Today we have Jill Sorenson back on the blog! Her newest book, Caught in the Act, releases tomorrow. Be sure to go out and get your copy soon!
Delete That Tweet?
Hi Book Pushers! Thanks so much for having me again. The last time I visited, I shared a list of Author Don’ts. So I’m back today with a related topic: Uh-oh Tweets.
As I said before, my online behavior is far from perfect. I’ve made a lot of mistakes and will continue to make them. I enjoy learning, discussing, and debating on the internet. I’d rather say the wrong thing, from time to time, than never say anything.Being outspoken has led me into trouble, of course. Here are some examples of tweeting gone bad:
1.Negative review tweets. About a year ago, Dear Author posted a DNF review of one of my category novels. I retweeted it for a couple of reasons. First, I was one of their reviewers at the time, and I felt proud to be part of a team that didn’t give me special treatment. Really! I also wanted to show my support for honest reviews, dnf reviews, negative reviews, etc. The review generated a lot of comments, some defensive on my behalf. I didn’t realize it at the time, but my retweet encouraged my followers to go there and disagree with the reviewer. Oops.
2. Religious/political tweets. I usually keep it light on twitter, but I’ve been known to talk about women’s issues, gay rights, and whatever else is on my mind. If you love Rush Limbaugh, we won’t get along. The other day I tweeted about virginity and how the focus is on girls to stay pure. This turned into more of a heated debate than I’d anticipated. I ended up apologizing and bowing out. Shortly after, someone following me made hurtful remarks to the opposition. I decided not to step back in. I think that was a mistake. I felt responsible for the insults, having opened up the discussion.
3. Jealousy tweets. Although I write reviews at various sites, I rarely make critical remarks on twitter. Recently, Jennifer Weiner snarked on 50 Shades of Grey, and regretted it. I haven’t read the book, and don’t agree that female authors should always be nice to/supportive of each other. However, I also tweeted some negative impressions of the first page of 50 Shades. Looking back, I think my opinion is marred by jealousy. The amount of publicity and reader response has been staggering. I want to be happy for this author and celebrate her success. If I can’t, I should probably stay quiet.
So there it is! My shameful twitter expose. Don’t even get me started on unfortunate blog comments. I could go on and on about those. I also want to make it clear that I’m not trying to tell other authors how to behave or what to say. There are consequences for speaking out on controversial issues, and I accept them.
Questions: Should authors avoid getting into heated debates or making negative remarks on the internet? Are some topics off-limits at Twitter and other social media sites? Does author behavior affect book sales?
If you’d like to win a copy of Caught in the Act, let me know in the comments. Thanks!! Giveaway is open internationally and ends April 2nd. Good Luck!
36 thoughts on “Guest Post & Giveaway with Jill Sorenson”
Dunno about the whole negative remark thing, in the end authors are readers too. So if we are allowed to say that we did not care for a book then why should not authors too be able to do that..still, heated
When any professional author airs their dirty laundry online or goes on a rampage, it never ends well. I won’t remember if their book got a bad review. I WILL remember if they wrote a hateful blog post attacking the reviewer. Complain to your author friends in IM. The Internet is forever.
I would love to win a copy of your new book. Thanks so much for the giveaway!
Love the post – very self-aware and brave. I appreciate your example as I know most authors refrain from public reviewing after they are published and I would like to continue. I don’t want to have to stop enjoying the interactions with readers (related to other books than my own) nor do I want to deal with the hassle and possibly misleading-ness of maintaining a separate reader identity.
I think a lot of the 50 Shades snark I saw (not Jill’s specifically, since I’m not sure I even read those tweets) really came across as sour grapes. We’ve been doing erotic forever! We have great writers! Why aren’t they making the NYT!? While it’s a natural and human response, it’s not us at our classiest. It should be the author’s right not to participate in twitter or the usual blog interview/guest posts without facing undue criticism from the romance community, but I feel like that’s what happened in certain cases. And none of this “snark” endears us to the readers of 50 Shades. Why should they take our recommendations for other BDSM erotic romances when we were busy mocking their new favorite book?
@blodeuedd: I’m okay with authors making negative comments about books, movies, whatever. When it comes from a place of jealousy or gets personal, that’s where I draw the line.
Congrats on the RITA nomination, Jill. I think it’s getting harder and harder not to say something and have it be interpreted by everyone since our words are all over the internet. It would be hard for me to separate an author from their views, especially if I don’t agree with them. Can’t wait to read “Caught in the Act.” Thanks so much for the giveaway.
That was a great and brave post, thank you and I will follow you on twitter from now on. As for one of your questions: If an author behaves in a way that I simply cannot support (mostly when they try to tell their readers what to do and how to behave who to like and not etc.) I will cease to buy her/his books and unfollow on twitter too. So my spending is influenced by this but not by a simple critical remarq anyone is entitled to it until it does not turn to vicious.
Thanks for the giveaway.
I don’t think authors should avoid getting into heated debates or avoid making negative remarks. They should be allowed to express their opinions just like everyone else. They do, however, need to be aware that since they’re not just any joe schmo, a spotlight might be shone on their comments and will be open to criticism.
P.S. I’d like to win a copy of Caught in the Act.
Wow, Jill. I love your post. Anyone that has troubles with Rush fans is all right in my book. I’ve never read any of your books, but I’m buying one now based upon your thoughts expressed. I’m glad you’re honest in your actions and reflections. Good luck tomorrow!!
@Amber: I tried to write a response to this earlier but couldn’t get my thoughts organized. Okay, let’s see. I agree that mocking a book will not endear you to its fans. But I’ve laughed along with the “51 Shades” parody, which is all in good fun. I’ve also laughed at several snarky reviews of Passion by Lisa Valdez, even though I liked the book.
There is a difference between saying “this book is silly” and “readers who like this book are stupid.” Everyone’s taste is different and insulting a big audience isn’t a good idea. I have some thoughts on the opposite–pandering to an audience–but I’ll save them.
Thanks for the comment. It made me think!
@Jane: Thanks for the congrats! I agree that it’s easier to like people I agree with. 😉
Congratulations on the book! Very interesting post. I think everyone should express their opinions in a polite manner and people should respectfully agree/disagree. I would like to win a copy. Thanks for the giveaway.
Congrats on the book. Have to put it on my to buy list. Everyone has their own opinion about things but sometimes it is best to keep it to yourself.
Authors should avoid getting into heated debates and making negative remarks on the internet. Don’t bother to tweet or go to social media sites to comment. Those who are upset or just plain being jerks will stalk you just to get their points across. First and foremost never take any of those comments personally. As a friend of mine said, “It is more important of who you think and not what everyone thinks.”
I think any behavior in the spotlight will affect any kind of sales. It takes a person who will vent their disappointment and it will spread to 12 of their friends who will each spread to 12 more of their friends. Spreading negativity is a lot faster than good reviews. So be professional when promoting in public.
Thanks for a very thoughtful post! Ack… what a can of worms… but I think that you are showing the self awareness/maturity that others lack which is what leads to the flame wars/big internet debacles.
I think that everyone is entitled to their opinions. As long as they express them respectfully, honestly (and this doesn’t include snark!) and are willing to take the heat gracefully, then more power to them. But, for many people, they express their opinions, get mad when someone disagrees and then proceeds to try and “convince” them which leads to the flame wars. Like you said, sometimes you just gotta put it out their and then let it go.
One thing I like about Dear Author is that that they have civil disagreements in the comments which do not lead to flaming. Oh, there is still that one person determined it seems to start trouble, but they are usually glossed over or ignored. Debates are awesome but that’s getting harder and harder to do.
Authors behaving badly seem to be all over the place and I think that authors need to realize that fair or not, they are held to a higher standard on these blogs. So… write your comment/post/tweet in a word document, walk away from it for a few hours and when you come back if you feel the same, then post. And then take the heat, and DONT RESPOND. Negative publicity is still bad in my book, no matter if it gets you plastered all over the blogs, you’ll be remembered only for the negative. My advice, let off steam somewhere other than the internet!
Whew… as a reader of many, many book blogs, this is a topic that has come up time and again. And as a reader who respects and admires many authors, it’s sad to see. So, sorry for the long comment, just it’s a topic that I feel strongly about 🙂
Thanks for the giveaway and congrats on the RITA nom!
Lately, I’ve been reading a lot about reviewing and how to do it and hoe not to do it. I don’t think there’s anyting wrong with writing a negative review for a book you dodn’t like, as long as you don’t do it in a nasty and derogatory way. I’ve written reviews that are a tad snarky, but never insulting and O always write something constructive about it. And agree that authors are readers and should be given the same rights and privileges when it comes to writing reviews, both negative and positive, as the average Joe Reader.
PS. You’re book looks great!
msmjb65 AT gmail DOT com
Yes, I do think that negative comments affect people whether they be authors or anyone else. I find myself wanting to comment on Facebook on occasion when there is a topic I feel passionately about but I won’t let myself get in a discussion like that. It usually doesn’t turn out good so I just keep my silence. I think bad behavior by an author could affect sales with some people. I don’t know that I would be one of them because everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I like to think of myself as pretty tolerant of people and everyone has a button that can be pushed and sometimes it’s at a really bad time. I would love to read your book.
Twitter is archived by the Library of Congress and I don’t know if a tweet ever truly disappears, even after deletion. Facebook profiles last forever (as archived by the Internet) even if the account is deleted.
I’m off to find out more about Caught in the Act!
I would really like to read Caught in the Act.
For me I find when authors make a negative comment or behaves badly it spreads like wildfire. It’s much more memorable for me and does make me less inclined to read their book. Negative reviews on the other hand doesn’t make me turn down a book. If it sounds good I’ll read it since everyone has a different opinion.
I’m all for open discussion, but then I try to see both sides. Some people take a hard line & will argue ’til the cows come home.
I can’t imagine how it must feel to have someone be negative about something you have worked so hard on to create. My hats off to you!
@Kai W.: Don’t tweet or comment at all, ever? That doesn’t sound like much fun.
I don’t believe that perfect behavior or absolute quiet leads to more sales. Bad behavior doesn’t either, of course. And, although I know I asked about sales, it’s really not my main concern. I’m not on the internet to be a promo machine. I actually like interacting with people and learning things. Should I give that up because I’m an author? Or if I become more successful, then should I give it up?
@Linda Henderson: There are a couple of topics I try to stay away from because I get too upset. The “baby epilogue” debate is one. Otherwise, I enjoy a lively discussion. Passion is life.
@Justine: Oh, I didn’t know that. Like everything else on the internet, tweets are forever!
@erinf1: Thanks for the congrats, and the long comment. I love long comments. I agree that authors should be held to a higher standard. Readers can call each other names or spout off without thinking, but authors have to be more careful with words.
I think social media is definitely a wild card. It can help or hurt an author or really anyone using it. Authors have to do what feels right to them just like anyone else. I think as long as they accept responsibility for what they write and post, as Jill indicates she does, then it doesn’t really impact what I think of their work. If we limit our reading to people who behave perfectly throughout life then literature professors would be hard pressed to find material.
Please enter me to win CAUGHT IN THE ACT.
I think authors and individuals in general should be able to speak about their views and be able to facilitate a discussion respectfully on various opinions on the topic. Even if the author’s view is negative, we have to consider if the opinion or view was honest and respectful or just malicious.
The authour’s behaviour does effect the book sales unfortunately. They do take the risks when they express their opinion however if their view is expressed in a respectful and candid manner, I will take that into consideration especially if I disagree with their view. If their view is expressed in a snarky, disrespectfull manner, I will choose to boycott their work ( rarely does that happen).
I would also enter to win caught in the act:D
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Everyone has a right to voice their opinion, if you don’t like their opinion, then voice yours…..I always let people speak their mind, but they better be prepared to hear me too.
Wow….where would we be today without the internet, twitter, online social networks, & our phones that can do just about anything for us except make coffee. I feel that, as Americans, we have our right to freedom of speech, We should be able to agree/disagree with things that are said or printed & voice our opinions, etc. Obviously, you had strong feelings about what was said & gave some feedback,so to speak. Look forward to reading this new book!
Those are some of the main reasons I don’t tweet much about what’s on my mind nor do I post my EVERY thought on Facebook like most! Thank you for the opportunity to win the book!
I have been anxiously awaiting this book!! I ADORE your books, they are great. Enter me for it please. Thanks for the chance..
I’d love to win a copy!! Caught In The Act sounds fantastic.
In answer to the questions, I don’t think authors should be restricted in what they want to do, but they should realise that people see them differently and just stating their opinion might be taken as acting superior or being mean. Thanks!
Im sure some people would avoid an author based on something they said on the internet. I personally really try to keep that separate. I dont need to believe in the same things as the author to enjoy their books. I read fiction, and I read it for a reason. Everyone has their own beliefs and opinions and thats what makes debates fun. Just because someone is a fiction author doesnt mean they dont have opinions on other RL issues and should be able to debate those just like anyone else.
Congrats Jill on your current release! And on the RITA nomination. That is sooooo awesome. As far as comments on the internet, I don’t like the negative comments. I think there is so much negativity out there as it is, I personally try to just stay out of it. But, I do think that we have the right to voice our opinions….there is just a tactful way to say some things versus a negative/hateful to way say things.
Thanks everyone for the RITA congrats!! I’m very excited.