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Bookstagram Is Fueling an Unnerving Trend


early July, Daisy Buchanan was enjoying a sunny Saturday morning, wandering around her neighborhood — then reaching for her phone. She opens Instagram and sees the words “comment,” “mediocre,” and “annoying”; she’s instantly hot. “My body starts processing it before my brain,” Buchanan said. Tears welled up in her eyes. Buchanan, a 37-year-old British author from Kent, is reading negative reviews of one of her books. But she wasn’t looking for it through an ill-advised search by name or title—in fact, readers had sent it directly to her. They tagged her in the post.

Around the same time, a few miles away in London, Lex Croucher was already having a bad day when their phone rang. Here’s a two-paragraph, one-star review of a book by the 30-year-old author that basically says there’s “nothing to like” about Croucher’s work.In the past, both Buchanan and Croucher had place pleading On social media: Say what you like about my work, but please, please, please don’t @me when you do.

Readers and commentators have never been more able to hear their voices. The rise of Bookstagram and more recently BookTok has enabled bibliophiles to share testimonials, point out plot holes and discuss fan theories on an unprecedented scale.However writer think you to Know It’s one thing to tell the world that you don’t like a book, but quite another to tell its author outright.

Or is it? After all, isn’t this our brave new world? Sometimes writers need to hear criticism of their work, especially when readers find it problematic. Authors shouldn’t take it and accept that tagging is part of the job – actually, reading constructive criticism really doesn’t help? In that sense, isn’t tagging almost a good thing?Buchanan, romance novelist insatiable and careersay absolutely not.

“I am very aware that the criticisms of my work are valid,” she said, “but at the moment I am trying to write a book a year. I am in the middle of a rather painful third draft, so when I read about two years It really got me creative when I had an angry review of the book before I finished it.” While she says she’s “embarrassed” to admit it, Buchanan has now used various security and privacy settings to minimize her Instagram feeds. Markability on .

Anna James, 35-year-old London children’s series writer Pages & Co, saying that tagged comments can also be detrimental to readers. “Whether a review is positive or negative, if an author gets flagged, it really shuts down any conversation,” she said, arguing that flagging would shift the focus from the reader to the author. “An online conversation about a book can’t be open and useful to readers if the author is watching it all,” she said. (She clarified that she was referring to when readers discuss reviews and ratings, not when trying to talk to authors about their work.)

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