been inspired by events over the last few days to write this blog post. I’m
sure that most of my readers have no idea what set of circumstances I’m specifically
talking about, and I apologize, but I’m not going to entirely fill you in. I
feel that the situation has gone quite far enough and there’s enough fuel on
this particular fire. And I’m not going to even touch the particular topics
people are upset about; people have differences of opinion and different views,
and sometimes I might even agree with their general stance or point. What I
don’t agree with is how some authors and their fans are conducting themselves,
and that is what I’m talking about today.
me give you some idea of what I’m discussing today in broad terms. Some of
these examples are things that have happened this week, but some of them are
things I’ve seen over the years I’ve been in the publishing business.
of the things I’m upset about have to do with basic politeness that some people
seem to think, because of the distance and/or anonymity of the internet, they
can do away with. When authors have differences of opinion, I have seen instances
of name-calling, bullying, and encouraging their followers to do the same. This
is especially egregious when very popular authors do it since they have loads
of attention, sway, and followers. The fallout can be downright wicked in that
some of the people out there yelling that a particular author is being a bully
turn around and become even bigger bullies in response. Here’s the thing - when
I was tormented in high school by a certain nasty young lady and her posse of
losers, I eventually had enough, chewed her out, and told her to back off. After
that, it was pretty much over and we ignored each other. What I didn’t do was
then summon all of my friends to harass her. I didn’t go down to where she
worked and tell them that I didn’t like how she behaved outside of work hours
and they should fire her. If I had, who would have been the bully then?
the thing I am most unhappy about, when authors attack the livelihood of other
authors. Let me explain – some authors fight by going onto review sites and
giving their rival’s books one star, leaving reviews like “absolutely horrible”
or “worst book I ever read,” even though they’ve never read it. This is a cheap
way of trying to make your point. It’s hard enough to make a living as a writer
without being attacked unfairly.
|Disagreeing by attacking someone's livelihood|
is a cheap way to win an argument. **
face it, people aren’t going to agree all the time, and sometimes you are going
to absolutely hate something someone else has to say, but is attacking their
livelihood really the correct response? And before you say, “well it depends on
what is said,” would you feel the same if someone did it to you? The most
polite and reasonable person in the world has undoubtedly at some point said something they
regretted, was misunderstood, or was just plain disagreed with.
one more point I’d like to reiterate. It’s tough out there in the publishing
world, especially among the Indie authors. What would happen if we just ignored
bad behavior instead of drawing battle lines? Or if we supported each other
instead of tearing each other down? That is the kind of community I’d like to
be a part of, and I hope more authors feel the same.