An author who used a series of fake accounts to “review bomb” other books on Goodreads has been dropped by her agent and publisher.
U.S. publisher Del Rey Books announced Monday through social media that it would be dropping Cait Corrain’s debut novel “Crown of Starlight,” just two hours after Corrain’s agent, Becca Podos, announced she would be parting ways with the author.
The scandal was reportedly broken by author Xiran Jay Zhao, who detailed in a TikTok Corrain’s pattern of creating fake accounts to leave one-star reviews on other authors’ books, while also leaving positive reviews of Corrain’s own book. Zhao also posted a 31-page Google Doc detailing Corrain’s fake accounts to X, formerly Twitter.
Many of the books targeted by Corrain were by first-time authors of color. Two were also Del Rey-published authors – Bethany Baptiste and Molly X. Chang.
Corrain initially denied the accusations, but on Tuesday posted an apology to social media. She attributed her actions to poor mental health and substance abuse, blaming the breakdown on a change in medication.
She said she harbored “no ill will” towards the targeted authors, but that they were just “on the wrong Goodreads lists at the wrong time.”
“Let me be extremely clear: while I might not have been sober or of sound mind during this time, I accept responsibility for the pain and suffering I caused,” Corrain wrote. “I know some of you won’t forgive me, and I recognize that you’re not required to. No one ever wants to be judged by their worst actions, but that’s not always up to us.”
Podos stated she woke up to the apology and was still processing it, but added, “What I do know is that mental illness neither explains nor excuses racism, and that the debut authors, primarily BIPOC authors, deserve every ounce of support available right now in the publishing community.”
“I understand the wrong meds can make your mind feel like it’s snapping in half,” Bapiste, who also struggles with mental health, said in a social media post. “Meds don’t make you racist.”
“Crown of Starlight” was originally slated for a 2024 release.