Beyond the Blurb | What Should Readers/Bloggers Do When Authors Are on the Attack?

It’s time for another Beyond the Blurb! For my next post in my discussion series, I may step on some toes. But when has that thought scared me?

Just when you thought the book community and industry were past the Faleena #CockyGate scandal, another one hits. This time, a relatively new author Tomi Adeyemi, who wrote the hotly anticipated Children of Blood and Bone, accused Nora Roberts—yes, that Nora Roberts—of stealing and profiting off of her book title. Mind you, you can’t copyright a book title. So there will be many variations of one. But nonetheless, the dreaded “react before you think” illness you all know as pre-tweeting struck the Internet by storm. And the YA community still has some learning to do.

How do we bloggers and readers handle this situation? Frankly, I thought common sense would prevail, but this is the Internet, where everyone is offended, everyone harasses other people, and everyone believes the mob mentality is simply fine to participate in. But even if you’re not influencers (hello, there, I welcome you to the club), you, and we all, have an obligation not to fuel an already inflamed situation. Again, how do we address this negativity? Here’s how:


Stop Believing That Attacking Other People Is Okay

Let me be clear: it isn’t. And it’s borderline harassment. Online bullying causes real harm to people. If they have a mental, intellectual, or physical illness, you will exacerbate said illness. And in the Internet age, we’re connected to the net 24/7. When you have a huge following, many readers will see your message. And they’ll react in a way that you may not anticipate. You’re responsible for the message you give them. Do not be the kindling wood to the fire. Do not ignite a problem you’ll have no control over.


If You See It, Stop and Address It

It’s 2018, and yet here I am, giving this kind of advice. I never knew I’d reach a new low, but the book community always amazes me. But am I surprised by this mob mentality? Not really. We people as a society feel empowered when the mob is on our side. But when the problem is reversed, we see society for what it truly is: cold, cunning, and cruel. Tomi had the responsibility of owning up to her mistake immediately and imploring her 53,000 Twitter followers to follow suit. But she didn’t. Instead, she allowed her readers and followers to attack Nora, who never deserved this negative treatment. There was no mention of stopping the attacks.


Support the Other Author (If Warranted)

As a journalism grad, I’ll always need to see every side of the story: Side A, Side B, and the truth. So do your research. Yes, Tomi made a rookie mistake, but she didn’t own up to it though. Some followers may beg to differ because of Tomi’s last tweet on the matter:

She didn’t admit that the onus was on her. It was her mistake. Nora, on the other hand, explains the issue differently though:

“This foolish and false statement has damaged my reputation. Vicious and ugly accusations and names have been tossed at me when I did nothing but write and title a book.”

And Nora also states that she wrote and delivered the manuscript to her publisher one year before Tomi published her own work. Sometimes, finding the truth is difficult and ugly. I didn’t want to believe it. But you need to find out who needs the protecting, not blindly follow your favourite author.


Think before You Tweet

Please, blogger friends and fam, don’t let me get away with foolish tweets or other posts. If you think I’ve done something wrong or inappropriate, let me know, discuss your issues, and enlighten me. Yes, I’m still learning as a blogger and a human. I’m still delving in complicated fandoms and series, so I may not realize or even know there are problematic topics at hand.

Unfortunately, I don’t think I can support an author who pulls off this stunt, which I find sad since her debut novel is one book I’ve been hoping to read.


So what are your thoughts on the Tomi and Nora spat? How do you think bloggers and readers should handle this situation? Do you think Tomi should have done more? Let’s chat!

15 thoughts on “Beyond the Blurb | What Should Readers/Bloggers Do When Authors Are on the Attack?

  1. Haha, I was honestly waiting for a post like this to pop up on my feed at some point and I’m glad you’re the one writing it! ❤

    Tomi is easily one of my favorite debut authors of this year but that doesn't excuse what she's done. Sure, rookie mistake. Sure, she might've posted before thinking it through but.. there's no excuse whatsoever for her ignoring how SHE was in the wrong and not Nora Roberts. Nora shouldn't even have to apologize. There are so many books with the same or similar titles. You can hardly call it plagiarism when there are so many books already. Like, do I even want to look up how many books have "blood and bones" in them? Seriously..

    I'm not one to participate in the ugliness that followed Tomi's tweets / posts at all, but I do believe she's in the wrong and should apologize. I actually pity Nora for having to deal with this kind of nonsense. She's been part of the bookish community way longer and probably feels attacked by a kid at this point? I don't know. I don't even want to know the extent of Tomi's following being on her case about it while she didn't do anything wrong.

    Eh. Ever since this ordeal, I've been less eager to watch any of Tomi's Instastories / posts / tweets / whatever. It won't stop me from reading her books at all, but unless she apologizes like she should.. I'd rather leave her be. :')

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ahhh, thank you 😉

      I was so looking forward to reading her work, which is a shame. Thankfully, I didn’t see the point in partaking in the Twitter nonsense, really. Even with all the bloggers explaining her mistake to her and defending Nora, I doubt it clicked with her. The so-called apology she gave was more on the lines of “well, the two titles have no connection, so I’m fine with that.” Honestly? That’s your apology? 🤦🏻‍♀️

      I read Nora’s response and clapped. She shut Tomi down so quickly and savagely. I loved it. Hopefully, she learns from this.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Maybe you’ll be able to pick it up without being reminded of this whole ordeal in the future. Even though she did do something obviously wrong here, her work is amazing. 🙂
        Eh, I still don’t believe it counts as an apology. More like an “Oh, she apologized so all is good now. I knew I was right” kind of thing and it’s wrong. :’) No apology there, in my opinion.

        Yuup. I have never read anything by Nora and applaud the way she handled it, haha.


  2. I love Nora Roberts and after all this, I am less keen to read Tomi’s books. To accuse an author of that caliber, she could have at least done some research and find facts. People use internet as a rant tool hence I stay away from following such people who are not gracious and kind.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Agreed. I haven’t read any of Nora’s work, but I’m more inclined to do so now.

      I was hoping to see Tomi’s publicist and publisher step in, but they were a no show.

      The internet has gotten to the point where cyber bullying and accusing are simply the norm, and the problem will only get worse.


      • True that… I have been reading Nora’s works for many decades. Her books have helped through many a bad times. She writes as J. D. Robb too futuristic murder mysteries… And I am a crazy fan of that series… Hence I support Nora, she doesn’t deserve this.
        Internet is becoming a tool of the bully now… Sighhhh


      • My mom, grandmother and I used to share Nora Roberts books. Lol. We’re romance readers so she’s always been a hit in our house. And she has the fantasy romance books too and her futuristic In Death series. Try at least one!! Lol


  3. I thought common sense would prevail, but this is the Internet, where everyone is offended…. Oh yeah. Sadly I was not surprised to see if get so out of hand. But saddened just the same. I’ve been in love with Toni’s book and tweets and was so disappointed with this one. She’s been doing so well this year to go and mar it with this. I’m impressed Nora took the time to address it though, and she has been very gracious. Just a little thought could have prevented so much unnecessary online unkindness. I was also disappointed to see another author I like weighing in. She defended Nora (good) but by being really vicious about Toni (bad). It’s not a one or the other! And name calling one person does not make the other look better… in any circumstance.
    Your post is so spot on!


  4. Yeah you’d think common sense would prevail, but in this day and age people are so quick to react at even the slightest perception of offense. I wish the author would have done a little research before going full out on the attack, and I also wish fans today weren’t so eager to dogpile on someone needlessly. It’s like a knee jerk auto-pilot response for so many people these days, it’s scary.


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