Dear Stop the GR Bullies Website

I have now read every single post I could find on this matter, and followed all the conversations on Goodreads. This is what I want to say: your site disgusts me. And no, this is not bullying because I am stating my opinion about something, not slandering all those who are personally involved.

Do you realize what is happening in the blogging community? That there are hundreds, if not thousands of people following this issue about the ways in which the owners of this site stalk reviewers and create malicious profiles for them, listing their personal information and making assumptions about their lives?

Every time I read any new drama I have to hold down the bile, because that is how upset I get about this whole thing. I have been debating what to do, and even amended my review policy. But can I stay safe from you? No, I can’t. If I EVER post a negative review or a DNF again I could be a target.

Let’s say an author responds badly to one of my reviews. Even if I ignore it, the community (and it is a community, not a gang of crazy bullies) will stand up for me and things might spiral out of control.

You are closing the door between indie authors and book bloggers. I have seen numerous people changing their review policies to exclude indie novels. This is truly sad. You want to stop the bullying? Then stop doing it, because you are the perpetrators here. You’re not helping anyone; instead you’re hurting a lot of people. Every day there is new drama, a new blogger or author that goes slightly over the line. And we all are watching it unfold…

So I am asking you – whoever you are – please stop. And don’t say but we’ll stop when they stop; that is not going to help. If you’re going to publish a novel, you’re inevitably going to get negative reviews, and you’ll probably get hurtful reviews. It’s unavoidable. Take the high road for once. It must be exhausting running that site and digging through all the comments to find something and take it out of context. Why bother? What is your goal? Do you really want to stop book bloggers from ever reviewing an unknown author again? Because that can happen – many people are apprehensive about angry author reactions, so why fuel their fears?

I know you are angry and hurt, I know it is now a matter of pride to continue this campaign no matter what. But what are you gaining? Do you want to ruin someone’s life? Cause I promise you that is very likely to happen.

This is not benefiting anyone, please think about it and let’s just end it.

  • I’ve haven’t read much on the gr bullies, but I think I will now… I’ve loosely followed the whole drama and it appears as those things are just downright disgusting.

    I applaud your post and agree with your sentiments as much as I can from the outside looking in… I’m off to explore this whole debacle a bit more closely.

  • “You want to stop the bullying? Then stop doing it, because you are the perpetrators here.” & “If you’re going to publish a novel, you’re inevitably going to get negative reviews, and you’ll probably get hurtful reviews. It’s unavoidable. Take the high road for once.”

    ^ This. I was hoping this would just blow over, but it just keeps going. Thanks for standing up and speaking out on this subject!
    Jessica S. recently posted..Update Thursday #69My Profile

  • I couldn’t agree more with this post. What gets to me is just how hypocritical the whole thing is. How can they not see how :
    a) they are hurting people, and
    b) the irony in the existence of their site.

    These days there’s just so much unpleasantness on the blogosphere, it’s just so disheartening. Thanks for writing this Lu – yours is one of the many thought-provoking and wonderful posts out there about the subject.

  • I second what you’ve said. I do think that some of the group mentality on GR goes overboard, but I’ve seen just as many situations where the authors pretty much dug their own grave by responding to reviews or commenting on negative reviews.

    Negative reviews will always exist. Some of them will be easy to take. Others will sound like the reviewer is hell-bent on hurting your feelings and ending your career. Thing is, very few of the seemingly vitriolic negative reviews are actually meant to hurt your feelings and are really just a reflection of how much the reviewer disliked your book. Even if they did mean for the author to get upset, it’s just better to ignore the review.

    As the old saying goes, haters gonna hate. That doesn’t mean that the author should start a site that encourages (whether they want to admit that or not) bullying of reviewers they dislike.

  • Great post, Lu. I’m so tired of the drama too. A few nasty, petty little people ruining a happy place for the rest of us.

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