Monday, November 16, 2015

The Power of the Pen

This is going to be a writer-geek post, but a little different from what I usually post on the subject.

I have a lot of writer friends on social media and they are supportive and kind to one another. I think that’s what I love best about romance writers. We build each other up, rather than spend time criticizing each other. In an industry dominated mostly by women, that’s kind of unique (I don’t mean to be stereotypical here, but...).

Readers, on the other hand, are of a slightly different breed. As an author, I depend on them. Without them, I can’t sell books. And I appreciate each and every reader who takes the time to buy or borrow, and read, my book. Good reviews, bad reviews, whatever. They have plenty of things to do with their time, and spending even an iota of their time reading my books is something I am truly thankful for. I’ve never met a reader who has been anything but kind to me, whether in person or on social media.

However, an author friend of mine recently received a review of her book that can only be considered bullying. Forget that the review was bad. Each reader is entitled to his or her own opinion and that opinion is valid, whether or not anyone else agrees with it. What galls me is that the reviewer took the time to include GIFs in the review, belittling the author and her work.

I’m sorry, but that is offensive. That is uncalled for. That makes the reader look like an idiot. If you want to slam a book, go ahead. But use respect and be kind. A book is more than a bunch of words thrown together. It is a product of a person’s soul.

It’s easy to hide behind the anonymity of social media to leave nasty comments about any number of people and things. Voicing your opinion is your right and is an expression of power. Turning into a bully and using your voice to belittle others is not powerful; it’s a sign of weakness—your own.

So by all means, read my books and review them. Honestly. Just treat me, and every other writer, as you, yourself, would like to be treated.

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