By now I’m sure you’ve all seen this piece.
My reaction can be summed up in five words.
Are you fucking kidding me?
Do we need a reaction gif? I think we need a reaction gif.
Setting aside the fact that it does, indeed, come across as sour grapes, there are several bones I have to pick with this post.
1. Do not talk excessive shit about something you haven’t read for yourself.
This is a huge pet peeve of mine (I actually touched on it just last week) and something I feel VERY strongly about. Lynn Shepherd wrote almost 600 words disparaging another author whose work she has never read. I don’t care if it’s not your thing. It’s fine to say that it’s not your thing, but until you’ve actually read it? Shut. Your. Face. Don’t attempt to shame other people into reading your own work by poking at something you deem unworthy. NOT GOING TO WORK.
2. No one likes the Reading Police. Don’t be that guy.
I am serious, Lynn Shepherd. NO ONE likes this person. When you say things like
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.
you are essentially alienating every. single. adult that ever read or enjoyed Harry Potter.
Holy shit, that’s a lot of adults.
3. Haters gonna hate. Readers gonna read.
I feel like Lynn Shepherd has no idea what readers are actually like. If she knew, there’s no way she would have said this:
That book sucked the oxygen from the entire publishing and reading atmosphere. And I chose that analogy quite deliberately, because I think that sort of monopoly can make it next to impossible for anything else to survive, let alone thrive.
Here’s a secret – readers READ.
Readers do not just buy one book and think “welp, that’s it, I’m done!” Readers buy LOTS OF BOOKS. Readers buy more books than they can conceivably get through in their lifetimes. Readers take recommendations of people they trust seriously, and readers tend to remember people who talked smack about an author they love.
4. Champion someone’s work besides your own.
All I really got out of this post was someone whining about the fact that a big name author is stealing her potential readers. And that it was clickbait that I fell for. BUT THAT IS MY PROBLEM. You know what would have worked for me? A post recommending “ordinary authors” (her term, not mine) for those of us that enjoyed Jo’s other work. This? All this did was make me squeeze my considerable ass (grown to this size from READING, don’tchaknow?) into my rantypants.
Oh, and add someone ELSE to the list of authors whose work I won’t touch, even if there are no other books left on earth.