What’s the Worst, Weirdest or Wildest Thing that Ever Happened on Your Blog?

I may or may not get a review up this week, and so I thought I’d do something different, since I haven’t had a discussion post in quite some time.

As we all know, social media is full of land mines, and any misstep could result in negative consequences. I’ve had this blog going for over five years now, and I have a couple of crazy things that have happened to me. And I’ll bet you do too! I thought it would be fun to compare stories and see if other bloggers have had similar (or worse!) experiences.

I have two things that come to mind—although there may be others—but both of these almost made me quit blogging.

Thing #1: When I was part of a blog tour, I actually had the author contact the blog tour host—who in turn contacted me—and asked me to “reword” part of my review.

This blog tour company (who I will never work with again for obvious reasons) had one requirement for reviews: they had to be four stars or greater. Even though I didn’t love the book, I found enough good things to say about it to justify a four star rating, even though I might not have given it four stars if I hadn’t been on a blog tour.

But I also mentioned some of the things I had concerns about, because that’s how I write reviews, and unfortunately I used the word “pedophile.” Oh no, you should apparently never use this word during a blog tour. This was a YA book and I guess they thought readers would be scared off by that term. (And I did not use that word lightly. My honest impression of the story was that it was implied that one of the characters was a pedophile.)

When I got the email from the blog tour host, I was mortified. I mean, I had never had anyone ask me to change a review, and at first I was just embarrassed. I immediately took out the offensive word and that was that. But then I started to get mad, really mad. I was mad at myself for caving in, and I swore I’d never participate in a blog tour again. (Clearly I got over that!) After I calmed down a bit, I realized that it really wasn’t the blog tour company’s fault. They were trying to promote the book, and promotion is all about being positive. So I don’t fault them for that. But I still have a bad taste in my mouth whenever I think of that book and author, which is too bad.

Thing #2: WordPress shut down my blog for using the words “Blog Tour” in a blog post title.

What is it with me and blog tours?? LOL. Many of you may have read my blog post about my terrible experience, but I’ll do a quick recap for any new readers. Apparently, WordPress.com has a long list of rules that can easily be broken if you aren’t aware of them. How many of you have actually read all the fine print and know exactly what you can and can’t do on your free WordPress blog? Well, it turns out one of those forbidden items is that you can’t participate in blog tours. WordPress’s definition of blog tour is a post that is mostly copied (not original) material. Even though I didn’t actually break the rules—yes it was a blog tour, but it was an original review and no other “copied” material—other than the author blurb which was supplied by the publisher—appeared in my post.

What made me so irate about this incident is that when I tried to contact someone at WordPress to explain to them that I hadn’t done anything wrong, absolutely no one would answer my emails or help me. It wasn’t until I was forced to fork out a bunch of money to have someone migrate my blog to WordPress.org that I had someone’s full attention (of course). I am still bitter towards WordPress.com and will probably always be, even though I don’t normally hold grudges.

So there you go. I’m dying to know if other bloggers have had similar or other weird experiences. This is your chance to vent, people!

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Posted October 10, 2016 by Tammy in Bookish Discussions / 15 Comments

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15 responses to “What’s the Worst, Weirdest or Wildest Thing that Ever Happened on Your Blog?

    • Tammy

      I can understand authors wanting to defend themselves, but I think it’s wrong to argue with reviewers. Everyone has different impressions of books and there really isn’t a “wrong” review, IMO.

  1. Gee, makes me realize how fortunate I’ve been so far. I am doing a blog tour soon and the only requirement is that if you give it a negative review, please wait and post it after the tour is over. I really don’t mind that rule because it seems fair enough and I never want to feel pressure to give a fake my feeling about a book. I like to think that even my low rating reviews are still fair and don’t “bash” the book or the author and neither do yours. I would have been mad as well had the same thing happened to me.
    Barb (boxermommyreads) recently posted…HALLOWEEN BOOK TAG!My Profile

    • Tammy

      I don’t do blog tours that often any more, but now when I do I’m careful to choose books that already have high ratings, so I don’t really have to worry about writing a negative review. And you’re on blogger, right? So they probably have different rules than WordPress.

  2. I remember reading about both of these incidents on your blog, back in the day. What a nightmare. Seriously, kudos to you for keeping your cool because I probably would’ve rage quit, at least for a little while. Haha.

    Thankfully nothing too strange/horrible has happened with my blog (yet), although I have been on the receiving end of honestly some of the most annoying tweets ever. Which is saying a lot, because…Twitter. Haha. This one author keeps trying to promote her books to me and a host of other bloggers by tweeting “you’d sell your soul for this” and then linking to her book on NetGalley. At first I politely declined but now every time I see one of those tweets – which is at least once per week – I just want to shout out “I WOULD NOT SELL MY SOUL FOR THIS BOOK, OBVIOUSLY.”
    Danya @ Fine Print recently posted…Review: The Dark Days Club by Alison GoodmanMy Profile

  3. I had a feeling I would see Thing #1 mentioned when I saw the title of this post. I still remember your post about how mad you were, and heck, how mad I was when I read it. It honestly put me off from third party tour sites because I don’t ever want to be in a situation where someone else can dictate what I write in my review. I know some of those companies guarantee “positive” reviews so they have to please the authors, so that’s just too much of a conflict of interest for my comfort.
    Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum recently posted…Audiobook Review: Forsaken Skies by D. Nolan ClarkMy Profile

  4. It’s from a comment to a review on Amazon, not on my blog, but I did get this gem:

    “1,875+ words for a review?! This guy obviously can’t get published so he brain dumps on us. Useless!”

    In my head canon Donald Trump took time out of his busy day to critique my criticism.

  5. These are awful experiences. Your blog tour experience certainly scared me at the time and I try to be very careful about that – plus, I would hate somebody telling me to change my review! It just seems wrong. I’m trying to think I’ve ever had any bad experiences but I can’t really come up with anything – I have a similar case to Danya in that I have one author who seems to contact me a lot about a certain book – and I’ve politely declined – but the emails and DMs still keep coming in – the thing is it puts me off ever wanting to read the book – I would like a choice in the matter after all!
    Lynn 😀

  6. I had an author write three comments with a word count close to my review letting me know I had missed the point.

    I had a whole host of Sad Puppies stop by and tell me how wrong I was when I was mentioned in one of their author’s posts.

    WordPress shut down after an update on me and I lost my entire design. Had to start over from scratch and never did get my header the color I wanted again.

  7. Yikes, that would be enough to make me wary of blog tours. I don’t appreciate anyone telling me my review is wrong, is harsh, has to be reworded or that I have atrocious taste (actually that one still makes me laugh) and I can see why that upset you.

  8. I remember when both of those things happened to you and thinking to myself, “I’m one of the lucky ones”. I think as far as weird things, I’ve had an author with a lot of twitter followers try to coerce me to review their book by saying they’d retweet something of mine. Yeah, I’m sure that’s why I review books- all those retweets. *rolls eyes*
    ~Litha Nelle