Authors Behaving Badly: How I Pissed Off Legions of Emily Giffin Fans

I am a reader.  I read a LOT.  I read so much that I am in Amazon Vine and I’ve often passed up pretty awesome gadgets and gizmos so that I could get a copy of a favorite authors new book.  One of those such books was Where We Belong by Emily Giffin.  I read this while on vacation and enjoyed the read but didn’t love it.  For me, the works since Something Borrowed/Something Blue have not reached the bar set by those works (especially Something Blue) however I did appreciate that this novel did not glorify cheating, which the majority of her other works do.  I handed the book off to friends to read during the trip and we all agreed that it was a decent beach-esque read.  I now regret urging others to read this novel.

Around the time of the launch of the book, Emily had started posting and tweeting people urging them to buy her book to make her number one.  The first post kind of annoyed me because it made the fans seem like they were not good enough if she couldn’t reach #1, then her follow up post when finding out she was in fact #2 was equally as awful.  She had another post or two lamenting about it on her Facebook and on her Twitter and it frankly annoyed me to the point of commenting to friends that it was pretty diva like behavior and that there seemed to be an epidemic of crying over being second place (the Olympics were taking place at the same time).  It really turned me off and I was already starting to be sorry I had reviewed her book for Amazon and possibly helped even one person decide to purchase this novel.

 

 

 

This week, I noticed in my feed a link pop up to her Facebook talking about her husband being in a comment war against a reviewer on Amazon and how it wasn’t a 5 star review.  I don’t know why, but the whole idea of authors or people acting on their behalf (and I consider a spouse to also represent the author) and attacking reviewers make me ill.  Perhaps it’s because I am a part of Amazon Vine (have been since 2007) but I take reviews seriously.  I’ve thankfully (up until now!) never had to deal with an author attack due to my less than perfect review but I’ve been reading more and more cases of this happening online.  I rolled my eyes and shook my head and continued on with my work.  Then a following post appeared talking about how her husband was still at it, as if the first post didn’t get enough attention.  At this point I decided to head over to see what the heck kind of review could start this kind of nonsense.

Well… that doesn’t seem bad at all, certainly not attacking the author, tearing the book apart or even remotely spiteful.  Not at all what I was expecting to see.  I then continued to read to see what Emily’s husband had been saying and my jaw hit the proverbial floor.

*screen capture thanks to Book Goggles as it’s since been removed by Amazon*

One should note that the initial reply from Giffin’s husband was the same day as the review and the activity on the page was slow at best until Emily posted the below on her Facebook.  She did not link directly to the review (although it was linked in the comments by a few of her fans) but it was pretty easy to find, I did so without difficulty.

*screen capture thanks to Pocketful of Books as it has since been deleted*

Now the claims are that she didn’t know about how awful her fans were being and that she never directed people to Amazon to attack (screen capture of this coming later in the post) but both of these comments got me to go looking for the review as well as many other fans.  Many I should note on her FB page were telling her this wasn’t a good idea and she should delete her posts, so not everyone was raising their proverbial pitchforks against the reviewer but one quick look at the comments on the review showed that an overwhelming amount of people were saying pretty awful things against this legitimate review.

At this point I had had enough.  I couldn’t stand the thought of the fact that my review could even get one person to buy her book so I decided to change the review.  I’ve done so in the past when my mind has changed on a product or book and never have had an issue with this in the least.  I changed my review from 4 to 1 star and stated why I did.  The novel was okay but I couldn’t in good faith support an author whom supports the kind of behavior that was going on with the initial 1 star review.  Since this item was a Vine product, I can’t simply delete the review.  I hit save and figured that while I was only one person, at least I’m not longer supporting an author whom encourages this kind of behavior from her husband and fans.

The first few comments surprised me – I didn’t think about my review being seen but I had forgotten about Emily pointing people to the one starred reviews, which would mean that mine would come up.  Crap.  I then went and looked at the comments on the other low starred reviews and saw that already her fandom was attacking.  I girded my loins and prepared for it to get ugly but initially, the support was mostly positive.  Then someone must have alerted Emily to the post as I was shocked to see my review pop up in my Facebook feed being blasted by Emily.

In the comment section, they were pretty quick to find my review and post it and the shitstorm on my review comment page ensued.  Granted, Emily did sort of attempt to call off the dogs but in the same respect she also pointed out my review and posted her feelings on my changing the rating (again, from 4 not 5 stars) which she is entitled to.  If she didn’t encourage bullying though, she would have deleted my review being linked on her page immediately like she did with any comments that supported her.  By this point there were a few people saying this needed to quit and the comments her fans were leaving were quite horrible.  At this point Emily’s assistant decided to jump in and defend Emily as well leaving quite a few comments that were pretty shocking coming from someone that represents the author on a professional level.

*screen capture thanks to Pocketful of Books as it has since been deleted*

This is just one of many comments that Katie left on my review (all she or Amazon has deleted).  However, at this point there were still quite a few people thinking that it was pretty crappy what was going on and supporting me and my right to my opinion on the book.  Then more crap hit Emily’s Facebook.

*screen capture thanks to Pocketful of Books as it has since been deleted*

Personally there is no way that a 1 star review falls under my category of “most unfair things” but I guess that she should consider herself blessed for leading such a charmed life.  Here Emily directly is linking to my review with her assistants plea for fans to comment and defend her against “these” attacks.  Personally, I don’t view my review as attacking the author so much as stating my opinion but I gather that is subjective so I’ll take the “attack” hit.  However, the initial review by AvidReader does not remotely come close to attacking Emily in the least.  With a battle cry like this, Emily’s fans got even more rabid in their attacks against me and her assistant (CrimznTider) continued to do battle.  Most of these have been deleted by Amazon.

So now I’m a stalker, bigot and an infant.  There’s more mudslinging but I think this gives you the overall tone of the kind of comments that I was receiving from the fans of Ms. Giffin after she posted on her Facebook a link to my review. There was also tweets from her account as well regarding this.

 *screen capture thanks to Pocketful of Books as it has since been deleted*

Finally about 2 or so hours after this whole debacle started, Emily finally attempted to call the dogs off on Facebook.

In short order her husband also offered up his apology to me on my review, I did not see this placed on AvidReader’s review however and she’s the one that truly deserves it.

FINALLY!  Although the apology is not perfect but I appreciated him finally apologizing and it did seem to slow (NOT STOP) the attacks on Amazon.  At this time Emily’s assistant finally stopped her postings as well.  Around 11:00PM I received 3 different calls, all blocked, with one leaving a “delete your review!” voicemail and the second stating that I should just kill myself for being such a miserable person for attacking poor Emily.   REALLY?  And yes, I’m talking with the cops about this already.  I mean that’s Misery kind of fan territory.  Not long after I heard a loud bang on my deck and I was legitimately scared that it was a gunshot.  Far fetched maybe but this was quickly sinking into WTF territory.

I went to bed last night shaking my head and completely baffled and amazed at what a turn this whole day took.   When I woke up I decided to check Emily’s Facebook page to see if she’d posted any sort of apology or whatnot but I found this instead.

I just… I don’t… WHAT?  She has also deleted all of her postings regarding the reviews, which is probably a good thing on her end.  I can’t say that I’ve enjoyed this remotely and it’s pretty unfathomable that you would even begin to entertain the idea that someone would ENJOY the shitstorm I’ve endured over the past day.  For the record, Emily posted a link to my review directly asking for people to come support the attack against her.  That’s not saying gang up but it was all but spelled out

Here’s hoping this dies a quiet death.  I for one will never read another Giffin novel and I am happy to hear that others are doing the same.

UPDATE:

Pipe dreams, they are lovely things to have aren’t they?  The only apology I have received from her camp is on my review, she has not reached out to me other than on that platform and that was her husband, not her, unless the account really is hers.  Again, I don’t deserve what happened to me because I dared to change a review.  I also will not be bullied into changing or deleting my review because that’s what Emily thinks is best.  If she didn’t want the drama to continue, she would stop making posts such as these. Sure, I’m adding to the fire now by posting these screen caps but damnit, I’m furious.  I think most would be too if they were in my shoes.

UPDATE #2:

I started getting negative comments on this blog post and low and behold, Emily is making vaguebook status updates.  It’s interesting how I am always able to figure it out when things have hit her Facebook when there is an uptick in negative feedback.

Also for those asking, yes I have been to the police station today regarding the voice mails and cyber bullying.

UPDATE #3

After thinking on this whole disaster this evening, I wondered how I could turn this into something positive.  I wished there was a charity for me to donate books to children that are bullied as a child I always lost myself in books when I was bullied in school.  I still do it as an escape from reality.  Since such a charity doesn’t exist (anyone want to start one?) I’m donating to the Megan Meier Foundation instead.  Megan Meier is the girl who killed herself after being cyber bullied on MySpace, a story which still saddens me.  I donated $614: a dollar for every downvote I received (278 – is that a record?) as well as AvidReader (78) and another dollar for every comment on the review (201 for me, 57 for AvidReader).  Granted, not every comment was bullying but I don’t care to go in and figure it all out as reliving those comments is not an ideal way to spend my evening.

I hope this is the end of this, I really do.

UPDATE #4

My review has been removed from the book page of Where We Belong.  You can still access it by clicking on the direct link but it is “gone” for all intents and purposes.  I did not do this, it was on Amazon’s end of things.

UPDATE #5 (December 30, 2012)

Ha, you thought it was all done.  Well, it is but I thought that instead of a new blog post, I’d finish up the “resolution” to this whole debacle as well as finally answer the question of what happened to AvidReader.

• Amazon took down my review of Where We Belong completely, however it still counts toward my Vine reviews so I didn’t have to review it again to stay under my percentage goals.  Huzzah.  Although, reviewing it again could have been interesting as I’m sorry but there’s no way on earth that my debacle wouldn’t have influenced my views in the least.  I know some don’t approve but in the same regards I tend to give authors I adore a kinder/better review based on my love of them so IMHO it can go both ways.

• I never had a direct apology in any form from Emily.  The only apology I got was from her publicist, whom did eventually contact me but it wasn’t on her behalf, more or less was trying to get me to take down this blog.  I refused and he was polite about my refusal.  They did release a somewhat public apology in The Atlantic.

• Despite accusations to the contrary, AvidReader is *not* some stalker of Emily Giffin’s, nor a psycho.  Instead she is a college student who used an email she doesn’t check during the school year for her Amazon profile.  When she got home for the holidays and checked her not-often-read email, she was surprised to see what kind of fuss became of her review.  She contacted me to thank me for supporting her and was glad that she missed all of the drama.  I’m SO glad to hear from her and know she is OK.  I was concerned but hoped something like this was the case.

• Finally I want to say a huge thank you to the authors and fellow reviewers that reached out to me during this mess.  I was stunned, surprised and humbled by your overwhelming support.  I’ve gained a lot of respect for you all and I’m glad to know that some of my favorite authors are on my team and I’ve also discovered a few new ones that I want to support.  It was a crazy ordeal and I couldn’t have asked for kinder people to be in my corner.

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358 Comments

  1. You are right Corey, you don’t deserve to be bashed on just because you changed your review. I do that all the time! I think that authors retaliating is getting more and more common around the blogosphere and I really hate when that happens. I’ve never read anything by Emily Griffin but I don’t think I will. I think a lot of people from her end responded really harshly and unprofessionally and threats? That is just out of hand. I really hope you get this sorted out soon! 🙂

    On a happier note, I totally LOVE your blog font! It just makes me want to keep typing 😀

  2. Please add me to the chorus of “I’m so sorry this happened to you.” What EG and her camp did was nothing short of bullying. They used all of the classic tactics of intimidation, blame, and inciting while pretending to be so honest and above the fray.

    Most importantly, it’s sickening that a writer would incite others to limit someone’s speech. When did freedom of speech mean only the ideas I agree with? It’s a troubling trend in this country that extends to other public speech arenas as well.

    Thank you for defending your free speech rights. It empowers and encourages us to do the same. And if you need a Jersey girl with a good left hook, give me a call. I’ve got your back.

  3. Corey, this is just … I can’t even express how enraged I am by this series of bullshit behaviour from someone who’s been in the public eye for so many years. I’ve never read a book by Emily Giffen, and I certainly will not be reading one in the future. For a grown woman to have such childish reactions when she doesn’t get her way … it’s pathetic. This entire thing reeks of her trying to shut you up because she has more access to publicity. I hope this whole thing passes soon and that you are well.

  4. First off, sorry this happened to you.
    Secondly, Hellloooo MEAN GIRLS!!! With bully husbands?
    I was planning on reading her book on my vaca over labor day. Nope. Not now. Not ever.

  5. Emily, her husband and her assistant must be pretty busy going everywhere to delete comments!
    Sad that people are so nasty. The initial review and your changed review was not hateful. But the responses you have been getting are.
    I do not think this will be over for a while. She may have some very loyal fans, but she has also lost a lot of current and future ones. This is no longer about the book. And sadly she is the one who has done that.

  6. Corey:I m truly sorry you have had to deal with this insanity. My hubby has been the author on the receiving end of negative reviews because a publisher was pissed at him so all her buddies ganged up on him. I was attacked by the same publisher because I removed all the reviews I had for her authors from my page because they were attacking me because I am related to the author.

    These things should never happen, A review is just someones opinion.

    Alexx

  7. Wow. As a writer, I’ve had my fare share of bad reviews, but never *ever* do I point them out and then passive-aggressively tell my readers not to go gang up on the reviewer. I get a bad review, I let it roll. And my husband would never dare to go online and make any comments to *anyone* in such a manner. Good grief. Heck, I’d be personally insulted if he did that. I hope you don’t stop reviewing.

    1. You’ve touched upon one of the things that has really been bothering me about this whole situation – people’s responses to the husband’s behavior. I read over and over again instances where the author’s fans support and romanticize the husband’s actions. Even if he’s given the benefit of the doubt, I don’t see his interaction with the first reviewer as anything other than in extremely poor taste and, frankly, quite shameful. The people who ooh and aah that he acted honorably, etc. gross me out. I truly don’t understand the mindset of people who would encourage their spouses or partners to engage in such behavior; I would be apoplectic if my significant other did so.

      1. Yeah, that part really impressed me as well and not in a good manner. “Awww look, he’s calling people psycho… how sweet!” WTF?!

      2. I totally agree… not to mention there is a huge difference between being a supportive husband and being an asshole to random strangers.

      3. The other thing that bothers me about the husband’s – and Giffin’s – behavior?

        Either he lied to Giffin about the situation on Amazon, or she blatantly misrepresented it. Because the original review was NOT personal and was NOT deleted to make her husband look bad. Yet that’s how she portrayed the situation on Facebook.

        It’s one thing to have an emotional moment and be an ass on the internet.

        It’s another to tell outright lies about what happened. A lie that then directly pointed to Corey’s review.

        And the fangirls took the lie as gospel.

        The fact that no one on Giffin’s side bothered with the facts – when they were on Amazon for all to see – just really, really irks me. And makes me sad. And angry.

        Corey, I’m sorry this blew up in your face in such a vile – and completely unnecessary – manner.

  8. Making a mountain out of a molehill? I don’t call “receiving voicemails telling me to kill myself etc.” a molehill.

    This sits squarely with the author and her minions.

  9. WOW. I have a policy of NEVER responding to bad reviews. My favorite goodreads review is one star and three letters. It says BOO.
    Seriously I’ve been boo-ed That’s hilarious! How many people can say that? Yeah it hurt for a day, but once I thought about it, I saw the funny. You can laugh, baby, or you can cry, but as a woman I look up to once said, “I always laugh because crying gives me a headache.”
    responding to reviews is like crying. Really bad idea–you’ll just end up with a headache.
    Sorry this happened to you. Really so sorry. You have a write to review as you see fit and without getting harrassing phone calls over it. And thanks for the message here to all authors. We sometimes need little reminders about how to play nice in the sandbox.

    1. I agree on not responding to bad reviews, it’s just not a good idea. I’ve gotten some nasty letters to the editor regarding a local magazine I write for and it never even occurred to me to respond.

    2. You sound like a grown-up with perspective on life! Good for you. Like I said elsewhere, someone is always going to dislike a book–even if it’s the most amazing book ever. That’s life.

  10. On one hand, I really do think reviews need to be about the product, instead of the producer; they can mention them, but the score should be about the book itself.

    On the other hand, it was NOT handled well by her or her fans or team. Telling you that you should remove your post to protect yourself gives me weird victimblaming vibes and she shouldn’t have acted the way she did. Even “let’s see if I can get to number one! would have been a better way to do it.

  11. This is super nutty. I tell you what. Ms. Giffin seems like she’s had a pretty tough time so I offer to relieve her of this stress. She can switch places with me, an unknown, unpublished writer and not have to suffer all of this trauma.
    I wonder if Ms. Giffin has ever participated in a writing group and had her manuscript critiqued. Does she honestly think that everyone should love her work all of the time?
    Corey Ann, this was a weird thing to get wrapped up in. Nice job on capturing everything. Try to not let it eat you up. In my experience people who are actually nice, good human beings never have to run around explaining what nice, good people they are.

  12. Like others, I am so sorry this happened to you. And I agree that this goes beyond ‘behaving badly’ and into the realm of bullying. As laughable as it is that a bestselling author would pay attention to a one-star review on Amazon, inciting people (and yes, couched references count as inciting) into a mass attack is serious business. This is a growing problem online, and it’s astounding to me how the same people who speak out against school bullying will participate in these types of group cyber attacks. On strangers. For non-existent offenses. And, as others have mentioned, with the same blame-the-victim rationales.

    Again, sorry that you were caught in the middle of this, and hope the more rational responses are helping!

    Meanwhile, EG seems to have taken down the Brangelina post, but I believe it was a reference to this comment on Amazon (which she, not reading Amazon comments, of course never saw):

    “Courtney,

    You took the words right out of my mouth. I came on Amazon to buy this book, but I won’t be purchasing it now. Emily is one of the only authors I follow on Facebook, but I think I will be severing that connection as well. It is a shame because she was one of my favorite authors. Calling someone a psycho because they didn’t like a novel is childish. Encouraging fans to check out the bad review to ridicule to reviewer (including posting a link to it on her Facebook page) is even worse. It may be childish of me to not read this book because of outside, personal conditions, but I’m the girl who won’t watch an Angelina Jolie film because I am firmly team Aniston :)”

  13. Wow. I’d never heard of this author before, but will be sure to never read her books. I will, however. subscribe to your blog.

  14. Long reply to this topic, but I hope it is insightful.

    First about EG and then about you Corey.

    This disturbs me in many ways. Corey I feel you did the right thing and I hope it will continue…mentioned in the part later about you.

    To those who say, “stick to the book, not the author [or their behavior].”

    1st – Let’s be honest, history is full of persons who works should be considered, but whose moral merit is supposed to be left out. In the end this doesn’t work out well. Entitlement leads to exception and exception leads to persecution. Wow seems to be the pattern here…I’m not surprised.
    2nd – The simple truth is the Author and their work(s) are all part of their BRAND. There is a not a way on Amazon to say you have lost confidence in the BRAND, only the book. So many have been railing you for your change of a review, but EG’s comments of “#2 [won’t reach #1*sigh*],” “the buffalo bills” . . . these comments are poor no matter the intention behind them.
    3rd – Do I believe she blatantly went out after you? No, but letting others do things for you (when you know about it) falls under irresponsible–omission can be just as bad as commission. I really see your review like this. A BRAND evaluation, like stock. On the NYSE, NASDAQ etc. any time poor leadership is manifested at the head of company/Brand it loses investor confidence and the stock price plummets.
    4th – This now about damage control and she may think its going away but it won’t. The world is too negative and sensational. My advice for EG’s apology, bridge to the higher road…something like this:

    “Dear Fans,

    Some of you may or may not be aware, but some unfortunate events happened regarding two reviewers. You may be wondering why I would bring this up when I said I wanted it over and done with, but I’ve been up at night thinking about this from many perspectives. I see now where I went wrong and want to sincerely apologize.

    In the heat of the moment, I thought my behavior was fine and I dismissed the behavior of others too. Looking back, I clearly see how I was wrong and I am terribly sorry. Sometimes the pressure of being a successful author gets to you and your future goals center on getting even more on the top. Every writer’s first priority is to be proud of their work, not their position. My comments about not getting to #1 have revealed a side of me I never wanted. I spent last night astonished at myself, finding my words appalling. Somehow, somewhere I temporarily lost sight of what really matters. Please forgive me in departing from it. I will not let over ambition get in the way of my work and you, my wonderful fans. I am blessed because of your support for me and I am happy with life you have let me have.

    To Corey and AvidReader, please forgive me. I should have stopped this getting out of hand. I can see what I did and did not do that escalated this issue. I shudder when I think about how I would feel if the tables were turned. If you would be willing I would like to personally reach out to you both and apologize, since you were most affected. I would also value your feedback on my work, because you were fans and hope you still will be. I am always wanting to improve, everything can be improved . . . as evident of this self discovery.

    Sincerest thanks and gratitude,
    EG”

    EG may think this is going away, but any person with PR experience knows that it won’t until she apologizes in a way that shows her growth, not her avoidance.

    Corey, on to you. You used a quote from Maya Angelou. The quote is wrong, no one can make you feel anything, it is a choice to give into the environment. Though I admit it becomes harder to resist the more force it gains, but let it go. Be the better woman, before EG beats you to it. I can assure you if she apologizes in a way similar to the way mentioned above, she’ll look like a converted saint and if you don’t quickly join in that conversion it will be to your detriment as well as any others. It won’t matter if her conversion is real or not at first, but if she goes back to these kind of things it will, but let others point them out.

    I wish you the best and hope everything goes better.

    1. What a great response!

      In a way, I feel like this was a way to heal over everything that happened. The Amazon fiasco has been deleted, and Emily’s life, and Corey’s will go on.

      Only now, Corey has fans 🙂 and Emily has lost a lot of fans.

      I couldn’t have said anything more in your resonse, I loved it.

      1. Pshhhh. If that’s what he meant, I don’t agree with that. I agreed with a lot of what he said, but you don’t owe her anything

      2. After careful reading, I don’t think that’s what he’s saying. I think he means that, *if* EG apologizes appropriately, that you should then accept her apology graciously.

        1. Just to add, that is what “Mike” thinks you should do. Scrolling down, I see you wouldn’t think her apology would be heartfelt. From what I’ve seen, you’re probably right. I still can’t get my head around “if she leaves her review up, she probably wants the death threats”. The rape excuse analogy is the first thing that comes to mind! 🙁

  15. Corey, for the small amount it’s worth, I want to offer my congratulations for standing strong through all of the madness and hate that her fans have caused you. Your evidence is compelling and complete in showing that Emily Giffin has handled this situation poorly and with no sincere regret. I will be joining you in boycotting her books and will encourage everyone I know to do the same. I hope the police catch the SOBs that are harassing you and knock them on their asses.

  16. I started this blog to defend myself as Emily kept deleting her comments on Facebook. Without the comments, particularly the ones regarding the initial review as well as from her assistant to my review saying to go defend Emily, I looked like I was doing this for no reason.

  17. Blown away by this post. I have met her at a signing before. She was very gracious and appreciative towards me. This situation got really out of hand. Didn’t it? People on the internet and social media can be awful and hurtful. I’m putting myself in her your shoes, Corey!! What do you think the next step should be? Would an apology from her be enough?

    1. Honestly at this point, no. Not because I want something grander but because from her comments regarding the situation (she should delete her review then etc) I don’t believe she is remotely sorry and almost seems secretly glad that it happened. I’d just rather her to go about her business and stop posting about it on Facebook, Twitter etc. and delete the comments on her page that keep posting people my way. My review has been moved I guess is the best word for it so hopefully things will slow down.

  18. Are you serious? You removed your review? Why did you decide to do that?

    Totally off topic here! I just looked at some of your work (photography). Fantastic job. Completely off topic lol

    1. *I* did not remove it, Amazon moved it off of Emily’s page. It’s still available if you go to the link but you cannot find it by looking at my review page nor the book page.

  19. Oh wow! Your review really is gone! I wonder how that happened? And who was involved in making that decision? Amazon probably got a lot of emails about how intense and out of hand this situation was getting. Perhaps it is for the best? You probably disagree with me on that.

    And you’re welcome!

    1. I’m guessing Amazon is putting out fires and may have got sone leaning from Emily’s came to get it off the page.

      At this point it’s for the best, I agree. At least it wasn’t my decision and I didn’t give in to the bullying so I’m fine with it being gone. 🙂

      1. You have stayed very strong, and I love the screen shots.

        What was it her new book said? “you can run, but you can’t hide?”

        Ooooooh Giffin, the IRONY.

  20. “You really don’t like Emily or her husband because he called someone a psycho in a quick moment of indecisiveness because he thought that person was threatening his wife? AND HE APOLOGIZED! He realized it hurt people, upset people and it hurt his wife! Can you all not look inside yourselves and SEE HOW RIDICULOUS all of this is?”

    I see someone ridiculous, and it’s not Corey.

    I don’t like EG and her husband for:

    1) Claiming a review was “personal” when there was absolutely nothing personal about the author in the review at all. It was a legitimate review of the book’s content.

    2) Lying about the review and claiming it had been deleted when it was still on Amazon

    3) Sending attack fangirls who also couldn’t bother to read the review for themselves and seeing that the Giffins were delusional

    4) Making a half-assed apology buried in the comments of Corey’s review and not apologizing to the original reviewer where she would see it.

    5) EG’s continual passive-aggressive support of her husband’s and assistant’s actions

    6) EG’s continutal insistance that her side did nothing wrong and the reviewers are asking for it and bringing it on themselves.

    Aside from all this, the events are an instructive lesson in social media, which – like it or not – is only going to become more obtrusive and ubiquitous. And it s important to discuss events like this as social norms fors social media’s usage are still being set. In fact, Stephanie, events like this might lead to your plea of “being nice” (although I prefer “respect others’ opinions.” “Be nice” is a stand in for “be a good girl and stay quiet in the corner. Hell no.) becoming more the norm, as authors and others learn that to disrespect others causes blow back.

    And, dear sweet Stephanie, if it’s so important to you to be kind and if there are so many other more horrible things in the world, then what are you doing wasting your obviously oh-so-valuable time here? (Aside from obviously causing yourself an aneurysm if your usage of capital letters is any indication.)

    By the way, welcome to my “Do not buy, ever” shelf. Seriously, when will authors learn to stay out of readers’ spaces?!

  21. Still blown away by all of it!! I’m also stunned reading some of the comments above mine here on your blog. However, I suppose it is for the best. Move on from it, these posts about it and continuing to post about it online. Words do indeed hurt. I can only imagine.

  22. I was going to post on here saying that your review was gone but I can see that you’ve already updated that.

    I’m actually disappointed, I was enjoying the battle with the minions. A little liveliness for a slow work day…

    I LOVE your idea about giving to the bullying charity. What an awesome way to turn something so negative around.

    However, I do hope that this leaves a lasting impact on Giffin and her… fan base… if you will. I see that wiki is constantly updated and deleted with reference to this conflict, maybe one day it will stay up.

  23. Sarah,

    I found this blog after all of my comments to Emily were deleted because she didn’t like being called out on her childish actions.

    Your favorite writer is a nasty, self centered, arrogant woman. Get over it. You can love the books, but hate the author.

  24. And what EMILY has been through??

    Seriously???

    She has minions… a ton of them… and she deleted everything that she did, this is the only history of her nastiness. She is self absorbed and arrogant. She hasn’t been through ANYTHING.

  25. I came into this controversy late, but I too see that your review was deleted from Amazon’s book page. That’s terrible, if you ask me, considering Ms. Giffin/her assistant posted a screen shot of YOUR EXACT REVIEW on her facebook page. How quickly they are trying to back pedal…

    You are brave for standing up for what you believe and I applaud you. Even this blog will live on, and people can see for themselves who this author really is.

    I for one, am NEVER buying a single book, and I’m telling all my friends. Let’s face it, it’s hard to separate who the artist is/behaves like from their work. Fooled me once…

    1. I never even thought about the stuff that’s probably going down on Kate’s page… I think I’m afraid to go look.

  26. For what it’s worth, Stephanie Eliot is one of EG’s friends, or at least Facebook friends. From Facebook, it appears as though EG has sent her things before and vice versa…She’s also been all over Amazon sticking up for poor, sweet, much-maligned Miss Emily.

  27. Wow, this is appalling. And completely embarrassing. I’ve only read one Emily Giffin book (Heart of the Matter) and was, like you, so turned off and disturbed by the cheating theme. I asked my friend if that was a common story element in her books and she confirmed. Gross. Someone had suggested I read Where We Belong and I was hesitant because of how I felt about her last book. Now? I’ll never read another one of her books again. What immature, petty, Mean Girls-esque behavior from an established author with a huge fanbase! Good on you for calling her out on it! Sorry about all the nonsense you’ve had to deal with since.

  28. Chiming in late (mainly because it took me for-effing-ever to read all the crap from the Giffins) but good for you Corey! I’ve been reading more and more about this phenomenon and am so sad that popular authors cannot just be happy with the thousands of readers who apparently like their books and not worry about the 11 who don’t. Really???

  29. Your review seems to be totally gone now – couldn’t access it from the direct link.

    I’m sorry this happened to you. It’s inexcusable.

    1. It is gone now, however I luckily screen captured it in case it did so there’s that 🙂

      Thank you!

  30. And this is why I rarely write reviews on Amazon. I do read avidly- a few books a week- but I am particularly wary of writing anything remotely critical about a book because of the flame wars I’ve seen on there and elsewhere. It’s a total travesty that anyone who does not enjoy a book would feel reticent and not want to write a review because of possible backlash. If I were an author and my fans (and family) pursued others on the internet in vengeance I would ask they halt it immediately. It does nothing to add to any positivity PR wise for the author! Instead it makes me remember a name and think “oooohhhh THAT author, the one that did THAT and whose fans wrote THOSE things..”. Yeah I would never buy their books and bah humbug to those egotistical fools.

  31. First off, that is INSANE. I cannot believe that people would go so far as to track you down and leave you voicemails over a book review! Stay safe!

    Second, I feel that it is really very unprofessional for an author to acknowledge any reviews, let alone point them out and ask fans to “defend” her. Why do you need defending at all? It’s just a review for goodness sake!

    I don’t believe I’ve ever read an Emily Griffin book and now I don’t think I ever will.

  32. Wow. I find all of her comments to be really unsettling. I’ve never heard of this author before, but now my first impression of her is one of such disappointment and shock. Publicly mentioning your disappointment in ONLY MAKING #2 ON THE NYT BESTSELLERS LIST??? Are you SERIOUS? When I enter contests & win 2nd, 3rd, or 20th place, I am GRATEFUL!

    When someone takes the time to care enough about someone else’s art to sit down and write a review (good or bad!), you should be GRATEFUL! We’ve all become such browsing zombies, it seems like it takes a herculean effort at times to just get people to chime in on things. If people actually read your book and then care enough about it to write ANYTHING about it, you should be really freaking grateful!

    There are so many puzzling elements to her posts here. Perhaps her character AND writing would improve if she would unplug a bit and take some time away from the internet. There’s a whole big world out there full of real people with real opinions. She should start interacting with them.

    This isn’t meant to be a hurtful statement, just one worth mentioning. It’s easier than ever to be passive aggressive & hurtful towards other people through the internet because it’s just pixels… just text. But there are real people involved in this and it’s appalling that there is even any kind of scandal at all. I think it’s good for all of us in this digital age to remember to be mindful of the people out there reading the things you say, and to remember to choose your words wisely.

  33. I have to say, I’m furious on your behalf. Really furious. To behave like Emily and her husband do, and then act as though it’s your fault for one negative review — well, the mind boggles. Words really fail; to say it’s disgusting behavior really doesn’t begin to describe it. I’m so sorry you had to go through this.

    If it makes you feel any better, I always try to keep in mind that karma is a bitch. Sometimes the wheel turns slowly, but it turns.

  34. I love how you took a vile situation and turned it into something beautiful. (Megan Meier donations.)

  35. I’m sorry you had to go through this, Corey. You had all the right to change your review, for whatever reason. It is your review after all. That Emily Giffin thanked her assistant for attacking you is beyond pathetic.

    Emily Giffin is also lying when she said the whole thing started when someone attacked her personally and her husband defended her. The reviewer her husband attacked (with the childish “psycho” name-calling) commented on the book, not the author. It wasn’t even that bad a review. The husband took issue with the fact that it was this person’s first review on Amazon, but there are a lot of five-star comments by people who haven’t reviewed anything else. Does that make them “psycho” too, Mr. Emily Giffin?

    At first I thought it was simply a misguided knee-jerk reaction by a spouse, but after reading Emily Giffin’s response, I was disgusted and sickened. When she wrote that you were “enjoying the drama” (as if anybody could enjoy getting anonymous threats) she lost more than my respect: she lost a reader.

  36. I’m sure that almost everything I’m going to be said has been said somewhere already…but this was just insane. It blows my mind that a well-established (or any) author could let a situation like this get out of hand. Yes, it must suck to see a negative review because of all the hard work that goes into write a book…but that’s why authors don’t often read reviews! Obviously her husband is his own person, but instead of commenting and linking in the hopes of starting something she should have just suggested to him that he issue an apology then and there.

    I don’t think she comprehends how badly people are going to look at her. I had a friend who was a devoted reader, heard about all of this drama, and has now decided she can’t support someone who is willing to let her fans bully others. Some people will probably overlook it, but every time someone mentions her books to me I’ll be giving them the side-eye.

    It’s awesome that you donated! I wasn’t aware of this charity (but had heard the story), and as someone who was bullied I’ll definitely be making future donations here.

  37. Wow…. I’ve never read any of Giffin’s work due to my unhappiness with what people have told me about Baby Proof (I’m childfree by choice, and was told it sadly did not enlighten people at all about that choice), but I’ve always meant to read her work when I had time to decide for myself. That said, after reading about this abhorrent behaviour, I never will. I’m an author. I’ve received a truly nasty negative review (I would have loved if it was like Avid Reader’s, such was the comparison), and you know what I did? Nothing. I didn’t tweet it, share it, post on it or about it. I privately vented about the personal insults to a writer friend and moved on with my life, because negative people who thrive on snark exist in all arenas.

    If authors cannot handle criticism of all types, they shouldn’t put their work out there. Same goes for their families and friends and employees, even. Emily intentionally stirred the pot, as many famous people seem to do on social media these days. She’s just as responsible for this as her husband/assistant/rabid fans.

    I’m so sorry this happened to you.

  38. Wow. This whole thing is CRAZY. I found it very inappropriate on so many levels that Emily was encouraging her husband, staff, and fans to gang up on you and the other reviewer. Saying that her husband should get off of Amazon and linking the review in the same post is adding fuel to the fire. I had a book review blog (nothing big) for 3 years and reviewed hundreds of books. Yet I probably have only posted 5 reviews on Amazon. Her husband was an idiot for attacking Avid Reader for only posting one review.

    I didn’t agree with all of your actions (but I agreed with most) and I’m glad that you stood your ground. You have the right to change a review if you wanted to. Your opinion of the book and author were both tainted. Years ago, I used to follow a relatively unknown author closely, reading her books, blog, and twitter. She was attending BEA and said for people to say ‘hi’ if they saw her. While in line, I realized that she was behind me! I was very polite, asking if she was who I thought she was and then said that I admired her book and blog. I didn’t bombard her for an autograph. I didn’t try to push conversation any further. Her response was to roll her eyes and go “Yeah, so?”. That interaction was enough to put me off of reading her books or blog anymore. Authors think that their public personalities shouldn’t change how we view their books but why would we want to support someone who is rude to fans or is a downright bully?

  39. Thank you for taking time to post your story, it has been very helpful. I hate to say it, but I came very close to making Emily’s mistake. Thanks to you, to your story, I will be very careful in the future.

    My story is below, but feel free not to post this remark… I’m just commiserating from the other side. Your Amazon Shitstorm was like a tornado compared to my thundering downpour… lol:

    I made the mistake of mentioning that I was an author in an Amazon forum – no link or title mentioned – and got my ass chewed big time. But that wasn’t good enough. The forum bullies googled and researched every review I ever made and reviews that were made on my books, looking for something to yell at me about.

    I took all this in stride. I didn’t reply, I just let them nail me again and again, on reviews, on my books, even derogatory remarks about the fact I donate the proceeds from my first book to a charity to give kids a warm bed.

    I did make a comment when they started picking on a reviewer I’d met at a signing – that I couldn’t let go.

    Then one of the forum bullies said she was going to buy my book and “Not be kind.” A one star review followed twenty minutes later. I mentioned this unfair review and the Amazon mess to some close fans… a few of them only, thank God.

    Well, they jumped to defend me, replying to her review. Then this reviewer insisted that I was actually one of the people who replied! That was were I started laughing. I sent out personal request to stop the commenting and both I and the “Sock Puppet” that was supposed to be me, verified our names.

    I am so very glad to come across your story. I had no idea how fierce fans could be. I will be careful of how I post in the future, thanks to this to you.

    Best wishes,
    ~ Lynn Hardy