Haters Gonna Hate
A guest post by author karina halle
This is a rather long overdue blog post about a topic that I haven’t fully seen addressed in the author/book blogosphere. It’s a topic that’s quite personal to me since it’s something I deal with from time to time, but my interest really piqued when I talked to other bloggers and authors and realized I wasn’t the only one dealing with these problems. They are affecting a lot of people but because the nature of the topic thrives on attention, most have been reluctant to bring it up.
However, I’m at a place where I am no longer afraid to just say what’s up – and hope that other people will come forward as well. Misery loves company, right?
Authors and book bloggers must both rely on the internet and social media in order to get the word out, either about their books or about their book site. Unfortunately, while it provides us with a platform for promotion and communication, it also attracts a whole heap of weirdos and haters whose life mission it is to take others down. With authors, this can mean rival authors who leave spiteful reviews on Amazon or GoodReads just to take the author down a peg. This can mean jealous freaks in general who can’t stand to see anyone they know succeed and will act out in a similar way. For book bloggers, this may come in the form of those wonderful “Anonymous” comments. They can be hurtful, malicious and sometimes downright stalkerish.
Personally, I have been the victim of at least one hater. I know who the person is. They aren’t an author, just a very deranged, insecure fangirl who was mad I couldn’t introduce her to a musician I know (I’m a music journalist). The madness spiraled out of control and was directed to me as soon as my first book Darkhouse came out. She opened fake accounts on GoodReads (12 of them) and Amazon and gave me a slew of one-star ratings. The latter she ended up calling me a whore in one of the reviews – Amazon doesn’t tolerate that, so they took it down. I must note this all happened on the day of publication. I ignored the GoodReads reviews until the same reviews sprouted up again for the release of my second novel, Red Fox. Fed up, I reported them to GoodReads who checked into it (bless their hearts) and found all reviews were from the same IP address. They were deleted. Then they popped up again. Ten more fake accounts. Finally GoodReads blocked her IP address for good. She still has two reviews up there uploaded by a cell phone. But I figured it’s not worth it to take it down. Let her keep her one star reviews up there. The actual ratings for my book speak for themselves.
Of course it doesn’t end there. She then decided to open a fake Twitter account as my character Dex Foray. She uses that account to hurl insults at me or tweet other people pretending to be me. It’s absolutely insane, but there isn’t much I can do about it.
Fortunately, most authors don’t have to deal with this level of “haterism” (a new word, go with it) but that doesn’t mean similar things haven’t happened. I know of another author whose book was also sabotaged – rating wise – by her ex-husband’s new girlfriend and her friends. I also know of book bloggers whose work is consistently plagiarized and who receive enough mean comments that they’ve had to moderate them. It’s a sad, sad concept – that cyber sabotage can go beyond teenage cyber bullying – but it’s something that is very real and is only going to get worse over time. If people are able to hide behind their computer screens and spy on people’s Twitter accounts, leave fake ratings out of spite, comment maliciously on their blogs now, I can only see it getting worse in the future.
And what are we supposed to do about it? I was lucky that GoodReads looked into it, but most online sites such as YouTube won’t. And with IP addresses easy to fake or change, prosecuting slander is nearly impossible (and believe me, I had this person making fun of my disability, so I had grounds for it). The best course of action is to just ignore it. Which I’m obviously not doing with this post – in fact, as I was writing this post, she went and opened a fake Twitter account pretending to be ME. Now how is THAT for flattery? Guess I’m a celebrity now.
The fact is, I do think this is an issue that should be ignored on a personal basis (I never respond directly to my “hater”) but shouldn’t be ignored as a whole. There may be many authors and bloggers – or anyone – who feel scared, ashamed, angry, frustrated and hopeless over these attacks but are afraid to talk about it or publicly address it for fear of attracting more attention. I don’t want these people to be afraid. You shouldn’t have to suffer in silence. Just know that there are others in your shoes. And hopefully everyone (me included) will take haters as a sign that you are moving up in the world and doing everything right with your life.
I think Oscar Wilde summed it up best by saying: “The only worse than being talked about is not being talked about.”
I’d love to hear other authors and bloggers thoughts or stories about this…
about the author:
Rock music journalist by day and author by night, Karina Halle has always stood out from the crowd. Due to club feet, she spent the first six years of her life in casts on both legs. Though this prevented her from becoming a prima ballerina, it did allow her imagination to overdevelop as she created her own little worlds where nothing was impossible. Of course, these worlds happened to be on the macabre side more often than not. From scaring her friends when she was younger, to watching countless thrillers, to reading horror novels or aiming to be the next Hitchcock with her screenplays, it’s no wonder she’s found her niche scaring readers with the Experiment in Terror Series.
Karina currently resides in Vancouver’s West End and when she’s not traveling around the world for concerts, she can be found working in on her books with a bottle of wine, listening to her music a bit too loudly.
You can purchase the first two books in the Experiment in Terror Series (Darkhouse and Red Fox) on Amazon: http://amzn.to/darkhouse
And any format e-book on Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/k…
The books are also available in a variety of other online and retail stores.
The third book, Dead Sky Morning, will be released on October 13th, 2011.
You can connect with Karina through her REAL twitter account at @MetalBlonde.
ABOUT THERESA (a.k.a. Fade Into Fantasy): As a part time book store employee, editing intern, and the mastermind behind BLB Book Tours, Theresa is able to surround herself with her favorite things, BOOKS. When she isn’t working, learning, or attending her sons’ sporting events, she’s lost between the pages of a paranormal novel. Her hope is to someday earn a living editing books, but until then she’s happy to help spread the word about the fabulous books and authors she encounters along the way.