Authors Behaving Badly

Seriously? An author traveling to another country to track down a reviewer who panned him, and attacking her in a grocery store? An author stalking a negative reviewer, going to her house and looking into her car?

This is bat-shit. Authors need to speak up and say to each other, “GET A GD GRIP!” If bad reviews make you crazy, don’t read them. And yes, I realize that leaves reviewers in the power seat. Much as I hate the fact, once a book is published the people who buy it are in the power seat. All the author can do is turn their eyes away and start working on the next book.

But really, either you’re selling books or you aren’t. If you’re selling them, a negative review will not change that. If you aren’t, a negative review will not change that either. Or it might; after someone blew her top about one of my books I complained to my neighbor, who was so curious to see what kind of atrocity I’d produced that she bought the book.

We all know the best response to negative reviewers is no response. When authors make reviewers afraid to post their opinions, we all lose. How are any of our books going to become known except through reviewers?

Meanwhile, how can the community of authors make it more forcefully clear that we don’t view this as acceptable, without giving the perps the bad publicity they apparently seek? SFWA maintains a ‘preditors and editors’ list. I wonder if anyone maintains a ‘violent authors’ list, or if it’s time to start one. I hate the thought that someone might decide to not even look at my book because some jerk I never even met attacked somebody else in another country.

There used to be ‘certified harmless hitchhiker’ signs. Maybe we need to bring them back for authors.

image by Robyn Shaw, Spring Valley Labs.

Related Post

This entry was posted in reading, real life, writing. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.