Jeff O'Handley, Author

Jeff O'Handley

The Doubting Writer Finds His Voice


If someone doesn’t like your book and gives you a crappy review, it doesn’t make them a bully. Even if they resort to personal insult and load up on the snark.
If an author responds to your review with comments of their own, they’re not a bully. Even if they resort to personal insult and load up on the snark.
Not every disagreement is bullying. Not every insult is bullying. Not everyone making ‘mean’ comments is a bully.
Stop throwing the word around. Stop using it as a way to stake some imagined moral high ground. Stop trying to use it like it’s a bullet-proof vest. You do a disservice to the real victims of real bullying. Learn the difference.
On another news flashie note, big congratulations are in order to Cassie Mae and Donna Hosie for landing agents, and to Otin, who announced not one, but two book deals recently! Congrats! Sorry if I missed any other big news this week, I’ve been in blog scanning mode rather than serious reading. Have a great weekend, all.

12 Responses

  1. Agreed! Bullying is something that should be taken very seriously, and shouldn't be mislabeled. Difference of opinion is not bullying.

    And thank you for the shout out!!!

  2. Agreed. Writers used to understand that "literary criticism" was actually helpful (even if you did not agree with it). Thanks for the reminder.

  3. Bully is often overused these days. On a personal note, I think if or when I get a bad review or snarky comments, I'll likely slink under the table for a week or two. Engaging is the worst possible thing an author can do.

  4. I really appreciate the mention. Thank You.
    A lot of words get stretched out of proportion these days. You can add "genius" and "hero" to the list.

  5. Great post. What happens with reviews sometimes sucks, but it doesn't hold a candle to the anguish that so many have to put up with. I agree…it happens, you Lego of it…and don't confuse it with something so much more painful and abusive.

  6. Yes! Bullying has become a buzzword lately (I've seen it with parents and kids at school too). Bad reviews stink, but responding to them only makes it worse.

    Congrats to all the good news recipients!

  7. Thanks, everyone, for reading and commenting. I've been a bit negative, and that kind of came through here. I don't think I'm finished with this topic….

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