Saturday, September 21, 2013

Saving the world from rude authors!

Ridding the world of misbehaving authors - one list and shelf at a time!

Over on Goodreads they’ve just announced their new policy: “We will also delete shelves and lists of books on Goodreads that are focused on author behavior.”

They remind us “Reviews should be about the book.”

Bravo Goodreads!

Of course, if you read the comments over there, you’ll discover a number of reviewers are not happy with the change. After all, it is their job to rid the world of rude authors – their mission is to keep authors behaving according to their standards.

I’m not sure how this notion came about, that book reviewers critique not just the book but the author.

Ironically, being a nice author is not necessarily one who avoids ending up in time out – banished to some dishonorable list or shelf of shame to be publicly humiliated, such as author’s misbehaving or butthurt author. No, if an author wants to avoid such lists he must shut up and take it.

Take for example one of my reviews where the reviewer critiques my book on a plot element that was not in the book. I can’t nicely comment, “Excuse me, that didn’t happen.” Nope, I need to shut up and take it.

But the funny thing about creative people – like authors, actors and musicians – good ones are often passionate and outspoken, it’s in their DNA. If we rid the world of all but nice and properly behaved authors, we are going to end up with some pretty boring entertainment.

Personally, the only thing that will get me to stop buying an author’s book, or paying for a movie featuring a misbehaving actor, would be if that person was doing something truly horrendous, like torturing puppies or profiting from white slavery.

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