I have written about bullies before. But when words kill, it doesn’t always happen in the schoolyard. I know a writer who is talented and kind and always tries to do the right thing. She dispenses incredibly useful writing advice on her own blog and I have learned so much from her. Frequently her posts will hit me at the exact time I need them.
For instance, I was writing a scene in my memoir and was stuck on whether I could include a couple of verses from a song. Two days later, her new post hit my inbox: So You Want to Use Song Lyrics in Your Novel? 5 Steps to Getting Rights to Lyrics.
And just like that, I had my answer.
Anne’s posts are always chock full of gems like that. If you have never read her blog, which she shares with New York Times bestselling author Ruth Harris, you should.
Anne is also generous and friendly (and funny)—and she enriches my twitter and Facebook streams. I am just now jumping into her books. I purchased her three-set box of Camilla Randall stories, labeled as dark, funny mysteries with a touch of romance. The Best Revenge, the first book I read, was full of humor, conflict and fun plot twists. I enjoyed it immensely and as soon my new Kindle arrives (the first one died on me!), I’ll be diving into the other two.
Writers standing together
In this new profession of mine, I have been beyond excited to find that writers, for better or worse, stick together. We celebrate each other’s successes and we commiserate when someone is going through a rough spot. Because we have all been there.
I have been discussing the problem of cyber-bullies lately with a few of my friends. In the self-pulished author’s world, it seems to be reaching epidemic proportions and has even touched goodreads in a significant way. There is a point when “bad reviews” cross over into “just plain mean” territory. They serve no other purpose but to demean authors. As writers, we should not expect all reviews to be glowing, but in the online communities, we are subjected to attacks by “anonymous” reviewers who are not held accountable for what they say.
Right now, Anne needs a little help from us. Someone (we think it might be one person) has decided for whatever reason that they don’t like her. They have visited Amazon and left rude, unfair reviews that threaten to do serious damage to her reputation and her book sales. I strongly suspect that this person, reviewing under different names, did not even read Anne’s books.
Read cool books, help us fight the bullies
This is not an attempt to “fluff up” legitimate reviews that may have been negative. It is, instead, a way we writers can stand with a colleague and show the bad guys that they are not going to win. And in the process, we get to experience the pure delight of Anne’s books and her characters’ journeys.
If you feel as strongly about this issue as I do, you can purchase the Camilla Randall Mysteries 3-set here (at very special, limited offer price right now). And the best way you can help Anne is by writing your own review (just visit Anne’s Amazon page and scroll down, past “Customer Reviews,” until you reach the button that says “Write a customer review). You also can go in and check “not helpful” on the reviews that trashed Anne and her work. Some of them are on the page’s right sidebar.
Anne has given so much to the writing community. Now it’s time to give back. If you are able to share this post on Facebook and/or twitter, all the better.
I am willing to stand up to the bullies. Will you join me?