Monday, August 11, 2008

Authors Getting Even AKA I QUOTED Victoria Laurie!

Update: I was trying to be nice in the following blog post about a certain author that I believed to be acting unproffesionally. Since I did not give credit where credit is due, let me just say now, that the author in question is Victoria Laurie.

OK, so I know I've been silent lately, and I'm sorry. Things will hopefully start looking up soon and I'll be regular again. In the meantime, I'm trying to get some things typed up and saved for later posting (but since I'm still on bloggers hit list, I have to do it in WORD).

So, just a little bit ago, as I'm working on a post I was reminded of a couple of series that should have books released soon. The thing is, I love the books, I just don't much care for the author and her online personality. Thankfully, I've been able to distance the work from its creator. But it has hindered my close watch on the newest book release.

Anyway, I head to the authors website to get the low down on the next two books and find myself drawn to her blog. I just wanted to see if maybe I was having an incredibly bad day and took everything the wrong way. However, what I found instead, really bothered me.

Here's the thing. Jenny Crusie posted on her blog Argh Ink a while back about reader letters, and I loved how the situation was handled on that one (here's the post linkage). This author though, isn't quite into so subtle. No. Basically, she posted in this blog entry about one particular letter she received from a reader that said they were a fan of one of her series, but thought the new series sucked eggs (actually, if the author is to be believed the person really slammed the new series).

I can't imagine how hard it would be to get one of those letters. I dream of being published, and I understand how hard writing can be, so I can imagine out heartbreaking it would be to receive such a letter. It is how the author handles it though, that irks me.

From the authors blog post: And so, come September…my little “fan” and some of her close friends and family will likely read about a character with a very similar name, (i.e. nearly identical but not enough to get me sued) depicted in one of the most comical and fabulously scandalous scenes within Death Perception. And trust me…this isn’t a scene which in any way flatters that character. :) (Also trust me….you’ll know it when you read it!)

This bothers me greatly. The author also talks about a reader on Amazon that was trashing her books and how she has gotten those posts removed (because obviously this person has never read the books) and how this person has something against her yet she's a complete stranger. I know the review system on Amazon is flawed. I know some people go way out of their way to be mean on there. BUT, the revenge she is talking about taking in the same manner as she did with the other reader seems wrong to me. She even mentions the Amazon "reviewers" screen name.

The author finishes her blog post with this little bit of advice: And by the way - anyone else out there thinking they can just arbitrarily slam an author and feel good about being particularly nasty…be warned….my editor thinks this concept of mine is hilarious and she’s going to suggest the idea to her other authors who are fed up with being targets for the mentally deranged…in other words I’d advise being very careful whom you choose to direct a personal barb at lest your alter ego appear in a less than flattering way in that author’s next book.

Is it just me or does this seem ridiculous? I can understand the appeal of such revenge. I cannot understand the appeal of making it known to several thousand readers, some of which may recognize the reader being mentioned. Because now that reader will be publicly humiliated when the author was NOT. As long as that book is in circulation, that person will be forever mocked. When their greatest crime could have been flying off the handle after a world shattering bad day. When they could have had everything ripped out from under them the day that wrote that letter. Should they pay for one letter that vented everything, albeit to the wrong person? I think this is wrong. What about you? Am I being silly to be upset by this? Help me understand peeps!

Take Care


Brandy said...

I don't like the sound of this at all. Everyone is entitled to an opinion and to be humiliated because of it? For shame! I don't even take the reviews at Amazon seriously anymore. There have been too many implications of author-rigging and fan-atics attacking negative reviews. Whatever happened to personal opinion? Freedom of speech? Or even MANNERS? Ugh!

ChariDee said...

I agree Brandy. I think that readers are very passionate people, and we also tend to feel close to the authors we read. I mean, we're shelling out some serious money for the books, so we feel entitled (right or wrong) to vent our opinions to the author. Granted, sometimes we should all take a second to breathe deep before hitting send, but who among us has not acted first and thought later?

The first scenario bothers me the most I think. She received an e-mail, not a public flogging like she's giving the reader.

Brandy said...

I know it's trite, but it seems to work, "When you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything." That's my personal review policy. If I don't like a book, I say it wasn't for me and leave it at that. I don't write the author and I certainly don't expect the author to take petty revenge on my opinion by making remarks in print that would be humiliating. Petty, just petty.

LK Hunsaker said...

Oh, I can't imagine doing such a thing privately, much less publicly. This is wrong on many levels. Authors have to know bad reviews will come. They should learn from them, or dismiss them if there's nothing helpful. Never, never, be so publicly rude, though! Defend yourself if necessary, yes, but if you can't keep your cool, then keep quiet.

Carinthea said...

I have to admit, as a fledgling writer, that bad reviews hurt, but that doesn't give this author the right to publically humiliate her reviewers. As for calling them mentally challenged (the exact words escape me right now), she needs some humility. Just because she is published does not mean that absolutely everyone who picks up her work has to like what they read. Reading (as she says) is objective...everyone has a right to their own opinions, and in a world of free speech (last time I checked) the right to voice them still exists. Have never picked up one of her books and after this I never will.

ChariDee said...

LK Hunsaker said: Never, never, be so publicly rude, though! Defend yourself if necessary, yes, but if you can't keep your cool, then keep quiet.

Exactly! I didn't post the authors name (though it was pointed out part of her quote makes her traceable)because it would have made me just as big a bully as she. Thanks for stopping by!

carinthea, Yeah, that mentally deranged bit really was kind of out there, huh? Like I said before, she's said a few things in the past that have really flustered me, so I just ignored her site. Wish I would have today :(

What is really sad is that all the comments on that post are her fans telling her how wonderful and funny they think this idea is. That was one of my major reasons for posting about it, I was curios if I was the only one seeing the wrongness here.

Jennifer Banash said...

Bad reviews suck--case in point, I just got one from you! And they hurt like hell-you can't imagine how awful it is to work so hard on something only to have you efforts dismissed simply because your book wasn't to someone else's liking.It is a soul-shattering experience. The only thing that ever makes me feel better is the fact that THE ELITE has gotten many more good reviews than bad--so obviously I'm doing SOMETHING right lol!

That being said, everyone is entitled to their opinion, and if you can't stand the heat, you should get out of the kitchen (or at least cry privately like I do into a gallon of Rocky Road). To try and get revenge on a reader (or reviewer for that matter) is both childish and ridiculous.

Lynne Simpson said...

I suspect those follow-up comments from her fans were actually just the author posting under multiple names. The vast majority of them didn't link to Google profiles or blogs, so I'm guessing they were sock puppets.

Tarot By Arwen said...

I don't think that being published gives me or anyone else the right to be nasty. I've seen too many cases of this. Now bad reviews, ugly comments from readers do hurt but that also means you touched someone on some level. You made them feel something. I'd rather have an A or an F than a mediocre C, wouldn't you?

It's a shame she did this to herself.

Anonymous said...

FYI: The BLOG section on VL's site is now completely down. Not sure if it was planned this way but it happened not long after she blogged and put in someone's name and email addy.

S Andrew Swann said...

Just to let you know that all authors are not psychopathic nutjobs, I've never threatened retaliatory Tukerization on anyone, nor have I resorted to bogus DMCA takedown notices for quoting me. Frankly, I'd like to hope that most people in my line of work are rational level-headed people who accept the fact that criticism goes with the territory. . . Only a complete narcissist demands everyone love them.

Don't let the crazy people scare you.