Be Nice

It sounds so simple, doesn’t it? Or if you can’t manage nice, at least shoot for polite. “And why,” I hear you ask, “is that important today, Michelle? Why do you feel the need to regale us with the obvious?” Well, I’ll tell you. Because it’s on my mind! You have a problem with that? Uh, yeah, anyway…

So I’m reading this book. For the sake of anonymity, let’s call it “The Book”. Written by Author X. I’m reading “The Book” and I’m quite enjoying it. I tell Reesa about it… something along the lines of “Hey, I’m reading this book. It’s pretty cool.” She looks at it and says “Oh yeah, Author X. She was at Authors after Dark. She walked out of one of our panels.”

Things. Instantly. Change. All of a sudden, I don’t want to like “The Book” so much. I’m kinda wishing I hadn’t bought it. Author X was rude and I don’t particularly enjoy contributing to the careers of the ill-mannered. Now I know this is skirting the edges of rational and reasonable thought processes, so no need to send me scathing emails denigrating my parentage or the fact that I dropped out of finishing school. I can’t walk with a dictionary balanced on my head. So sue me.

ANYWAY. I realize that there may have been extenuating circumstances. Her beeper went off letting her know that a kidney was available. Her kid texted her from jail. The Krispy Kreme hot light app went off. Whatever. The fact is, logically or not, it bothers me. A lot. Enough so that the chances are pretty freakin’ slim I’ll buy anything else by Author X.

So the lesson here tonight, kids? Be polite. Your career could be riding on it.

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2 Responses to “Be Nice”

  • Shannon M.

    This applies to reviews, too, particularly if you’re an author reviewing other authors.

    It’s entirely possible to write a review that is negative/critical without also being nasty — I wrote one for a story that I would have loved if not for one teeny tiny gigantic problem that I had with the way the characters behaved.

    (Also, maybe The Author in question really wanted to see your panel, but had to be on a panel that started in the middle of yours. That’s my biggest problem with con programming — I’ll often want to see two or three things that are all happening at once! Sigh.)

  • Allie

    This is so true. As a reader, I find myself completely distracted from a book if all I can think is “This is that one author who freaked out over some stupid non-review on Amazon…” Now I won’t even be able to try this one author (who I had never read before) because this is all I’ll be able to think about.

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