Wikipedia defines Respect as denoting “a positive feeling of esteem or deference for a person or other entity (such as a nation or a religion), and also specific actions and conduct representative of that esteem.”  This evening my eighteen year old daughter made the observation that many people claim her generation doesn’t understand Respect. Yet, she’s witnessed adults use the Internet and Social Media to say things they wouldn’t dream of saying to one’s face. In short, they demonstrate total disrespect for their fellow-man.

So what does Respect have to do with writing or getting published? Simply this, as writers we blog, tweet, or Facebook to build a platform, a readership, a fan base. It’s estimated that on blogs alone, something like 90% of visitors read, but don’t comment. Even, if they don’t leave a comment, you can bet they don’t forget what they’ve read.

When we feel the need to speak out on a topic, it’s wise to do so in a manner that acknowledges differences in opinion, while remaining courteous and professional. You never know what editor or agent might visit your blog and what opinions they have. And why risk alienating a potential fan, someone who is willing to plunk down their hard-earned cash to by your novel.

Respect is a little word that goes a long way. It’s a critical plank no author should leave out of their platform.


12 thoughts on “R-E-S-P-E-C-T

  1. Lynn,

    I totally agree. Over the past twenty years, I have quit buying books from/by authors just because they said something silly, stupid or hurtful. I am constantly amazed at the authors who will insult their fan base. It’s not smart. I vote with my $$. spw

    • Sandy,

      It’s so good to see you here again. Thanks for your comments. I’m like you I vote with my pocketbook. It truly floors me how many authors alienate not just their fan base, but their potential fan base by engaging in negative vitriol.

  2. Very well said, Lynn.

    I have to admit, there have been countless times I’ve written scathing comments in a letter, email, blog or facebook comment when I was upset with someone or didn’t like what they’d said/written. It felt good to get my frustration out of my system. Then I trash my comments without sending. When we put hurtful comments out there, it comes back to bite us in the rear.

    • The thing is when hurtful things out there on the Internet, email, or Social Media, it never really goes away. So your right. Its best to write it, then never let it see the light of day.

  3. Absolute truth, Lynn. One author I stopped buying was one who publically stated I was crazy to think ebooks were anything but a short term fad. Whose laughing now? The author? She is in the middle of putting her backlist on Kindle.

    • Jackie,

      That reminds me of the IBM exec who thought PCs were just a passing fad! Don’t you feel vindicated now seeing how hot ebooks are now?

  4. Amen, Lynn! So many people are disrespectful because they can get away with it. Polite, intelligent adults won’t stoop to their level, so these people continue from blog to post to to Facebook to Twitter, thinking they’re clever and gaining attention for themselves, “building that platform” for their career. They never seem to realize that their mean-spiritedness will bite them eventually.

    A major NYT author was in Tulsa years ago for a signing. She was miffed that not many people turned out and went back to her hotel and posted, “Adding insult to injury . . . As if it wasn’t bad enough that I’m stuck in Tulsa, now there are tornados.”

    Did she not think that us dumb Okies could get online and see what she said? That was the last time I ever bought her books. If I find one that sounds really good, I get it from the used bookstore.

    • Oh Marilyn, that’s funny. I suppose she thought the organizers of her poorly attended event ordered up tornados just to ruin her day! On the other hand, maybe that was a back-handed compliment. Perhaps she thought Tulsans were so god-like they could command the weather!

  5. Great post, Lynn!
    I do vote with my $$, and not only books. I respect your right to have an opinion as long as you do the same. And never assume that silence is ignorance. . .

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