Egotistical Authors

An Instagram post by a well-known author.

This controversial post seems to be making the rounds in the book community and rubbing readers the wrong way in the three hours since it’s been posted. Though I’ve never read this particular author’s books, I admit to being taken aback by the thoughts shared here, which makes me never want to pick up anything this author writes. Bloggers are generally well-versed in how to review books politely. It’s common knowledge to avoid tagging authors in negative reviews, but to completely exclude them from raving reviews seems counterintuitive.

Lately, my bubble has been burst on multiple occasions by authors’ rants. It seems they are forgetting who is paying their bills. For the most part, readers and bloggers are supporting the book community at their personal expense. We pay for books, book signings, retreats, and devote our precious free time to reading, photographing, and talking about the books we love. Yet, many authors lately like to call out readers and bloggers for not living up to their expectations. Is it too much to ask for a little humility?

I hate to say it, but I find myself retreating away from the book world due to things like this happening. I am losing respect for people who have made a difference in my life because they seem ungrateful. I think we need to bring back the separation between authors and their readers again. Everyone is now instantly accessible through social media and our personal feelings toward authors are only serving to dilute the reading experience, in my opinion. This is why we continue to hold more off-the-grid authors like Stephen King and J.K. Rowling in high esteem. They aren’t ruining their careers by complaining publicly about those who buy their books.

The bottom line is this: if you don’t like your readers, don’t write.

I’d love for others to weigh in here. What are your thoughts?

**NOTE: Since this post was published, the author deleted her post and completely backpedaled to paint herself in a better light. In her initial post, she asked readers to stop tagging authors in ALL reviews, good and bad. Now, she says she meant negative reviews only and is blaming white people for disrespecting a black woman’s boundaries.**

Make up your own mind on the issue.


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47 Comments Add yours

  1. Ooooo … I REALLY like this post! I completely agree. I only tag authors in posts that are a positive rating, but still … I’m honestly shocked at the amount of pushback from some authors as of late. I’ve been lucky I’ve only had ONE bad experience, but I know a few blogger friends of mine are getting really tired of this back-and-forth nonsense.

    I don’t think I know of the post you’re referring to, but hopefully it was resolved.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. There has been a tremendous amount of back and forth lately and I’m just tired of it. I’ve had a couple authors be pretty ugly to me and I guarantee I will never read their books again.

      She took her post down but I think she was probably advised to. Her career was in the process of being flushed down the toilet and now she’s blaming everyone else. Disappointing behavior.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s awful … I’m sorry you had to deal with that.

        Of course … seriously, I’m not trying to sound harsh but you HAVE to be able to handle the good and the bad if you’re going to publish your work. I get it some people are just being rude, but if a low rated review is still good … take it and move on. I KNOW it’s not easy, but that’s kind of what comes with the gig.

        I reviewed a book for an author last year — sweetest man but I couldn’t get into his book. I wrote my review and told him my thoughts and rating. Rather than getting at me, he was THRILLED by my review. He liked how I had different points and wanted to use this as something to help him with his future projects. I wish more authors were like this. We aren’t trying to be mean or awful … we’re just reviewing what we have.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. You’re exactly right. Any type of creative career exposes a person to criticism and if the creator can’t handle it, they shouldn’t produce things for public consumption.

        I’ve had authors share my three star reviews before, even though I didn’t tag them. I thought that showed a lot of class on their part. Good for the author you mentioned! I love people like that.

        Plus, there are certain people who read positive and negative reviews just to get all sides. I think ALL reviews are beneficial, not just 5 stars.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. i completely agree. I was asked for the first time not to publish one this year that was a 2 star even though they liked my review … super frustrating. I want to write in my review policy something posting no matter what but I don’t know if that’s okay?

        Liked by 2 people

      4. It’s your blog, I say to go for it. You’re giving the courtesy of letting them know upfront you’ll review the book positive or negative depending on your opinion. If they don’t like it, they don’t have to give you a book.

        Liked by 2 people

      5. This is true. Just gotta think of a way to write it without being all, “IMMA POST MY REVIEW WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT” lol!

        Liked by 2 people

      6. HAHAHA, exactly!


      7. Shalini says:

        I have written that in my review policy. I will review everything I read including a DNF book

        Liked by 2 people

      8. Ooo … I hope you don’t mind but I might peak at yours so I can have some help with wording 😛 I think that’s super smart, something I should’ve looked into when I first started ha-ha

        Liked by 1 person

      9. Shalini says:

        Go for it… An author asked me to delete review as it affected his ratings…

        Liked by 2 people

      10. Isn’t that the worst? I felt so awkward with that situation when I had a similar thing happen. Thank gosh it’s only happened the one time.

        Liked by 1 person

      11. Shalini says:

        I ignored it 😂😂

        Liked by 1 person

      12. Shalini says:

        I like the 1 and 2 star reviews. They make the book interesting..

        Liked by 1 person

  2. lindseydomokur says:

    I’m new to the review world and old to the reading world. This is a huge issue for me right now. If I get an advanced copy of a book I don’t want to be shunned for not liking it. Most of the time I just don’t review it, but is that also bad? There is a fine line here and I don’t know where to cross and where not to. I will never lie in a review, but I also don’t want to over inflate a book either. I don’t want someone to read it and say, “why did all these people think this book was amazing when it was just ok!?” I also don’t want to hurt the author’s feelings either. Reviews are our opinions, not everyone has the same ones, but I feel like the author would want feedback to grow and learn. Maybe I am wrong.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. This is the exact reason a lot of bloggers are getting discouraged. They feel pressured to love everything or be blackballed. It’s impossible to toe that fine line and not upset someone along the way.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Tangled in Text says:

    I 100% agree! As much as I love interacting and getting to know the Hoovers and Fishers of the world. Some authors are ruining their own fan base. I remember just about crying the first time Fisher commented on one of my reviews for her books or when Delia Owens thanked me for sharing her book picture in my birthday post. I live for that and it just excites me and makes want to read their work more. I won’t be picking up another Angie Thomas book. THUG didn’t bring anything new to the table and actually got a bad review from me and was completely overhyped. King though is starting to turn me off his books because his demeaning politic rants he’s been tweeting. It’s best some authors just stay out of the public eye.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I almost didn’t mention King and reworded that last sentence because of his political rants. LOL. I think it creates a mutual respect when authors and bloggers can find common ground. A simple “thank you for sharing” goes a long way. They don’t have to bend over backward, but they shouldn’t show this level of entitlement either.


  4. Amy-OUABB says:

    Thank you. Thank you for this post. Honestly with the way FB & Twitter are, you have to tag the authors. If you don’t, then visibility is nonexistent. Now, I won’t tag them in a negative review, because that’s just not cool. But the way I see it is if I take the time out of my life to review or promo your work, the least you can do is acknowledge my post. They don’t even have to comment, just give it a like and I’ll be happy. I’m really saddened by the attitude lately in regards to tags 😕

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for reading it! It seems certain authors and publishers alike don’t realize where their success comes from. Readers are the consumers- that counts bloggers, bookstagrammers, booktubers, and any other channel those readers use.
      This post was a final straw for me, in a way. It’s incredibly disappointing.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you for writing this. I have definitely been disillusioned by a few authors and u followed or even blocked some on Twitter. I don’t understand this attitude, especially for good book reviews. I only ever tag an author if I rate a book 4 stars and above. I’m a writer and I know how hurtful critique can be. But I don’t think I’d ever not want to see positive reviews. Especially when it’s readers telling an author how much the book meant to them. It doesn’t exactly make these authors look great. Thanks for taking on this subject 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for reading and sharing your thoughts.
      I agree. I’ve been able to become friends with authors by sharing with them how much I loved their books. Some of them are even some of my best friends – all because their book brought us together. It was unfair of her to speak for all authors with this post.


  6. Carol says:

    Thank you for writing this response! I was shocked and disheartened to see her post. A devastating PR move! It really doesn’t take that much effort to click “like/love” considering our time, expense, skills, and effort! I assume that most successful authors have an assistant handling social media any way! I will not go out of my way to buy, read, or review more of her work. Ingratitude is so unbecoming.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. She definitely made a huge mistake with that post, but further dug a hole when she said the reaction to her post was due to her race. That was low.

      Thanks for reading and sharing my thoughts here.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. mmryanauthor says:

    I’m glad I’m not the only one that feels like this kind of rhetoric is unnecessary. I understand that authors can’t take the time to look at and respond to every post made by a fan or blogger reviewing their work, but there’s no need to be outwardly negative about it! People enjoy your work and want to talk about it. Isn’t that the goal?
    As someone who does like to review work online, it’s a little stressful to see posts like the one you referenced. Obviously, we don’t want to irritate the author we’re raving about–but that’s just it! Why should it be irritating? To me, tagging a creator is not a way to get their attention, it’s a way to direct interested readers TO them so that they can find out more from the source. Tagging an author adds credibility and it seems like a win-win to me!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s hard to imagine free PR being irriatating. I think she was way off base with her post and most authors appreicate being tagged in positive reviews. Some have even weighed in and said they even appreciate negative reviews!


  8. Shalini says:

    I forget to tag authors most of the times… And I have tagging publishers more than authors. I have had many bad experiences with authors. If I keep worrying about their ego, I won’t have time or energy to worry about my own. So I pretty much stay away from some authors…

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Jamie says:

    I completely agree. Now I can’t believe the author has turned the no tagging post on its head to be about race discrimination. That made me ill, but back to what she initially started with her one-sided comment. I do think her no tagging beliefs for ALL reviews (as she was adamant about before she tried to hit the damage control button) is not the majority of most authors. I see authors appreciate readers on social media every day and it’s an amazing connection to be made by reader and author. Thank you for your blog post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It sickens me that she furthered the racial division in our country by using that as an out for her poor choice of words, too. I was shocked to see that unfold on Twitter yesterday and definitely will never pick up anything she writes in the future after that behavior.

      Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts, Jamie!


  10. Yvonne says:

    I never tag an author In a bad review (even though I’m always polite and NEVER tear it apart – it is after all someone’s pride and joy). I do however tag them in raving reviews because surely they want to know that others love it as much as they do?!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I don’t think there has ever been anything wrong or questionable about the practice of tagging authors in positive reviews until this author put her foot in her mouth yesterday. I hope this won’t discourage people from sharing their love of books with authors.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I will tag an author in a glowing review and if they don’t like it, they can either ignore it or get off social media. I prefer it if authors don’t see my less-than-glowing reviews. I generally get a good response when I say nice things though. Guess I’m lucky.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Kelly says:

    In order for these authors to exist they have to have readers. Positive feedback can act as a boost for them to continue to do what they love. At the same time, I don’t think “sheltering” them from negative reviews is the right way to go either. As a writer you should want to blossom. True some reviewers can be unnecessarily harsh but authors only seeing the glowing praise doesn’t seem like it will be particularly productive.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are absolutely right. She has been blessed with a fan base due to word of mouth and sharing of her books long before her book was made into a movie. In fact, positive reviews were what made me want to read one of her books in the first place. She quickly changed my opinion on that yesterday, however.


  13. SPasciuti says:

    Honestly, I’m probably one of few after everything I’ve seen recently who completely disagrees. With all respect to your opinion, but even your own post advocated for exactly what Thomas was asking for…a separation. She doesn’t want to be tagged in positive or negative reviews and I really don’t think we should be attacking Thomas for advocating for her self well-being.

    I mean, honestly. If we as reviewers advocate for ourselves by asking authors not to read or comment on our reviews, how can we reasonably get angry at an author for asking to be excluded from being tagged? Now, I get that her post was a bit forceful and didn’t specify exactly what she meant. But we’re not stupid. It’s easy to determine that she doesn’t want to be tagged in reviews. And as people, as human beings, we should respect that.

    I don’t understand how it could possibly be egotistical for Thomas to ask not to be tagged and to, by virtue of likely knowing other authors who also don’t want to be tagged, consider others in her post. We’re perfectly able to recognize which authors are okay with being tagged in positive reviews and which are not. It is truly rude and lazy on our part not to consider these things. Especially if we ever hope to be authors ourselves one day.

    Wouldn’t you, as an author, want your feelings to be considered and respected? Just because Thomas wrote a book doesn’t mean she has to leave her emotional well-being and ability to self-advocate at the door. That’s not right of readers and reviewers to expect from her. Ever. Authors shouldn’t expect it from us when we review their books and we shouldn’t expect it from authors.

    And frankly, I think we, as reviewers, are acting incredibly entitled when we suggest that authors owe us this ability to tag them or that they don’t have the right to request things like this. Firstly, writing has nothing to do with whether or not an author likes who reads their work. I can guarantee that if I wrote a book and a Trump supporter read it, I sure as hell wouldn’t like that person. But am I going to respect their emotional well-being? Of course! What decent person wouldn’t?

    And I truly am baffled by this idea of ungratefulness. I mean, we could say authors are ungrateful that we’re reading their books, but I don’t think asking to be left out of the review portion is being ungrateful. And isn’t getting excessively angry when an author asks for this a reader being ungrateful to the author? Think about how much work these people put into writing these books so that people have the ability to take the time to enjoy them? Imagine putting in years worth of work and then asking not to be tagged because you are considering your mental and emotional health and the people who have used your work for their own entertainment suddenly become angry with you because you’re asking that they don’t push their opinions into your direct line of sight? Doesn’t that seem a little unreasonable?

    And you completely have every right in the world to disagree with me, but I just can’t seem to wrap my mind around the idea that what Thomas did was egotistical or unreasonable. Sure, I’ll concede that she said it in a way that was a BIT rude. But I don’t see why that’s what we’re all focusing on. I really don’t.

    All the respect to you, really. I love your blog and your posts and I hope that nothing I’ve said comes across as rude. I just do really feel that these things were important to say. If you consider them and still feel the way you did when you first wrote this post, that’s your prerogative and I understand. But I did want to put my perspective out there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, I saw your blog post in direct contrast to mine, using the words I used, so I figured this comment was coming.
      Yes, I still do feel the same way I did when I made this post. I feel like the author put her foot in her mouth and bit the hand that feeds her. If she was making clear boundaries and didn’t want the book world to come after her, she should’ve thought about how to handle the situation better before spewing off at the mouth. Rather than TELLING readers, not to tag authors in reviews good or bad, she should have politely asked for readers to not tag HER. She was not speaking about her feelings, she was speaking on behalf of the whole writing community. Then immediately following that, even before I published this, she took it down, backpedaled, and played the victim AND the race card. I have absolutely no respect for a person who does not accept responsibility and then tries to pit people against each other. That was classless.
      So, no, I will never read her books. I think her publisher should drop her and she should be taken down a peg or two for her terrible attitude and sense of entitlement. As an author, she should know the value in thinking before speaking.

      I respect your opinion but I still do disagree. This wouldn’t have blown up if it wasn’t a big deal.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. SPasciuti says:

        So, in truth I never actually saw her original post. What I’ve seen mainly was a substantial amount of negative responses to her post…which my understanding of comes 100% from the screencap that was taken before she removed the original post…of which yes, yours was one. But you were not the only one saying those things which is why the post I made was not for anyone specifically. Though I do see where it can seem as such.

        That said, where is this post she made equal to “spewing off at the mouth”? Cause unless she made some sort of specific comment beneath her photo that was even worse, frankly I find all the negative responses to be a huge overreaction. This is for a few reasons.

        The first is that Instagram isn’t exactly a platform that anyone realistically uses to write a lot and therefore her post could never have been anything long asking people to stop tagging her or authors.

        Second is that I guarantee her post was an emotional response to something and often doesn’t include forethought. To expect people to always respond logically when they’re emotional is ridiculous. Most people don’t work that way. That’s primarily why everyone started attacking her in the first place anyway because they got emotional themselves.

        Third is that everyone got all up in arms about it without considering her perspective, which happens a lot in the book community. Everyone’s more concerned about the packaging than the message. Yes, she could have been nicer. But the fact is that tagging authors in reviews can and has had averse influences on their mental health.

        Fourth is that I do not believe commenting on the fact that she does not like the tagging authors in reviews portion of being an author, which has only been a thing in recent years, makes her entitled.

        People tell other people to do things all the time. And it’s within the rights of other people to decide whether listening is the right thing to do or not. But honestly, why is it such a big deal how she packaged her request to not be tagged? Your post ended with nearly the same message her post did and the only difference was the package around the message. You speak of thinking before speaking and yet you referenced her post as spewing off at the mouth when it was six words long. Maybe I’m wrong, but it doesn’t match my definition for spewing off at the mouth.

        Yes, she “told” readers what to do. But it had the same level of effect that a bossy kid on the playground who wants their friends to play a game a certain way would on all the other kids who don’t want to. And it’s ridiculous that everyone in the book community thinks the correct response is to start a giant tantrum about it.

        I haven’t read all of Thomas’ responses to the whole thing, but all of this basically equates to her upset and somewhat rude post making everyone else upset and rude back rather than anyone stepping back and saying, “Angie, that was rude but I respect how you feel and I won’t tag you if I read your book.” That would be mature and diplomatic. It would also demonstrate to her how to be mature about this topic.

        Instead, literally everyone, including Thomas, decided to go the route of freaking out for no reason. And if we expect her to me mature and diplomatic with how she phrases her requests in the future, shouldn’t we hold the higher ground and be mature, diplomatic, and respectful back? I’m not saying we have to read her books if we don’t want to…but honestly, I do see all of this as an incredible overreaction where no one has high ground because everyone reacted emotionally.

        No matter who you are (author, actor, regular person, etc), you will always have emotional reactions to things. I get that. I’m an incredibly emotional person. But I can’t see where any of these expectations you have of Angie were matched in the negative responses she got. So of course she was going to react defensively. She had an emotional “tantrum” the world had an emotional “tantrum” back instead of acting logically by looking at all angles, respectfully pointing out the problem, and acknowledging her feelings, and then she continued as anyone feeling attacked would. Which, by all rights is why the book community responded the way they did because they felt attacked also.

        But honestly, when does it end? When do we take a step back and say that we won’t react emotionally and we’re going to respond more maturely to things? Cause I don’t see a lot of maturity at all with how any of this was handled. From either side. There’s a higher ground to this stuff and just because Thomas was a little rude in the way she framed her thoughts doesn’t mean she’s a shitty person. Just like it doesn’t mean the book community who all responded are bad. But really, I feel like everyone’s acting like children about this whole thing.

        And I don’t say that to insult anyone, but I just can’t wrap my head around why this is such a huge problem. There are FAR worse things out there and far worse offenses that authors have committed that are much more deserving of boycotting and angry rants.

        Liked by 1 person

  14. macsbooks311 says:

    The fact is, if she didn’t want her books reviewed by bloggers, reviewers, etc., then she should have made that clear to her publisher. Once the book had been sent out for reviews then it is out of her hands. Many authors in the past didn’t use publishers or marketing teams, rather they wrote for the love and satisfaction of writing. Clearly that is not what this author is doing. When I’m told specifically by publishers to tag the company and the author then I, quite frankly, don’t have time to read the book, write the review, publish the review to all of the social media outlets and online booksellers that are requested and keep a running list of the prima dona authors who have special requests like this one. Does she also not want reviews from The New York Times or is it only us mere mortals? This truly angers me primarily because I have been away from reviewing for a few months only to come back to authors ranting right and left. Fine. I won’t read their books. I will tell others not to read their books. I will publicly promote NOT reading their books. Their careers are made by marketing and publicity. I do it for free. I can also stop doing it for them for free. That way neither of us has to worry about the other nor do we have to worry about the color of our skin! Grrrrr…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I COULDN’T AGREE MORE. You hit the nail on the head with everything you said. I hate how this thing blew up and have lost all respect for her as an author and a person. Her race-baiting was the final straw.


  15. Elspeth says:

    I am beyond allowing the stupid behavior of people who look like me to embarrass me, but the turn this has taken is annoying.

    Authors should be grateful for exposure given the beating print media is taking. Funny that when this was pointed out, the retreat to the untouchable race defense was pulled.

    I don’t know who this author is, and now I have No interest in knowing. Blech.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was incredibly disappointing to watch this whole situation unfold. I can’t believe the turn it took and have lost all respect for this author. I will definitely not be reading any of her books.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. I don’t really write negative reviews but if I did I wouldn’t tag the author. I usually tag them in my reviews, usually because it’s part of s tour. I’m not offended if I don’t get a response but most authors do and some are great and engage completely.

    Liked by 1 person

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