Sunday, July 22, 2012

GR Reviewer Hypocrisy

Back in January, before we took a hiatus from the craziness of GR, we wrote a post called Acceptable Author Behavior. We realize, because of a comment on that post, that we should give a specific example. We will also point of the hypocrisy of GR reviewer brigade.

Goodreads author and reviewer Lissa Bilyk has several books listed on Goodreads, including The Edge of Darkness.  The reviews on Lissa's book include:

---A five-star review by her boyfriend/fiance/possibly husband by now, Archer. Archer does not reveal his close personal connection with Lissa in the review. Archer is a frequent and vocal complainer about "bad author behavior". Hypocrisy, thy name is Archer.

---GR member Stephanie Sinclair, also of Cuddlebuggery Book Blog, of posts a three-star review. She at least posts a semi-critical review and mentions that Lissa is a GR friend of hers, but remember, according to the GR Reviewer Mantra: author's friends are not allowed to review them.

---GR member Kira, whom we have blogged about before, leaves a five-star review with the disclosure that she beta-read the book.

---Angela, another of Lissa's GR friends, leaves a four-star review.

And those are only the names we recognize as having connections to Lissa and the militant GR reviewer clique that we have mentioned before; there are yet more reviews we have not tracked down the source of.

We take from this that if the GR clique is hypocritically inconsistent. When Kiera Cass asks friends to merely like positive reviews, she was excoriated over 30 some pages of comments, yet when a friend/member of the GR clique has friends and family members write positive reviews, she is....nothing. Crickets chirping. It's not a problem.


  1. I'd find a post like this damning if you'd caught any of the people who reviewed for their friend, or liked a friend's review, specifically speaking out against the behavior.

    I'm on Goodreads & I'm friends with a lot of the people whose behavior seems to bother you, but I don't begrudge authors support from their friends. I couldn't tell you how the majority of my other GR friends feel about it; I certainly wouldn't assume one way or another.

    I do make a distinction between authors whose friends chip in as readers - reviewing, liking a few reviews - and authors who actively try to game the featured reviews on Amazon. I understand the impulse, and I'd hardly blacklist an author for it, but I think that counts as bad behavior.

    Manipulating "likes" on GR just seems silly to me. The only reviews I ever read these days are the ones written by my friends; number of likes doesn't matter.

  2. We don't have a problem with authors' friends writing reviews or "liking" reviews. We think the friends have just as much right as anyone. What we find appallingly hypocritical is that the GR reviewer brigade seems to have one standard for their friends--writing and "liking" reviews is NOT gaming the system--and one standard for everyone else--writing and "liking" reviews IS gaming the system.

  3. That's why I spoke up - saying "GR reviewer brigade" is not enough. There's no organization or code. One reviewer's offensive is another reviewer's "oh well".

  4. Anon, you're correct. The large majority of reviewers are probably very nice and reasonable people. Give us until tonight--we do have a real non-Internet life!--and we'll clarify who we meant by the "reviewer brigade".