Monday, June 13, 2011

Authors Are Real People

Well, now that POSSESSION is out into the world, I hope you're ready to settle back into just, well, this.

"Never before have so many people with so little to say said so much to so few."

Exciting, I know.

I've been thinking a lot, and you all know what that leads to. That's right: blog posts.

Today's is about book reviews/feedback. See, now that my book is out there, I've been getting some feedback. Let me clear about a couple of things:

1. I don't read reviews. I'm too emotionally intense. If I think it will be a good review, I *might* click on it. Or if you're my friend, I *might* click on it. I'm grateful for all the reviews, good--bad--whatever, but I just can't stomach reading them. (Don't hate me!)

2. The Internet is virtual, but I'm still a real, live person.

That said, I've been getting feedback. This usually comes in the form of an email. And it's not all good. I'm not saying it has to be, but I'm wondering at what point do people realize that authors are, in fact, real people (as stated in #2 above)? At what point do you, as readers, keep from sending an email to an author, and instead just talk to your real, live friends about the book you may or may not have liked?

I don't want to discourage anyone from emailing me, ever. But surely readers understand how much work goes into a book. How many hours. How many buckets of tears, and countless sleepless nights, and maybe even 20 (okay fine, 25) extra pounds.

Readers do know that authors slave over their books, right?

I'm not saying they have to like it. I'm not even saying they shouldn't voice their opinions--whether positive or negative. I am a voracious reader, and when I love a book, that's when I *might* email an author.

So yeah. I don't know.

So what am I saying? I'm not really sure. Maybe just that I am a real person, too.

Do you view your "friends" on the Internet as real people? Do you view authors as breathing humans, with feelings and goals and families? Or has this virtual world made us less sensitive?

DON'T FORGET: The POSSESSION virtual launch party is this Thursday, June 16. Festivities are happening all day long here on my blog, on twitter, and on the fansite. Don't miss out!

Click me. I'll take you to the fansite.


Natalie Aguirre said...

Oh Elana, that's too bad you're getting some e-mails that aren't nice. Especially during your debut week. But just focus on all the buzz and good words so many of us are spreading through our blogs for you. BTW, my contest for your book is going so well. There's lots of nice comments about you if you need a pick me up.

It's sad when people feel they can say not nice and sometimes mean things on the Internet or through e-mail because they don't have to face the person personally.

Jessica Bell said...

Who's sending you nasty emails???? Sheesh, want me to bash 'em up for ya? ;o)

Seriously now, I think that's pathetic someone emailing a bad review to an author. What's the purpose? Are they trying to make themselves feel better than you? That's ridiculous. I've only ever emailed two authors about a book I read and I emailed them because the books were so brilliant I couldn't contain myself. And yes, we are real people, with real feelings and I wouldn't even consider trying to hurt any one of us.

This kinda makes me angry. Anyway, Elana, keep your chin up. You're brilliant, you've done so much and put in so much work. Don't let the bastards get you down ;o)


Miranda Hardy said...

I like your philosophy of not reading reviews, I will do the same, but it's hard not reading emails that are staring you in the face. Keep being positive! I love your attitude.

Stina said...

Great idea about not reading reviews. I have a hard time reading them (not yours, but reviews in general) even though I'm not the author. If I love a book (or really liked it), it hurts if someone else does share my opinion. :P

I couldn't imagine how much it would hurt if it it's your book.

Theresa Milstein said...

I'm sorry people have been e-mailing you their opinions. If they're not positive, what purpose could that possibly serve?

If I had a book out, I'd have a hard time reading reviews too. But that's different from opening my inbox and being hassled there. (Other than stupid spammers.) Authors are more accessible than ever, and we should respect that relationship.

I'll post reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. I'll talk to friends about books. If I have a positive review, I may post it in my blog. But that's as far as I'll go. And when I give a 2 or 1 review, I'm aware of an author who slaved over those books. But I also am going to be honest because some just don't work for me. But I stick with what the positives and negatives are of the book. I don't make it personal and I don't get nasty.

See those people for who they are, and move on. xo

Katie Ganshert said...

Great post, Elana, and something important to think about.

I'm all for constructive feedback - but is a good time to give that feedback after the book's already out there? When the writer can't do a thing about it? We writers are angst-ridden enough. The reviews freak me out!

Just so you know - I've only heard great things about your book!

Anita Saxena said...

Of course, I think authors are real people. I believe in the philosophy if you don't have anything good to say, don't say anything at all. I like to review books on my blog (aka Gossip time posts), but I only review books I feel strongly about in a positive way.

Amie McCracken said...

Honestly, I don't think people know how much an author puts into their work. Books are not widely seen as art. They don't realize that little pieces of our souls are attached to our writing. I know it's hard, but sometimes you have to take what people say lightly. They don't always know what they're saying. And they don't reread and edit their emails like you did your book.


Candyland said...

What good could come from emailing you after you've published said book anyway, other than to make you feel bad?? That makes me mad. Especially because it's YOU. You ARE a real person, with feelings and everything. That sucks.

Cynthia Lee said...

Ugh. Sorry you've received ugly emails. There's always a jack-ass out there, feeling jealous, and spreading jack-assery into the world. It comes with the territory.

Yes, I definitely think of the people I follow as real people.

Laura Pauling said...

I'd probably read some reviews but then stop b/c everyone reacts to books differently. I think readers, esp. ones that aren't writers, forget the authors are real people with feelings. Congrats on an awesome launch!

Anonymous said...

Hi there! New reader here. First of all, congrats on Possession!

So here's the thing - I don't think the average reader does realize just how much work goes into a book. In their minds it's ridiculously easy and they have every right to send authors unkind e-mails because, hey, writing isn't "real" work! Unless they're writers or are close to someone who is a writer, they just don't get it. Anyhow, sorry to hear you've been getting those kinds of e-mails. I'm an aspiring writer and I cringe at the thought that I may receive those e-mails one of these days... *shudder*

As for me, I definitely try to keep in mind that behind every comment on my blog, every blog I comment on, every book I read etc. etc. that there is a person at the other end with real feelings. I do think that our increasing use of the 'net as a form of communication has made us less sensitive in general. Then again, though, I've seen the positive side, too, where total strangers come together to help another total stranger.

All the best! :-)

Mundie Moms said...

I am so sorry you've received some not so nice emails. It's amazing to me the kind of things people say about authors either in email format or in their not so nice reviews. I don't understand why they feel it's okay to personally attack an author because they didn't enjoy their book.

Like Theresa mentioned, when I write reviews for books I don't like, I focus on something I liked about the book, while still being honest in a respectful way about I didn't like.

I like your point about reviews. I can only imagine how nerve racking that would be reading reviews, the good and bad ones. That's like listening to someone criticize your baby, which would be very hard to listen to no matter what they said.

Anonymous said...

So true. That's why I love when bloggers write posts about themselves and things they do and things they like. Makes them feel more real. I love getting to know people that way. :)

Kelly Hashway said...

I live by the "if you don't have any nice to say, don't say anything at all" philosophy on this. As an author, I know how tough this industry is. Whether I personally liked a book is irrelevant. The author poured him/herself into those pages. I have no right to email them and say I didn't like the book. I'm one person. What I dislike, another will love. Besides, there's enough negativity in this world. Why would you choose to bring someone down like that?

I'm sorry you're going through this, Elana. I think I have a cure for you though. Do you see that button on the top of your email that says "delete"? It's a wonderful thing. ;)

Be proud of yourself and don't allow anyone to bring you down.

Jonathon Arntson said...

I have never ever given bad thoughts to an author. I have said I didn't connect or they lost me on Goodreads, but I am almost always take responsibility for the way I feel about a book.


Megan said...

I first encountered this problem when I worked as an editorial assistant - because people couldn't see me, they would send me the meanest emails. Something about email and the internet makes people throw manners out the window. It helped me grow a thicker skin, but then, they weren't criticizing something I slaved over, like a book.
I can't believe people have taken the time to send you negative feedback about your book. As a reader, I would only *maybe* send feedback directly to an author if I LOVED a book. If something in a book really offended me or if there were serious grammatical or factual errors, then I might contact the editor, but I would never send negative feedback directly to an author unless the author specifically asked me to. It seems like bad manners, but then, I am from the south, so maybe my manners meter is on overdrive.
I haven't read the book yet, but it's on my to-read in the next month list. Can't wait to dive into it.

Karen Baldwin said...

Whenever I have negative opinions about books I've read, I never even think to let the author know...I mean they've passed the scrutiny of agents, editors, and publishers and are published! That alone humbles my criticism.

Rachael Harrie said...

I'm so sorry to hear you're getting that sort of email Elana :( Particularly this week, when you should be on a book release high! (FWIW, I can't wait to read Possession *grins*)

I have noticed what you're referring to in the blogging community though. Particularly when people ask you to do a favor (which you do, because that's just who you are), then they don't even bother to say thank you or acknowledge the hours you spent (for free) on their behalf. It's sad, in a way, but I try to remind myself that it's their loss, not my problem. And that the joys of belonging to this community far outweigh the one or two down moments.

Another for what it's worth, but we're all here cheering for you and sending you hugs :)


Christine Murray said...

I too am a devotee of 'if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all'. I also think that it's incredibly arrogant to think that my negative opinion is the definitive decision on a book. I'm sorry you've been getting a tough time.

I actually do think of online friends as people. The same rules apply. But remember, it's so much easier to destroy a painting than to create something. People are projecting their frustrations about their own life on to you. Try not to take it personally.

Theresa Milstein said...

I'd like to add that every book on Goodreads, once it has a good amount of reviews, has one stars to five stars. And every book I've come across has 3.7 stars to 4.5 stars for an average. If Harry Potter hovers in early 4 territory, it shows how subjective ratings are.

But personally e-mailing to be negative is despicable.

Christina Lee said...

My stomach aches for you. The sad truth is that, yeah, some people DON'T GET IT!! And in every facet of life this will be true--and especially if you or part of you becomes "public". I may be one of the few people who feels sorry for celebrities (at times).

The good news is that there are people who DO get it (YAY)!!!

But, yeah it probably stings and hurts and feels so frustrating.

*cracks my knuckles and gets my numchucks (sp?) ready* <--I've got Ninja skillz

storyqueen said...

I am perplexed.

Perhaps this is why many authors choose almost no online presence at all....

I just don't get the point of emailing an author about what you might not have liked about their book.


Paul Greci said...

Some excellent thoughts here, Elana! I think people do forget that people are people whether you know them thru a blog or facebook or where-ever.

Congrats on a great book launch!

Melissa Sarno said...

Oh my goodness, Elana! Who is being mean to you? I'm gonna go beat 'em up! That is just uncalled for. I do think of authors and bloggers as real people. I don't e-mail authors unless I love their books. I met a librarian once who loved a book and thought there wasn't a wasted word in the book except for ONE word (side note: I find that fascinating) She wanted to e-mail the author to tell her about that one word! I was like, 'Think about what you're saying! Please don't do that!!!' I wondered why the librarian couldn't just tell the author she loved it and that the author doesn't waste words. Why would the librarian tell her the one thing she did wrong so she can have nightmares about her one wasted word?! My goodness. People are just unecessarily critical!

Sarah Ahiers said...

i can't believe people actually take the time to email authors when they don't like the book. I mean, why? What is even the point of that?

Unknown said...

Just keep in mind that sending a negative email says way more about the person sending it than it does about you (in fact it says nothing about you). I guarantee someone has emailed J.K. Rowling saying Voldemort just wasn't a believable antagonist. Whatever. Keep your head up and enjoy your debut week--you deserve it. :)

Nicole Zoltack said...

I talk to hubby all the time about my blogging writer friends so of course I think of you all as real people!

I've only emailed an author once and that was because I loved the book. I can't imagine email the author because I didn't. I just don't see the point.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

I've received one bad review for my first novel and I never read it. Luckily, the author warned me ahead of time. But today I post two good reviews on my blog because I think I'm still afraid people won't take me seriously. I know that's weird, I am published, but it goes back to when I was a kid and couldn't get adults to listen. Wow, that's more than I need to explain. Just know that I get where you're coming from, Elana. And because I'm a real person, I appreciate you and everything you blog about.

Emily White said...

I've actually never written to an author after reading his/her book. To tell the truth, I never really considered it a possibility until about a year ago when I read an author's blog post where she was talking about all this wonderful fan mail she was getting from tweens. I just kind of sat back and said, "huh, well I never thought of that."

I don't know what would make me write to an author, but I definitely wouldn't write to an author of a book I didn't particularly care for. It's one person's opinion and I'm not about to ruin someone's day because *I* (the great and powerful me *snark*) didn't happen to like it. There's enough negativity in the world. I don't like to spread it around.

Sara B. Larson said...

I definitely don't express it to the author, and rarely to others unless I'm point blank asked, when I don't like a book. It's my opinion, and it's just that--an opinion, based on my feelings, thoughts, life experiences, etc. I'm sorry if anyone is being mean through their emails. Maybe have your hubby or someone else screen them for you first? Stay positive, there is so much love for you and your book out there!!

Tracey Neithercott said...

I know what you mean about not seeing authors as "real" people. If there's an author I really love, it is hard sometimes to imagine them picking up their kids from school or making dinner. Still, that doesn't mean I'd send a nasty letter.

I can't think of any reason to send a mean letter to an author. (Well, maybe if they were super mean at a signing or something, but even then I probably wouldn't.) No matter how much I dislike a book, I can't imagine what emailing the author would accomplish besides making them feel like crap.

I think, like with blogging, there are just trolls out there looking to get a rise out of someone. And since it's via email they think of it differently than they do face-to-face encounters. Don't let it get to you. For every mean email you get, there are ten people who loved your book and are telling their friends about it. :)

Tere Kirkland said...

Wow. I'm speechless. Who feels the need to express their disappointment in a book directly to the source?

Why not do something constructive with that disappointment like, I don't know, read a different book?

Or write a review, if you need to unload about it that badly. Authors have enough stress, they don't need to see reviews in their inbox.

Sorry your release week has been less than stellar, Elana.

Lydia Kang said...

Ugh, as if the stress of being a debut author isn't enough!

I'd echo everything that Jess said in her comment above.

I wonder if there's a little bit of sour grapes in the emails you're getting.

I understand being brutally honest if you're a crit partner, but unasked for criticism? That's completely out of line.

Unknown said...

I guess this is the (dark) side of publishing that we don't think of when we all sit around wishing we were you! :)

Emily R. King said...

What is it about having writing published that makes people believe authors are immortal? The writing may be immortalized, but the writers are still very much mortals. I feel for you, Elana. Keep your chin up and stand tall. Hugs!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

People online are real people. Robots couldn't come up with stuff like this!
I'm not afraid to read reviews of my book and there's only been a few 'eh' ones that bummed me out. Glad no one's emailed to say they didn't like it though!

Mart Ramirez said...

Aw man. Someone like you so does not deserve that! I'm so sorry. I always read that it is best not to read reviews because the good ones will make your head swell and the bad ones bring you down.

This is a very exciting week for you! You have a ton of excited fan and frineds rooting for Possesions. Please do not let anyone take that happiness away. You deserve better, Elana. **Hugs**

Patti said...

That reminds me of the saying "if you don't have anything nice to say - don't say anything at all."

It's okay not to like a book, but I would never email an author and tell them that, what purpose would that serve?

Lola Sharp said...


More *hugs*

Christine Fonseca said...

I love this post...we ARE real people, and we get lots and lots of email. Every. Single. Day. The tough ones...those are just...well..yea! Like that.

Krispy said...

I think that's one of the ongoing issues cropping up on the internet: the anonymity and distance of the internet sometimes brings out the nastiest parts of people.

I believe in honest reviews, even if they're negative, but I don't think there's any reason for someone to EMAIL the author directly to say they didn't like the book or had issues with part of it. Like most people wouldn't go up to someone (stranger or not) just to say, "Hey, I don't like your shoes/book/hair/whatever."

Anyway, to answer your question, I try to keep in mind that there's a PERSON behind the screen names and blogs. I'm sorry you've gotten less than stellar emails, but I hope you get lots more awesome ones!

GunDiva said...

I'm always astounded at people who seem to think that authors are just robots who sit and type all day.

I know the kind of blood, sweat and tears I put into my own writing - and I'm not published. I can't even imagine how much you have invested in your work.

On a happier note - my daughter just finished POSSESSION and I'm under strict orders to beg for an ARC of the next one. I promise if I get an ARC, I'll actually get my review up in a timely manner this time :)

Shari said...

Authors are real people? And here I was hoping to become a goddess when I became published. My hopes are now completely dashed.

Apparently I need to apologize for the "hunting you down" comment in the e-mail I sent you. I'm so sorry. ;) :) :D

Susan said...

I think the anonymity of the Internet has definitely made people less sensitive. That being said, I think reviewers have a responsibility to be honest about the products they're evaluating. Still, emailing a negative review to an author is not only rude, but extremely unprofessional.

To answer your question, when I review a book I look at it as an object, just like I would a dishwasher, a hair dryer or a makeup product. When I evaluate it, I ask myself the same questions I ask about any other kind of product - Did it work for me? Why or why not? And, most of all, is the product worth purchasing?

When I review books, I'm not thinking about the AUTHORS, I'm thinking about the READERS. Books are expensive, not only in terms of money but in terms of time. I don't want to waste either - neither do my readers. So, I write reviews that are as honest as I can make them, whether that hurts the author's feelings or not. The reviewer's responsibility, in my opinion, is always to the consumer. If he/she's writing to please an author/manufacturer then he/she cannot be trusted.

So, yeah, I realize that authors are living, breathing, feeling humans and that their books are like their babies, but the fact is, readers are the ones who enable authors to write and they deserve honest evaluations of the products (books) they're buying.

Sorry you asked? LOL. A great discussion, though :)

Stephsco said...

Good manners are always appropriate! I would never dream of sending off a snarky email to an author if I didn't like their book, but I suppose the freedom of our online world makes some feel this is OK.

I greatly appreciate reading a review on Amazon or Goodreads that is tactful about the dislike for a book. The amazing thing about reading is we all take something different from a story. I like knowing why someone didn't like a book or if they point out it may not have been the right one for them because of x-y-z.

Sarah Allen said...

You are so right, and thank you for being so honest. We are real people. Don't let any of the haters get you down, they're arrogant fools who have no idea what they're talking about. Keep being awesome!

Sarah Allen
(my creative writing blog)

Michelle McLean said...

I've always written little stories here and there but it wasn't until I sat down to do it "for real" that I realized just how much work goes into a book. So I can guarantee you the average reader doesn't have a clue.

And I think authors are viewed the same way actors are...there for entertainment value :) I think people have a hard time seeing the person behind the art.

Personally I'd never bother an author with a bad email...if I hate the way a book turns out, I get on the phone with my sis or another friend and hash it out with them.

The people who write mean emails are the same people who would rather sneer at you than smile if they passed you on the street; the ones who are rude to their waitresses; the ones who call customer service centers and chew out the poor phone operator for something that isn't that person's fault.

And nothing gets those people's goats worse than being ignored ;-)

Just listen to those of us who know you and love you and :P to the peeps that have nothing better to do with their lives than badger a stranger for something they could never in a million years accomplish :)

Kristen Knight said...

Who's sending you bad feedback. I'm going to punch them in the face. Oh, did I just say that outloud?

Shannon O'Donnell said...

All right, that's it--where is my big stick?! I'm going to beat a few heads, Elana!

Anyway, this post got me and my hubby talking, and he says NO, people DO NOT understand how much work and tears and extra poundage goes into writing a book, especially with celebrities who blink and are on a shelf. And I agree. It's A LOT tougher than anyone who is not a writer thinks.

And I also think the internet HAS de-sensitized us. It's too easy to communicate with people, so we're not as likely to think it through--ya know? If you had to sit down and hand write a critical letter, address and stamp it and physically MAIL it, the reality that it's going to be opened and read by a human being is hard to avoid or deny.

Hang in there, friend. You are BELOVED and so is your book. And I have a BIG STICK if you need it! :-)

Jemi Fraser said...

Yikes!! I've been floating around the bloggy-verse for a while now and I'm still too intimidated to send emails to authors I don't 'know' and I would only be sending positive/excited ones. WHY would anyone send an email that's less than good news? These folks really need to talk to Peter Rabbit's mother!

Kaylee Baldwin said...

I don't know. It was an eye opener to me when my book came out how opinionated people are and how the liked to share those thoughts with me. I had a friend email me a review (I don't read reviews either b/c they KILL me) saying she thought I might like to read it. I opened it because it was from a friend--and it was not a good review! Why would she send that to me??? And once, I got a phone call from someone about my book that was less than pleasant.

So, I don't know. Maybe people assume that authors have thicker skin that we really do. Or that we can separate ourselves from our writing. Or that we are dying for them to rip apart something we spent YEARS on and send it to us!

I print out the good reviews and keep them close, so if a bad one gets thrown my way, I can pull out the good and say, "Well, Melba from Springville liked my book." :)

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hi Elana,

I always thought of you and EVERY author a real person. That is one of the things I like most about you. You answer emails and busy as you are. You drop by my blog on occasion and I am thrilled for your visit/comment.

We've talked about REAL issues and I enjoyed each one of your conversations via email.

I really wanted to be more active in your launch by coming to the event in Utah, but I just couldn't get away. I did do lots of post on POSSESSION and supported all your hosts with comments. I enjoyed being part of the process.

I know many published author's and I leave comments on their blogs, but you Elana, are one of the few that write back and drop by. I just want to let you know how my I appreciate it. I hope to follow in your footsteps when the time comes for my published book.

I keep trying and polishing and I won't give up because it's not in my nature. I also know I have some degree of talent so hopefully it will be discovered by an agent soon.

Take a few deep breathes and I for one appreciate all my blog friends and know they are real. I try to meet as many of them as I can to bond even closer.


Liz P said...

Maybe easier said and done, but don't listen to the negative stuff! Though I'm sure if I was in your position, I would have a hard time taking that advice. I have a soft skin and reading anything negative about something I worked so hard on would be difficult to accept.

It is unfortunate that people can be overly critical, harsh, or downright mean. Authors become just a name on a dust jacket - "Here's this book in my hands that I bought off a shelf by some person I never met and never will." It's as if the author - the person - doesn't exist. Like the book was just magically typed up and published. I think some people think this way when they read a book. There's no connection to the person or the work that went into it, because they don't understand. Hell, I didn't really know, really understand, until I started writing myself just how much work and sweat went into crafting something good and meaningful - and I still have a ways to go!

Criticism in any form is hard to take. Take anything useful, and dump the rest. Don't let it mar your success or the wonderful journey to this achievement.

Keep smiling and enjoy everything this time in your life has to offer.

Meredith said...

I can't see myself ever emailing or messaging an author and saying something negative about their book. That's just ridiculous. But I think you're right that the virtual world makes us lose our sense sometimes.

Amber said...

I know you tend to respond to everyone who contacts you. Because you're a real person! Not just real but very authentic. As you become more and more popular you may have to cut back. I know - horrible and mean! Those negative people should be the first ones to go. You don't need to spend time or a second thought on their negativity. Imagine taking the time to email a perfect stranger not to rave about them but to tear them down, sad.

Donna K. Weaver said...

People will do things when they can hide behind anonymity that they would never (mostly) do in real person. They do it behind the wheel of a car and with an acid pen. It's fine that there are people who won't like what we write. If everyone like the same stuff this would be a really boring world. But it's either arrogance or ignorance that readers make it personal.

You weren't writing for them anyway. You were writing for those who will love your book.

Bethany Elizabeth said...

You're not just a real person, you're a beautiful, kind, talented person who wrote an amazing book. :)

Little Ms J said...

I got my copy in the mail yesterday, my dear, and I can't WAIT to read it. And don't forget there is a ratio. Five crappy emails are canceled out by one good one. Did no one tell you this? Jeesh.

Unknown said...

Need me to come over? I've got bacon, the quick microwavable kind, and together, we will find these people who are sending you these horrible emails. I know a guy. (Disclosure Statement: If you're the FBI and you're reading this, I don't really know a guy but a pig may have been harmed just before this email. Sorry.)In all seriousness, as long as you believe in yourself, which you do, the rest doesn't really matter. :)

LynNerdKelley said...

The thought never occurred to me to email an author about a book I didn't like. I don't see the point in doing that. There are you-know-whats in cyberspace and the real world, but it's so much easier to insult someone when you don't have to say it to their face. Kind of chicken . . .

Shallee said...

I think it's fine for people to post honest (not mean or attacking) reviews, and to talk about disliking a book among their friends. But I can't believe people would personally email something mean or harsh to an author! I do think the barrier of the internet makes people do things that aren't so nice. It's sad, and I'm sorry.

Melissa Lemon said...

Negative people will be negative. It's unfortunate, but true. But sending you an e-mail? That's going a little too far. If they felt strongly enough to send you an e-mail, then your book made them think/feel something and isn't that a good thing? Thanks for the warning. I can't wait to read your book. Oh, and I'm a real person, too.

Brenda Sills said...

I'm so sorry, Elana. I can never understand why people want to be hurtful - it boggles my mind how someone can be human and want to cause pain to someone else. People who say that these are just honest reviews of a book are incorrect and they misunderstood - no one should ever send an email to be hurtful, ever. I wouldn't read them either. It's important to keep as much positivity as you can around you and not let such negative things in.
You are much more real of a person than many people are - you're genuine, friendly, and so caring about others. Just remember how loved you are! :D

Ishta Mercurio said...

Great post!

And I can tell you, from conversations I've had with people who don't know any authors, that they don't get it. They don't know how many hours (and hours and hours AND HOURS) go into writing a book. They have no idea about how many revisions a book has to go through. They think we all just sit around in our easy chars with our lattes in hand merrily tip-tapping away, and getting 12 hours of sleep a night. I don't know why they don't get it. Maybe they don't want to? Maybe that would spoil the magic? I don't know.

But that doesn't make it okay for them to send you not-nice emails.

I do think the internet gives some people enough distance from the consequences of their actions that they forget that they're talking to real people with feelings. That incident with a self-pubbed author responding angrily to her less-than-stellar review was an example. It's inexcusable - we're adults, right? And we adult parents should be talking to our kids about this, right? So we should all be being nice. But some people forget.

Just ignore them. Delete them. Forget them. Those emails aren't really for you; they're for the people who wrote them. Remember that always.

Anonymous said...

I never write an author unless it's a positive email. And it's usually just to gush over what I loved. I can't fathom (ever) writing an author to tell them I didn't like their book. That's beyond weird, to me. What are they going to do about it? Reprint and republish it? Silly.

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