I should know how to behave and not behave. Anybody in MM Romance will be happy to tell you I have a long and sordid history of pissing people off, picking fights, and generally running my mouth off whenever I feel something needs to be said.
I've been writing for nearly twenty years, so trust me, that's a lot of people pissed off. I consider myself retired from shenanigans these days, because I just don't have the spoons anymore, as the kids say. Ten years of publishing, nearly twenty of writing, a host of mental and physical health problems… other matters I don't feel like discussing here, have taken their toll. I mostly just write these days, and keep to my little social circles. And too much Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
All that being said, there has been an increasing problem with how authors treat readers, and the short of it is that authors treat readers with contempt. A major turning point in this was Kathleen Hale, who stalked a reader who pissed her off. Literally went to her house, left her a 'gift', called her at work, and so terrified this woman she withdrew entirely from the internet for a time (IDK if she has returned at all, I sure as fuck wouldn't). Since Hale, it's like a floodgate opened, and the problem just continues to worsen.
Much like the way you can count on there being a monthly article that grossly misrepresents romance, or an author whining about how their book with a depressing ending should totally count as a romance, you can count on there being yet another author who throws a temper tantrum about reviews.
The bingo cards typically include such things as:
- You can't give a one star review without explaining it
- You should never just rate a book and not review it
- You shouldn't be allowed to review if you haven't proven you purchased the book
- It's mean to give one and two star (and even threes now…) to books because it hurts authors.
- If you don't like a book, just don't review it, you shouldn't say mean things and hurt the author and their sales
- A review should be constructive and helpful
That it's. That's what set her off. Someone thought her book a four, but worth rounding up to 4.5. Someone thought it mostly a five, but rounded down to 4.5. Pretty fucking good ratings. But wait there's more.
Not good enough for Hough, I guess, who seems to think they were lying or posing or something to prove something???
Instead of apologizing, she stood by her comments for a while, then later blamed it all on being stoned. She doubled down and continued to treat readers like shit.
The saga continues, of course, because authors like this don't know when to quit. She is making claims of dogpiling, twitter mobs, etc etc. She has plenty of authors and fans standing by her, treating her like the poor innocent victim in all of this, like she didn't attack readers out of nowhere for giving her book a high rating.
Yes, I will keep repeating that. It boggles the mind.
Now she's decided that all this 'picking on her' is the same as being a victim of rape.
And because apparently she is queer, and a victim herself, she should be allowed to get away with this abhorrent behavior. Here's a newsflash: being a victim doesn't mean you can't also be an abuser, and Lauren Hough is most definitely abusing readers with this sort of behavior. It's bullying. It's hurtful. It's punching down on people who cannot defend themselves from an author with 66k followers and countless peers jumping in to defend her.
No one is 'picking on' Hough. She came out swinging at people who were bothering nobody, and now is mad those people are swinging back.
If you can't handle that people aren't going to like your book? If you're to call readers assholes because they gave your book a 4.5 rating? Go do something else, because you clearly are not mature enough to be an author.
Then again, clearly Hough knew that the only way to get any sales was to make people feel sorry for her. So maybe all this abuse of readers wasn't the weed talking, but the plan all along.