[LET’S CHAT] Do We Put Too Much Stock Into Authors?

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Obviously, we, as book bloggers, love books.

We devour them and love them and hate them and review them and recommend them and fangirl over them. But, an important component in the whole “book” process is the author. If authors didn’t exist, books wouldn’t exist. So, obviously, they’re pretty damn important.

So, I thought I’d dedicate a Let’s Chat to talking all about authors because there’s A LOT to talk about and dissect, not even mentioning all the scandals and drama surrounding authors after all these years. So, let’s get into it!

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So, now that we live in a world that thrives off of technology, we’ve been introduced to social media. Whereas back when I was born (which was back in 2000) most people read a book and that was it, we now live in an age where we can love a book and then go and tell the author that. Obviously, that has its positives and its negatives.

It’s definitely nice to interact with authors online. As someone who’s socially anxious, I know it’s much easier to tell an author I love their books online over in real life (even though I also don’t mind that). And it’s a fantastic way to get to know the writer behind the book, especially since, when you really think about it, we don’t really know much about an author past their book. So it’s nice to see what they love, what they hate, their author friends, what books they’d recommend, what they do when they’re not writing, etc.

Obviously, that comes easier to some over others. I know I only follow probably three authors on Twitter, and that’s basically it. I’ve seen people who are buddy-buddy with authors on a friendship level, which makes me totally jealous because I’d never be able to do that AND keep it professional. TELL ME YOUR SECRETS.

There’s also this huge debacle over sharing reviews and tagging authors. I know I’ve seen lots of Tweets that pop up once a month or so about how you shouldn’t tag authors in negative reviews of their books, which you’d think would be common sense, but apparently isn’t. I’ve also seen some people say that you shouldn’t tag authors in positive reviews because reviews aren’t for authors, which I get, but at the same time, if I gave five stars to their book and want to tell them, I’ll go ahead and do it because I know it might make their day. Personally, I used to tag authors in my positive reviews, but now I just don’t do it anymore because it gives me too much anxiety, and I just don’t want to.

We also have a sort of problem of author interpretation and such. Obviously, we, as readers, might see something that we consider canon or not canon, and the author thinks the opposite, which can elicit not-so-nice conversations. Unfortunately, this leads to…

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I feel like we really need to DEFINE “bad behavior” before we class it. Obviously, people have different takes on what author bad behavior is, but for me, it’s when an author actually does something threatening. For instance, Kathleen Hale and the whole stalking incident years ago. That’s author bad behavior. Or that one indie romance author who told her Facebook followers to flag a three-star review of her book on Goodreads. That’s author bad behavior.

It might be a controversial opinion, but if an author says something that I don’t agree with, that’s not bad behavior to me. Like, if an author tweeted, “I think God is a jerk,” I don’t agree with that…but I’m not going to blacklist them forever just because they don’t agree with me. I just don’t believe in a world where we ALL have to agree on something. Obviously, there’s a difference between “I think God is a jerk,” and “All Christians are stupid and weird” – THEN, I’d probably stay away from their books – but if they said they didn’t believe in global warming, then that’s not “bad behavior” to me.

I personally tend to separate the author from the work. I don’t think because an author might have said some dumb things that I don’t agree with, I can’t enjoy what they’ve written ever again. There are some authors that I don’t like on social media because they just seem aggressive in my eyes, but it doesn’t make me NOT want to read their book if I’m interested in it. Separating the author from the work can lead to…

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It’s actually really funny how much stock we put into authors. We never really talk about it, though, but it’s true that if we see an author we love or don’t love or disappointed us or we have meh feelings for, we’re more likely to add or not add that book to our TBR pile.

I feel like there are three categories we, as bookworms, put authors in after reading a couple of their books:

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Auto-Buy Authors:

These are the ones you have clearly dedicated your soul to, the ones you might have met at a signing, the ones whose books you love, the ones you follow on all their social medias, etc. When you see this author’s name, you immediately put it on your TBR and will venture to get an ARC for it no matter what. You basically love these authors to death and expect nothing less from them.

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Middle-Of-The-Road Authors: 

You’ve read five of their books or three of their series, and you feel pretty “meh” about them. They’re household names, so you recognize them easily, but your feelings regarding three of their books are positive, but the other two were terrible; or one of their series was AMAZING, and the other two were duds. When you see this author’s name, you decide to read some reviews from those you trust to see if it’s worth checking out.

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Authors You Avoid:

You’ve read their series or you’ve read all their books and you just. Don’t. Like them. Since you’ve been so disappointed by them or you hate their characters or the writing is average or some other reason, you vow never to read one of their books ever again. When you see this author’s name, you run in the other direction.

I’m sure that even as you simply READ those descriptions, you probably already started thinking about which authors fit in which category for you. Personally, I really wish we stopped judging books by certain vendettas against authors and just READ THEM if it sounds mildly interesting to you.

I definitely have noticed that I give different second chances based off what I’m reading. Regarding YA, I realized I’m way less likely to give a second chance to an author, whereas concerning adult thrillers, even if I didn’t like the author’s previous book, I’ll still get hyped for it and read it anyway. I think this is just for the fact that I can never give up an awesome thriller premise no matter what. It’s my weakness.

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And those are all my feelings about authors!

Obviously, we all have different opinions on authors, whether it comes to social media interaction, author bad behavior, and giving second chances, which is totally fine! It’s what makes us all unique and individual. But it’s definitely good to talk about controversial author topics, and the good and bad that can come of it.

Let's Chat

Any specific feelings or opinions on these topics? Feel free to comment about it!

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41 thoughts on “[LET’S CHAT] Do We Put Too Much Stock Into Authors?

  1. I often give authors second chances if the premises of their other books sound good. This changes when the author writes offensive things in their books or if they did something really terrible in real life. Authors and readers should both think about what they put up on social media, because it can hurt others and that’s something we should try to avoid.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Haha, yeah, I’m weak for a good premise! I can’t turn one down. 😂 Yeah, I feel like social media is a place that can get out of control! I think nine times out of ten, it’s really just a misunderstanding that could’ve been handled if we weren’t limited to 140 characters. 😬

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is such a great post! ❤ I definitely agree with your point about tagging authors. A negative review is one thing, but what's so wrong about wanting to share how much you love a book with the author?! I've definitely tagged authors in positive reviews/bookstagram posts before.

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  3. Authors and bad behavior really gets loads of people worked up! And that’s cool and all – but if you’re gonna shame them for their views (e.g. don’t believe in God) than the person who’s shaming them is also in the wrong! If the author singled out and shamed a group (e.g. a religion etc.) Than that’s bad! And by shaming – we mean something that is rude (like they don’t like the people in said group etc. – without even knowing them etc.)

    Another great post!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, definitely! If an author shamed someone, that’s completely wrong, and shouldn’t be encouraged. But when I see someone boycott an author with a different opinion, I don’t get it! I’m a Christian, and I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that most of my fave authors aren’t – but I’m not going to boycott them for being atheists. I mean, we’re all different people!

      Thank you! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This made me think about what happened with Brian Sanderson in the past week. To me, that’s his opinion and it doesn’t make his books any less good, so keep reading him if you like him. But so many people are getting rid of his books and boycotting them for the future. Which is fine, they can do whatever they want to do, but to me it just doesn’t make much sense. It’s not like his Christian opinions are in his fantasy novels. And are we really boycotting anyone with different political views than us? Just my two cents. But your post really made me think of that.

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  5. I don’t think I have any auto buy authors. I have ‘extremely likely to buy’ authors, based off past works, but everyone is capable of a stinker once in a while.

    But I’m a weirdo. So… there’s that.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I definitely think we put too much stock in authors and accuse them of “bad behavior” for things that are really just matters of personal opinion. As a writer myself, I do think that an author’s work should be judged for itself and not for the author’s opinion. That being said, there are certain authors I avoid because I’ve heard tell of problematic things they said, or that they write -ist/-phobic stories that I’m just not interested in.

    That being said, I definitely believe in second chances. Writing is such a long journey. The first novel I finished is a hunk of junk, but I’ve just finished my 3rd one and it’s completely different. Writers grow, even when they’re adults. So I think it’s important to read books based on the premise rather than on whether or not you liked their first book.

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    • Yeah, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with not wanting to read an author you just don’t want to support because you think they’re problematic, BUT I do take issue with someone who’s like, “Well, author said this and this and now I’ll never read from them again!” because it’s just a difference of opinion.

      Haha, yes, I used to write when I was younger until middle school, and my writing was very different between those two times in my life, even from the genre I was writing in! Yeah, I mean, one of my most anticipated releases for the fall is from an author where I’ve rated both their books two stars, but I clearly don’t care! Third time’s the charm, right? 😂

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  7. WE’RE LIKE 2 DAYS INTO JULY AND YOU’RE ALREADY SPURTING AMAZING POSTS?

    I definitely agree with this post! So much author Drama on Twitter, seriously. I think WAY to much pressure has been put on authors. They’re not perfect beings you know! AND THEY DON’T HAVE TO BE SO CAUTIOUS WITH THIER OPINIONS, like, don’t be offensive, but I won’t hate them just because they’re voicing them! There are definitely authors I ‘avoid’ but will not try. I still don’t like Patrick Ness’ books but I don’t completely avoid them because OTHERWISE, I would have never read A Monster Calls…AND THAT MAKE ME TEAR UP SO BAD.

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    • I HAVE MISSED MY LET’S CHATS! I AM MAKING UP FOR IT THIS MONTH AND NEXT. 😂

      TOO MUCH. I think we put pressure on them, and I’m sure their publishing houses do, too, so that’s double the pressure! I feel like being an author is so much pressure sometimes, my God. AH I LOVED A MONSTER CALLS. I need to catch up on my Patrick Ness though because that’s the only one I’ve read. 😂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I definitely don’t separate authors and bad behavior – when I come across it. Sure, I can enjoy an author and their books regardless of their behavior – but there are a LOT of books out there. I’m not going to support an author with my $$ when there are things that they say and do that I don’t agree with. If an author is a racist – or says racist things – forget about it – I’m not buying their books. And I won’t miss them / their books. Other authors who are not racist can benefit from my money.

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    • Yeah, that’s what I mean. Of course someone being racist is bad behavior, but someone saying something I don’t necessarily agree with isn’t – to me at least. Like, if an author I liked was a Republican or was pro-life or doesn’t believe in global warming. I strongly disagree with them, yes…but I’m not going to blacklist them because of that or stop enjoying their books. Most bad behavior isn’t really as serious as “This author is racist” and more “An author tweeted/said something that I just don’t agree with, and I will never read their books again” – which is different.

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  9. I agree! I would probably tag an author in one of my POSITIVE REVIEWS… but also, I try to avoid talking to authors if I have reviewed their books negatively… I’m slightly scared that they’ll find my negative review and be hurt or something along those lines.

    Anyways, I agree! Except I have super mixed feelings about Richelle Mead, because I hated one of her books and then I read another of her series which I LOVED.. soo…

    I feel like some authors we need to separate from their works. Their work is something created by them, but it doesn’t need to… be treated as them?? I don’t know. For example, some people hate the author of Ender’s Game, but they still appreciate the Ender’s Game as in it’s a good book and was well written. I personally haven’t read The Ender’s Game… so I don’t know.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha, yeah, I usually don’t talk to authors whose books I’ve reviewed negatively??? I mean, usually, most of them I never really read anything from them again, so there’s no reason to be talking to them on social media. 😂

      I only read the first two books of The Vampire Academy and though I liked them enough, I don’t think I’ll ever finish them! 😂

      I haven’t read it either, just because it doesn’t interest me! But, yeah, I’m pretty sure no one can tell by the book that he was homophobic, so there’s that!

      Liked by 1 person

      • XD Yup. Except I tagged an author BEFORE I read the book, and she was really nice and I FEEL SO BAD HONESTLY. I tweeted about her book (the ending, because that’s the part I liked) but I reviewed and rated the book only three stars, so…?

        Well, I loved them 😀

        Yes, of course! Maybe since it’s because the book itself wasn’t problematic that people still like it. (I haven’t read it, so I’m just guessing.)

        Liked by 1 person

      • UGH YES! I think this is why I try hard not to tag authors if I’ve only received their book! I remember I got anxious because I was reading an author’s book, and then they followed me, and I was like, “What if I hate it???” I didn’t, but that possibility is terrifying to me (which is probably why having an author friend would really clash). 😬

        I feel like it’s just considered a sci-fi classic! It’s pretty old, if I remember. 😂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Haha yes I HAVE LEARNED THAT NOW. Ahhh I’m so scared of my friend getting published and me not liking it like WHAT DO I DO. Also I’m pretty sure all authors have to review books they read positively to maintain their image or something because all of the author reviews are always really good!’

        Liked by 1 person

  10. I personally have a hard time separating authors from their work. It’s something I want to work at, but at the same time, occasionally an author’s bad behavior or mean online persona reflects in their work, and that’s somewhat frustrating!
    I’m always super jealous of bloggers who are bffs with authors and publishers while I’m over here having an existential crisis over whether or not to tag them in a five-star review xD. Maybe someday I’ll be braver (and less awkward!!)
    Fantastic discussion!!

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    • I think I mainly really don’t care because I barely keep up with authors I love. I’ll read their books, and if I get to meet them irl, I’ll try, but that’s usually the extent. And I also feel like I have WAY different priorities than some other people – I’ve seen people get angry at authors for tweeting something they don’t like, and I realize how much I don’t care. Like, at all. Which sounds terrible, but to me it’s like, “Meh. You’ll get angry at something else tomorrow.” Anger is usually such a temporary emotion, unless you hold a grudge, I guess? 😂

      SAME! I freak out if an author acknowledges it even if I tag them. 😂 I just feel so nervous telling authors I love their books. I don’t even know why?

      Thank you! 😄

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  11. I definitely think that authors and books are totally separate! In my reviews I try not to criticize the author but the actual book. I really like this discussion because I’m struggling to decide whether or not to read ACOTAR — my friend says SJM is problematic and I agree, but I can totally see myself loving the characters??? XD #struggles

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    • I’ve never criticized an author in my negative reviews (at least, I hope I haven’t by accident) because I usually just hate the book, not the author! I LOVE the ACOTAR series, and SJM in general, and don’t agree with the whole “she’s problematic” angle, but, it’s all up to you, and if you want to read it or not!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. It’s really great that you’re able to seperate the author from the book, I’ve never been abe to do that. There are authors whose books I refuse to read purely based on the author’s actions, no matter how good the book is.

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    • I feel like I just don’t care that much. 😂 Which makes me sound like an unfeeling person, because then again, I don’t care/sometimes don’t get angry about things that everyone seems to be angry about, which always makes me feel like I’m missing something, but I think it’s just my personality. I think I just have different priorities than other people!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. This is a really great post, because I feel like there are so many different feelings on these situations! I don’t tag authors unless it’s a blog tour and I’m supposed to or something with reviews, but that’s like you said, because of anxiety. But I don’t think there’s anything *wrong* with wanting to tell an author you liked their book. Plus, they don’t; have to click on it if they don’t like reading reviews, so I definitely think it’s fine!

    As for bad behavior, this is so tough, and often so personal. Here’s how I feel about it: I can overlook some crap. BUT if an author does piss me off with their behavior, then they’re basically not being read by me EVER. Like- I agree that their opinions should not blacklist them, to an extent. BUT if we are talking about ANY hate toward ANY group of people, I’m out. Automatically. I have no plans to support that. I think that authors, just like all humans basically, get a little carried away on social media and probably need to keep their mouths (their typing fingers?) shut in some situations.

    And with books… you are right, I DID make those mental lists! I WILL give second, third, even fourth chances, but there DOES come a point where I am definitely just not connecting with an author and I need to move on to other books/authors and not give another chance. Because life is just too short! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, thank you! Yeah, I know there are some authors who don’t read their reviews at all, which is totally fine! Personally, if I were an author, I’d feel the same way! I’m the type of person to take every little thing personally, so criticism would kill me on the inside ugh. 😬 So is just rather not, in my imaginary author AU! 😂

      Yeah, that makes sense to me! I definitely do agree with the fact that hate towards groups is wrong, but I usually don’t care if an author has a different opinion than me! I rarely keep up with authors and that type of drama to even know, though I know there are some people out there who are on top of it!

      Yes, it’s true! I think it depends on genre as well – there are authors I’ve never read from bc I’m not interested in the genre they write in, but if they write in a genre I love, I’ll be willing to check out! And with YA thrillers being smaller than most other YA genres, and YA horror being EVEN SMALLER, I’m more likely to give second chances in those genres over a fantasy author I don’t like since YA fantasy is HUGE!

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  14. I don’t try to judge authors based on books (or the other way around) but sometimes it’s hard to distinguish between the authors’ opinions and a book. I do try to avoid very problematic authors, and when I’m not super interested in a book and heard not-so-good things about the author I’m tended to not pick it up at all. Even when the book is very hyped.
    I don’t have auto-buy authors, but I do think that some authors have the potential to be, I just have to read more of their books to judge haha 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    • If I’m not interested in the book, it’s usually that I don’t like the concept or I don’t like the genre. I honestly really could care less about the author or what they’ve done, since I rarely keep up with author drama anyway. It’s way too much of a waste of time to me! 😂 I have fave authors where I don’t read some of their books just because it doesn’t grab my attention, which is perfectly fine with me, so even with authors I don’t care or I’m not interested in, I’ll try it out if it’s interesting enough!

      Haha, I usually try to keep up with most of my fave’s books, but sometimes I fall short, but that’s usually because an author has too many backlist books and I can’t keep up. 😂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t keep up either but I get a lot of things through twitter. But it’s a good strategy to just focus on the premise of the book!

        Liked by 1 person

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