Book Wars–The PR offices of “My Book Is Better Than Yours”

Upon second thought, I took pause, pondering to write about this touchy subject and clicking the “Publish” button. In the end my initial decision won. Today I would like to address book wars and author etiquette. What exactly is author etiquette you ask? Simply put…good manners and not just to fans, but to fellow authors as well. There seems to be an upsurge of attacks on authors. Well, maybe not exactly on the authors themselves, but on their novels and that’s just as bad, hence, book wars.

Showing poor author etiquette publicly (social media, etc.) is never a good idea and is almost always unsavory. Using social media to stick it to fellow authors is shameful, plain desperate and sad. What’s better is when the other author doesn’t respond, keeping the attack one-sided. For instance, not only did a best-selling author (and for the life of me, I cant understand what would possess a best-selling author to act this way) recently parade tweets and retweets about how her novel is so much better than another author’s novels; there is also a quote in her book, blatantly putting down the other author’s work.

Personally, and these are my feelings, I would not have allowed a quote attacking another author’s work to be printed in my book. On the flip-side, I enjoy both authors’ work, but can you guess which author’s next book I will buy first? You got it! The author, so far, maintaining author etiquette. 

Thankfully, it’s been some time since I’ve seen the negative blah toward this particular author displayed.   

  I try to keep in mind the old saying, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” Sometimes it can’t be helped, but in this case, come on—indirect/direct jabs; pitting book against book is horrible marketing and promo. Maybe it shouldn’t bother me. I mean, not like it has anything to do with me, right? Only in the sense of how I would like to be as an aspiring author…and attacking a fellow author’s work is not it. I don’t know about anybody else, but I look up to certain authors and if I find that they are stooping to author attacks…respect will be lost.

Side-note: Speaking of author etiquette, minus getting too deep in the Sue Grafton remarks–I will say this. No one author holds the corner market on working hard. Hell, it took me thirty years, three grown children and tragedies later to finally complete and start publishing my debut novel, all while trying to maintain my sanity. I hope that I never wind up in the PR offices of “My Book Is Better Than Yours.” 

Authors, please lead by example, be proud of your work. You work hard plotting, and researching, and everything else in between to breathe life into your novels. Remember, there is always more than enough to go around (i.e. fans, sales, etc.). Take pride in yourself and be proud of your fellow authors. Author etiquette is GOLDEN. That is the truth and I’m sticking to it! This is A Novel Perspective.

How would you rate your Author Etiquette? Share your perspective!

Love Craft–Writing is more than a job

Writing is a craft not different from the passion of sculpting, painting or refurbishing. As a writer, one molds and shapes the words on a page, weaving material in and out of various places, smoothing out the rough edges, going over every line and gazing ever so intense at their work until it becomes a satisfactory piece. Writers take the stories in their heads, and with vigorous or soft strokes of a pen, nowadays with the clacking of keys over the computer keyboard, create their masterpieces. Writers are constantly fixing, altering and taking things apart to get that perfect polished piece.

In the whirlpool of writing, everyone has a story to tell and not all authors do it for the fortune and fame. What good is money and notoriety if that is your only drive for writing? At some point it will show in the work and may be lost on your audience. Some might argue that with money they can afford some real passion and motivation, at least that’s what a buddy of mine said.  But you either have the passion to write or you don’t.

Money is a motivator and don’t get me wrong, I enjoy making money like most. It supports my insane coffee and shoe habits…oh and my family. A lot of great writers get there by way of passion, the love they have for the well-expressed words turned to stories, the faith they put in themselves as writers and the support of family, friends, or a good literary agent.

For some writers, writing is synonymous with breathing, with living, and they can’t have one without the other. I can’t. I love waking after only 4 or 5 hours of sleep while the rest of the house is in deep slumber and before the birds are up chirping and fluttering by the windows. I love writing stories and falling in love with certain characters, their quests and the fantasy realms I create for them. I love not knowing all the twists and turns in my stories, not always knowing where my characters will end up until I get there and knowing the ending of a story before I get to the middle of one is almost my favorite. I love being able to, mid-story, erupt with word-vomit about another story totally different from the one I’m working on. I love being ass-glued to my chair, sometimes for obscene hours, before I realize I haven’t eaten or gone to the bathroom. Writing is not a job to me. Writing is my love craft. This is A Novel Perspective.

What is writing to you? Share your perspective.