I hate to sound like a broken record. But every day, literally every day, new developments come to my attention, and I feel the need to comment on these developments.
I am referring, of course, to being a newly published author. A newly published author in the age of the Internet.
I feel I must make a statement here and now, with regard to the Internet and some reviewers (of books, music, art, etc): The age of Internet is the age of cowards.
I may be new to being a published author, but I have seen in the past how people (let’s call them reviewers, for lack of a better term) cloak themselves in the anonymity afforded them by websites like Amazon, or Goodreads, or other such sites, and feel free to then post reviews of artists works, scathing reviews at times, without any concern for taking responsibility for their words.
These are everyday people. People like you and me. People who read books, watch movies, listen to music. People who are suddenly afforded the opportunity to speak their minds about something they have read, listened to, partaken of. But these people do not share their actual names when posting their reviews. No. These people choose a nickname, a pseudonym, and THEN, these people feel absolute freedom to post vitriol, scathing vitriol in reference to a piece of work they have chosen to purchase, and decided they didn’t like. Their courage to thus post comes from the anonymity afforded them by the very vehicle that allows them to post said review.
It would never occur to me to do what these people do.
First of all, I’m not one for writing reviews. Second, if I were to write a review, I’d use my own name. That just goes without saying. I wouldn’t resort to anonymity (I’m not a coward). If you and your review are going to be taken seriously, it stands to reason you’d post your own name. That’s the professional (and grown-up) thing to do. And third, if you don’t like something, just say you didn’t like it, and then point out what you didn’t like in concise, well-structured, well-articulated sentences. That’s what professional reviewers do, after all (ever heard of Pauline Kael?). They compile what they did or didn’t like, and then they present that shit in a well-articulated, well-presented article that comes across as balanced, intelligent, and mature, regardless of their opinion.
As I said, it would never occur to me to do what these people do. And, quite frankly, I can only imagine how unhappy these people must be in their everyday lives, so unhappy that they have nothing better to do than to rip apart the work of an artist who has toiled far more toward the completion of a piece of work than the individual reviewing it has possibly toiled in their whole lifetime.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I realize that the above statement is contentious. But you know what? To be reviewed by some lame-ass individual who just happened to buy my book because it looked interesting, and they then found out it wasn’t, and THEN they decided, Oh, I have an Amazon account, and this nifty nickname that doesn’t identify me, and so I can now spout off about my displeasure ad nauseum…
I’m sorry, but I simply cannot take such an individual seriously.
For the record, because I do believe in honesty, I am posting this review of my own book (click on the link below if interested). I am also stating blankly that I am not unduly troubled by said review. I have checked out the other books reviewed by this individual (and you can too), and those thus flamed, and my opinion of said reviewer is no higher than it was.
Let me state unequivocally: I do not write porn. I have no intention of writing porn. I am happy to disappoint this individual in this regard, since they seem to place much emphasis on the “sex scenes” and do not seem to have an actual grasp of, or appreciation for, the art of writing.
Finally, in closing, I am, as stated, new to this publishing world. I have a lot to learn. I know this. But I will not allow a review such as this to brow beat me into submission, passivity, or apology. I write what I write. If you don’t like it, say so. But if you’re going to say so, don’t be a fucking coward about it.
Fear has its use but cowardice has none ~ Mahatma Gandhi