Sunday, June 01, 2008
Ungracious author responses to criticism are doing the rounds on the blogs again. Especially the rampage Adra Steia had in the comments section at Book Binge.
What strikes me most is the author's suggestion that criticising a book is like criticising some one's baby. I have made the comparison in jest myself. But the fact is Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch's advice applies as much today as it ever did: murder your darlings. If your book feels like a baby then it may be a red flag about that author.
Of course emotional responses happen. And I must say I think the counter-attacks on blogs are basically author-baiting. This does introduce a level of 'be sure not to slip on the banana skin I thoughtfully placed in front of you'. But it does also demonstrate that ungracious responses do escalate the bad press.
After all, if you insult some one's baby they will probably walk away, not hit you with their handbag--if only to protect the baby from the ensuing scuffle.