Authors Behaving Badly .. Please Stop

I don’t know how much more can be said on this subject. Readers are our life blood. Without them, who would we share our stories with? It’s a huge world out there and the amount of books I have on my TBR pile far exceeds what I might possibly read in my lifetime but it doesn’t stop me from buying more. I like to support my favorite authors.

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My kitty Brine protecting her cube.

I myself follow several authors. Some aligned with big wig publishers like David Morrell and Brent Weeks. Others are up and coming like Jocelyn Adams. Each is very approachable.  I mean I geeked out on Mr. Morrell and he was so gracious.

This is how I want to be as a writer.

I can’t say I get tons of fan mail or anything. Maybe some day when I achieve that plateau but for now it’s me blogging and getting books published.

So I get a little miffed when I see authors who have a broad audience and a shoe in at one of the big 5/6 publishers acting ungrateful.

Let me be perfectly clear at this isn’t a call to arms or to boycott the latest author to suffer from foot in mouth disease. Trolling in the any form is not cool. It makes you just as much of an ass. This includes one star reviews to flail about their behavior. If you feel compelled to say anything, there are better avenues such as blogging, as I am doing, or your personal social media page. Don’t hide behind a mask. Just like authors need to own up to what they say, so do the town criers.

The latest author to suckle on their toes–with no remorse I might add–is Chelsea Cain. Look, I get it. I work in retail because I’m not privileged enough to be able to afford to live on writing alone. Some of the questions make me want to bang my head repeatedly on the counter but I have to smile and answer that unbelievably head scratching question. It’s part of the territory.

The most egregious of this author faux pas is the wonderful thing about the internet is you can walk away and think on a reply. My retail world, not so much. Style and aplomb. Graciousness to those who spend their money on your latest novel.  Who want to know more. Publicity isn’t just handled by the publishers. The author has to pitch in.

What’s so hard about that?  I’ve started an FAQ page to cover frequent questions.  If someone asks, I point there. All my books are laid out, by series if I have them, and in order.

Readers are important to me.  Isn’t that how it should be? On that same vein, authors also have more than writing on their plate. Be patient.  I’ve had good luck in getting responses from my favorite authors. I don’t hound them if they don’t reply. Of course I can find just about anything on Google. Not everyone is as savvy. Something to keep in mind.

So buck up but remember we’re human. In that vein, learn to apologize when you accidently don your asshat. It’s easier to destroy a reputation than to build it.

I’ve had to grin and bear it several times at my job customers who continue to shop well after we closed .. and after we gently remind them.

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6 responses

  1. Yeah, I came across this one. And then she didn’t even try to apologize for it. She just went on to say that “Well, I’m going to piss you off probably so just deal with it.”. There were those who said that they would never buy her books and I for one don’t really plan to rush out and check her out and then she had her fans who are all “LULZ We love you and know you are just a quirky person. We know how to turn on our e-reader. Don’t ever change.”

    Yes, please give the author justification to act out again if someone asks her a question that “OMG! I Don’t have TIME for this!’.

    She could get one of her many fans to help her with her page if she’s too busy to do public relations more graciously. Never mind that you and many other writers still manage to find the time to answer questions graciously and don’t pull a prima donna moment. Or, like it was suggested by someone in the comments, she make an FAQ page to point people to when they ask the questions. Copy link, paste, hit send. Two minutes.

    • Her readers shouldn’t follow her blindly either. Still want to read her works? Go ahead. One person’s boycott shouldn’t be yours or vice versa. Personally I wouldn’t defend an author I liked if they acted like an ass. I’d call them out.

  2. Solid post. I was shocked when I saw what was happening. I think the worst part was when she said that her readers don’t pay her salary. While the publishing house might actually sign the checks it is the readers who buy the book to make those profits. I’ve seen people get outright attacked and respond with more aplomb. . . which is how I want to be able to handle things. Obviously there is a line and only so much a person can take, but for me to act that way there’d have to be something extreme going on.

    • Exactly. Without readers, I don’t get paid. In this economy, I’ve got to make a product worth buying too. Walking away from the keyboard isn’t an easy task. Emotions are a difficult thing to control once they override your sensibilities. That’s why it’s doubly important to make sure it doesn’t get to that point.

      • I’ve ran, co-ran, and modded a number of roleplay groups and helped run an event shell for a little on an MMO so I totally understand how hard it can be to mentally or physically take a step back when the emotions are running high. Eventually there is a limit to what people expect a person to take, but I feel like this was nowhere near close. Hopefully this will teach her to take a breath and step away next time.

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