Posts tagged ‘book industry’

September 5th, 2011

Business in a Personal World

by Madeleine Rex

There will be debates over what is or isn’t professional till the end of time, no matter what industry you’re dealing with. The book industry just happens to deal very closely with people’s heart-strings.

I can’t blame an author for feeling upset if they read a negative or critical review of their book. It’s not easy to take criticism, particularly when it comes from a stranger or – even worse – a kid reviewer. I can easily imagine the stream of thoughts that might run through their head: What right does she have to criticize me? She doesn’t know what I was trying to do with that scene. How could she?! She’s a kid! (She is not me. There was a 50/50 option.)

Though it’s reasonable to feel upset, it’s totally inappropriate to voice your opinion or complain to the interwebz while upset. People have ended up in loads of trouble and up to their eyeballs in humiliation. Alex at Electrifying Reviews just posted a letter an author sent him after he wrote a less-than-bubbly review of their book. It’s so terrible it’s almost amusing.

There’s a shady balance between being yourself and exposing yourself. So much of the book industry functions online. This is where readers, writers, authors, publishers, agents, etc. chat and voice opinions. Sure, it’s fun, but let’s never forget that this is an industry – a business – and businesses only run smoothly when people are courteous and mature.

I’ve been lucky enough to avoid this sort of drama. I haven’t had any angry authors emailing me, threatening retribution. However, it’s only a matter of time. We bookish folk are an emotional and loud people, after all.

Have you ever found yourself in the middle of an awkward situation like this? How did you deal with it? More importantly: How do you deal with your own feelings online?