I have to be honest here, I’m a little confused at how this blew up as much as it has. I’m even more confused as to why everyone is so angry with Angie Thomas for it. In less than 24 hours, I’ve seen more accounts than I’d like where reviewers are going out and making one comment or another about authors being egotistical or unreasonable or something of that nature. And to be completely frank with you all…I think you’re being a tad ridiculous about all of this (I’m, of course, speaking generally and not to anyone in particular).
I mean, someone even went so far as to say they never want to read this author’s books simply because she made this Instagram post.
Here’s the thing: when an author is campaigning to have all negative reviews removed from a website, by all means, take up arms against that idea. I would too. When an author is trying to get reviewers to never post a negative review again, by all means, fight it tooth and nail. But when an author is asking to not be tagged in reviews? Respect it. It’s not that hard. She’s not asking for much. And I really don’t understand why there are actually bloggers/reviewers/readers out there who are upset because an author has made a post requesting for reviewers not to tag authors in their reviews.
First of all, her opinion isn’t going to affect whether or not another author is okay with being tagged for positive reviews of their books. It’s just not. Other authors will make those decisions for themselves. Second of all, the post, while a bit demanding in the way it sounds and is easily interpreted as rude and/or forceful really isn’t that big of a deal. It’s an opinion! A request! And if Angie Thomas doesn’t want to be tagged in negative and positive reviews, it’s her right to let readers know. She could have gone about it in a way that was less demanding, but why are we criticizing that? It’s a waste of my time and it’s a waste of your time. She’s a person with feelings and if she doesn’t want to be tagged. It’s her right to ask.
Plain and simple.
I think it’s ridiculous to assume that because Thomas made this post she is suddenly speaking for all authors. Not only is that just massively unrealistic, but it’s also stupid. We are all intelligent enough people that we can recognize when one author makes a comment like this that it doesn’t equate to all authors. And why are we upset about this? What part of our lives is Thomas really infringing on? I, for one, can think of nothing. And if you can prove me wrong on this please feel free to leave a comment because I’d love to know what this post does to your everyday life.
Cause it doesn’t stop you from tagging authors in positive reviews. Angie Thomas doesn’t speak for everyone. And even if it did, why does that matter so much to you? You can still tag the publisher. Honestly, what the hell is wrong with the book community that they see a post like this and it suddenly turns into a huge argument?
I. Do. Not. Understand.
Angie Thomas isn’t entitled. She isn’t egotistical. She’s saying she doesn’t want to be tagged in reviews. Just because she wrote a book that became famous and launched herself into the public sphere does not mean that she doesn’t have the right to advocate for herself and her emotional well-being. And we, as readers and reviewers and bloggers really need to grow up and realize that authors are people too. We need to recognize that while, yes, we have the right to and should write negative reviews when we see the need arise for it, authors will always have the right to advocate for their own well-being so long as it does not infringe upon the well-being of others.
And I’m sorry, but Thomas asking–a little too forcefully to be considered super polite, I get it (but also…everyone needs to get over that)–not to be tagged in reviews does not infringe upon the well-being of anyone else. She’s advocating for herself, possibly for other authors she knows and cares about, and that’s not wrong of her to do. So, everyone who is up in arms about this post that really never should have mattered much beyond a simple thought of, “Oh, Angie Thomas doesn’t want to be tagged in reviews. I’m gonna not do that if I review another of her books in the future,” really needs to calm down, put some actual thought into what’s going on rather than reacting emotionally, and move past it.
At the end of the day, this really isn’t that big of a deal.