Saturday, May 16, 2009

You don't like my book? I'm suing!!!

Let me start this off by saying that I've never been overly fond of this extremely litigious society we live in. I can't help but roll my eyes when I see something that could have been quelled with a simple "I'm sorry" land in court because someone thought they were treated unfairly. But this, my friends, truly takes the cake, and it comes with a warning: Reviewers beware!

In Russia, an author actually sued and won a case against a book reviewer for giving his book an unfavorable review. You don't believe me? Read it for yourself: Crazy Russian writer who needs to get a backbone. Or a life. Or both.

FYI...that's not the title of the story, just my personal opinion. And speaking of personal opinions, that's what reviews are. It's someone's personal opinion. You can't sue someone for expressing their opinion, can you? Well, I guess you can in Russia.

Don't get me wrong, I understand how the author feels. Even though the majority of reviews I've received for my books have been good--some great, as a matter of fact--I've had a couple of bad ones--some really bad ones. It is not a nice feeling. But did I ever think to file a lawsuit? Absolutely not! I may have called the reviewer a dimwit and wished incurable athlete's foot on her and all her descendants, but a lawsuit? Seriously, how bad could the review have been? (I believe there's a link, but it's in Russian).

Just for the record, even if I wish feet fungus on a reviewer and call them a bad name, it's just my initial reaction. It only takes me a couple of minutes to remember that it is this person's opinion, something they have every right to have. For the most part, I'm just overjoyed that someone took the time to read my book at all. Maybe this author needs some perspective, as well.

Thanks to Barbara Colley for sharing this completely over-the-top story with me. It'll have me shaking my head all day.