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!