Tuesday, September 24, 2013

My Thoughts on This Whole Goodreads Censorship Thing

Last Friday, Goodreads changed their policy regarding reviews that were about the author's behavior rather than the book and deleted some content from at least 21 users, igniting a shitstorm of mammoth proportions.

I've got some conflicting feelings on this issue.  I've had nothing but good interactions with Goodreads Authors but I know a lot of people have had some serious shit go down, like having authors call them and threaten them.

The loss of content without warning was a dick move on Goodreads' part but not that surprising since they started hiding author-centric reviews over the summer.  Also, some Goodreaders seem to be trouble magnets and stir the pot more than they should.

It does piss me off that nothing seems to have happened to the offending authors.  As I've said in the past, nothing good can come from an author coming down from his holy author mountain to take a reviewer to task.  Nothing.  What, is the reviewer going to change his opinion?  It just makes the author look like a bullying piece of shit.  Goodreads should not have catered to the demands of a lot of stalkery authors who repeatedly shit the bed and then claimed to have been bullied when it came time to pay the fiddler.

Most of the offending authors are self-published from what I've heard and therein lies the problem.  Instead of going through years of rejection, giving them the battle-hardened skin of a rhinoceros, they often get published the first time out and are a lot more sensitive to negative reviews.  Sorry, if your book has a shitty title and a shitty cover and is riddled with mistakes, I'm telling everyone.

Maybe part of the solution would to be to have a quality control system in place with POD publishers.  Won't happen but we could dream.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that if an author is a dick to you, don't buy or read any more of their books.  Problem solved.  No amount of back and forth is going to fix anything.  Vote with your pocket book and your reading time, people!


  1. Yeah, like their book has to be spell checked before publication, and if it has 95% errors, it can't be published. That'd be nice ;)

    Didn't know this had happened with GoodReads, but it doesn't seem like it was the "perfect" way to handle things.

  2. A lot of people are bailing on Goodreads over it but at the end of the day, Goodreads can do what it wants. It doesn't really impact me. I write reviews because I want people to read what I read and like it! Goodreads is still the best and most visible platform for that.