So I completely agree that
- There are tons of reviews out there that say things that are completely inappropriate
- That it isn't fun being the author on the other side of these remarks
I do not agree that Goodreads, Amazon, B&N or any other book selling / promoting medium is responsible for the content of the consumers reviews or that they should be. Being a verbal jerk is your legal right. It's unfortunate that people take advantage of that right, but it is your right and it is an important one.
Authors need to remember what Hollywood knows.
Good press is good
Bad press can be very good.
Look at Twilight.
I have heard more bad than good things said about Twilight AND Stephanie Meyer. Some haters take their feelings to the next level and hate on the author. The fans and haters argue, scratch that, they have full out duels to the death in the comments under reviews. The result of all this positive and negative being thrown around: Everyone and everyone's aunt's cousin's step sister's grandson's cousin thrice removed know about twilight AND Stephanie Meyer and ultimately, every reader has been forced to read the book and see what they think for themselves. If out of curiosity about the fuss if nothing else.
Is this bad for Stephanie Meyer? If she can't stand having negative criticism from jerks than yes, it is very bad.
If she wants to sell a lot of books than no, it is very good.
In the last few weeks I have heard about an Author who was so bullied prior to the publishing of the author's book or even the release of review copies that the author decided not to publish. The bullying had gotten so bad that at least one person had been exposed to negative remarks about this as of yet unread book many times in the course of a very short period (Talk about great advertizing!).
My thoughts on this.
#1 Those are some real jerks
#2 What an excellent opportunity for the author.
After receiving that kind and quantity of publicity an author should have no problem finding reviewers happy to do honest reviews for them and on top of that, if their book is good, many readers will probably go say as much in the comments under said jerks' "reviews".
So in my mind what we have here isn't a rampant problem of bullying that authors need to fight; rather we have excellent opportunities for book exposure and promotion. Use the unkindness of the few to gain an audience of many and silently thank those jerks for giving you the opportunity to shine in comparison.
Good luck and best wishes to all you authors out there!