Home The Author The Book Reviews FAQs More Stuff The Other Side


BLOG

RSS Feed 

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

 

(Almost) breaking news: a debate!

Here's an interesting thing: John Scalzi criticising Laurell K. Hamilton for having a go at her fans.
http://www.scalzi.com/whatever/004739.html#comments

He's right, of course: it's all but impossible to win an online argument at the best of times, and when it's about you, a dignified silence and a lot of fist-chewing is probably the only option. Plus, if you wish, deleting negative comments from your own website, which, after all, you pay for. Nevertheless, Ms Hamilton has a couple of good points as well: it is a bit sus if people insist they haven't read books and then proceed to say what's wrong with them, it is disconcerting to get told you suck by a total stranger, there very likely is an element of love-to-hate going on with her readers (I can certainly think of a couple of movies I went to see knowing I probably wouldn't like them, but reckoning it would be interesting to discuss why), and, as I said just a few days ago when talking about series loyalty, if you don't like a series any more you probably should just stop reading it.

Much is said of interest on both sides, in other words.

I suspect Ms Hamilton is going to be roundly mocked for this, the Internet being what it is, which is a bit of a shame, as it's seldom nice to see someone pilloried (unless they've done something really bad, and disputing with your fans online is hardly tantamount to bombing a hospital or cutting down a rainforest). Personally I'm not gonna join in the teasing: there are some reasonable points in there, and she sounds fed up enough as it is.

It's a useful general tip to hopeful writers, though, when considering how to deal with rejections and feedback. When people criticise your stuff, it's very tempting to argue. But Hamilton is a huge, massive, bestselling author, and even she gets condemned when she argues with criticism. How people are currently reacting to her is an object lesson.

Have a look: it looks like being one of those notable internet moments that'll be referred to as an example of, well, whatever people are talking about, in many future online conversations.

Comments:
Kit wrote: "...it's all but impossible to win an online argument at the best of times..."

No it isn't.

I win. Ha.

(Er, sorry.)

Something else this little debate demonstrates is that having a blog is not necessarily a wise promotional move for an author.

Just as (s)he might be able to win over potential readers with well-written posts (or at least provoke them sufficiently to spark an interest in their work), (s)he might just as easily irritate and alienate a few thousand others with a few hundred carelessly-chosen words. Yikes.

Of course, this is not limited to blogs and the internet - there's a well-known and critically-acclaimed author whose novels I will probably never read, purely because he once irritated me so thoroughly with a piece of broadsheet journalism.

I guess it's just easier to do on the internet, with no editorial filters to keep things in check.
 
No need to apologise, you're quite right. You do win. I see no reason to be a bad sport about it: I am defeated fair and square. Well played, sir. Have the laurels.
 
Whoever said that all publicity is good publicity needs to be attacked by an enraged horde of crazy monkeys. There are at least two groups of people this isn't true for...writers and politicians. Anything negative seems to stick to one's reputation like krazy glue mixed with cement, and it is sad how the smallest comment can be blown into a huge slam-fest. The internet has given the lie to the idea that writers are all isolated from the rest of the world, and that the writing life is a lonely walk and that writers can only interact with their readers in significant ways while on tour and such.


www.jrvogt.com
 
Trainwreck.
 
Post a Comment



<< Home

Archives

July 2006   August 2006   September 2006   October 2006   November 2006   December 2006   January 2007   February 2007   March 2007   April 2007   May 2007   June 2007   July 2007   August 2007   September 2007   October 2007   November 2007   December 2007   January 2008   February 2008   March 2008   April 2008   May 2008   June 2008   July 2008   August 2008   September 2008   October 2008   November 2008   December 2008   January 2009   February 2009   March 2009   April 2009   May 2009   June 2009   July 2009   August 2009   September 2009   October 2009   November 2009   December 2009   January 2010   February 2010   March 2010   April 2010   June 2010   July 2010   August 2010   September 2010   October 2010   November 2010   December 2010   January 2011   February 2011   March 2011   April 2011   May 2011   June 2011   July 2011   August 2011   September 2011   October 2011   November 2011   December 2011   January 2012   February 2012   March 2012   April 2012   May 2012   June 2012   July 2012   August 2012   September 2012   October 2012   November 2012   December 2012   January 2013   February 2013   March 2013   April 2013   May 2013   June 2013   July 2013   August 2013   September 2013   October 2013   March 2014  

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?