BENJAMIN LEROY (@tyrusbooks)
This month’s big distraction from quality books (the thing about publishing we should be celebrating) is the sock puppetry of online reviews, the puppeteers, and ultimately worthless discussions about the ethical implications of the behavior (present company included).
For those of you who have wisely/fortunately avoided all of the drama, here’s a capsule summary.
More than one author has recently been outed/has confessed/bragged about the fact that s/he routinely goes online to places like Amazon or Goodreads to praise his/her book, and in some cases not leaving the bar before spitting on other patrons by writing negative reviews about books written by peers.
A six year old, without use of graphs or complicated words, can explain to you why this is wrong. There isn’t really any debate to be had.
But, wait, Ben! It’s not illegal, and in today’s hypercompetitive marketplace, it’s incumbent upon an author to…
Stop. Just stop. It’s beneath your dignity to pony up that kind of bullshit. It’s an insult to my intelligence. And it’s time you’re wasting when you could be working on a more meaningful contribution to the world. Maybe that’s writing. Maybe that’s giving blood. Maybe that’s quality time set aside for reflecting on how just because something is illegal doesn’t mean it isn’t still the domain of assholes, and you likely don’t want to be a part of that gang.
The deck isn’t stacked against you by any sort of cabal. Integrity is more important than a five star review on Amazon. There aren’t excuses. There is no believable feigned ignorance.
Not even to a jury of six year olds in a first grade courtroom.For more talk about publishing and hypothetical courtrooms, visit www.benjaminleroy.com