Let’s talk about anything bookish!
Hello, Wormies! A lot has happened in the reading community and as much as I wanted to weigh in on all the brouhaha, I have mostly remained silent on social media. Yesterday, I caved and wrote a longish statement on my personal Facebook wall. But that’s not what my post is all about. Today, I want to talk about authors behaving badly.
There have probably been quite a few incidents in the past that have caused uproars in the bookish community as a whole. Clearly, it has become increasingly prevalent because of social media and how news travels well, quickly. I will not name names, and will not link articles but just do a general discussion of these behaviors. You are more than welcome to google those incidents and read about it, but I will not name those authors.
Bad Behavior #1: Plagiarism
There have been multiple authors accused of plagiarism throughout the years. This is not good behavior authors! We know that ideas and plots can be similar but blatant plagiarism is a no-no.
The thing about this issue is, the ones that got caught are actually reputable authors with multiple bestseller titles! Whatever their reasons may be, plagiarism is just wrong.
As a reader, I expect my authors to give me original content.
Bad Behavior #2: Author Stalker
A few years ago, an author bragged in an article how she “catfished” someone. This caused quite an uproar because the author was quite fixated on a book blogger that gave a negative review to her book. Her fixation went as far as getting the bloggers home address (lying to get it), actually driving to the blogger’s house, and even stood on the blogger’s front door! THAT is stalker behavior and I should think against the law, right?
There was also an author who assaulted a reader/reviewer at a grocery store because of a fake review! Crazy, right?
Authors, please. Book reviews are not for you and should not be viewed as an attack on your person. Although, there are book reviewers who personally attack authors (this is another beast, altogether).
Bad Behavior #3: Authors Bashing Reviewers
When book blogging blew up a number of years ago, a lot of non-professional reviewers started reviewing books. On Amazon (and other sites), anybody and your uncle can review a book. Lo and behold, a very popular bestselling author was not having any of it! Apparently, a number of bad reviews popped up on her books and this author threw a fit. I read some of this author’s rants on the Amazon boards years ago and it was not nice. She went as far as insulting non-professional readers claiming that their reviews should be deleted from Amazon. Let’s just say that I am never reading that author again.
This is also not the first time an author has bashed reviewers or sicced their fans to reviewers who wrote negative reviews on their books. Believe me, there are a bunch of these authors, some traditionally published, and some indie published that did this over the years. SMH
While I haven’t gotten attacked by the authors and their fans for writing a negative review of their book/s, I know this is a reality.
I’m also not including reviewers who intentionally write one-star or negative reviewers and/or attack the authors on a personal level.
See above behavior #2 for.
Bad Behavior #4: Trademark Trolling
This behavior is perhaps the one that has been blowing up in the book community right at this moment.
This behavior happens when an author trademarks common and descriptive words. In this case, this authors’ trademark was approved by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). This author then sent cease and desist letters to other authors using the Trademarked word. Unfortunately, some authors were threatened and as a result, changed their titles. This would have gone under the radar if someone didn’t share it on the internet and it blew up.
The author has since done questionable things to try to excuse her actions, blaming everyone but herself. It looks like this author is not willing to back down. This is a developing story that I am following.
Bad Behavior #5: Gaming the System
Remember that time when the New York Times sent a correction for the NYT Best Seller list? Remember that author who gamed the system to show up on the #1 spot of said list? I do and man, this was one big scandal in the bookish community.
Apparently, this was the author’s debut book and it was also published by an unknown publisher. What’s more, no hype/reviews/promotions were done for this book and it triggered a flag. A question was asked on social media and bam! The full story came out.
There have also been cases where authors game Amazon’s algorithms and book stuffing. I’m not going to talk more about this only to say that it IS gaming the system.
These bad behaviors will automatically make me add these authors in my DO NOT TOUCH WITH A TEN-FOOT POLE list. Really. No. Just. No.
What other author behaviors have made you go WTF?! Have you experienced being bullied by authors and/or their fans?
Share your experiences below. Please share your thoughts and let’s discuss. But be respectful. Please.