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Flowers and World Building

Can You Separate the Book from the Author?

  • August 14, 2017
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I thought I found a new book to read today. It sounded great, was written by an author with a solid track record (even though I hadn’t heard of him before—there are so many hours in the day, forgive me), and the book got good reviews overall.

So what happened? I began reading the reviews that didn’t rave about the story. There was a 3-star review at Amazon that seemed fair (the reader was unsure how he felt about the book), but…the author responded with a comment. And what a comment! He called the reader a jerk, among other things.

This left me with a quandary. I had been leaning toward buying the ebook even though it was higher in price than most, but now I hesitated. I found a 1-star review listed and yep, the author replied to that with an even worse insult.

If I had been reading books by the author all along, I would probably have shrugged and ignored him and kept reading his books. But as a new author (new to me), I found it easier to walk away.

Maybe it’s not fair to judge the book by the person, but why would I give him money when he treats people so shabbily? There are plenty of other books clamoring for my attention.

Am I being too hard on the author? I don’t think so. Common courtesy should be a given. I’ve gotten good reviews for my novel, for which I’m grateful. And I’ve gotten horrifically bad reviews. For whatever reason, those people didn’t like my book. So be it. But would I insult them? Berate them? No. As an author and as a reader, I feel both sides deserve respect.

But…it’s a shame. I wanted to read that book.

What would you do?


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