Guys, we really have to have a talk now. Every so often Twitter will explode over one thing or another and people will discuss and debate something that’s happened in the book community. That’s totally cool. Discuss, debate, share your opinions! I love discourse. What is not ok is to drag authors into negativity, especially over something they can’t control.
This last week has been full of lots of good discussion about the Winner’s Kiss cover change. Lot’s of good points have been raised, suggestions put out about what can be done. Awesome, great, let’s continue that.
And then this happened.
I’m not sharing this to encourage you to attack this person. I’m sharing this to make a point. Marie responded to this tweet calmly and graciously but it seemed like it really bothered her. Maybe I need to make something clear: authors have literally no say when it comes to their covers or the changing of them. They don’t have say in the titles, the models, the colors, whatever. That is all on the publisher, and they do have reasons for it. If you wanna know more about that, Jennifer L Armentrout has some stuff about it on her twitter (you have to read in reverse order for it to make sense):
Do I still hate them? Yep. Does this explain a few things? I guess. Does it make it better? No. But I still would never go and share my displeasure directly with the author. Here’s why: authors are people. Do you like when someone comes up to you and tell you that they hate something about you over which you have no control? Then why would you do it on social media?
Does the fact that you’re not face to face with someone mean you can say shitty things to them? I don’t think so. When you comment on a blog do you think it’s ok to tell someone that they’re a shitty blogger? What about tagging an author in a bad review? Emailing to tell them why you DNFed their book? No, stop it. Unless they ask you for your critic, leave it alone. Post your review but don’t tag the author. Email the publisher but leave the author out of it. Think to yourself that you don’t like a blogger’s writing but don’t tell them that you hate them.
It’s an issue of common decency. We’re a tight community and these things don’t go unnoticed. If you know something might hurt an author, a blogger, or another reader don’t dangle it in front of their face. Don’t tag an author in a negative retweet about them, just don’t be that guy. We’re here to talk about our passions for books and reading, not be a bag of dicks.
The person who originally inspired this post came back with an apology, deleting all of her original comments on the discussion.
I applaud her for coming out with an apology and admitting fault. Still, we need to think about what we’re saying to people so we don’t have to make apologies like this. Remember that there is a person with feelings behind every twitter account.
Authors are lovely people, let’s not make them want to leave social media as many have done or are maybe thinking of doing. I think it’s a gift that we have the opportunity to talk with them so closely and have them respond back. If we treat them like this they won’t want to continue. Remember what is and isn’t their responsibility. They write the book, the publisher does most of the rest and there’s not much they can do about it from there.
So let’s discuss, what are your feelings about this whole thing? Share in the comments!