When Book Bloggers Disagree

January 7, 2014

I’ve now had my book blog for several years and noticed several disturbing trends in the book blogsphere but the most disturbing one is the implication that if someone doesn’t agree with your opinion and dares to make it known on your blog/Goodreads/Amazon, then the original poster takes it as a personal insult.

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That, to me, is ridiculous and defeats the point of a book blog, which one of its main reasons for existence is discussion.

It happens to me on occasion, not often but it does. What I find especially hilarious is that the other commentators (if there are any) rally to the “rescue” of the blogger, as if I’m trying to hammer in my opinion instead of starting a discussion. I get a special chuckle out of the posts which point out how “brave” the blogger was for publishing his/hers opinion.

So let’s get a few things straight:

–          When someone disagrees with you it is not a personal insult

–          Sometimes you have to read in between the lines to figure out what the commenter meant to say

–          When reading on the web, the tone of voice does not carry through

When you publish something publicly, you basically are for commentary so don’t be surprised to get one. We all love to get comments on our blogs and if someone doesn’t agree 100% with your view… that’s OK, it really is. Those comments do not mean to disparage your prove you wrong and you should be able to defend your opinion.

I see many bloggers get up in arms, and justifiably so, when an author goes ape-shit because of a bad review, but here we are finding that we are just as petty/sensitive  as those we write about.

You want a blog – get a backbone and stop getting insulted. When people disagree is when life starts getting interesting.

Zohar – Man of la Book

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3 Comments

  • Michelle Miller January 11, 2014 at 8:08 am

    Well said and I totally agree. I had this happen to me once when I disagreed with a review on a blog. People really got mad at me, including the blogger…just as you described here.

  • Laurie C January 11, 2014 at 11:28 am

    I got so excited this morning when a commenter replied to another commenter’s comment! (Did you follow that?) It’s hard to get a discussion going in the comments, I’ve found.
    I don’t see much discussion/fighting on the blogs I read, but I guess it’s the main reason I stay off of GoodReads and Amazon as much as possible, so I know it happens. I’ve seen it on blogs mostly when the author jumps in to “clarify a few points.” I agree that you have to be ready for dissent if you go public with your opinion, but the discussion should be civil and on topic. It can make things unpleasant for other readers when a discussion escalates into an argument.

  • Wendy Darling February 10, 2014 at 8:01 pm

    For me, it depends on the tone of the comment. I talk to many, many people when we disagree on books, but there has to be mutual respect in the discourse. And is the comment an effort to have a genuine conversation or to understand another POV? Or is the person just doing a drive-by to say the equivalent of “nope, you’re totally wrong and you’re an idiot for thinking this?” (Obviously this is in reference to book reviews.)

    I’ll agree that tone isn’t always clear when it comes to online discussion, but I think when you’re talking to a fellow citizen reviewer, it’s important to respect that blogger’s space. It’s the same reason I tread carefully if I disagree with someone on Twitter or Facebook.

    All that being said, I have seen some reactions to differing opinions that seemed a little extreme. But in this current culture of authors on the rampage and fan-trolls, I understand the knee-jerk reaction sometimes. And there are definitely occasions when the intent behind a seemingly benign comment to shame/ridicule the reviewer is also clear.

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