Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Internet Stalkers AKA Haters of Your Success

Now I know what you are thinking, "What the hell is this about?" Believe me I'll get to that. Usually the two of these aren't grouped together. However, since they came in the same form for me they were lumped together for this post.

Anyone who has any inkling of a reason to watch the modern day publishing community knows it has changed thanks to the internet, social media and eBooks.  Authors of all kinds are told market, build your platform, and connect with your readers. There is a wealth of information about anything you want to find about the industry. However, there is one area I found to be lacking but is disturbingly very common...haters.

What exactly is a hater? My definition is someone who you know via online or in real life and they sit back wait and watch actively seeking to criticize you at the first opportunity. They hide behind the guise of "I'm just trying to help you “or” constructive criticism.” However, if when you go back and evaluate their collective amount of offered advice and find there is hardly ever or never any positive or supportive comments then you yourself have a hater on your hands.

What do you do about a hater? Cut em loose ASAP. Unfriend them, block them and anyone that is close to them that would allow them to look at any of your social media. If you don't do this it will ultimately end up in some sort of jealous, anger fueled public comment.

Example of hater...While I have my own recent experience I'll use one that a Twitter follower shared with me. As an author, she used a dashboard like Hootsuite or Tweetdeck that linked her accounts so she only had to post once. Anyone who knows anything about Twitter knows that you have 140 characters. People who actively use hashtags know that when you add punctuation to a tweet everything before the mark is hidden in a hashtag search. Moreover, honestly, if you have 140 characters to convey a message you will skip as much punctuation as possible. Anyways this author had a "friend" jump all over her about her statuses lacking correct grammar. This is only after numerous other comments about grammar. When she tried to explain the friend wouldn't listen and then proceeded to talk about her blog posts and attacked her as an author. She cut her loose.

Grammar Nazi vs. Grammar Mavens (or grammar mavmens for the male editors, yeah I made that up) How do you tell the difference between the two? This is very easy. A maven is someone who knows exactly what they are talking about in terms of grammar, voice, flow, and content as a whole. A Nazi is someone who knows a little bit about grammar and therefore thinks they are an expert. I see the grammar Nazi the most because it's the easiest most universal education we as society have.

There are many reasons for these haters. I'd say the universal one is jealousy. If you have a hater, you must be doing something right so keep it up.

Have any of you had any experiences with a hater? If so what happened?


  1. I'm not an author, just a book blogger, but I see the haters and I don't like it either. It's one of those things I'll end up getting on my soapbox about! I don't know why people do that, and why they sometimes seem to target authors personally instead of their books. It's just plain weird! I will joke that I'm a stalker, but I mean it in a very good way! If I'm stalking you, as I do Bri, it means I'm a fan, and I love to see your processes and get to know you better. That's all. But, yes, I do see the haters too.

    Michelle V

  2. Thanks Michelle, as reviewers I think we understand the discernment needed to talk about the book and not the author. I've even seen some reviewers chew up an author because they didn't like a book's ending. Thanks you for you supportive/stalking habits.

  3. Now Bri. Maybe a person who points out errors is a grammar Nazi, but to say he is jealous is a bit much. I can overlook spelling and grammar mistakes (even if it borders on nails-on-a-chalkboard for me), but punctuation errors - especially commas - make it very hard to understand what someone is trying to say. If a reader points that out to an aspiring writer, I would say they are doing the writer a favor. (Not referring to Twitter here - all rules change for that.)

    Instead of telling aspiring writers to "cut loose" people who are giving constructive criticism, maybe you should suggest take the opportunity to make their writing clearer.

    But maybe I'm just a hater, eh? ;-)

  4. See, and I made an error there too! Happens to the best of us. If I could, I'd go back and edit the comment - just to make it clearer. :)

  5. Christine I'm talking about cutting the haters. Those people who look for every opportunity to criticize you from grammar to the color of you shirt. Perhaps I should change that in the title.

    I'll readily admit grammar is not my strong point. However, I'm learning and if it wasn't for people like you and my editors I wouldn't be able to do what I do. Thanks for commenting Christine.

  6. Yes there are haters. Goodreads provides the perfect platform for them by allowing people to give your book a rating but not require a comment. My book, "Sunny Days, Moonlit Nights" has received a fistful of great reviews, but one woman on Goodreads gave it one star with no explanation. That couldn't happen if Goodreads required a comment or review. That woman is a hater. I have no way to eliminate her from my life, unfortunately because she is not a friend.
    I agree,haters are jealous. Lots of people are jealous of writers, and I don't know why. All I can say is those who can't do, criticize. I'm learning to take the haters lurking on the Internet with a grain of salt. But trashing of writers on the Net makes me sick! Thanks for a great blog and writing about a subject that needs airing.

  7. I don't know about jealous, but I know those people who continually look for a reason to put you down have many more issues than just grammar. I'm an editor, and owner of Astraea Press, and yes, it's hard to read when a comma is missing or punctuation is wrong, but those things can be fixed. It's the story that matters and editing does the rest. I don't edit my own work when I'm in forums such as these just because I'm not always "on the job".

    I also know that the more you write, the more you grow. When I published my first book, I was no where near where I am today. I got a few bad reviews, too.

    So I maintain that, whether jealous or not, there are underlying issues that cause these "haters" to go on a rampage. If they compromise your motivation and bring you down, you have every right to block them, ignore them, whatever you want to do. Self-preservation, folks.

    And if that doesn't work, get a restraining order. :o)

    Head up, gal. You're a published author. You accomplished your goal to be a writer and guess what? I published you because you rock.

  8. Thanks Steph... I love the part where you said that you are not always on the job. That was spot on for me.

    I think I went to the jealous part because in my own experiences that's usually been the root. But, you are right there are those people who thrive on tearing others down.

  9. I think you hit in on the head, Bri, with your last comment to Steph. There are people who love to tear others down. It's a power trip, and they seek to exert that control in an anonymous way--the internet.

    Constructive criticism is one thing; personal attacks another. I have no patience for the last, and nothing turns me away from an author/reader/reviewer/blogger faster.

  10. We've all had experiences with Grammar Nazis and Flame-throwers. People ought to remember that the publishing world is VERY SMALL. Why make enemies? I keep my comments positive on FB, Twitter and book reviews. What goes around comes back around - that's my motto.

  11. As true with many aspects of life, there will always be trolls and flamers. I've found transitory platforms; blogs, twitter, facebook etc. are somewhat relaxed in terms of grammar slips. I respect that. It's the same as newspapers, turned out daily it's natural to have slip-ups.

    Completely agree with your advice on dealing with them too. Sometimes you can't avoid it but playing nice can bypass many.

  12. Amen to what steph said. we grow with each book, hell, we grow with each mistake and each next day. of course we have spelling mistakes here, of course we have the punctuation incorrectly (or don't bother about the capital letters), but hello, this is a blog, you don't like it, you don't read it. with books, we pay editors and others to make it as perfect as possible, because we know you hand over some very well earned money. haters is a strong word though, i wouldn't call them haters, but i'm sure there's a lot of immaturity on their behalf and jelousy. and if you can't read it because punctuation is missing, it's like your text on the phone, you keep reading till it makes sense !

  13. I like the words Flamer too. I appreciate all the opinions and comments. It's great to be able to get others insights and idea.

  14. i say, if you have 1 person hating on you, then you need 10 more. the more haters you have the better you are doing. you are awesome, i don't care if you can spell or not. lol. keep on keeping on baby girl. i got your back.