Saturday, April 12, 2008

Authors Behaving Badly - Oh My!!!


I don't consider myself one of the MEAN GIRLS, but when I read about different authors behaving badly, I just shake my head. I mean, as authors we are in the public eye. It makes me cringe when I see authors shoot themselves in the foot by doing something immoral, illegal or just plain stupid.

There is a brouhaha (love that word) right now over at Dear Author about a certain author who has taken the whole freedom of speech thing a little too far. This thread is already up to close to 400 comments, so be aware, but the bottom line is the author used less than kosher means to keep her reviews on Amazon at a five star level. To the extent where she asked her buds to click on the 'not helpful' button at Amazon so the reviews that were less than stellar were removed.

When a reader's review was removed and the reader got wind of it and reposted it, this author was really nasty about the whole situation. I won't go into detail here, as it's all written out at Dear Author but let's just say this is where her behaving badly came to light.

Now, is this author the first who has shot herself in the foot? Unfortunately, no. It seems a week doesn't go by without some drama. Now, don't get me wrong. Sometimes an author does need to speak up. I've done it myself. (NCP problems, MGP, debacle and SV atrocities) But there is a difference between standing your ground and making an idiot of yourself.

The world wide web is like a big watercooler and if you do something, especially of the shooting-the-foot variety, it will be known. Authors should take note. Don't air your dirty laundry in public unless it's something you want everybody and their brother to know. A simple enough idea, but one that seems to escape a lot of people.

Railing at your publisher (not righteous concern, but crazy wild rants), bitching about other authors, immoral or illegal activities, or lying are just a few ways to make those around the internet watercooler start whispering. And trust me, once it starts, it can't be stopped. Google and other places have cache ability, remember? Even last year's nutty behavior can be searched out and re-examined. Too many of those and a pattern starts to emerge. One that can literally ruin a career.

So learn from the mistakes of the few, the weird, the bat-shit crazy and remember, readers like to read. And while most enjoy learning a little about their favorite author, I doubt anyone wants to listen to diatribes and rants about things that have nothing to do with them. And for the sake of every other author out there, don't treat readers with condescension or disdain. They are important to us authors. Pissing them off is a sure fire way to make sure your name goes down in a blaze of something...but it won't be glory!

Take care and I'll see you again on Tuesday!!!


HOTCHA1 said...



orelukjp0 said...

I don't care if an author is BIG or not. Sometimes they have a stinker of a book and sometimes they have a great book. This is all very subjective and they should take all comments, examine them and if they can benefit from them, use them. If not, take what is said with a grain of salt. By messing with ratings, they put themselves in a bad light. I look at it this way, if readers like you, they will read you regardless. Point in fact, I loved the movie Ishtar. Thought it was hilarious. Mind you, it was the worst movie ever according to critics. It's all subjective.

Pat said...


Well thought out comments. Everyone needs to remember that opinions are like noses, everybody has one. It's the variety of material available that makes reading so much fun. From crafts, to cooking, languages and travel, books provide us with an escape from our reality, information on new subjects, or stories to pick us up and make us dream of that special someone. I remember when the first star wars movie came out, all the "critics" in our area said save your money and what a terrible movie it was, I loved it and to this day it's still one of my favorites, and I'm sorry to all those who love it, I thought Titanic was a waste of my time. Just because someone has left a favorable or a lousy critique of a story, doesn't influence my purchase, the basic story line, the photo on the cover, and believe it or not the character names usually determine what I buy, and I buy a lot of books.

limecello said...

Hi CJ,

That was bad. I don't approve, but I can normally I ignore those types of things. This author, however, crossed the line by going after the reviewer's personal information. [Her address, her family's addresses?] That's... something you call the cops about.

Gabrina said...

You know, at one point I had a vampire author go off the handle and tell people on a message board that I was dangerous and insane. Why? Because I made a comment that an actor she liked was probably gay (after someone posed the question about him) and I said I found that pretty hot. Hot foreign actor getting it on with the pool boy. Yum!

She completely disapproved of my opinion and said that with her expertise as a psychologist, she knew I was a nut case.

Never met this woman and hope I don't. If anyone is dangerous and insane, it's someone getting worked up over an actor they haven't met and probably never will!

Oh, and I have to add...her book got terrible reviews on Amazon. Wondering if that counts as karma. LOL.

Julie said...

A friend of mine is involved in this, or at least something like this. They are stalking her around the web and her husband too. Because of a review she posted. Now I know her and I've read her reviews she puts a lot of thought into each and everyone.

It just makes me sick, to have this happening at all. But having a friend going through it makes me mad.

P. Robinson said...

Well, it's just like everything else- some are good and some are bad. The thing is, when it's your profession you don't like to see fellow authors demeaning your position. Hate to hear this!

Kissa Starling

CJ England said...

I agree with the comments given here. I certainly never thought an author would go so far. I really hope that it all comes out all right for the reviewer.

It is a lesson in many ways.