Everything you need to know about the Goodreads drama

Goodreads may be a site permanently stuck in 2011, but the drama certainly isn’t. In fact, this week’s dose is shining a light on pre-existing issues in the publishing industry in a big way.

If you’ve never heard the name Cait Corrain, here’s the TL;DR: Corrain is an author of sci-fi, fantasy, and “romantasy” with a recent release called Crown of Starlight. Now this would all be well and good if Corrain—with the help of a friend—hadn’t allegedly created a burner account devoted to knocking down authors of color with the same agent (again, allegedly) while boosting her own work with (allegedly) fake 5-star reviews. Allegedly.

The drama dates back to mid-November, when Goodreads users noticed something peculiar happening on the site.

These fake accounts seemed to exist solely to mess with the overall rating of books by BIPOC women authors. It didn’t take long for folks to trace the account “Tasty Spam” back to Corrain.

This clue got people thinking…

Now people are rightfully pissed at Corrain, despite the fact that Corrain’s friend took the fall for her. Screenshots showed that Corrain’s friend Lily was behind the fake accounts, but the situation has already sparked a much-needed discussion of how calculated, bad-faith reviews can tank a first-time author’s chance of ever getting a second book out, especially if those first-time authors happen to be queer folks of color.

Now everyone is clutching their pearls over the drama, and for good reason. This kind of behavior is not acceptable.

Now, in a final racist twist, one of the people who originally called out Corrain and co. for their behavior is being piled on for absolutely no good reason. But Corrain is the story: whether or not her friend was the mastermind behind the burner account, this is not the way to promote your book.

Let’s all keep this in mind:

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