lizabelle: (Sparkly flowers)
In the world of writing, as in many other aspects of life, the internet has shortened the gap between producers and consumers. Writers have blogs; so do reviewers, and some people who do completely different things in their working lives keep blogs entirely for the purpose of reviewing books. Facebook and, more recently, Twitter, allow writers to keep their fans up-to-date on everything from what they ate for dinner to the book they're working on.

Sometimes this works brilliantly; young adult author Justine Larbalestier's blog is a constant fount of witty entertainment, and I suspect it conveys a pretty accurate picture of her offline personality, which is great for fans. It also translates into business: I suspect I'm not the only one who's bought her books after becoming hooked on her blog (they're worth reading, by the way).

At other times, I'm tempted to think that authors should be kept well away from the internet, as well as from sharp implements. For example, there's the small matter of public responses to bad reviews.

Look. We all know that writing is a scary business; many authors put their lives and themselves into every book, and so it must be easy to take criticism intensely personally. However, the way to deal with it is not to post an angry rebuttal to negative reviews on Amazon, post a vitriolic screed as a blog comment and tell the reviewer you will hate him til the day you die, or posting the reviewer's phone number and email address to Twitter.


I've long suspected that Anne Rice was a bit batshit; now it seems that Alain de Botton and Alice Hoffman need their internet credentials revoked as well. (From a personal point of view, I am experiencing some schadenfreude over Alain de Botton, whose On Love I recently suffered through for a book club, but am disappointed in Alice Hoffman, whose writing I adore.)

Anyway. If a review pisses you off, put a bullet through the reviewer's book if you have to, or write long, furious screeds about how they've ruined your career...but do those things privately. If they become public, people will mock you; it's as simple as that.


lizabelle: (Default)

June 2014

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