Books aren’t babies

While going through my feed reader, I came across a review blog in which an author was guest posted. Her opening line was that she was pleased to announce the birth of a new book.

No. No no no.

Beyond being twee, the announcement plays into one of the biggest author ploys in Romancelandia. Books are not children.

Addressing them as such is a passive-aggressive tactic authors use to discourage legitimate (negative) criticism and to stifle discussion. It turns anyone who dares think the book isn’t perfectly precious into a picky, bitchy reader who apparently doesn’t “get” or refuses to abide by the “be nice” rule.


That author has just joined my Authors To Avoid list. She could be the next Nora Roberts; I don’t care. The first impression from that announcement killed.


Filed under Book related

3 responses to “Books aren’t babies

  1. AGREED.

    Also, when I share my opinion on a book, I don’t take into account how hard they worked on it. That’s just mean of me to say that but give me an effing break. I work hard at my job too and see business get transferred out on almost daily business. I know that sounds harsh but I only care about the end product. Books are a consumer product that people can praise and trash to their hearts content. Books shouldn’t be seen as other than a consumer good period. /rant over

    • The idea that readers should care about the author’s effort perplexes me. It muddies everything, and circles back to the $3 coffee argument. If authors want to paid for the purported value of their time, then they should go into a field that bills hourly; writing genre fiction is not one of them.

      That author’s announcement really tweaked my nerves.

  2. My favorite thing about having been published for more than a week (whu? wow–almost 8 years) is that the “ohhhh my precioussss” feeling is long gone. Writing is work and that’s appropriate. Work is not my identity. There was a time when my writing was far too dear to me–the actual words and not just the process (which I still enjoy). Pfah on that.

    I think either you get over that stage or you quit writing. Anyway, people who hold it too close will be injured as soon they put their stuff out to the public. They are more to be pitied than censured, as Bertie Wooster would say. The worst outcome: they lose their friends who don’t read and love their stuff. I never got near that point, not even close, but I’ve met a few people who have, poor dears.

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