The Ugly Side of Book Blogging: A Particularly Bad Example

What a coincidence it was that today I posted a discussion post about the ugly side of book blogging!  You see, today I got a generic email from an author named Robin Wyatt Dunn.  As per my usual policy, I sent links to my review policy (where it states that I am closed to reviews) and to “How to Alienate Book Reviewers“, in which I rant eloquently about generic emails.

Now, usually I don’t care how such authors reply to this.  Usually they don’t reply at all.  However, Robin Wyatt Dunn replied like this:

“Here for my answer to your answer:

Yes, I’ve saved the email from said author for future reference.  Screenshots can be provided.

And yes, I was just told by an author to kill myself.  Isn’t book blogging just wonderful?

[As a side note to anyone who might think about retaliating: Don’t.  The best thing you can do is ignore this type of behaviour and the person behind it.  The only reason I’m going public with this is to draw attention to this type of sick, immature behaviour.]


  1. Scott Whitmore

    This would be just unbelievable if I didn’t see similar behavior too often in social media. This guy seems to feel he is entitled to something. His comeuppance can not come soon enough.

    • Carrie Slager

      I wish I did believe in karma, Scott. As much as this behaviour shocks me to have it actually occurring to me, it doesn’t surprise me all that much if you know what I mean.

  2. Author Unpublished

    Wow, that is spectacularly childish. It’s hard to believe there are still people out there that can act so unprofessionally. Thankfully I’ve had more good experiences with authors than bad, but I’m sure someday I’ll probably get one like this too.

  3. Carla J. Hanna

    Dear Carrie,

    I am so sorry you had to experience such unprofessional behavior when you rejected Dunn’s book review request. I agree that his link crossed the line into the unfathomable ‘bully’ realm and you did absolutely the right thing to publicly call out the author.

    His actions are public. He has a responsibility for taking those actions. As long as a blogger has clear evidence of an author’s bad behavior and is not making accusations that could be false then that blogger has every right to label him a ‘badly behaving author.’ With me, my label was without merit whatsoever. I didn’t do anything I was accused of doing and have evidence contrary to being a manipulative author: I have the emails from the reviewer who slammed my book and then offered her editing services and I didn’t ask my readers to post comments on my behalf. You have evidence that Dunn threatened you. He may retort that he was ‘joking’ but I don’t buy it. An author has an understanding of the written word and knows that sarcasm or jokes must be carefully constructed in order to be interpreted as intended. I clicked the link. I do not find it in any way funny.

    I know how Dunn feels with the frustration that few bloggers will agree to read self-pubbed books but it is precisely behavior like his that makes it so difficult for all self-pubbed authors to be read. Why should a great blogger like you bother? You shouldn’t. I’m glad you do and appreciate you. I’m furious that Dunn disrespected you.

    • Carrie Slager

      Thanks Carla. Yeah if Dunn is joking, that’s a pretty sick sense of humour that didn’t come across AT ALL. Authors should know better when it comes to the written word and as a person he should have known better than to joke about such things.

      It seems he is frustrated with bloggers, but as you say that’s absolutely no reason to behave like this. He’s only making it worse for the self-publishing community by behaving this way. It makes every blogger out there a little more cautious about accepting indie submissions and once enough incidents like this happen there are going to be even less reviewers accepting self-pub submissions.

  4. Matthew Wright

    That’s not a good experience. Surely, if someone wants book review they’d have the courtesy to check out your review criteria and (if they meet that) approach you by name, individually and personally? It’s not rocket science – and it’s polite..What’s more, it’s also professional.

  5. adtrosper

    That goes way beyond temper tantrum. How can someone expect to be taken seriously as an author when they behave in such an unbelievably, unprofessional manner?

    • Carrie Slager

      I’m really not sure, to be honest. No matter how angry you are, how is suggesting someone kill themselves ever acceptable? It’s not. Especially over something as trivial as refusing a book review request.

  6. TommieLyn

    So sorry you were the recipient of such meanspiritedness. Unfortunately, this kind behavior is not an isolated incident. It seems to be rampant in our society today…people wishing misfortune upon anyone with whom they disagree. I just read some tweets from people who were wishing George W. Bush would not survive his heart surgery. It makes me weep for our country.

  7. TommieLyn

    Oops! Wish I could edit my comment. It should have read “Unfortunately, this kind of behavior…” Sorry to have left out the “of” and to have neglected proofing it before I clicked “Post Comment.”

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