You might laugh at this. I know I would have, but I’m being honest here. Some book reviewers stalk authors and not in a good way. Not a good thing. In fact, it can become pretty bad. Reviewers should follow authors but not stalk them.
Stalking and Following Aren’t the Same
If you like an author, then follow them. That shows them that they have an audience. Avid followers are welcomed with open arms, but stalking is a different matter. Stalking is a predatory act that can lead to dangerous situations. The legal definition is “: the act or crime of willfully and repeatedly following or harassing another person in circumstances that would cause a reasonable person to fear injury or death especially because of express or implied threats…….broadly : a crime of engaging in a course of conduct directed at a person that serves no legitimate purpose and seriously alarms, annoys, or intimidates that person” (https://www.merriam-webster.com/legal/stalking)
A stalker typically acts out of obsession or with the intent to harm. They could be stalking just to make the other person’s life miserable or to do bodily harm. Following is more enjoyable for both sides and is meant to enjoy the author’s work and not give them reason for concern.
I knew a book reviewer who had decided they didn’t like a particular author. We don’t have to like them all, but this one was an intense hate because the author described the killer in the book as an obese woman. The book reviewer went after the author in a review, but didn’t leave it there. She went onto social media and ripped the author. She sent scathing emails and comments on wherever she could find the author’s name mentioned on the internet.
Most stalking is done to be mean to the author. It should never be done. Just review the book and leave the author alone.
The Only Good Stalking
We joke around when we say we are stalking someone. That usually means we have connected with them on social media and follow their posts avidly. There are some authors and actors who I really love. You could say I “stalk” them, but I only keep taps on their latest activities. I don’t search for them on a regular basis or talk about them non-stop on social media. I don’t reach out to them and try to become part of their lives.
Follow someone. Read their latest. Don’t get into their personal lives and don’t get personal. That can become dangerous.