I don’t normally partake in ranting or drama. Its just not something I like to concern myself with, because once you start a dialogue, it just keeps going and then next thing you know, its the year 2050 and you’re still arguing over why Tayvin really broke up.
But I feel the need to say something because some (not all) in the book community are getting really nasty. I mean, truly mean. And it seems to be happening more and more in the last month.
I don’t enjoy when people do the “vaguebooking” thing where they comment but then won’t say who its about. Then it just opens the door for more and more drama because everyone channels their inner Nancy Drew (she lives in ALL of us) to figure it out.
So one person that I know came under fire recently was Harper Sloan. I’ve never met Harper Sloan. I will be honest and say her books aren’t my favorite. I don’t hate them, but I don’t really connect with them. That’s okay. A lot of people love her books and I had a friend put it in a really great perspective when she explained why she loved Harper’s books; she said that when she buys a book from Harper Sloan, she knows that she is getting a book that she knows she will love. I didn’t think about it like that and when she said that, (which was months ago now), it really stuck with me.
I share the above story because that is where my “relationship” with Harper Sloan ends. It was only a few weeks ago where there was a group on facebook where people were bitching about her, and then decided to invite her into the group so she could see all the horrible things they were saying. That, my friends, is fucking mean. Its okay if you say that she isn’t your favorite. But that does NOT give you the right to personally attack her. You think Axel is a douche? Then talk about Axel being a douche. But that conversation has nothing to do with your thoughts on Harper’s hair, husband, sex life, family, house, etc.
Wanna know what I do when I dislike something? I avoid it. Like the plague. I don’t spend more time, focusing, analyzing, making fun of, chastising it.
There was another incident that came up with the book “Author Anonymous” by E.K. Blaire and a thread on Goodreads where readers were saying that Jamie McGuire was the author being referred to. I read the thread on Goodreads and it was terrible. People saying horrible things about her who have never even met her. I don’t know more about it than that.
But I can tell you that I’ve met Jamie McGuire and I found her nice, funny, and I saw her make an entire room laugh at RT16. Maybe I’m wrong and even if I am, what business is it of ours? Whoever the author being referred to in that book is, its their life. Not ours.
Authors are people too, just as are bloggers, and readers. But to take these personal attacks on authors that you don’t like, for no good reason, isn’t okay. Authors know that every book isn’t for every person. I’ve not come across one author who truly expected that every single reader would adore their book. In fact, there is a book that has rave reviews at a book store, its proudly displayed up front (this is not a romance book, fyi) and the reviews on amazon have people saying how bad the book was. Again, every book won’t appeal to every person. But disliking a book is one thing. Attacking a person is another.
The other drama I’ve heard about is at signings. Some people feel an author was rude or unappreciative of them. I can’t speak for every author and it wouldn’t be appropriate for me to do so. But I will tell you this. Signings are long days for everyone: the organizers, the authors, the readers. You’re tired, sweaty, hungry turning into hangry. Everyone spends a significant amount of money to be there, from tickets, flights, hotels, shipping, etc. So while it can be disappointing if you don’t connect with your favorite author or cover model, understand it happens to everyone and is probably not related to you on any personal level whatsoever.
In closing: be kind. If you find yourself in a group where things are getting into that murky, mean area, just remove yourself from it.