Monday, February 24, 2014

Dear Lynn Shepherd - I suggest you get a new pen name.

Okay, this rant was sparked by THIS article on HuffPo by one Lynn Shepherd. Who, by now, is probably wishing she'd listened to her friend's advice and NOT written this. Her books are being 1-stared left and right on the 'Zon now by people who never read them, using her own words against her.

TL;DR version: She disses the Harry Potter series despite admitting she's never read them, and laments that JK Rowling is the reason she's not selling books, because JK is just SO dang popular and adult readers are turning their minds to mush by not reading more gown-up fare.

I didn't much mind Rowling when she was Pottering about. I've never read a word (or seen a minute) so I can't comment on whether the books were good, bad or indifferent. I did think it a shame that adults were reading them (rather than just reading them to their children, which is another thing altogether), mainly because there's so many other books out there that are surely more stimulating for grown-up minds. But, then again, any reading is better than no reading, right? But The Casual Vacancy changed all that.

*gag*

Maybe we need to ask her when the funeral for her pen name is and all send flowers, because, damn, I can't think of a faster way to totally tank your career than to piss off a WORLD of readers by looking like a jealous, petty, wannabe hack.

My response?

Wow. Lynn, darling, you REALLY should have listened to your friend. You just totally tanked your pen name, you realize that, right?

This is THE best illustration, EVER, to newbie authors on what NOT to say in public and how NOT to piss off a world of readers and fellow writers. So thank you for that, at least. Your post probably spawned a metric shit-ton of blog posts on what NOT to do.

Instead of whining about successful writers, how about working on your craft and, oh, maybe on your people skills? From your article, I suspect I know EXACTLY why you aren't selling a lot of books. You come off as arrogant, jealous, petty, and judgmental. *shrugs* Just calling them as I see them.

Do I wish I was making JK's earnings? Sure. But instead of whining about how successful she is, I'm GLAD she and EL James and all the others are doing great. It means that reading is ALIVE AND WELL. Just because it's not your cuppa doesn't mean it's wrong.

I think you need to look in the mirror when you talk about people who should stop writing. You're obviously in it for all the wrong reasons.

30 comments:

  1. *fistpump* You tell her! Sorry... I am one of the readers she pissed off. Nobody tells me what to read. If I wanna read troll sex (and I have. I wouldn't recommend it. *eye twitch and shudder* But if that's your thing, enjoy!), that's my business. Authors should be a sisterhood/brotherhood, supporting each other, not a competition.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tracey, exactly. There are books I love that aren't popular, and popular books I don't enjoy, but everyone has a right to read what they want and no one has a right to put them down over it. She massively pissed me off with her comments and she's been added to my "do not read" list.

      Delete
  2. *double fistbump* WORD. What a total nutcase. *SMDH*

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tara - Yep. That she's so clueless and self-absorbed speaks volumes.

      Delete
  3. She's the literary equivalent of Tonya Harding... shot herself in the foot

    ReplyDelete
  4. That was a horrible piece for her to write, although I will support her right to do so. That being said, reading - much like like music, art and theatre - is subjective. The reason so many different sub-genres exist is because it's impossible for all people to like the same thing. Now, I LOVED the HP books - but let me tell you, The Casual Vacancy bored me to tears in three chapters. But to all who enjoyed it, I say FABULOUS. As long as people are reading, we will find an audience. It might not be as big or as loud as Rowlings, but somewhere, out there, a reader will enjoy our offerings.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Miz - Oh, I support her right to write it, but she sure didn't do herself any favors by doing so. If she was trying to get herself some attention, I hope she's enjoying it now. She just lost herself far more readers than she ever would have earned.

      Delete
    2. That's exactly what I think she was trying to do by this. I think she thought that even bad publicity was good publicity.

      Delete
  5. At least JK Rowling came up with her own cast of characters! Lynn Shepherd basically repurposes Dickens and Austen characters to make them do what SHE wants, not what the literary greats from the past wanted. If you feel you have a story to tell, devise your own characters, don't steal them from someone else, even if they ARE out of copyright!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I haven't read any of her stuff *snort* and never will now, but some of the reviews I saw on her books written before this fiasco said what you just said.

      Delete
  6. Well said, but... I'd like to add that this arrogant author leaves something out. Are we really to believe that if she was in JK's shoes that she wouldn't also try to continue her successful run at all costs? Would she really bow out of a genre that clearly works? *smh* What a dumb ass.. err.. I mean, what a meanie poo pants!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I agree 100%. I would never slam an author because of their success. It just sounded like sour grapes to me. How can you complain about a series that you have never read. I read so many different types of books, but I would never review or blog about something I never read. I will not buy from authors with small minds, so Ms. Shepherd has lost this book buyer.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Totally agree, Timber. Her comments really were the kind of thing that should be saved for a private rant with a good friend after you just got yet another rejection, probably while drowning your sorrows with a bottle of voddy. She had a right to say it, of course, but you kind of wonder what she was trying to achieve. Maybe she believes any publicity is good publicity? I guess we'll wait and see.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Terrible article, but to "punish her" by trying to ruin her writing career is overkill.

    The flood of one-star reviews on Amazon from upset readers of that article is very troubling at how the Amazon reviews can be gamed by the unscrupulous (positive and negative reviews).

    These are equivalent of five-star reviews used to promote, but instead these fake one-star reviews used to destroy. Amazon should delete all of those fake reviews.

    There are other ways to vent disdain in her article - comments section in her HuffPo piece, blogs posts like this one, etc., those are perfectly legit ways to express dislike about her article vs. sullying what's supposed to be Amazon customer (reader) reviews.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @AJ - Oh, I agree with you on the 1-stars. I'm not condoning the 1-starring activity, but in today's age, it's a completely predictable outcome to what she posted. Had she been even remotely in tune with readers, she would have anticipated that. (Then again, had she been remotely in tune with readers, she never would have posted her article in the first place.)

      Delete
  10. This would only make sense if we were only allowed say 10 books in our 80+ year lifespan...I mean yes we all read HP but between volumes we were checking out other books. Why pick on JK and not say Stephen King, James Patterson or the other prolific and widely selling authors. Oh and I think she has read HP or at least watched a movie...how would she know he had a cape that made him invisible? I also agree with AJ....the worst punishment is to ignore her and her books. We will all keep buying books, reading them and recommending them just not hers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @Annie - Yep, she won't get any of my money, that's for sure.

      Delete
  11. Great response Tymber! She is on my.."I will never read books by this person" list..another reader (and one who spends a LOT on books) is lost to her.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Yes! This article irked me! Seriously? After you admit that you have never read Rowlings, you then have the nerve to bash what she does. You should be celebrating her success as it means that people, all kinds of people, are still using their minds to read something besides twitter! I DEVOUR books. I read at least 4 to 5 books a week if not more but I will be adding her to my "no fly" list.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @Dawn - Exactly. The publishing world is not a zero-sum pie we have to stingily divvy up. It's unlimited. And for an author to give themselves this kind of negative publicity does nothing but short-change themselves.

      Delete
  13. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-echochambers-26331650 Wow! You were quoted by the BBC, Tymber!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @Luxie - I know!!! I just saw that and hyperventilated! LOL :) Thanks for the link!

      Delete
  14. What a maroon. At least I know who not to read now. I consider myself a literate person and wouldn't comment on a book or series I hadn't read. When the HP series first came out, I read the books before my kids did because of the controversy surrounding the "magic" in the books. I felt that it wouldn't do my kids any harm. As a matter of fact, my ADHD son with major dyslexia READ the first 2 books by himself without me telling him to. This alone makes me a fan of JK Rowling.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Totally! You go girl!
    I LOVE to read, sometimes I'm just happy that all I get to read that day is the back of the cereal box, other days I wish I could have read more than once sentence in War and Peace other days I read 2 ebooks ... I read. Who cares what I read as long as I read right?!! She needs to take her pen out of her assssssss and smell the daisies whilst they are flowering because methinks they won't be flowering any longer for her now!

    ReplyDelete