An Open Letter to Badly Behaved Authors

I will never, evereverevereverever, understand the mindset behind you taking readers to task over a review. What is there to gain from spraying gasoline on a fire? Only more heat, right? You’re only guaranteeing that the flame won’t go out anytime soon. If they didn’t like you before, arguing with them isn’t going to yank them into your corner. If they say they’ll never read you again, shouldn’t that be a good thing in your eyes?

(bangs head against desk)

Listen, I’m all for your stupidity. It makes me feel smart by comparison, and I’m a pretty dumb motherfucker, but this is kinda getting out of hand. You’re like cockroaches basking in the spotlight that’s been shone on you instead of scurrying back into the cracks and crevices from whence you came. If you have something disparaging to say about a review or its author, do so in the privacy of your own home, and then only around people who you know won’t spread that shit like Nutella over Iron Kids.

I know, I know, this is all social media’s fault. Literary greats like Edgar Allan Poe and Norman Mailer were famous for ripping apart reviewers who dared challenge their genius. Then the internet came along and ruined everything. You should be able to share your literary herpes without having to worry about everybody finding out you’re infected.

(wipes the puddle of sarcasm off my desk and onto the floor)

Seriously, some of you ass-hats make me embarrassed to call myself an author, if only because you dare label yourself one.

Sincerely,

Edward Lorn

(P.S. Feel free to share as needed.)

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6 thoughts on “An Open Letter to Badly Behaved Authors

  1. Very well said. However…yes, I’m going to say it. There are bloggers behaving just as badly. And *they* make me cringe. Review the book and only the book. I don’t want to see anything in the review about what an asshat the author is or that they support clubbing baby seals (or whatever else it is that offends your delicate sensibilities). I want to know *about that one particular book*. That’s it. The End. *I* will decide about it from there.

  2. Two thoughts …

    1.) Yes, because of the Internet these types of things become all too public, but I’ve been seeing similar responses from writers for decades. Usually it’s from beginning writers, first-time authors and kids right out of journalism school, who are so afraid of any criticism whatsoever, and often fear any editing whatsoever. They’ve yet to realize not every single word they type is dripping with gold, and that they’re “vision” wasn’t handed down to them on stone tablets from the heavens above.

    2.) Though we’re specifically talking fiction writers here, the attitude is far more expansive. The “I can say anything I want and no one can say anything against it and I am always right” attitude seems to be a by-product of the Internet age, though I’m not suggesting it’s a generational thing, because I see this in older folks as well.

    I do my thing, ignore the crazies as much as possible, and move on. But yes, a number of authors, especially some indie authors, do make me cringe and want to disassociate myself and my profession from them as much as possible.

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