidReader I couldn't in good faith leave up a review that gave the author 4 stars. I can't delete it since it was a Vine item and I ended up putting what I thought in my review.

      I honestly had NO idea that the authors husband/minions whatever would be trolling the low starred reviews and going on a bashing spree. I also had no idea that Emily would post about it herself and aim her fans my way.

      Saying you are sad I gave your book 1 star because of your actions is fine, sending a hundred thousand + people my way to call me every name in the book, send me nasty emails and leave delightful voicemails is above and beyond what any person should have to endure.

      If your opinion wouldn't be changed after someone leaves you a voicemail saying you should just kill yourself because you are such a miserable person for "attacking poor Emily" then you are a better person than I. Emily herself did not do it, but she knew what was taking place, posted my review and then followed that up with her assistants plea to attack me further. She knew what she was doing. I'm sorry.

      Delete
    2. VOICEMAILS??? Not that the emails or message board postings were acceptable but to take it to a level where they are contacting you offline and saying such hateful things. Based on a book review no less! Absolutely ridiculous. It's as if these people are under some delusion that by doing these things they will become BFF's with Emily...and that is frightening.

      Delete
    3. WHAT. THE. FLIPPING. HECK.

      Seriously? Someone left you a threatening voicemail? Just because you changed a rating? Wow.

      NOT. COOL.

      Delete
  22. The only thing more ridiculous than an author getting upset about a bad review is a reader getting upset about an author getting upset and saying they're never reading the author's books again. Wait, I thought this was about not making split-second decisions based on emotion and impersonal internet interaction? Or maybe this is just a good excuse to stop reading sub-par literature. I don't know. I've never read a Giffin book. There's just something odd to me about the backlash against such (admittedly petty) author-review behavior.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Also can we really blame Mr. Giffin? If I had to guess this was just a case of a man needing sex and getting creative.

      *makes inappropriate joke* *runs away*

      Delete
  23. I posted a 1 star review a few weeks ago about this book on Amazon. This was my first negative review and I mainly stick to Goodreads. I did want to offer advice to someone who might be considering purchasing on Kindle to not buy it on Kindle, but save their $12 and borrow from the library or a friend instead. I mentioned that I thought the author's previous books were better when she focused on 1 character's voice. what a surprise, this morning I received a horrible response to my review saying I should stick to reading People magazine and I am too dumb to understand the book. Several others defended my review and the attacker/troll went on to attack them. She then apologized later today...mysterious timing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think I saw that review... Are you the one that they figured has a low IQ because you also read Harlequins?

      Pot, meet kettle. I mean, they are reading NYT bestselling chick-lit. It's not exactly not War and Peace.

      BTW, Harlequins are much more readable than War and Peace (with apologies to my online friend who posts as Anna Karenina).

      Delete
    2. No, I am "KAS", Kirra. I think The Harlequin insults were aimed at a poor girl who was defending my 1 star review in the comments section.

      The main comment/insult is deleted by the crazy Laura W., but I was told to stick to People magazine?!? It was the most random insult and while I am not a subscriber, I was offended on behalf of my mom - a loyal People fan :). Isn't People magazine the equivalent to an EG novel - light and fluffy and what people want to read on the beach? Aren't People readers in general the target EG audience? I am not a paranoid person but some of the commenters started calling this troll out that she was a minion of EG and then she suddenly deleted her comments and apologized.

      I will check out the Harlequins! I love the "Big Important Writers" but sometimes you need a break and I am not a snob. Afterall I learned so much about British history from sneak-reading my grandmother's Regency romances growing up!

      Delete
    3. I'd agree that People Magazine readers are one of the target audiences for Giffin novels. People tends to focus on the lighter fare for their readers, as their magazine tends to focus on the lighter stuff most of the time. This isn't a zing against PM, as I've seen people of all backgrounds and professions reading this magazine. I've gone to the doctor's office and seen a nurse reading one in a break area, so saying that People Magazine readers are incapable of understanding anything beyond an article is more than a little silly. I mean, my mom reads People magazine. She also reads Jane Austen.

      And there's absolutely nothing wrong with Harlequins. I've had some pretty good times reading Harlequin novels of various genres. Not all of them are the deepest works out there, but neither are Giffin's books if we really want to split hairs. I find that having so called "shallow" works a good thing, since if every book was a War and Peace or Anna Karenina type of read, we'd have a lot fewer readers out there. Besides, not all Harlequins are the monthly "The Greek Billionaire's Pregnant Amnesiac Mistress that Thought She was Ugly Growing Up". Some of them are pretty darn spiffy. Julie Kagawa's Iron Fey books are some of my favorites, as are the Soul Screamers books by Rachel Vincent and the Mystyx series by Artist Arthur.

      Reading shouldn't be about picking up the hardest and most challenging book out there. If you enjoy doing that, then more power to you- there's nothing wrong with preferring to only read books along the level of Shakespeare or Larsson. As long as you're enjoying it, that's what matters because being reading in your spare time should ultimately be able what makes you happy, whether it's the Greek Mistress type book I mentioned above or the latest uber-pretentious novel. And if you don't enjoy the book you just read, then you have every right to voice that displeasure.

      Delete
  24. This whole scenario can now be classified as "bat-shit crazy."

    ReplyDelete
  25. The craziest thing about this is someone changing a 4 star review of a book to a 1 star review of the author. That is what has everyone up in arms....how can you not see that Corey? You should be kicked out of the vine program, as you KNOW that is not how reviews are meant to be given. It's extremely childish.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, (I am a different anonymous), actually CARING that she changed her review after this crap is childish. Who cares?

      What I care about is the fact that Corey was attacked by whack jobs.

      I was a fan of Emily's. However, I am no longer, after everything that has happened.

      That's life. You actually CARING that she changed her rating is childish.

      Delete
    2. Her fans must be pathetic losers who think they are somebodies bec they like her, so they have to attack whoever threatens their sad sense of self. Griffin looks like an inbred horsey face so she should not throw stones ar anyone. Is she ever disagrees with her angry husband will he go psycho on her?

      Delete
  26. If you review a lot (I do) you quickly realize that any negative reviews will at least be downvoted by the legions of fanboys/girls who follow the author. It just goes with the territory. But this specific case does go beyond the pale.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I'm sorry but Emily's reply when told about the voicemails that I've received is jaw dropping to say the least.

    http://www.coreyann.me/giffinfb.png

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Corey, this is disgusting. I've been a fan of Emily's, until I liked her facebook a long time ago. I sadly informed my fiance' that my "favorite author" is nothing but a blonde, needy bimbo. He keeps asking why I still like her page. I like it for info about new books etc, but this finally pushed me to unlike her page.

      Her fans are saying that they are sorry that SHE is going through this??? The fact that you got hate mail AND voicemails from STRANGERS because you changed your rating based on her actions is absurd.

      I'm sorry YOU are going through this crap.

      Delete
    2. Same anonymous as above, but I read the picture that you just put up. YOU enjoy the drama??? pssshhhhh... she's the one that is all up on her facebook with this crap. It blew up on her so she is the one that is "putting an end to it".

      Ridiculous

      Delete
    3. EG's responses make her sound as if she isn't the least bit sorry that you received threatening voice mail messages. I am beyond appalled. I have never read an EG book, but I had been planning on it. No more. I cannot get over how incredibly unprofessional it is of ANY author to engage in online debating like this, whether directly or indirectly (the way EG did via Facebook), OR for anyone associated with the author to engage in online debate. This kind of online bullying will very quickly destroy the integrity of Amazon's ratings system, and then we all lose. That EG is a successful published author is a gift, and she and her husband should never forget it. Do they really think every book she publishes is going to be loved by every reader?

      Delete
  28. Wow! I just saw the picture that you posted! That is beyond insane. Her reaction to this might be the worst of all. I was angry on your behalf before. Now I am livid. How heartless can you be? She is a self absorbed bully. She is on my DNR list.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I honestly don't know if she's a bully at this point or is just that clueless. There's enough here to suggest that she might be just that naive to think that she could post this and nothing would happen. I would almost hope for the alternative, since I don't want to think that someone with as much schooling as she has would be like that.

      In any case, I was also told that she deleted the post soon after and I'm glad she did. That was just drawing everything out by posting that.

      Delete
    2. I am a huge fan of her books, but when I liked her on facebook, I was very dishearted when I saw that she was nothing but a blonde bimbo. She can write, but she's really not too smart.

      Delete
  29. Maybe Giffin is THAT naive. Or maybe her loving husband and sycophant assistant ensure that dear sweet Emily is surrounded by nothing but unicorns, rainbows and kittens, so she has no context for her behavior. Or maybe Giffin comes from the same planet of Delusiona as does Melissa Douthit (different region, but same general continent.)

    What I want to know: where is St. Martin's Press? They almost certainly have a publicist assigned to Giffin right now - she has a new release, she should be in the swing of PR. They should have put her on lockdown days ago and made her issue an apology right off the bat.

    Dear Giffins and co., please learn Rule Number One of selling a product to the public: the customer is always right.

    Corey, I am so sorry this is happening to you.

    Authors - heck, anyone with an internet presence - has to understand that in this day and age of social media, YOU are the brand. Your books (or your blog posts, or your comments, what have you) are your product, but YOU are the brand.

    Consumers boycott products and speak out against them in public forums when they disagree with the brand. Consumers who don't agree with Nestles's policy re: baby formula in developing countries? They don't buy Nestle chocolate in their own country. Consumers who don't like General Electric's defense contracts don't buy GE toasters. Consumers who are unhappy Ann Curry was forced out at the Today Show don't watch the show (or even extend the boycott to NBC in general.)

    Authors shouldn't put on their shocked faces when consumers apply the same method to them. If you screw up your own brand, be prepared for the consequences.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Giffin claims that she reached out to the one who received the "go kill yourself" messages. Is this true, or is this a lie by Emily trying to save face? She claims it was an official apology. My question is, was it sent to the one that received the threats, or done through her facebook?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not sure, to be honest. I've been talking to Corey, so I'll have to ask her. I know that Corey has had some great messages of support, but I'm not sure if Giffin herself has mailed her.

      Corey's actually working on a blog post of her own about all of this, so I'll make sure to post a link to her blog!

      Delete
    2. http://www.coreyann.me/giffinfb9.png

      I believe she's referring to the apology within the review. I'm also being blamed again.

      I really, really think her publicist needs to take her Facebook account away from her.

      Delete
    3. Her publicist didn't take it away, but it is wiped squeaky clean. All that remains are pictures of wine bottles and her kids. I still haven't seen anywhere an apology from her. The husband has said he was sorry, sort of.

      Delete
    4. All of my comments have been deleted, I keep trying to tell her that she is in the wrong, but she is too blind to see it. She thinks I'm starting up drama by continuing to post about it, I just post captions to this blog, and hopefully people will continue to Corey's blog to see what she did.

      Sadly, we all have our bad days, I can be pretty mean myself sometimes, but I always man up and apologize when I am in the wrong. She is totally in capable of doing so, which is HORRIBLE for a famous author. Even if she can't wrap her mind around the fact that what she did was wrong, why not appeal to the masses, apologize legitimately and move on?

      I was told that she reached out to Corey personally and issued an official apology. She also told me that legal counsel told her to delete my comments (in a comment she later deleted, she told me that she was saving my comments for legal counsel)

      THEN she said she didn't care that she was losing fans, it was apart of the business. Unfortunately, her comment was deleted before I could screen shot it. You'll have to take my word for it, maybe SOMEONE saw that comment when it was there for a brief second, about how losing fans is a part of the business.

      Anyway, she needs a new PR person because this is a nightmare and if she stood up, acknowledged responsibility and just moved on, it would be better for her.

      She's too thick headed and arrogant by success to do so.

      Very sad to see who the writer of my favorite books is.

      Delete
    5. AH! That's me, Amy! My posts were pretty much deleted, to suit her pleasure. Sigh. As well as the one where she said she didn't care about losing fans. Wish I had the capability of screen shotting with my phone, but it's only a droid, not an Iphone :(

      Delete
    6. I can still see the deleted comments, but I have to paste them in here. She deleted the comment about legal counsel and losing fans, but here is what has been deleted. She's quite charming, eh?

      Emily Giffin: Lisa--I don't delete posts i disagree with. i delete posts dealing with this amazon issue. both positive and negative. i was criticized for allowing it to be on my FB page, so I'm taking off my FB to protect all involved. You should donate your books to your local library. They always needs additional copies. Thank you. 2 hours ago · Like · 6

      Claire: Seriously, donate the books to the local library. There is a severe lack of funding for public libraries these days and, given the wait lists for Emily's books, I'm sure they'd happily take them! Personally, I think you're completely overreacting (especially since Emily's page is easily the most open and active that I've ever seen from someone famous), but to each her own! If I ended up blacklisting every author for whom I didn't agree with on some point or another, I'd probably have no one left to read. Well, except for Dorothy Parker, who was PERFECT! Ha! 2 hours ago · Like · 2

      Sarah: goodness. Another suggestion for how to get rid of them is your local hospital's "Palliative Care" unit. My roommate did her placement in one this summer and said there is a need for pleasure reading for families who have relatives dying in Palliative (Baby Proof was actually in the family room)... 2 hours ago · Edited · Like · 1

      Amy: protect all involved? why not reach out to the girl that was told to kill herself? this is really, really bad. 1 hour ago · Like · 1 · Edit

      Emily Giffin: amy--we did reach out to her with an official apology. if she is really getting death threats, which is appalling, she should probably remove her post--or at least stop talking about it. alternatively, she should call the police ASAP. There is nothing i can do to help her from atlanta. why are you still talking about it? i think you are making it worse for this poor woman by drawing attention to it on my page. if you care about her and want it to die down, please stop posting about it on my page. that is what i mean by "protect all involved". i'm sorry you don't seem to follow this logic. but maybe you want the drama to continue? if so, THAT is really, really bad. 1 hour ago · Like

      Amy: you lost a fan, and continue to lose them because you refuse to accept any responsibility for your (and your fans) childish behavior. ignoring it won't make it go away, it actually makes it worse. all of those deleted comnents are on the internet, and your inability to man up and apologize for feeding the fire that your husband started is appalling and disheartening. your fans are also incredibly mean, attacking people that have negative reviews about your book. delete all you want, it is out there, and it's all over the internet, people are disgusted, and it makes it worse when you just "close your eyes, have some wine and wait for it to go away". if your pr person is fine with this, get a new one. you are losing fans (I've been a fan for five years) and this (all over the web without the emily delete button) is turning possible fans off. apologize FOR your fan base. you are a famous author, welcome to the public life 1 hour ago · Like · 1 · Edit

      Amy: funny, I did like you. give legal council my comments lol, like I care. and ps, I'm not the one updating her. I suggest a google search. with that, I'm done. good to know you don't care about losing fans, that's classy :D 1 hour ago · Like · Edit

      Amy: one last thing before I leave emily in peace, the losing fans comment was directed at something she said JUST before she deleted her comment. something about reporting me to legal council and not caring about losing fans, it's a part of the business. all well. 1 hour ago · Like · Edit

      Delete
  31. Hey all, just saw the email where Corey's sent me a link to the blog she's written about all of this! I'll link to it in the above entry, but I'll link it here as well:

    http://coreyann.me/?p=141

    ReplyDelete
  32. To be perfectly honest - and at the risk of being pelted with rotten fruit - I think this is all very much a storm in a tea cup and not a particularly nice tea cup. I think if anything it's exposing the vitriol that a lot of reviewers have for being criticized in any way. Emily Giffin (I've never read her books, no idea who she is really) had the misfortune of having a trigger happy husband eager to rush to her defence. That's kind of cute. Although I have to admit I'd break the fingers of anyone who did similar things for me ;). BUT, really, you're getting engaged in dialogue with someone who is extremely engaged in the emotional well - being of the author. And then the author gets involved, ok so she doesn't handle it very well. So what? There is more important stuff going on. Really.
    p.s. I have to admit that I'm actually a little afraid to put my name to this because of the frankly bullying aspects of a lot of the comments.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it depends on what you mean by criticism. I do have a little bit of an issue of people going on to various reviews and bashing opinions because unlike authors, they're not getting paid to write personal reviews. I'd wager that very few of us are. I'm certainly not.

      Going on to reviews and calling them psycho for writing what's honestly a pretty mediocre review at best quality-wise is not a critique. It's an attack. So is having a ton of fans come over onto the review to comment and heckle. I'd wager that very, very few of the people who commented negatively to the original review did so with the intent to give an actual, honest critique of the reviewer's style. They were looking to attack the reviewer and that's what I disagree with. There was no criticism in what they did, just pure bullying. The same thing goes for how Corey was treated. Do I agree with changing the review after the fact? Not really, but I can understand why she did what she did. I wouldn't have done it, but then I'm not the one writing her reviews- she is and she has the free will to post what she wants.

      There's no excuse for what her husband did. He flew off the handle and attacked a reviewer. So he's married to Giffin. Does that give him a free pass to insult people? No. It doesn't.

      Delete
    2. I also have to argue whether or not a random review could really be properly critiqued. Avid Reader is not a professional reviewer, quite obviously. He or she is just an average person who decided to write a review stating their disappointment. No agenda, no dreams of being "The Next Great American Reviewer", just them posting a review on Amazon. I don't honestly know if people along those lines really need to be critiqued, especially considering that most of the critiques that they get aren't really critiques as much as they're thinly veiled attacks against the reviewer and their person. For every author that simply tries to explain their viewpoint, there's about two more that gets belligerent because Reviewer Randi thought that their depiction of romance between Sam and Sandi smacked of domestic abuse. The same thing goes for comments from fans too. I've seen some people get "criticism" that basically boiled down to "You're stupid and must need your eyes checked because this book is great".

      For example, someone posted this onto a book review for an indie author: (I removed the author and character name because it's an old comment and I don't want to start WWIII over that review.)

      "(Character name's) self depreceation is what made her real... come on, let's be honest... not many of us go through life thinking we are the shiz! I don't feel that (name omitted) created any one dimensional creatures throughout this book or either of her other two! Besides, do you think it fair to review a book you didnt even finish reading? Didn't your english teacher ever teach you that even if a book is hard to swallow; you should see it to the end? Believe me, you only robbed yourself of a great book... and the sequel? OH. My. GOSH!!"

      You honestly can't tell me that this is a valid criticism of the book and not just an attack by someone that was angry that someone didn't like the same book they did or because they view negative reviews as a slight against the author. The thing about critiquing reviews is that so often it boils down to critiquing opinions because the only people who do comment on the reviews are only doing so because they're angry that a negative review exists. And besides, how exactly do you critique a review without making it seem like you're attacking their opinion or trying to change their mind? It's possible, but most people will end up more talking smack about the opinion than trying to tell them how to express it better or in a way that doesn't personally offend that specific reader. For some of these reviewers I honestly don't think it's necessary because they're not professionals and they don't do this for anything other than an occasional hobby. When it comes to the people who write reviews for blogs on their own time and dime, that's when it gets a little more complicated. I do think that we should keep from writing reviews that are completely nasty and vitrolic, but then we're not professionals either.

      In the end this is one situation where the author and her husband was pretty much almost solely in the wrong here on several points. Her husband never should have made his nasty comment and Giffin shouldn't have posted about it several days later. She could have easily have not posted about it and most likely nobody would have really commented on it. Giffin brought the comment to public view by posting it on facebook for her fans to look at. Like I said above, it doesn't take a brain scientist to know that if you post about a review and make it sound like it's something your husband would have to fight over, the fans are going to go over and do exactly what he did. I honestly don't see anything about that review that would cause her husband to obsess about it for 2-3 days until Giffin posted it on facebook.

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    3. OMG. Fresh fruit sounds really good right now.

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  33. I think that, sadly, we're only humans, and as long as there's negative criticism out there, people might react to it - adversely or not. In Giffin's case it's blown up completely and she's come off looking the worst, in spite of any defence that's been mounted in her favor.
    Moral of the story - take negative reviews with good grace & then ignore them and move on!

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    1. Agreed. She's apologized for this and while it's not as sincere as it probably could be, I think she's learned that even bestselling authors have to be careful about what they put in their public space. Especially bestselling authors because they have more eyes on them.

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  34. Definitely - it's a lesson to all authors I think. Can you imagine if E L James defended all her crappy reviews? (*I'm a 50 Shades fan) World War 3 would break out! Right, I'm off to have some fresh fruit ;). Thanks for the discussion!

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    1. Oh wow, I don't even want to think about how heated that would get. I remember seeing some of the arguments that would happen over Twilight reviews and considering that many of the Twihards have moved on to FSOG, I can just imagine what would happen if James were to lash out against negative reviews. I think comparing it to WWIII would be fairly accurate. It wouldn't be pretty.

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  35. You are an awesome investigator. Really. You could earn some money on the side with your ability to pull it all together and not leave me wondering whether you were making it up or not. GREAT blog post.

    And boo to EG and all her peeps for their unprofessionalism.

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  36. So she doesn't "read the reviews" but her husband insults someone who leaves a negative one and then her assistant lashes against another person because she changed her initial review (which she's entitled to do). Then the author tells her fans that "wink wink" she's not going to take part in the fight her husband is having with a reviewer, but oh, well, you can if you want to? Petty, mean and ultimately dumb.

    It's not like Giffin is an extraordinary talent whose books I'd read even if I hated the author. She writes fun, light novels that I enjoyed reading - then quickly forgot. I can easily replace her with other authors, and after reading about this pathetic display from Team Giffin, I will. (I wonder how many other readers Mr. Emily Giffin has cost his wife.)

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  37. *sigh*
    Frankly, I'm just disappointed in most *people* these days. Unfortunately, it seems as none of this is *new* or unusual behavior. More and more, as time goes by, it seems that the entitlement attitude of the "special snowflake" is taking over.

    Personally, I'd never heard of Emily until today, and after the extremely poor behavior on the part of her husband, her assistant, and herself, I'll never be spending my hard-earned dollars on her books. The initial review was hardly personal, and was based on one reader's opinion of the work *as* a work. What happened to the days of taking criticism as what it *is*: a guideline for where you may not have conveyed what you were trying to comprehensively enough and to try to do better next time.

    I really don't understand people... this inappropriate knee-jerk responses to *everything* in the world is insane, and only promotes further insanity.

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  38. I would be supportive on all of your articles and blogs because they are just upto the mark.
    rooting android phone

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  39. I had "liked" her Facebook Page, but every time I logged on, I'd just see her posts asking EVERYONE to buy her books, encouraging people to buy them as gifts, recommend it...every single day. I got so tired by the unsubtle attempts, that I unliked her page of course. Dont know if I will read one of her books again. I liked Baby Proof, but her Something Borrowed/Blue were both trite.

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  40. I have already read this post and I'm very happy to read this post. I strongly believe that this site definitely helpful because we can get more helpful information from this site so I suggest to everyone that please visit this site and take more important and helpful information. I will visit this site regularly.
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  41. I just stumbled across this blog after rewatching something borrowed and googling to see if something blue was going to the big screen. I wish I'd seen it sooner because I just read most of her books while house sitting and if I'd been privy to this info I'd never have read one word. And I won't read another word, that's for sure. They sound like despicable people. I truly believe that people who leave nasty, threatening comments are just reacting to how impotent and out of control they feel in their miserable little lives. It gives them a sense of power.

    I'm not sure if anyone else mentioned this, because I just skimmed a lot, but I loved how Emily's assistant said her husband was defending her against a review that upset her - how exactly was she upset, since she doesn't read amazon reviews?

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