Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Authors Behaving Badly

So you got a bad review. You worked out this scenario in your mind before you ever published, you assured yourself that you were going to be coolly above it all, you could already picture yourself swishing the martini as you stared down your nose at the ignorant philistine who was so unable to appreciate your work. They would see the error of their ways! When you were rich and famous. Or dead. After you cut off your ear. (This actually works with both the rich and the dead scenario.) (What, I have an active imagination, leave me alone.)

When the moment comes, however, you find yourself regressing all the way back to kindergarten, when it was acceptable to chase the other kid down with a pair of safety scissors for the high crime of stealing your crayons, or at least spitting into the glue that you knew they would be eating later. By the time that the white-hot rage has lifted, you're swearing at the reviewer or worse, getting the review entry suspended.

Guys. Do not do this. Turn that metaphorical martini into an actual one (might want to have someone hide your wireless router if you're a mean drunk), pay a friend to tackle you if they see a tic developing under your eye, go clean out your closet so that you can donate to charity (bonus: you're helping people in need and throwing things). But do not ever respond to a negative review. If you destroy your reputation with unprofessional behavior, it doesn't matter how good a writer you are, no one is going to want to give you money in order to find out. They might still revere you after you're dead, but it doesn't help your career in the slightest to be an ass while you're alive.

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