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Thursday News: Emily Giffin stirs up a sh!storm; US Navy SEAL...

Snookie animated gif

Forgive me, but I feel a bit irritable and thus my commentary on today’s news might have a slight edge.  First up, we have Emily Giffin — pretty, successful, happily married Emily Giffin.  Ms. Giffin, allegedly the nicest person ever per her fans, chortled over the fact that her husband called a reader “psycho” on Amazon and then encouraged, via Facebook and Twitter, her fans to go forth and engage in the same behavior.  Well, bullshit. Nice people don’t call random readers psycho for an entirely mild review.  Let’s take a look at the review:

This book was so disappointing. I have read all of Emily Giffin’s books, and have found that her last few books are getting worse and worse. Where We Belong had the ability to be a great story. However, telling the story from two points of view, Marianne and Kirby, led there to be little depth to either character. Also I found both characters to be very unlikable. The story was trite and unbelievable. I also found that Giffin put a very negative spin on adoption. Giffin’s last books have been a disappointment and this one was no different.

This reader did not like the book and all the comments are directed to the book.   The reader in question a) read and liked previous Giffin books and b) ACTUALLY BOUGHT THE BOOK from Amazon (as noted by the Amazon Verified Purchase badge on her review). This review enrages Giffin’s husband and he leaves the following comment:

Really? An “avid reader” that has written one review in their entire existence on amazon. Beware people. Psycho alert. (screencap)

Giffin giggles about it on Facebook and Twitter.   More fans go to attack readers/reviewers, leaving negative diatribes on every negative review for Giffin’s latest release.  Worse? Now Giffin is claiming that the reviewer insulted her husband first and he just responded.  More bullshit. When you delete a comment on Amazon, it leaves a trail. FOR EXAMPLE, Amazon deleted her husband’s comment, which was the very first comment to the review.

deleted comment

or by a fan of Giffin who finally came to her senses and deleted her ragey rants to a 1 star review:

deleted by author Amazon comment

COME ON! Emily Giffin, your book was #2 on the NYT list.  You had a movie made out of one of your books.  Your books receive tons of accolades. You have hundreds of thousands of fans (your facebook page is liked 115,327 times!!).  WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS? ARE YOU THAT INSECURE? No need to answer.  The evidence makes the response obvious.  Just, no.  Stop and no. Do not bait your fans into going over to Amazon and attacking the tiny few who did not like your book.  Do not act like a giggly fool when your husband calls a reader a psycho.  Do not try to pretend like you had nothing to do with the drama at Amazon.  You called out the dogs. You made this a *thing*.  That *is* bullying behavior.  Just go and stroke your hardcovers and bask in all the hundreds of adulatory comments your facebook posts receive and leave readers alone.

The next thing that  me uncomfortable was the report that a now retired Navy Sea who was involved in the Bin Laden raid is putting out a book next month that details a first hand account of the raid.  The author is supposedly anonymous but he’ll be doing a slew of interviews on TV and in print about his book. The Pentagon has not seen it yet to vet the book so who knows what types of information is in it that could put our current soldiers in danger.  This guy’s identity will be outed within the week.  There are sufficient details including his first deployment, his retirement date, that he was born in Alaska and grew up there, that will out him.  This is 2012. There are no anonymous people left but perhaps he is hoping for that? It just doesn’t sit right for me.

As for the author in question, he never even replied. I know he got the email, I submitted it through his website and received confirmation it’d been received sent to my own email, but he has blatantly ignored it. Not only has he ignored my request, but he has continued using it. He has since posted several new chapters, each illustrated with my cover art. Who Needs Neverland?

“FutureBook yesterday featured a piece on an experiment in the UK between Osprey publishing imprint Angry Robot and independent bookshop Mostly Books to bundle a free electronic edition of an Angry Robot novel with each print copy of it sold. (We’ve previously mentioned Angry Robot’s e-book store and e-book subscription plan.) After just two weeks, Osprey’s CEO revealed that the bundling initiative had tripled the publisher’s sales at that store, and plans are in the offing to expand it to other independent bookstores.” The Digital Reader

“So all in all, it seems unlikely that Boose signed a contract such as was described in the New York Magazine article. In fact, as someone who’s serious about being a professional ghostwriter (and editor and writing coach) he probably worked out a standard ghostwriter agreement. And he probably didn’t have any illusions (as Hughes reportedly did) that writing these books would help him sell his own, non-ghostwritten work.” i09

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Ellie
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 05:02:38

    Hear us authors: If you bully reviewers, if you encourage fans to attack, we the readers will not buy your books. We will not recommend your books to our friends and reading groups. I now have several authors on my permanent do-not-buy list. I buy a LOT of books every year. But Emily, it will never be yours.

  2. ChibiNeko
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 05:32:18

    What gets me is that the husband posted his comment on the 19th, but Giffin didn’t report about it until the 21st. That’s a long time to wait or obsess over a review. The husband claimed it was because he thought that the reviewer was someone who was harassing Giffin online that he commented. I understand getting angry that someone’s harassing your loved one, but he’s really got to work on impulse control. Not every negative review is made because the person wants to hurt the author.

  3. Michelle
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 05:54:06

    She is a bully, and a passive/aggressive one. Not all publicity is good publicity. She also egged on her assistant. Ugly, ugly behavior. Then when it hits the fan she tries to backpeddle. She may have played up to her fan base but she lost a lot of future readers. I added her to my never touch with a ten foot pole shelf.

  4. KT Grant
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 06:45:27

    I really think authors don’t want any negative reviews of their books anywhere, even those authors who are very successful. Also it seems a negative review that only comments about the work and doesn’t make it a personal attack against the author is bullying. Can no one take criticism anymore? You put your work out there for the public to buy, you should expect opinions to be put out there, especially if someone is paying for a product. If a person who pays for a product is not happy with it, and that means a book, they have a right to state their opinion and their displeasure about it.

  5. joanne
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 07:03:12

    1) The Navy Seal that I knew always used the pronoun ‘we’ when mentioning where he was stationed and almost always said he didn’t talk about that “stuff”. I’m not disappointed that a book is forthcoming I just question the integrity and truthfulness of the author.

    2) I have no questions whatsoever about the integrity of Emily Griffin and her oh-so fragile ego.

    3) I don’t understand why the author is going after the cover thief rather than the artist. I mean I get that Hawkins is pissed – and who could blame her- but it is the artist who is being ripped off.

    4) I was going to say how very much I like your new Gravatar Jane but then I clicked on this morning’s industry news and saw Snookie. I’m holding my compliment in reserve until I get rid of her whining image.

  6. Christine M.
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 07:15:04

    OMG Snooki before coffee kicks in? My brain’s scarred for life.

  7. Ros
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 07:38:26

    Some people should not be allowed on the internet. That is all.

  8. MrsJoseph
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 08:15:31

    Now one reviewer is getting voice mails telling her to go kill herself. When Emily commented on it – she claims that it’s the reviewer’s fault and she should remove her review.

    I’m so disgusted and dismayed.

  9. Catherine
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 08:20:11

    I’m really conflicted. Usually I wouldn’t support an author’s work when they go all crazy, but I was already halfway through Giffin’s latest …

    Finish the book (from the library, at least) and never buy any of hers?

    Behavior like this is not OK!

  10. Michelle
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 08:38:04

    I didn’t think she could stoop any lower, but after clicking on the latest link and seeing her say that the reviewer is enjoying all the drama, I was clearly wrong. Emily Giffin is pure slime.

  11. Mireya
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 08:43:21

    Another a**hole… and really, is anyone surprised at this point? I have reached the conclusion that that sort of crap is done on purpose to up the marketability/visibility of a book, even if it’s a book that already has notoriety of some sort. Incidentally, the “go kill yourself” crap is a very common comment among teens. It would be interesting to see how the idiot spewing such idiocy would react if someone else anonymously called her and told her to “go kill yourself”. So high school. Some YA author communities seem to be turning into a juvenile cesspool, and I am so glad none of my nieces is interested in going online to hang out in any blog/author page/reviewer page.

  12. Sarah
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 08:45:45

    Emily Giffin’s attitude reminds me of The Story Siren’s from earlier this year. Pushing the blame squarely onto others. At least I have a legitimate reason to get rid of some books now and making my TBR pile smaller.

  13. Kelly
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 08:57:31


    OH. MY. GOD.

    “We aren’t going to talk about it further… Could you please delete your comment?”

    “We aren’t going to comment further…. please NO more posts about it on my page, .”

    “Well, then perhaps she should stop putting fuel to the fire and remove her post…please stop discussing the issue on my page.”

    Every time I think the Stupidity Death Spiral has finally reached Critical Crap Mass, someone manages to break the crap barrier once again.

    Public relations rule #1: First, DON’T MAKE IT WORSE.

    Rule #1.1: Don’t encourage your sycophants to make it worse.

    Rule #1.2: Denial of accountability is never a good strategy.

  14. tori
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 09:04:45

    Oy vey. Emily Giffin and her entourage are a piece of work. Never have I seen such a disgusting and appalling lack of professionalism and ethics then what I saw from her and her minions. I have no idea what world she’s living in, but NY best seller or not…her character leaves a lot to be desired.

  15. Isobel Carr
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 09:11:17

    @joanne: The artist sold exclusive cover rights to Hawkins, so Hawkins is being ripped off. What a mess. Best thing to do IMO would probably be to notify all the venders that the cover has been stolen (emails between Hawkins and artist exist to substantiate exclusive sale) and demand the books be taken down.

  16. jennifer
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 09:26:42

    Well, I always found Emily Giffin’s characters annoying self-absorbed and bitchy… apparently she was writing what she knows. Zing!

    But I don’t understand those “fans” that attack- seriously, folks- calm down.

  17. hapax
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 09:29:26

    Now one reviewer is getting voice mails telling her to go kill herself. When Emily commented on it – she claims that it’s the reviewer’s fault and she should remove her review.

    I haven’t read Giffen before, but the enthusiastic reviews have tempted me to start.

    Not anymore.

    I am pretty sure that anyone who can behave like that lacks the basic human empathy necessary to create characters I can become invested in. Indeed, it makes me little sick; I won’t be able to stop wondering what kind of abusive behavior might follow after the “happy endings.”

  18. Jane
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 09:34:29

    @MrsJoseph: That screencap is awful. That Giffin blames the reviewer and not the person making the phone call is appalling.

  19. jk
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 09:47:53

    Emily’s behaviour is terrible.

    The Seal is? Questionable motives here.

    Cover? If the first author bought an exclusive, the cover should not have been available from the artist. Did you see the contract? Most authors don’t buy the image for an exclusive since it’s too pricey.

  20. Lynnd
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 09:51:26

    @jennifer: Me too. I read one of her books (I think it was Something Borrowed) and started the second after someone told me it got better – it didn’t.

    Is there anything in contracts with publishers that permits sanction or termination of a contract if an author behaves like this? Do publishers even care?

  21. Karenmc
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 09:51:40

    First of all, Snooki at any time, let alone first thing in the morning? Well, I’ll get over it given enough coffee:)

    I really don’t understand egos that encourage attacks on others. Recently it seems like there’s an increase in these incidents, or maybe it’s just that the internet makes them easier to spot. At any rate, Giffin is an author who will have to live without me reading her books.

  22. MrsJoseph
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 10:00:30

    @Jane: Yeah, it’s pretty bad.

    She’s gotten more than one but she said that she’s going to the police today.

    I’m so disgusted. And I’m disgusted about being disgusted all the time now.

  23. Janine
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 10:04:28

    As a longtime fan of Giffin’s writing (just last week I reviewed Where We Belong favorably here at DA) I find this disappointing to say the least. For an author to respond to the news that a reader/reviewer of one of her books has received threatening phonecalls with “[…] well then perhaps she should stop putting fuel on the fire and remove her post” (see @MrsJoseph‘s screencaps) is really disturbing.

  24. Jane
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 10:04:40

  25. Leslie
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 10:06:12

    Make Nooky Not Snooki!

  26. JacquiC
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 10:13:20

    Coincidentally, the Slate Culture Gabfest (one of my favourite podcasts — shameless plug here) has a segment this week on the whole issue of criticism and some articles that have come out recently about the ridiculous (I think) idea that critics have to be “nice” to authors/creators and not say bad things about their work. It is clearly not just an issue in the romance community, but everywhere.

    I just think it is APPALLING that authors who put work out into the world cannot take in their stride reviews that represent legitimate criticism of their work, and that are clearly NOT personal attacks on the author. The whole blogging/social media environment is terrific in some ways for allowing the airing of lots of viewpoints about culture which I may or may not agree with, but which have greatly enhanced my reading experience simply by directing me to things I would never find on my own. But I also think that the ability of authors to mount this kind of attack against their readers/reviewers is a distinct disadvantage. I find this behaviour disgusting when it is coming from lesser known or self-pubbed authors. It is beyond the pale when coming from a highly successful author such as Emily Giffin.

    I have previously read Giffin’s books, and have one of hers on my TBR list. But that’s it for me. And just to be clear to any author who might be reading this, it’s not the negative reviews of the books that instantly scare me off. I may or may not still read a book that gets a negative review, depending on whether I think the things that bothered the reviewer are likely to both me too. This type of behaviour from an author, though, is an instant turn-off. After that, I don’t care how good or bad the book is, I’m not going to read it.

  27. MrsJoseph
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 10:26:54


    Oh yeah. And Rape fatigue, too.

    It’s impossible to stay angry every single day. I’m just…close to “E.”

  28. Kaylea Cross
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 10:27:05

    From what I understand, that “anonymous” SEAL in question is already in a world of hurt from within the SEAL community. Operational security aside, he’s violated some pretty sacred tenets of that group with this upcoming book. The fallout won’t be pretty for him. What was he thinking?!

  29. anon1
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 10:40:35

    I’ll admit I’m not always in agreement with this blog, however, the Emily Giffin situation is about as ridiculous as I’ve seen things get in the past few months with regard to how some authors deal with reviews. I am an author and I believe authors should not get involved…ever…with reviews. Not with the good or the bad. But more than that, their spouses and partners should NEVER get involved with their reviews or their careers. I would kick mine in the ass if that happened to me. What Giffin and her husband did shows a lack of decorum. And this comment is coming from an author who has had bad reviews that are both legitimate and questionble and has never commented about them once in public.

  30. Sarah
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 10:41:31

    I don’t know what’s going on here, but I will say that Emily Giffin has gone out of her way to be generous to me, a relationship for which – if you’ve seen my nonexistent bestseller status – she reaps nothing in return. I love her books because her characters are so unloveable and, yet, she makes you root for them. The situations they get themselves in border on unethical, too. All good fodder.

    I’d hate for her to dismissed based on this once incident. I, too, have had to restrain my boneheaded husband from jumping on line and defending me or my work to readers. (Unfriended him from FB – best thing I ever did.) The spouses see you pulling your hair and biting your nails over reviews and sales. Two years of work for one BIG week. The pressure sucks especially at Emily’s level. And, bottom line, the spouses just don’t get the whole public persona thing.

    Perhaps Emily’s joking about it was a way of keeping peace at home. Who knows?

    I understand why reviewers and readers are upset but I would hope that they could judge her future work on its own merits and not what goes on behind the scenes. I wish social media would just vanish somedays. The world was a lot more civilized when we sat down and wrote thoughtful notes – and then slept on them.

  31. Ren
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 10:42:46

    @Kaylea Cross: “What was he thinking?”


  32. K. Z. Snow
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 10:45:58

    I’ll never understand, never-ever-ever, how successful authors can be so petty. Why aren’t they content to rest on their laurels and rake in their royalties? Hell, I would be — and feel mighty blessed, to boot.

    I suppose the answer lies in one word: egotism. Or the five immortal words of a Real Housewife of New York City: “Money can’t buy you class.” (Not that I watch reality TV. Nope, not me. I just happened to hear the song on. . . Ach, never mind. ;-))

  33. MrsJoseph
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 10:47:00


    Honestly, I know why you would feel so charitable towards her…

    …but she was totally aware of what she was doing. She egged her Twitter & Facebook followers on. She kept crowing about how happy she was her husband called someone who bought her book names. She posted THIS after being told one person was receiving threatening calls:

    She also sent her ASSISTANT to harass reviewers, too. EVERY single 1* reviewer at Amazon has been attacked by Emily’s hit squad.

    My charitable feelings to toward someone who isn’t so obviously a badly behaving author.

  34. Sirius
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 10:51:30

    Woot. Another author has a meltdown. I guess the only good thing for me is that I can see that not only self published authors do that. I mean I saw the references to couple of best selling authors doing it in the past, but quantity wise I still saw self publishing authors doing it more often, but seeing it happening almost now (yesterday, whatever) really hits it home. I kind of gave up trying to understand why and how but the person with her best selling status being so thin skinned and so rude to the reviewers? Ugh. I read her books too, but luckily do not even have to deprive myself of buying them – gave up some time ago.

  35. Christine M.
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 10:52:13


    Re: the cover. If the thief just saved a copy of the cover from a Web page and photoshopped it would fit the ‘new’ book it covered and none would be the wiser until the original cover owner stumbled upon it. (I can’t access the page at work, filter’s blocking it, so it’s all suppositions on my part.)

  36. Michelle
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 10:54:50

    @Sarah, you are defending an author who BLAMES a reviewer for getting voice mail death threats, and states that the reviewer is ENJOYING the drama. Just don’t go there. You might be better served contacting Emily Giffen and tell her to stop digging the hole deeper, put her big girl pants on, and call off her fan poodles.

  37. Christine M.
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 10:56:20


    Where’s Ridley when we need her? :D

  38. sarah
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 10:59:26

    Yeah, I know, I know. I’m just trying to show the other side of this author from my experience. That’s what friends are for, right? BTW, Emily’s too tiny for big girl pants. Me? I got a whole drawer in lovely cotton. And now I know why… certainly not because I sit on my ass all day writing while sucking down cheese nips :)

  39. Lynnd
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 11:01:52

    @Sarah: Sarah, I think that you and other “fans” of Ms. Griffin and other authors need to understand one thing. As a reader, I will forget negative reviews. I will probably even forget about authors disagree with a negative review. However, I will not forget an author who attacks a reviewer in any fashion and then sicks her posse on that reviewer. When I see this kind of shit happening, I am going to judge the author and I’m going to judge the author very harshly. Even more, when somebody recommends her books to me, I’m going to tell them about what happened and why I will NOT ever buy a book by an author who has done something like this. I don’t care how nice she was to you – this kind of behaviour is WRONG and cannot be supported or justified under any circumstances.

  40. Tamara
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 11:02:09

    @K. Z. Snow:

    I don’t know how she could let one review bring her so far down, when she’s had the kind of success only a small percentage of authors ever experience. I know what insecurity can do to you, even when you do well, but her reaction to it all seems too unkind to chalk up to mere insecurity. :(

  41. Jen
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 11:03:55

    @ Sarah

    Sorry, nope. Emily Griffin’s petty, immature and wholly unprofessional behavior is a completely valid reason not to read her books. I’m glad she’s nice to you, but it doesn’t change what happened. Ms. Griffin isn’t responsible for her fans’ bad behavior or her husbands, but her reactions show she is supportive of them. Heat of the moment actions can be easily forgiven when the person is genuinely sorry. She isn’t. She thinks the reviewer is “enjoying” the harassment.

  42. sarah
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 11:09:44

    @Lynnd: I respect and understand that. After all, I’m a reader, too, and feel likewise. Thanks for the reminder. Really.

  43. Lynnd
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 11:09:45

    @sarah: Actually Sarah, a real friend would tell her to put on her big girl pants and shut the hell up.

  44. Kelly
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 11:11:14


    Two years of work for one BIG week.

    Irrelevant. EVERY successful novelist has the same situation with every book, and it’s NEVER an excuse for meltdowns.

    The pressure sucks especially at Emily’s level.

    Again, irrelevant. She’s been a successful author for YEARS. She knows what to expect and has an extensive support system (e.g., her *ahem* “assistant”) to help her deal with all the *sob* stress *whimper*.

    And, bottom line, the spouses just don’t get the whole public persona thing.

    Again, she’s been a bestselling author for years. She goes on book tours and talk shows. She has a “fan” page on Facebook with 100,000+ followers. And that whole MAJOR FEATURE FILM thing. How could he not understand that making a baseless assumption and calling a reader a psycho would reflect on her brand? If he truly doesn’t understand, it’s her responsibility to educate him, not to egg him on, FFS.

    After posting a self-serving non-apology, she then refused to respond to concerns of threatening phone calls and asks people to remove negative comments from her FB page. AND THEN she posts this:

    Okay. Let’s change the subject. Please. Who do you think should be cast in WHERE WE BELONG?

    If that’s not narcissism fed by an endless supply of sycophants, I don’t know what is.

  45. Cara
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 11:15:19

    @sarah I agree with @Lynnd. In fact, one of my friends promised she would bitchslap me with my keyboard if I even came close to pulling a stunt like Emily’s. That’s a true friend: she protects me from myself.

  46. MrsJoseph
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 11:19:40


    Really?? I have no words.

    While it never happens to authors…I truly wish what happened to Chad Johnson happens to Emily: The loss of all her jobs.

    I just don’t get what makes authors feel they are such special snowflakes that they should get a pass when they go apeshit crazy. The rest of us have to answer for our actions. So should they.

  47. P. Kirby
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 11:23:07

    Wow. Some people have waay too much time on their hands.

    While my husband has been supportive of my writing–dutifully buying and reading my books even though they aren’t his cuppa; proudly showing off the print version of my first book to anyone within a mile–he otherwise stays out of the business end of writing. I doubt he’s ever seen a review, good or bad, of my work. Probably because he has a full time J.O.B. and better things to do. Anyway, if he did pull that kind of crap, I’d smack him into the next decade.

    I can’t imagine bragging on FB about how my husband “defended” me by posting a comment on Amazon. “Ooo! My heeee-ro…can type.” *Snerk* It’s not like he battled a legion of vampires or saved a box of cute kittens from a tentacled demon.

    It’s worth noting that I’ve never heard of Giffin before, but now that I have, I’ll won’t be reading her books.

  48. Jackie Barbosa
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 11:30:29

    @jk: The artist did not provide the author who stole the image with a copy of it. Most likely, the author downloaded a copy of Hawkins’ cover art, deleted the title/author name in PhotoShop or a similar program, then superimposed his own title/name over it. This is incredibly easy to do. And it’s nauseating.

  49. MrsJoseph
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 11:43:42

    @Jackie Barbosa:

    Yep. It’s also not the first time something like this happened. Remember Spiderwork and Harper Collins (I think) trying to reproduce that image?

  50. Maggie
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 11:47:15

    Wait. Is Emily Griffin the one that wrote those books about the nice lawyer and her diva best friend and the nice lawyer sleeps with diva’s fiancee and then in the sequel diva is in London and pregnant or some such?

    I’m too lazy to google and my work blocks wikipedia. I KNOW. Wiki-freaking-pedia.

  51. CC
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 11:47:31


    Giffin knew EXACTLY what she was doing and it was all well and good until it wasn’t. I’ve read all but Heart of the Matter and considered her, before this, very talented and generous with her fans.

    She thought it was funny what was going on even though when she first posted about it on Facebook Monday night, I along with numerous others, told her to tell her husband to knock it off, knowing this was never going to go anywhere. What does she do? She keeps posting about it and how funny it is that her husband and her Facebook friends are taking on reviewers at Amazon. *wink, wink, chuckle chuckle.* Aren’t they so clever?

    Then, she reposts not once, but twice, two links to her assistant’s Facebook link to Amazon where her assistant asks all of her friends and family to get into the link and defend Poor Emily from these attacks. She does this AFTER she says, “I’m not on the Amazon page, but I understand from others that warfare has erupted….can’t we all just get along.”

    Her assistant should be canned and she needs to issue a sincere, heartfelt apology, but evidently that’s beyond her since this is ALL Corey’s fault for changing her original review (from 4 stars to 1 based on Giffin’s bad behavior) and inciting the drama.

    I sincerely hope Dear Author refuses to review or promote her work further. This is cyber-bullying of the worst sort and Giffin encouraged and condoned it, repeatedly.

  52. MrsJoseph
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 11:52:19


    Giffin knew EXACTLY what she was doing and it was all well and good until it wasn’t. I’ve read all but Heart of the Matter and considered her, before this, very talented and generous with her fans.

    She thought it was funny what was going on even though when she first posted about it on Facebook Monday night, I along with numerous others, told her to tell her husband to knock it off, knowing this was never going to go anywhere. What does she do? She keeps posting about it and how funny it is that her husband and her Facebook friends are taking on reviewers at Amazon. *wink, wink, chuckle chuckle.* Aren’t they so clever?

    Then, she reposts not once, but twice, two links to her assistant’s Facebook link to Amazon where her assistant asks all of her friends and family to get into the link and defend Poor Emily from these attacks. She does this AFTER she says, “I’m not on the Amazon page, but I understand from others that warfare has erupted….can’t we all just get along.”

    Her assistant should be canned and she needs to issue a sincere, heartfelt apology, but evidently that’s beyond her since this is ALL Corey’s fault for changing her original review (from 4 stars to 1 based on Giffin’s bad behavior) and inciting the drama.

    I sincerely hope Dear Author refuses to review or promote her work further. This is cyber-bullying of the worst sort and Giffin encouraged and condoned it, repeatedly.

    Quoted For Truth

  53. theo
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 11:55:47

    I might have been living under a rock, but who the H is Emily Giffin?

  54. Sarah
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 11:58:21

    I can’t even put into words how much the Giffin situation sickens me. And I just saw on her FB page that she threatened to sic legal ‘council’ on a former fan who was posting about her disappointment on EG’s wall. The sheer ego of the woman (and her assistant) is appalling.

  55. CC
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 11:58:58

    Emily Giffin is an incredibly successful author with six books under here belt-all of which are NYT bestsellers and one of which has been made into a movie (I’m refusing to name them because this woman should never earn another dime). They’re all about women’s relationships and fall somewhere between chick lit and women’s fiction.

    The sad thing is is that her first two books I loved and have given them repeatedly as gifts. Never again.

  56. K. Z. Snow
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 12:04:16


    No kidding, Mara. We’ve seen similar hissy-fit scenarios played out time and time again by super-popular (not to mention wealthy) authors. The implied lack of humility and gratitude isn’t only stunning, it’s insulting — primarily to readers, but also to fellow authors who aren’t talentless hacks yet are struggling nonetheless.

  57. CK
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 12:09:27

    Guess special-snowflakepathy is not just for self-published authors. I have to say that Giffin asking for her books to be reviewed “fairly and responsibly” is pretty hilarious and the 2012 year in review will require a full week just for all the author related wanks.

  58. CC
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 12:19:21

    Interestingly enough, Giffin has now taken down all of her Facebook and Twitter posts about this debacle even though she once said that she “never” removes posts by her or by others, when asked about people who said some unkind things to her on her Facebook page. Evidently, when it’s inconvenient, she will in fact, take posts down.

  59. Jane
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 12:26:22

    Annnd it is not even a week and Fox News has identified the retired SEAL:

  60. Laura Hunsaker
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 12:31:53

    Corey has a blogpost up now: and in a screen grab from fb Emily Giffin has said it again-that if Corey’s getting harrassing phone calls, she should delete the review. Not report to the police, but delete the review. Nice.

  61. Expy
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 12:33:12

    The reviewer who got the phone call of death threat speaks out:

    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.

  62. Leslie
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 12:36:09

    I can’t believe Giffin took down her Twitter and Facebook pages! What a coward.


    It seems to me that she is unable to “put on her big girl pants”, cuz her ” butt’s gotten to big for her britches.

  63. Ros
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 12:41:35

    @Sarah: The thing is, either she responded in the way she did, knowing how it would make her fans respond. Or she’s really, really dim. So you can pick: nice but dim, or brilliant but bitchy.

  64. Expy
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 12:47:33

    @Angry Robot E-Book Bundling Plan Triples Its Print Sales at a UK Bookstore

    Is this only for UK? I hope the publisher does it for USA too.

  65. Book Harpie
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 12:47:52

    Alas, some authors kill the golden goose. I just had an industry friend say they wouldn’t touch anyone with such a rep. Some publishers like excitement no matter where it comes from. Others, like the company my bud works at, prefer to make their own.

    Tag this as Another Author Acting Badly. (Won’t be buying the book either. I dislike low-class acts)

  66. Susanna Kearsley
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 12:49:00

    The second reviewer (not the one who first posted the completely-non-malicious-all-about-the-book-and-how-the-HECK-could-anyone-consider-that-a-personal-attack one-star review, but the Vine reviewer who downgraded her review from four stars to one because of all the craziness) has posted about the whole thing on her blog, here:

    I’ll apologize to her, if Emily Giffin won’t, on behalf of all authors, because no reader or reviewer should ever have to put up with this. Reviews are readers talking to each other, not to authors, and even if the first review HAD been a personal attack (which it wasn’t–believe me, I’ve had them. I know) an author, IMO, has no place getting involved.

    And for Emily Giffin to actually say: “I can’t be held accountable for strangers” seems disingenuous, as does her statement that “I never told anyone to go on amazon and gang up on reviewers.”

    No, she only brought the matter to the attention of her fans, complete with links, and shared (by both facebook and twitter) her assistant’s post that read: “As Emily’s assistant and friend, I am so angry right now…I am asking you to read this post and the comments under it and defend her against these attacks”, along with a direct link to the second reviewer’s review, and her own (Giffin’s) personal endorsement above: “Still refuse to go on amazon, but thank you, Kate :(”

    Emily Giffin might not have told her fans in so many words to gang up on reviewers, but her assistant sure did. And sharing that post in the way that she did was like unleashing the hounds and pointing. It doesn’t matter whose voice actually said “Sic ’em”, in that instance. If the dogs attack someone, even if you can’t be legally held to account, you ought to at least FEEL accountable for it.

    So senseless.

  67. CC
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 13:01:11

    @Ros: She’s definitely in the latter category. She’s a graduate of Wake Forest and University of Virginia law school (which at one time, was a top 5 law school). Giffin knew exactly what she was doing when she did it.

    The sad thing is that for every 10 of us who told her this was unacceptable behavior, she had probably 30-40 Facebook friends who were saying, “Yeah, give it to ’em. They don’t know what they’re talking about. You’re the best author EVER,” which was clearly missing the point.

  68. From the sidelines
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 13:07:07

    When the USS Vinson pulled into a port near me, I signed up for the public tour. The military personnel who lead the tour were eager to teach the public about the Navy, but they were also very clear about the Vinson’s support of the bin Laden mission, “We cannot discuss it for operational security.” I am surprised that a Navy Seal, even one who is now retired, would expose any element of that mission. The Seals are a tight knit group, on and off duty, active duty and retired. Yet is seems one bad apple has rolled away from the barrel. I don’t care if the proceeds from the book will benefit military families, the publisher still profits from sensitive information. Our enemies benefits from the sensitive information.

    Emily Griffin’s behavior is baffling. Surely she and hubby have better things to do with their time than harass a single reviewer. If they don’t, then I suggest they sign up for community service at a women’s shelter to see the effects of abuse. Even more baffling is the legion of fans who have joined the harassment. Somehow they missed out of life lessons such as “think for yourselves” and “think before you leap”.

  69. K. Z. Snow
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 13:13:30

    @Susanna Kearsley:

    . . . for Emily Giffin to actually say: “I can’t be held accountable for strangers” seems disingenuous, as does her statement that “I never told anyone to go on amazon and gang up on reviewers.”

    Not “seems” but is. This is similar to a politician trying to distance her/himself from some PAC that’s funding offensive ads in support of that politician. It’s far better to repudiate, immediately and firmly, than simply hold up one’s hands to show how unstained they are.

  70. SueCCCP
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 13:17:37

    I saw a post about the Emily Griffin affair yesterday and I went straight to the Amazon page and reported her husband’s comment, and several of the others, as offensive because of their tone towards the reviewer. I hope that others did as well, and that we got the comment deleted, although the harm has been done already. I was truly appalled by the number of people saying that they wanted a husband like that! :(

  71. CC
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 13:23:13

    @SueCCCP: Her husband’s comments were promptly deleted by Amazon which probably would have at least quieted the problem. But then her assistant got involved and started telling Corey and everyone else in the thread what a terrible thing Corey had done and how everyone just loves Emily – she even went so far as to repost some sappy email that Giffin received from a fan about how awesome she is. (Corey originally said she was turned off by Giffin lamenting that she’s six for six in the NYT list, but can’t get above #2 -wouldn’t so many others love to have THAT problem?).

    IMO, her assistant really screwed the pooch and Emily was rooting her on the whole time by reposting her assistant’s links.

    That said, on Amazon, her husband did apologize late last night and said both he and Giffin’s assistant wouldn’t be posting in the thread any longer. A little too little, a little too late…

  72. Kate L
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 13:33:17

    Wow. I was completely in-the-dark about all this, so thanks for posting about it and for opening this forum to this discussion.

    The bullying that the reviewer has been the target of is offensive and wrong. But here’s the part that gives me the chills. It could’ve been me. I buy all my books, and, I have given 1 or 2 stars on Amazon and Goodreads in the past (not much but I have). I’ve posted on fan boards or in comments sections like this one. Some to my favorite authors too. But no longer. I would love to tell you’all that these cyber-bullying events won’t change my practices, but they will. I’m going to leave the reviewing and posting of ratings up to bloggers I trust and rely on.

  73. Emily
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 14:16:28

    One my heart goes out to all the fans of Emily Griffin NOT engaging in this kind of behavior. It makes me sad and I have never read one of these books. I imagine sane fans of the author who enjoyed the books are extremely upset. I would be devastated if I woke up one morning and my favorite writer was misbehaving like this. I think Griffin owes all her fans an apology. Maybe the reviewers can sue for emotional distress.

    I reserve judgement on the Navy Seal project until I know more.

  74. Courtney Milan
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 14:37:00


    She’s a graduate of Wake Forest and University of Virginia law school (which at one time, was a top 5 law school). Giffin knew exactly what she was doing when she did it.

    This is not to imply anything about Giffin in particular (I’m fairly certain that she knew, or at least should have known, since she was explicitly told this could End Badly), but I have known far too many graduates from top law schools who are fundamentally underclued in some vital respect to imagine that a degree from a top school means anything other than having successfully untangled the Rule Against Perpetuities.

    (And I count myself in the numbers of people who are in some vital respect fundamentally underclued.)

  75. CC
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 14:43:45

    @CourtneyMilan: Point taken, but after seeing how she uses social media for the last three years or so, maybe it should have been better for me to say that she knows and understands exactly the power and influence she wields via the internet.

  76. Lidna Hilton
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 15:07:22

    One of my very few absolutes is hereby reinforced: Authors, never never never NEVER respond to reader-reviewers for any reason whatsofuckingever unless you are explicitly invited to do so. There is no such thing as an implied invitation, and there is never ever any reason for an author to butt in. I don’t care how mean or wrong or stupid the review or the reviewer is, it can’t possibly be mean or wrong or stupid enough to make a complete ass of yourself over it. Just. Don’t. Do. It. EVER.

  77. library addict
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 15:26:05

    Sadly, I doubt Emily Giffin’s sales will actually suffer from this fiasco. The other NYT Best Selling authors-behaving-badly still routinely make the list. The “true” fans still buy their books and I suspect many readers are never even aware the authors did what they did.

    Having grown up as a military brat, I agree there are things military members are not supposed to talk about much less write a book about.

    I suppose I should be glad I had no clue that was Snooki. Then again, the only thing I’ve seen her in was that horrible book video with the women at her publisher dressing up and I’ve managed to block that from my mind.

  78. Michelle
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 15:31:01

    She will probably post that since people are being so mean and unfair to her that it is her fans duty to buy 2-3 copies of her books to make up for lost readers, and the dimwits will probably do so.

    (By dimwits I mean the fans that were leaving harassing calls and messages, not the other fans)

  79. Lynnd
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 15:44:12

    @Courtney Milan: I blame the Rule Against Perpetuities for the majority of my undercluedness (and the fact that in my practice I have to continue to actually consider it on a regular basis doesn’t help). As Courtney said, all that getting into and graduating from a top law school means is that you were a really good student. It does not say anything about whether said student has any common sense.

  80. Susan
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 15:53:15

    I, too, am really perplexed by the SEAL’s motives. Yeah, he’ll get some quick cash and notoriety. But while many SEALs have healthy egos, most aren’t publicity whores. I really have to think there are going to be some serious repercussions for him w/ his SEAL buds. Maybe he’s got some kind of axe to grind with the other guys or the organization. None of this puts him in a good light to me.

    And Emily Giffin? I’ve got two of her (“real” PB) books in my TBR. I’m seriously thinking I need to just toss them in the dumpster. I’m not going to read them at this point, and I won’t give them to anyone else to read. I’m sure she couldn’t care less that she’s lost a reader, but it might make me feel better.

    Giffen’s the big cheese in this scenario so the burden’s on her to make things right rather than giggling about it, redirecting blame, or changing the subject. I really doubt that’s going to happen, tho. She, Mr. Emily, and the dopey assistant just look like right arses.

    The news today was a real downer, wasn’t it?

  81. sarah
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 16:00:29

    Ugh. I had no idea about most of this when I wrote the post above. I’d just read about the unfortunate exchanges between her husband and a reviewer on Amazon. I had no idea about a phoned-in death threat. This leaves me so depressed because, as I stated earlier, Emily’s been so very nice to me on a personal level and to other authors, too. Extremely supportive.

    I’ve published fifteen books, some better than others. Many (especially the last in a mystery series I wrote) have been “thrown across the room.” God only knows what else since I tend not to go hunting. Most veteran authors like me realize bad reviews are part of the territory and would never ever engage in this type of alleged behavior so for heaven’s sake don’t let this have a chilling effect on your reviews. (Not that I see too many people being chilled here.)

    I apologize for shooting off my mouth before I researched. And I second Susanna Kearsley’s general apology to the threatened reviewer. You guys are right. This was over the top and unacceptable and I was wrong to dismiss it as nothing.

  82. Alicia
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 16:39:20

    I was uneasy about this book from the former SEAL as well, but when I heard it was coming out on September 11th it just made me want to wretch. That makes his motives really clear to me.

    I can’t believe this Giffen thing is still going. The worst is that she puts the blame for Corey getting harassing phone calls on her leaving her Amazon post up. I don’t see her taking any sort of responsibility for her part in this. And the only apology given, by the husband about his response to the first review that she keeps pointing to as if that assuages everything, didn’t make much sense to me. If Giffen was being harassed I would have expected whatever set him off to actually look like continued harassment. Not one of the most mild negative reviews I’ve seen in a long time.

    @Courtney Milan:

    I have known far too many graduates from top law schools who are fundamentally underclued in some vital respect to imagine that a degree from a top school means anything other than having successfully untangled the Rule Against Perpetuities.

    So true. I swear I dealt with more people lacking basic common sense in law school than anywhere else. And I used to work in the government.

  83. Robin/Janet
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 16:42:07


    And I just saw on her FB page that she threatened to sic legal ‘council’ on a former fan who was posting about her disappointment on EG’s wall.

    Does anyone have a screencap of this?

  84. Kelly
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 16:45:32


    Could you maybe offer Ms. Giffin and friends a few pointers in how to deal with negative feedback? You seem to have a much better idea of what the concept of “apology” means.

    And it totally sucks that she’s losing the respect of her author network as well. Thanks to you and Ms. Kearsley and zillion other fab authors for your support for readers.

  85. Alicia
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 17:03:49

  86. KZoeT
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 17:05:45

    My Book Goggles reported on the Giffin fiasco and Giffan’s husband promptly showed up in the comments along with several Giffin fans to congratulate him on sticking up for his wife.

    Wasn’t there a self-published author whose husband attacked reviewers on Amazon not too long ago? Seems terribly familiar…

  87. Eliane
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 17:10:16

    You should include how Emily moaned and whined about coming 2nd and not 1st on NYT.

  88. RebeccaJ
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 17:12:21

    The SEAL has already been identified….that didnt’ take but five seconds.

  89. Leslie
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 17:16:21
    I love that the “Reviewer Attacks” have made it to her wiki page!

  90. Leslie
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 17:24:19

    @Jane: Karen Hawkings. Just noticed.

  91. Leslie
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 18:00:55

    Katherine Hawkings.

  92. Ros
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 18:01:54

    @Michelle: I wish I could think you were wrong about that, but sadly it seems all too likely. Gah.

  93. Ann Somerville
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 18:15:20

    I don’t believe for a second it’s the husband posting that crap. Nor do I believe Giffin doesn’t and hasn’t read her Amazon reviews. I bet she has Google alerts on and subscribes to every thread remotely about her.

    And I really don’t believe she’s ‘nice’ or ‘sweet’ in the slightest.

    One thing for sure, you know she’s hit rock bottom when the STGRB crew (consisting of one horrible person and her million socks) defend her. Way to ruin your reputation in 24 hours of unrelenting temper tantrums.

    On the outing of the Navy SEAL’s identity, this blogger believes it’s Murdoch/Fox’s way of spiking the gun:

    If the Murdochites thought there was any chance whatsoever that this book contains revelations harmful to the president’s reelection chances, the name would not have been revealed — and, in fact, the Murdoch media would have attacked the patriotism of anyone who revealed the SEAL’s name….I assume this book makes Obama look good — thus it thwarts efforts to discredit the bin Laden killing by Fox-friendly wingnuts like Richard Miniter, Ed Klein, and the birther-led SEALs who are trying to Swift-boat Obama. This is Murdoch’s vengeance.

  94. Nikki
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 18:19:39

    Yet that same social media that you wish would disappear is probably what helped to propel book sales. Catch 22. Don’t bite the hand that feeds you. She should be grateful that the reviewer, be it a positive or negative review, spent the $ on her book and is filling her pockets. A classier move would have been to take the high road, perhaps offer a refund when it started spinning out of control? No need to engage and enrage.


  95. past fan of DA
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 18:21:29

    I miss when book websites were about books.

    Watched this Griffin thing go down. Shame on her husband, but I didn’t see her chortling over it. I saw her being honest about it, saying she doesn’t condone and in fact discourages the behavior. Looks to me like she kept a light tone about it which is common way of some people coping with things that they are upset about, especially when they are public figures, as getting all worked up over it would have likely resulted in worse for her and not acknowledging it at all would have led her to been attacked for different reasons.

    If authors have to be responsible for every relative, fan, etc, that’s pretty unfair. Looks like another witch hunt. Bloggers with crappy website traffic get bored and so go on the prowl for someone to attack. Generally successful authors whose fame they envy in an unhealthy way.

  96. Jane
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 18:31:19

    @past fan of DA: Thanks for your input. Obviously there can be different interpretations of many things.

  97. Allie
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 18:49:04

    “Bloggers with crappy website traffic get bored and so go on the prowl for someone to attack.”


  98. Robin/Janet
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 18:49:51

    Justine Larbalestier changed her mind about responding to author meltdowns after Giffin-gate:

    @Alicia: Thanks. I am hoping someone was able to screencap it, so we can see the exact language.

  99. Meoskop
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 18:53:22

    @past fan of DA: Why is it always “y’all are just JEALOUS!” Because really, are we six? When faced with the (un)intended consequences of her actions her comments were still about suppressing the negative reviews.

    It is not lighthearted to respond to the knowledge that someone has been threatened on your behalf with “Well, they should delete their review”. If you believe it happened or not, if you think the person is making it up or not, the response is still far from light hearted. I think it is important to know what my purchases support. I don’t eat at Chick-fil-A and I don’t read Emily Giffin.

  100. Alicia
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 19:02:50

    @past fan of DA:

    If authors have to be responsible for every relative, fan, etc, that’s pretty unfair.

    I don’t think anyone believes that an author should be responsible for what family, employees, and fans do. (Outside of preemptively imploring them not to respond to negative reviews and comments.) It’s the way they respond to it that matters. From what I saw myself and those screencaps, Giffin applauded her husband’s actions and posted a link to the Amazon review telling people they could ‘go look at it’, which was really not even a subtle ‘go attack!’ She then did it again when her assistant started going after Corey. That is not how you respond to the bad behavior of those connected to you. When she finally gave a half-hearted plea for her followers not to attack negative reviewers it was already far too little too late. She wasn’t a bystander in this fiasco (if you believe it wasn’t her posting in the first place) and she could have done plenty to attempt to ameliorate the situation instead of fanning the flames. That is why people have a problem.

    I’m not sure if you’ve noticed but this story has blown up since yesterday. It’s all over the place and considering all the blow ups we’ve seen this year, STGRB, and the fact someone got phone calls at her home telling her to “kill herself” this is a relevant story (as is any author treating readers like this) and not a “witch hunt” orchestrated by ‘bored, jealous(!) bloggers with crappy website traffic.’

    @Robin/Janet: I do, too. I keep hoping a screencap will pop up in the comments on one of these posts.

  101. Courtney
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 19:05:19

    @Allie: For what it’s worth, I emailed Jane about this early yesterday morning, pacific time, because I was so appalled by Giffin and didn’t realize that Dear Author had already tweeted about it. This was after Monday night when I told her in her Facebook posts that no matter how upset her husband was, that engaging a reviewer couldn’t go anywhere good.
    I’m not a blogger with any website traffic, nor am I “jealous” of her success. I’ve always enjoyed her books before this, some much more than others, but thought she was great on Facebook – funny, witty, etc.

    Today, I “defriended” her on Facebook on her personal page and “unliked” her Fans page because I think this whole situation is beyond the pale. Will it affect her bottom line? I doubt it. There are thousands of people who will never know about it and there were plenty telling her yesterday that her husband was right on and jumped on Amazon to bash some poor person who wrote a 1 star review.

    But unprofessional, deplorable behavior like this needs to be called out. Ignoring it is implicitly condoning it. I applaud Dear Author and other bloggers who bring this attention to readers.

  102. Ann Somerville
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 19:09:42


    So first Giffin accuses Corey of being an attention whore. Now Dougie Brimson is doing his best to cast Corey as a liar about the phonecalls thing for publicity,

    (Notice the repeated calls by other users for evidence, but they call in vain. Brimson was also asked for proof of his defamatory assertions about various forum users on Amazon, and about the ‘Review Mafia’ there, but he studiously refuses to sink to the level of, ya know, providing any.)

    Then an anonytroll claims DA is so desperate for traffic that they “go on the prowl for someone to attack”.

    Gee, the real person looking for attention wouldn’t be an author with a book to sell who’s desperate to reach #1 on the NYT Best selling list, would it?

  103. Sirius
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 19:15:20

    I just want to say something else in vain hope that maybe when next time another author would want to have a meltdown, they may keep that in mind. I know, I know, but one can dream, right? Before all of that happened, if I were to go and check out the reviews for Mrs. Griffin’s book to decide whether I would want to buy it, do you know how much attention I would have paid to the review which was changed to talk about author’s behavior? That would be zero. I would never ever dream about telling anybody how to write their reviews, but review of the *book* which talks about the author instead is useless to me. I ignore those, I also ignore those reviews who attacks those who loved the books, those who hate the books, etc, etc. Thats *my* choice as a reader and I am sticking to it pretty firmly. But when you the author instead unleash your fans on the reviewer and sneer over the threats she received on her phone, of course my sympathy will be with the person who now has crazies after her in her RL because she had a nerve to write a negative review.

    Authors, think about giving your readers some credit, please. Warnings about your already assinine behavior is something I may or may not ignore, really depends on the behavior, but as far as I am concerned I am not looking for those warnings in the reviews and but for your harassment of those reviewers would not ever paid attention to them.

    The most ironic thing in all of this of course that the first review had no personal attack in it whatsoever, just calm, rational reasonable reasons why she disliked the book.

    And calling that reviewer a “psycho” (any reviewer!) just makes me so angry.

    Just to stress – I am all for warning the readers about authors’ meltdowns, I do not think they should be ignored *at all* and thank DA for that.


    I just realized something – consider me dim after working day. Had the first reviewer not been attacked, the second may not have changed her review at all. So no matter how you look at it, the author has nobody but herself and her husband to blame IMO. My main point however remains the same, if the first review contained any sort of attack against the author’s personality, unrelated to her writing, I would have ignored it.

    Anyway, authors do not be stoopid. Sigh.

  104. DS
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 19:26:04

    I’ve been hanging around here since 2006? 2007? Any way it was near the start and I don’t remember this place ever being a placid, just review the books and don’t stir up any controversy place. Are we talking about the same blog Former Fan?

  105. Stephani Hecht
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 20:01:40

    So, Fox News claims to know who the book writing SEAL is? *snort* Fox news is such a mess, I’d believe an article from the Onion before I buy anything Fox new spouts.

  106. Turophile
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 20:10:13

    I’ve never been able to make it through a Giffin book because they seemed to focus on cheating and make it seem okay. Not my cup of tea. Now I’m disappointed I bought one (at least it wasn’t full price). Such undignified and inappopriate behavior.

  107. brandy
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 20:34:55

    I am absolutely appalled at the author shenanigans that have been going on this year. This is the first I’ve commented on the situation, though I’ve been following it for months. I’ve been keeping a mental list of authors to avoid, but I think I’m to the point where I need to DO something. I think that something is getting over my reluctance about reviewing, as well as posting links to blog posts like this one just like I share deals and book-related news stories with my friends.

    And I have to say that if I were a fan, this particular author’s constant cries of “VALIDATE MEEEEEEEEEEE” on her Facebook and Twitter would have lost me as a fan way before this debacle ever had a chance to take place. Good Lord, I don’t have the energy to support that kind of ego with my loved ones much less an author who thinks whining about not having a high enough spot on the published bestseller lists is perfectly acceptable.

    I’ll stick to authors like Ms. Milan, Ms. Kane, and Ms Kearsley, who have repeatedly behaved with class these recent months. I have been to their websites, blogs, Facebook pages, and/or Twitter accounts to check into the status of their next release. It’s amazing, really, the difference between the “look at my book cover” type posts on Griffin’s page, and, say Kearsley’s. One made me want to look up a backlist title I’d somehow not heard of; the other had me hearing MadTV’s Stuart in my head. I’ll let you guess which was which.

    @past fan of DA:

    If authors have to be responsible for every relative, fan, etc, that’s pretty unfair. Looks like another witch hunt.

    She publicly commented that her husband was making these comments and posted links to the location of the review. She posted repeatedly about it, effectively lending her support by not saying she thought he was doing wrong. She should absolutely be held responsible for that.

    There’s certainly some witchy behavior going on here, but it ain’t hunting.

  108. K. Z. Snow
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 21:52:39

    @Stephani Hecht: Everything Fox professes to “know” is warped by their conservative agenda. I even question their weather reports. But the Onion? Gospel truth, Steph. ;-)

  109. Wahoo Suze
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 22:19:22

    Yeah, this blog was always so calm and bland, and everybody just hung around singing Kumbaya, until that rotten *founder* of the blog went and behaved the exact same way she always has and ruined everyone’s fun. O_o

  110. jmc
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 22:20:20

    On YA book packaging, Alloy was also responsible for the Travelling Pants series…which is dated now, but was pretty big back pre-sparkly vampires and the ensuing PNR-YA craze.

  111. Anon
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 22:53:24

    All network news these days is biased. And those warped people at Fox are burying CNN and MSNBC in ratings in a way TV news has not seen in years. I prefer non biased news and don’t watch any of the above networks…just like I stay away from actors, singers, and authors who get into politics too much.

  112. Ann Somerville
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 23:48:31

    Corey now reports that Giffin’s publicist has been in touch by email and in a second message, offered an apology. However there’s been no contact or apology from Giffin herself unless you count the now deleted comment on Facebook (which I don’t.) Giffin is, according to updates on Corey’s post here is making passive agressive Facebook comments which are sending more negative comments Corey’s way. To quote Grosse Point Blank, ” I don’t hear any real remorse, dude.”

    Brava to Corey for trying to make something good out of the situation too:

    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).

  113. Jen
    Aug 24, 2012 @ 01:35:58

    Dear Everyone here at DA,

    Thank-you for steering the conversation of the whole Griffin mess with intelligence and cool(ish) discussion. For whatever reason, I’ve gotten sucked into the vortex of this story, reading all the posts here and following the links. The further a field I went following this story, I noticed the more flammable the conversation became. So with all the shaking of heads at poor judgment by the Griffin camp, I want to add a small applause to everyone here who thinks before they write and owns the responsibility of the impact of their words.

    Now I am putting both this story AND myself to bed.

  114. KarenH.
    Aug 24, 2012 @ 01:38:41

    @past fan of DA: What part of the title “Dear Author” suggested to you that the posts here would never be about, you know, authors?

  115. Sarah N.
    Aug 24, 2012 @ 03:15:10

    There is no excuse for Emily Giffin’s behavior. Excuses are what got her this deep into this mess. People can try to spin it all they like and they can try to perceive her intentions on what she wrote, but the fact of the matter is that she is not handling it in an appropriate manner. I’m not a novelist. I’m sure their lives are perfectly hard and stressful, but guess what? My life sucks too. So do most people’s lives in some way or another. Stress is never an excuse. When it comes up that your friends are being dicks, remind them not to be dicks. If you have a wide fanbase, that means tweeting some general reminder about appropriate decorum. Yes, not letting the stress and hurt get to you might be hard, but suck it the hell up, Emily Giffin.

    Giffin’s behavior is something that gets under my skin, because I see this complete inability to handle being called out all the time in RL as an activist (LGBT+ and accessibility for chronic illnesses) and it’s annoying. It’s petty, childish, and always annoying.

  116. RebeccaJ
    Aug 24, 2012 @ 07:13:21

    I thought it was interesting that when her husband (and she stated) said she never reads her reviews but every time she got on line this “one negative review kept popping up”. How does that happen if one isn’t googling oneself? And how can you have THOUSANDS of FB fans and yet allow ONE negative review to get your panties in a wad?! I don’t care if it was her husband, he should have kept his nose out of it and accepted what mature people have known since the dawn of time–NOT EVERYONE is going to like you.

  117. Courtney
    Aug 24, 2012 @ 10:23:51

    I’m sure Giffin’s publicist is trying to do damage control, but the inability to state upfront: “This never should have happened in the first place,” renders all subsequent conduct meaningless, IMO.

  118. CC
    Aug 24, 2012 @ 10:29:51

    Corey’s original review at Amazon is nowhere to be found for WWB. Did her publicist convince Amazon to pull it? Or is this a case where Amazon pulled it because of the death threats? Anyone know?

  119. Mireya
    Aug 24, 2012 @ 10:33:32

    @past fan of DA: (1) if you were a fan of DA, you’d know the sort of traffic the DA blog gets. That’s strike #1; (2) if you were a fan of DA, you would not be making dramatic exits, as you would have realized long ago that no one gives a damn about them. That’s strike #2; (3) if you were a fan of DA, you would not be condoning the author condoning her sycophants by not making a statement clearly demanding that they stopped their harassment of a reviewer. That’s strike #3; (4) if you were a fan of DA, you would not be using the very juvenile, outdated, and unnoriginal argument that they are jealous bloggers. They have no reason to be and you would know this if you were a regular here. See point (1) above. They get more traffic here than the vast majority of authors (even the very popular ones) do get on a single day. That’s strike #5.

    An author not being able to control an overzealous relative it’s understandable. However, at no point in time the author said “please stop making harassing/threatening calls to the reviewer. That is unacceptable and you can’t call yourself my fan if you resort to that sort of disgusting behavior.” or something along those lines. She CONDONES her rabid fans’ lunatic behavior and encourages it as well. That is in the eyes of many readers like myself, abhorrent. Obviously, not everyone agrees with this POV.

    On a side note, how long have you been a fan of DA… all of 2 seconds?

  120. CC
    Aug 24, 2012 @ 10:34:22

    Ignore my prior question about the removal of Corey’s review on Amazon. I see from Corey’s blog that Amazon removed it. I hope they did so because of the death threats (which makes sense to me) and not because Giffin’s publisher flexed its muscle.

  121. Dee
    Aug 24, 2012 @ 11:30:46


    you can apparently still access the review if you have the link, it just isn’t available on the book page

  122. Des Livres
    Aug 24, 2012 @ 11:37:30

    Never heard of Giffin or read her books, but reading this news item, I really really wanted to post a rude review on Amazon. (I haven’t, being, like, over the age of 12)

    Luckily for me none of my autobuy authors have engaged in this sort of thing/Facebook wails. What a dilemma for those who love those authors’ books.

    I’m always stunned when people who have actually practised law carry on ridiculously- less so when law graduates do.

    I’m wondering about the legal options the reviewer would have. I hope she has gone to the police. This situation makes me wonder about the state of torts/crimes of conspiracy and incitement in the USA/particular States. (aside from straight harassment/apprehended violence etc.) Upset authors/ entourages need to remember that there might be disagreeable repercussions when they Wail Loudly, all documented immaculately all over the internet. And isn’t there something unique to the USA about 2 + crimes committed by related parties in different jurisdictions? It all stinks of massive legal risk to me. No wonder publishers would be wrinkling their Brows.

  123. MrsJoseph
    Aug 24, 2012 @ 13:41:31

    OMG. There needs to be a new reality TV show: “When Husbands Attack: The Amazon Edition”

    And now Victoria Foyt’s husband writes a 5 star review in which he insults Weird Tales Mag and any reviewer who dislikes his wife’s book and compares it all to McCarthy Communism era witch hunts:

  124. CC
    Aug 24, 2012 @ 14:14:20

    @MrsJoseph-Your reality show title is some funny stuff.

    I would love to know what, if any, reaction there’s been from Giffin’s publisher. I think somewhere above it says that Corey was contacted by her publicist who belatedly issued an apology. Where was he when all of this was going down? He’s BFFs with her (according to EG) on Facebook. Did he not see what was going on with Giffin and her assistant or did he not care until there was public backlash outside of Facebook?

  125. azteclady
    Aug 24, 2012 @ 19:45:17

    This kind of behaviour is exactly why people keep updating the “authors I’ll never buy/read/recommend” lists/shelves. How else is a person supposed to keep track of the batshit crazy, I ask you?

  126. Anne V
    Aug 24, 2012 @ 20:17:53

    @azteclady: It’s kind of killing me how I’ve now got those further broken down into “bullies and/or encourages bullying of reader community”, “does not believe in copyediting”, “does not believe in any editing”. I’m wicked homesick for the days of “cannot stay awake while reading”

  127. riga
    Aug 25, 2012 @ 16:48:19

    @Des Livres: Don’t be surprised about anyone with a graduate degree carrying one like this. I’ve long been convinced that, for every bit of knowledge they acquire there, they lose an equivalent amount of common sense. I have an uncle who was a senior engineer for General Dynamics during the seventies and eighties and into the nineties, worked with NASA types, largely. The man can barely manage to open a door without knocking himself flat on the floor. And it ain’t his age that’s the problem.

  128. C.A.
    Aug 25, 2012 @ 17:37:50

    Let’s see: husband of author calls someone a “psycho” because she wrote a mildly negative review — and does so not from an anonymous account, but from one that’s attached to his wife’s name. Expected outrage ensues and husband pretends that he was just trying to defend his wife. Sorry, I’m not buying it. If anything, it seems to me this guy is trying to sabotage his wife’s book — and I’m pretty sure he’s managed to turn off quite a few readers.

  129. Des Livres
    Aug 25, 2012 @ 21:31:42


    Some of the most useless people I’ve ever met have been top-level graduates.

  130. Ann Somerville
    Aug 26, 2012 @ 02:23:52

    Isn’t it adorable how this thread has gone from condemning Emily Giffen and spouse for batshittery to slamming people with higher education qualifications, based on a bunch of anecdata and personal prejudice.

    I love the smell of anti-intellectualism in the morning.

    Speaking of leaping to conclusions without a net, our dear friend, Carroll Bryant (who doesn’t appear to be able to blame his utter lack of shame, decency or self-preservation on an education) is at it again:

    So here are the bullies for all of you to see. People who have attacked me and continue to do so by rating and reviewing my books without even reading them. You can find them on Goodreads and proof that not only are these people bullies, but you can’t trust them to give you a fair evaluation of a book. Please note, none of these people who have rated my books and reviewed them that are listed on this post (or the link provided below) have even bothered to read the books. They just hate me because they are haters. And bullies. And not the brightest bulbs in the house.

    Selected bon mots from the infamous list (2):

    “STEPHANIE SINCLAIR has placed my books in a shelf she created called ‘yeah-aint-gonna-happen’. At least she isn’t trying to pretend that she read it, just making it publicly obvious that she is a hater and a bully. Sweet. But again, someone who has not read any of my books so, why rate and review, right? Oh, wait, that’s right, she’s a bully. That’s a bully’s job.”

    “EBONY marked it as ‘never-in-a-million-years’. She didn’t say a thing about a million and one years though. So there is hope.”

    And, of course, the last resort of the coward – calling for the revenge of the internet lawyer:

    “JENNYJEN – says “Not for me due to reviews”. This is what my lawyer says is proof of “damages” caused by this bullying.”

    Get it while it’s hot – Mr Bryant has a habit of deleting posts when they attract too much unfavourable attention, and he’s already getting snippy with a couple of anons in comments. Screencapped it all though.

  131. Carroll Bryant
    Aug 26, 2012 @ 11:28:40

    As an author, I have absolutely no problem with a reader giving my work a one star rating or unfavorable review. It is (and always has been) my position that a paying customer has the right to let others know what “they” think of my work. I also realize that not everything I do, writing books or songs, is going to resonate with everybody. I’m just realistic that way. The problem I do have with readers is when they rate and review a book they never read. Or, instead of reviewing the book, they trash the author, or trash the book because of the author. (But mostly when they never read the book)

    If you were to go to my profile on Goodreads and look at the reviews of my books, you will see hundreds and hundreds of bad reviews by people who never even read my book. None of these people even read my book. I know this because, they said they would never read my book because they dislike me for some reason. Also, because they never get into details about what it is specific they didn’t like about the book. Their reviews are generic. Still, I have no problem with anyone who reads my books and didn’t like it. I wouldn’t know why any author would be upset about an honest review/opinion. The keyword here of course is “honest”. I learn more about how to be a better writer by the negative reviews more so than the good ones. Although, good ones are great too. LOL Peace and love to all.

  132. Ridley
    Aug 26, 2012 @ 20:26:12

    @Ann Somerville:

    Isn’t it adorable how this thread has gone from condemning Emily Giffen and spouse for batshittery to slamming people with higher education qualifications, based on a bunch of anecdata and personal prejudice.

    I love the smell of anti-intellectualism in the morning.

    It’s just their insecurity showing. Also see: America.

    (and can we get a hush on CB before replies to him derail the thread?)

  133. Ann Somerville
    Aug 26, 2012 @ 20:51:23


    “before replies to him derail the thread?”

    I think people have wisely decided not to touch the cray cray all on their own.

  134. Anon
    Aug 26, 2012 @ 21:05:50

    I might take this more seriously if the blog post didn’t start by referring to the fact that she’s pretty and married. Really, Mean Girls? If she were ugly, fat and single would this be more forgiveable? FWIW, there is no “there” there – her husband said something dumb, she failed to ignore it.

    The dogpile says way, way more about the pilers on than it does about Giffin.
    And FWIW I don’t like her book at all. After the first two, IMO, they were all downhill.

  135. Daniela
    Aug 26, 2012 @ 21:14:29

    Kudos to Corey for taking an extremely unpleasant situation and turning it into something positive, by making a donation to the Megan Meier Foundation. She has demonstrated more class and integrity than everyone on Camp Giffin put together.

  136. Ann Somerville
    Aug 26, 2012 @ 21:32:25


    “if the blog post didn’t start by referring to the fact that she’s pretty and married. ”

    I figure one pretty married woman can remark on another pretty married woman, especially when that pretty married woman likes to pretend to be such a goshdarned Nice Person ™ when she’s just a heinous bitch down in the gutter with the rest of us ugly fat women (thanks for the gratuitous fat-shaming there, by the way.)

    “her husband said something dumb, she failed to ignore it.”

    Your selective editing of events says way, way more about you than it does about DA. Let’s forget that *Emily* – not the husband, not the assistant – was the one fanning the flames on *her* Facebook and sending her fans over to Amazon to abuse reviewers. (The fans would have been unaware of the husband’s trolling if Giffin hadn’t drawn attention to it like a proud mother showing everyone her kid’s fingerpainting.) She was the one saying Corey was looking for drama, and saying if she didn’t want to receive threatening phonecalls, she should take down her review (which is ‘the short skirt in a dark alley’ argument if ever I heard it.)

    Buried Comment (Reason: personal)   Show

    But it takes a lot of courage to come over to a blog and yell at people behind an Anon name for not being nice, so hurrah for you.[\shush]

  137. Anon
    Aug 26, 2012 @ 22:01:25

    @Ann Somerville:

    Buried Comment (Reason: ad hominem and condescending)   Show

    Not yelling at anyone, dear, just disagreeing – is that not allowed here? But maybe you’re using humour to illustrate that a complete inability to handle disagreement in a sane fashion is not unique to Giffin, in which case, I doff my anonymous hat to you.[\shush]

  138. Has
    Aug 26, 2012 @ 22:12:05


    It doesn’t really matter if she was attractive or not – she had no issues or qualms in directing the wrath of her fans on those reviewers which started off this dog-pile right? And if Giffin cannot handle criticism or a backlash because of her stance on this whole blowup then she shouldn’t be writing or linking bad reviews to her readers to start off this shit storm. Most authors have learned to develop a thick skin if she’s too fragile then she’s in the wrong business. One rule for people selling their products – don’t piss off your customers.

  139. AlexaB
    Aug 27, 2012 @ 10:03:54

    Sigh. Add Gillian Bagwell to the list of authors who feel it is their right to dictate how readers should give reviews. See her Facebook posts from Sunday, August 26.

    She’s using as her “proof” an e-publishing website article that provides no sources, no statistics, to back up its assertions that three star and below reviews “hurt” an author (do they come to the author’s house and punch him/her in the arm?) nor does the article even remotely explain Amazon’s algorithms and how star ratings factor into them. I’m assuming the article means the Amazon recommendation engine algorithm, but it was my understanding that was driven by sales rather than ratings – and it is also my understanding that no one outside Amazon really knows what goes into the constantly changing algorithm in the first place.

    Maybe bad reviews do factor into Amazon’s secret sauce, but I’m not going to take this article as proof. And in a world where all reviews are 4 or 5 stars, what purpose do reviews serve? They become meaningless. And readers will find other venues to winnow the chaff if Amazon, Goodreads, etc. turn into all shill, all the time.

    Besides, I didn’t realize it was my responsibity as a reader to ensure the author stays employed. Silly me thought that was the author’s responsibility – to produce the best work possible that engages readers. (Although if an author sends attack fans after readers, I don’t care how good the book is – I’m not buying it.)

  140. Courtney
    Aug 27, 2012 @ 14:24:38

    When I read Jane’s entry about the “pretty, happily married, successful Emily Giffin,” it was a benign description to start off the post. Giffin is pretty, she is successful, and is by all accounts, happily married and since her bad behavior started with the bad behavior of her husband (that she repeatedly encouraged and promoted via social media), it was important to point out that she was married. I’m not Jane so I won’t deign to speak on her behalf as to what she was thinking when she wrote it, but that was my take from it.

    To me, a subtext of the post was “why would such a successful, happily married author engage in such appalling behavior towards her readers?”

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