Monday, August 13, 2007

Assuthors

Lately, I’ve been wondering about authors and how much of their treatment towards readers affects my decision to buy or not buy their books. This is a dilemma that never occurred to me before I started blogging. A book to me was just that, a book, and if it was good and the author was good, that’s all I needed to know in order to purchase it.

It surprises me to realize that I am, in fact, affected by the way authors either act online or act specifically towards me or our blog.

I don’t usually email authors—heck, I don’t usually email anyone since I hate emailing—but the few times I have they’ve been incredibly nice to me. And even the only one that never replied, Nora Roberts, is a sweetheart. I’ve seen her comment on blogs and love the classy way she speaks her mind, so how could I hold her not replying against her? In addition, I can just imagine how many emails along the line of my “I’m your biggest fan” gushing she must receive a day.

However, there are others like Judith McNaught that I won’t be buying again. Her old books I will probably reread till death since they are some of my favorites ever, but I doubt I will be buying/reading any of her new things. Her BB was a mess; some of the fans crazy and hostile. I know for a fact that she was aware of this and didn’t seem to be bothered by it which made me think she couldn’t care that much about her readers if she was willing to have them flamed and attacked by a small group of fan girls.

There was also MaryJanice Davidson whose Undead and Unwed and Undead and Unemployed books I LOVED. When Harlot and I decided to start interviewing authors, she was the first we ever contacted. She rapidly (and nicely) agreed, but for some reason, after stopping by our blog and realizing that not EVERY single one of our readers enjoyed her, send us a rather rude email and was never to be heard of again. *confused* So you’ll understand if I don’t run out the door to buy her whenever one of her new titles is out LOL.

Anywho, I wanted to know if other people had had similar experiences. Have you ever contacted a writer that didn’t reply, or wrote back in a rude/mean way? I wonder if they realize that such behavior probably hurts them. I understand a lot of people will most likely be able to separate authors from their work, and the way they act will never affect them, but I, for some reason, can’t seem to do that. Anyone else with me on this?


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21 comment(s):

Blogger Harlot said...

Sometimes i wish i didn't start blogging or visiting authors' boards... it's both a joy and a curse.

JM wrote some of my most treasured romance novels. I stopped buying her books though. I'll never forget her BB because I had fun there.. well, before they saw me as the anti-Christ that made hell froze over LOL.

You know this reminds me of Karen Hawkins. Not because she's been a jerk to me or whatever but because she's one of the nicest authors i've encountered (and she's funny). Dakota Cassidy too. And David Sedaris! OMG, i met him and *sigh* he swept me off my feet... <3

8/13/2007 12:28:00 PM  

Blogger Harlot said...

P.S. Okay, Here's how i met David. :D

8/13/2007 12:31:00 PM  

Blogger Shoshana said...

I am one of those who cannot separate authors from their behavior. If I read their books, only because I got it free and all that stuff.

I met Nora Roberts...and for someone so prolific, and busy and rick, she's warm and nice.

The nicest one I have ever met is Linda Lael Miller. I've really all of her book til about 2 years ago...I just got busy and all that, but I keep hoarding her books anyway.

She's so friendly, and she chatted with my daughter encouraging her on her (my daughter) book she's writing. It was very inspiring to met her.

8/13/2007 12:57:00 PM  

Blogger Lollie Rose said...

I can't separate authors from their behaviour either. No matter how good the book is, it's not really the author you get to glimpse in there.

Personal life and work shouldn't mix but fans couldn't help to be disappointed or loose respect for authors who conduct themselves disgracefully in public.

I think it's the same with actors or singers. For example I don't like Britney Spears. I'm sorry but I find her disgusting. Will I buy her albums (even if she can actually sing)? Hell no!!

8/13/2007 02:33:00 PM  

Blogger Lollie Rose said...

BTW I read about the JM thing before (was shocked) but that thing with MJD, how rude. And I like her books!

8/13/2007 02:38:00 PM  

Blogger ...dance? said...

Is it more difficult to separate the author from his or her work than, say, an actor and his or her character?

I think I don't usually have an issue separating an author from the book, but then I also haven't really personally come across anyone whose online behavior has turned me off their books (except Orson Scott Card, but I didn't find his books to my liking anyway, and it's more to do with his politics than bad behavior online). I'd already gotten bored of MJD's books before any online kerfuffles with her started...

I tend not to visit author-run fanboards because that's often, I find, where the most rabid fans are. I prefer fan-run ones, though those can also get a bit hairy. I'm pretty much ready to break up with the Meyer/Twilight fandom; I'll probably still read her next book(s), though likely with not as much anticipation as Eclipse, but that has more to do with the writing than the fans or her online self.

It only took me 10 years to work up the nerve to write to McKinley. The reply I received was a little on the terse side, but that was to be expected. I still love her books, like her personality about the same, and am planning to buy Dragonhaven the instant it comes out -- and any other book of hers, for that matter.

I've also participated in a few chats with Dana Stabenow. I like her online persona, but that's not why I read her books -- those I loved before I even knew what a website was. :D I don't know if I'd stop reading her books, if she weren't friendly and awesome; thankfully, I don't have to find out.

I keep a few other authors' blogs (Sarah Dessen, Jennifer Echols, Neil Gaiman, Laurie R King, etc) on my RSS reader -- mostly to keep updated on any upcoming books than to see what they're blogging about.

I think of all the authors I've come across online, Stephenie Meyer and Diana Gabaldon are possibly the most involved -- I believe in a great deal of separation between author and reader (because everything about the books should be in the book), but I read Gabaldon because I like the way she writes and I look for any "snippets" that she posts on the Compuserve forum.

8/13/2007 03:51:00 PM  

Anonymous Ollenska said...

I don't read the book because its author is nice or friendly. I read it for its content and if I liked it, I will certainly read more from the author.

I love Jennifer Weiner and I love most of her books: In Her Shoes, Good in Bed... I remember years ago when she had a little war with Curtis Sittenfeld (author of Prep). To tel lyou the truth at first I was fascinated when they spent more time reviewing each other's personalities than each other's books. It was full of drama but I got tired of it eventually. Anyway, what I'm trying to say is despite all that, I still love Ms. Weiner's books and I will continue reading them.

Olly

8/13/2007 04:33:00 PM  

Anonymous Ollenska said...

Trollop I met Nora Roberts and I think she is a nice lady.

Dance, Dana Stabenow? Any recommendations? I'm looking for some new authors.

*
Re: Neil Gaiman, has anyone seen Stardust?

Olly

8/13/2007 04:38:00 PM  

Blogger ...dance? said...

Olly,

Dance, Dana Stabenow? Any recommendations? I'm looking for some new authors.

I'd start with A Cold Day for Murder. It's the first of the Kate Shugak series. She writes mysteries, but there's a good amount of romance in them, too. I also like that her books mostly stand-alone, in that there's a completed story in each, though stuff is carried forward so the series as a whole doesn't lose momentum.

I'm reading Stardust now! I've been hearing good things about the movie.

8/13/2007 04:44:00 PM  

Anonymous Ollenska said...

Hoh! Fast response! :-D Thanks dance, I'll look it up.

I **love** Stardust. I heard good things about the movie too but from a friend who has... rather unusual taste in films. lol! But I loved the trailer, I really did.

Olly

8/13/2007 04:52:00 PM  

Blogger Harlot said...

Lollie,
Will I buy her albums (even if she can actually sing)?

LOL! So true, so true.


Dance,
Is it more difficult to separate the author from his or her work than, say, an actor and his or her character?

Good point. But.. let's say, you ask for an author's help and he's the ONLY one who can help you but he didn't do anything (even though he agrees with you and thinks you are the one who is right, and he has the power to help you) because he's afraid, what would you think then? :/


Olly,
OMG what happened with Jen Weiner and Curtis Sittenfeld? LOL I have no idea.

8/13/2007 05:28:00 PM  

Blogger Rachel said...

I visit quite a few author blogs and there was this one time where an author was upset about her book being sold on ebay. She was really angry about it and every paragraph was full of profanity. I get it that she had reasons to be upset but if you're an author or a public personality, was the internet the right place to vent? I doubt she would have spoken like that in a RWA convention.

Blog posts will always be available on the www and new readers interested in her work will see her rant. Call me judgmental but personally, I wouldn't want to read a book by someone who acted like that. I'd assume that if writing is your profession, you could find a way to get your point across without using such strong words, and she used it against those who were buying her book! To think this author is a HS teacher.

She has lost a potential reader in me. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for free speech but for me, an author's goal should be to promote her books and her self in a gracious way.

8/13/2007 07:14:00 PM  

Anonymous tinkerbell said...

I don't know what I'd do if an author I really like had treated me so rudely. I'd be hurt I guess and would think twice before buying another one of her books.

8/13/2007 07:31:00 PM  

Blogger Jordis Juice said...

Gosh, I'm not sure. I haven't encountered a rude author. Though I think I'd stop buying someone's books if he had been mean to me.

I think it's the same with movies, actors and directors. This is probably out of the topic but I read Bruce Willis, who once work with the director of Transformers, will never work with the said director again. He is obviously a good director who produces good movies but apparently he has a nasty personality.

8/13/2007 08:35:00 PM  

Anonymous Ollenska said...

Harlot

Ok, you can read most of it here:

http://jenniferweiner.blogspot.com/2005/06/in-between-unloading-my-galleys-and.html

Olly

8/14/2007 10:46:00 PM  

Anonymous Ollenska said...

Ok, I have to ask, how do you put links here?

Olly

8/14/2007 10:48:00 PM  

Blogger Petra said...

I have seen authors making an ass of themselves over the years and I've often wondered if it affects their sales at all. Maybe it does't since most readers don't really spend time following blogs/sites of their favorite authors. Most only focus on the books.

Some may be able to separate the author's work and his behavior but I can't. Their antics may entertain me but they will never get me to buy their books.

8/15/2007 09:44:00 AM  

Anonymous Lindsey said...

Trollop, I see where you are coming from. If an author had been rude to me, treated me in an unkind way, even if I like the way he writes, I'd find it hard to continue supporting him in any manner. Fortunately, I don't have this dilemma.

I have no trouble separating the author from his or her work, mostly because I don't really pay attention to the author's personal life. My only concern is the book. I rarely visit author websites, I don't have one that I follow, not even those of my favorite authors. (like JK Rowling, Marian Keyes, Stephen King)

8/15/2007 11:09:00 PM  

Blogger Isabella said...

I have no problem separating the author from his or her work but there is always an exception to the rule. For example, that thing that happened with Dara Joy where fans who paid for her books didn't receive their copies, that would make me stop buying any of the author's book for sure.

8/17/2007 01:40:00 PM  

Anonymous dobby said...

I think the author has a responsibility to moniter or have someone they trust moniter their boards.

I also had problems with the "ladies" at JMBB. I think this was when they were at the Simon Says board. They jumped on me when I called up Evelyn on a political comment she made. It was nauseating how they all thought she was right when she said she didn't care if Iraqi kids/women died. That they had it coming for being "terrorists". And they attacked ME for saying she was wrong! WTF?! Am I the only one who thinks there is something wrong with this?!

Anyway, the author has to do something when cyber bullying takes place. I've seen it happen time and tme again. The boards have the authors names so its up to the author to stop them.

8/18/2007 06:58:00 AM  

Blogger Harlot said...

Dobby, LOL, i know what you mean. Whatever it was that happened to me in JMBB (Simon Says board) they know what they did (and admitted it too); they were the ones who attacked me just because i was being me, being Harlot. :/

Anyway, it's over. Now, if a place is making you sick or unhappy, and you can't reason with its residents, i think the best thing to do is to leave. Just think of it as being saved from the The Island of Doctor Moreau. ;P

8/18/2007 01:54:00 PM