I decided to follow one of my favorite authors on social media to keep up with her news and book releases. We’d met at a Romance Writers of America conference after being introduced by a mutual acquaintance. Though I think I hid it well, I had a fan girl moment when we shook hands. She might never remember meeting me, but I was glad to put a face to the byline of the books I’d enjoyed so much.
To my dismay, the warm and fuzzy feelings I had about this author evaporated after only days of reading her personal pages. It turned out she had a cantankerous personality. Her negative posts on Twitter and Facebook turned me off so much that I stopped following her. My enjoyment of her books soured and the loss still rankles.
The same thing happened after a mid-list author trashed a few celebrity authors by name on her blog following the same RWA conference. She called some of the workshop leaders “stuck up,” “full of themselves” and worse. Her derogatory comments were so outlandish I decided I’d never read one of her books. Ironically, I don’t remember the names of all the celebrities she disparaged, but still remember hers.
Though I have definite opinions on just about everything, I hesitate to voice them on social media with my fans and author friends. I also refuse to get involved in attacks on authors and their work, publishers, and organizations, fueled by someone with an axe to grind who depends on the mob mentality to further her cause. It’s horrifying to watch these scenes play out and I avoid them like the plague.
In social media settings, despite good intentions, the occasional blunder is probably inevitable. But deliberate negative posts can ruin relationships and derail careers. I’ll never understand those who forget that our online personas leave indelible marks behind. But that’s just me. You might feel differently.
What’s your perspective regarding authors online? Should we speak our minds or just shut the hell up?
Best~ Adele Dubois
Visit Adele on her website at www.adeledubois.com
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