A couple of months ago I (and, no doubt, many others) were witness to a…well I can’t call it a brouhaha, but it was definitely a case of Author Behaving Badly. I’m not going to name any names (which is why I didn’t talk about it at the time), but it really brought something into focus for me. This particular author gives a great deal of herself. She offers many workshops for would be writers. The general request made for each of those workshops is that if we’re financially able, we purchase one of the books of the person presenting as a means of saying “Thank you”. That seems perfectly reasonable to me. If someone takes the time to share that kind of information with me, if theirs is the kind of book I’m likely to read, I’ll pick it up.
Now I have to admit that I haven’t paid a whit of attention to most of these workshops for the better part of a year. They’d show up in my inbox, I’d skim and determine that it was a repeat or not something of particular use to me. Delete. Off my radar.
Then the Bitten By Books nominations and voting rolled around. It’s something that was widely mentioned in blogdom and on Twitter and elsewhere, and everybody was asking everybody else to vote for them or for their favorite authors. So this Nameless Author sends out a request on the workshop loop for folks to go vote. I popped over at each round and I voted for the authors on the list that I had read and loved. Nameless Author was not one of the ones I voted for, as I have never read her work.
That should have been the end of it.
But no. Some span of time after said request was made, Nameless Author sent out another email lambasting the 1,000+ members for being apathetic and not going out and voting for her. After all she’s done for us, all the work she’s put in… You can imagine where the rest of this went.
My immediate response was to leave the group. As, I expect, did many others.
This author’s behavior is just…well, there’s no other good word for it besides tacky. From a karmic standpoint, she’s just screwed herself. You can’t go around doing nice things for other people because you expect things in return. That’s not how karma or life works. You do nice things for the sake of being nice, not to make sure people owe you. And while I get the fact that she might have hoped more people in this group would have voted for her, I suspect many of them were in the same boat as I was. There were other authors they read whom they liked more (or simply other authors they had read, when they had not read Nameless Author’s books). So they were not necessarily apathetic, they just didn’t necessarily vote for her.
Personally, I think she crossed a line. Asking people to go out and vote is not outside the realm of reasonable. Even asking people to spread the word is not a bad thing. Book lovers tend to be a generous lot. You find someone who really loves her books, and they’ll happily tout them to others. Word of mouth is a precious commodity when it comes to the book world. But lambasting a group because they chose not to vote for her, despite “all the things” she’d done for the group is just ridiculous.
Prime case of Author Fail.