writerbeware (1)

Gather around close, kiddies. It’s time for Auntie Tymber to tell you another scary tale of *DUN DUN DUUUUNNNNNN* Badly Behaving Authors!

I learned the hard way early on in my writing career to NEVER argue with a review. It’s advice I wish I’d had slapped into me with a clue-by-four before I learned it the hard way, but there you have it. I learned, and I’ve never forgotten it. And now I always BEG newbie authors NOT to make the same mistake.


Some of these are screen caps because Goodreads yanked the author in question. But the bottom line is, a reviewer wrote a 1-star review, NOT an attack review, mind you, about a book by a guy I’ve never heard of before, an apparently self-pubbed author named Dylan Saccoccio.



Because, you know nothing goes with crazy like popcorn.

The review that triggered the author’s response:


But apparently, since the author’s crazy got a little TOO crazy, his GR account was yanked, as were his comments. Let’s all bow our heads for a moment and give thanks for screen shots and archives, shall we?


Apparently one of the author’s last replies was cut off that screencap, but someone on reddit got it:

View post on imgur.com

The reddit forum thread:


And, seriously, if you go read the author’s responses to critical reviews on Amazon? It’s JUST as crazy.

Also, fortunately, a GR commenter had been following along and got a bunch of screen caps and stuff:

Cait’s review Page 1

Cait’s review page 2

Cait’s review Page3

His blog v1 w/comments

His blog v2 w/different comments

His 5-Star exchange blog

His comment on another review

More comments on another review

His Amazon comment claiming to be bullied

More blog posts discussing this

Edit 1: Adding a new link: http://frizzyroselle.blogspot.com/2015/06/how-not-to-respond-to-negative-review.html

Edit 2: Another article: http://adamjwhitlatch.com/how-not-to-react-to-negative-reviews/

Edit 3: Another article: http://martynstanley.com/another-case-of-authors-behaving-badly/

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Writer Beware: *sigh* Badly Behaving Authors – WTF edition.

17 thoughts on “Writer Beware: *sigh* Badly Behaving Authors – WTF edition.

  • June 7, 2015 at 3:39 pm

    Whoa. Someone needs to get back on his meds… :/

    • June 7, 2015 at 4:09 pm

      @flchen1 – I’m sad to say, that WAS my initial, knee-jerk thought.

  • June 7, 2015 at 3:45 pm

    I mean I understand why he would be upset but he needs to know real review of actually readers and take it in heed to do better not everyone like everything an author writes. This tells not to write a review if he’s going to take it like that, I’m a becoming author and I have more common sense than he does not to get mad like that.

    • June 7, 2015 at 4:11 pm

      @Wendy – Exactly. This is why I always, always, ALWAYS counsel newbie writers that:

      1) You do NOT argue with reviews, and
      2) Take “negative” reviews as a sign that you’ve made it and are a professional author.

      Anyone coming into this business who thinks they’re only going to get positive reviews is going to be sadly mistaken.

  • June 7, 2015 at 5:04 pm

    I followed that ride on the crazy train. Wow. It not only wrecked but took out a small town with it. I loved his comment that when he makes it on NYT list, he’s naming names. *giggle*

    I tell self pubs authors this in a presentation I offer. Never, ever, EVER respond to a neg review. EVER. No matter how upset you are. No matter how unfair you think it is. No matter what. It will always backfire and leave you looking like a fool and the reviewer virtually unscathed.

    • June 9, 2015 at 2:12 pm

      @Tori – Exactly. Always click away from the review and back away.

  • June 7, 2015 at 5:18 pm

    One thing to note is that people learn to be suspicious of 100% positive reviews on almost anything. If every review is favorable, it has the stench of astroturfing about it. The only thing an author can ask is that the reviewer truly speak his or her own mind.

    In mine own case, two examples:

    Negative: http://www.amazon.com/review/R1LMZXPVJ1ZXTP/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm?ie=UTF8&ASIN=0671698842

    Positive: http://www.amazon.com/review/RT92QKEMUU6NP/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm

    And I stand behind both of them.

    • June 9, 2015 at 2:13 pm

      @Geoffrey – Yes, as a reader I frequently look to the critical reviews first to see what they have to say. And I’m smart enough to figure out if a critical review looks fair-handed or is simply a snark attack. Most readers are smart enough to figure that out.

  • June 8, 2015 at 11:39 am

    Your honesty with your readers is both refreshing and incredibly useful. Posts like this are frequently shared with my friends because they give a clear picture to aspiring writers of easy pitfalls to avoid. Next time I’m having a thin skinned day I’ll make sure to pull up this archive and remember why it’s better to take the high road. Thank you.

    • June 8, 2015 at 12:31 pm

      @Harley – Yes, PLEASE take the high road, even if that involves Xanax and a box of wine to make it. LOL Seriously. I had a close call early in my career and I’m lucky I didn’t tank my career as a result. For the love of all that’s literary, never engage with a reviewer. If you’ve gotten a “bad” review, then chalk it up as a career milestone. If that doesn’t help, go look up your favorite book on Goodreads or Amazon and read the 1-star reviews of it. That will make you feel better, that your favorite book will get those kinds of reviews, too, and remind you that not everyone will like every book.

  • June 8, 2015 at 11:48 am

    This makes me very glad that the worst commentary I’ve gotten on a low review was the author telling me how much I wounded their heart by disliking the book.

    Honestly, I feel a bit sorry for authors who can’t handle criticism. Nobody’s perfect, after all, and nothing appeals to everybody, but there’s this pitiful level of narcisism around these author pushbacks that I really feel bad about.

    • June 8, 2015 at 12:44 pm

      @Biliotropic – Wow, they shouldn’t have even responded like that. I don’t respond to negative reviews. Period. Learned my lesson well. I rarely respond to positive reviews, unless the reviewer reached out to me first to point the review out. Any new writer needs to go read reviews for “famous” authors and realize that “bad” reviews WILL happen.

  • June 8, 2015 at 12:49 pm

    I bet the man actually smells crazy…like desperation and panic, with a little bit of god complex thrown in. Basically, pickled herring.
    I have spent so much time reading all of the comments on this train wreck that my eyes are blurry…my brain too.
    My guess is that his “career” as a writer is over, and by thus time next year, he’ll be one of those guys with a bull horn who stands in front of courthouses and subjects the poor people who are simply reporting for jury duty to his “consciousness”.
    What an ass clown.

    • June 9, 2015 at 9:50 am

      @Kenna – The more I read what he’s written in social media, interviews, etc. the more I strongly suspect there is something clinical going on here in this poor guy’s brain. I seriously do. I’m not trying to belittle mental health issues, either. I honestly think this guy needs an intervention by people in his life who are close to him to take him to get him looked at and examined, if he seriously believes some of the stuff he’s written and isn’t just bullshitting for the sake of publicity.

  • June 9, 2015 at 9:14 am

    Thanks, I followed your links. This writer in my opinion he just destroyed his own career. I personally would never buy his books.

    • June 9, 2015 at 9:54 am

      @PJ – Thank you for dropping by. 🙂 I actually feel sorry for the guy now, NOT because of the reaction he brought upon himself, but because the more I see about him and things he’s said, I honestly believe there is some sort of clinical medical mental health issue going on here, and he likely doesn’t have anyone close enough to him in real life to intervene and get him help. And that’s sad. (But that still in no way excuses what he did to that reviewer.)

  • June 10, 2015 at 7:29 am

    Cracking article Tymber, very in-depth!

    Thanks for the link by the way! 😉


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