Tempests in Teacups
I have a fan page on Facebook, which recently took away my ability to post directly after each comment. Now I post, get a hundred remarks, and if I want to reply to an individual I have to include that in my status post. (I may have the terminology wrong, but that’s the new procedure.)
Recently I posted that I’d turned in the editorial changes for the next Sookie novel, DEADLOCKED. Amid all the encouraging responses was one that definitely rubbed me the wrong way. One poster said, “Well, I hope the next one’s better than your last two.” That was not the end of his remarks.
Most often I can ignore stuff like that. But I was having an irritable day. So when I updated my status, as part of the text I said, “If you don’t like the books, don’t read them. There are plenty of books out there to read.” For the life of me, I don’t understand why people keep reading series if they don’t enjoy them.
I might as well have lit a match and stuck it to a fuse. Of course, there were readers who hadn’t read the original remark, and they wondered why I was so “snippy.” Some readers took as instant an offense to my remark as I had to the poster’s. One more thoughtful reader said that telling people to read other books was a cop-out, since I dodged responding to the criticism (I’m still thinking about that one).
One reader gently suggested that I leave posting on my fan page to the people at Penguin. I had to laugh.
This is the danger of on-line communication, of course. I was genuine in my response to that reader. Please, read other books if you don’t think mine are any good. Why would you put yourself through that? But it’s also true I was less than smooth about how I phrased it, and I should have cited his post specifically.