Would you buy/read a book by an author you don't like?

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Rowan

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Let me explain...
If an author acts like a jerk on the internet (social media, blogs, message boards for example) or at a signing (public venue), would that turn you off reading their book(s)?

There are many examples of authors throwing fits online (Alice Hoffman, Laurell K. Hamilton) over reviews, reader criticism, etc. Here are but a few:

Hoffman: http://popwatch.ew.com/2009/06/29/alice-hoffman-exacts-revenge-on-reviewer-but-why/

Hamilton: http://www.scalzi.com/whatever/004776.html
http://www.scalzi.com/whatever/004739.html

Anne Rice: http://www.tribalwar.com/forums/archive/t-326444.html

So, if you take a personal dislike to an author, would you still read their book(s)?

(As for me, the answer is no, I most likely wouldn't).
 

Chris P

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My original reaction was "probably not," but I listen to music by people I don't like, Guns 'N' Roses being a prime example. I wouldn't avoid an Anne Rice book because of the link you posted. I guess it would depend on how much they bugged me by their behavior.
 

Rowan

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My original reaction was "probably not," but I listen to music by people I don't like, Guns 'N' Roses being a prime example. I wouldn't avoid an Anne Rice book because of the link you posted. I guess it would depend on how much they bugged me by their behavior.

True. For me, if an author demonstrates truly repulsive behaviour then I'm not going to line their pockets. ;)
 

thothguard51

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Read a booK by an author I don't like? Yes, if its a good book.

Buy a book from an author I don't like? No, not matter how good the book is...

Its like me and Tom Cruize...I don't go to or buy any DVD's of his movies. But, if they are on TV, I might watch them if nothing else is on...which is seldom. The only reason I watched the Last Samurai was because of the other actors...not because of him.

Its the same with books...
 
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blacbird

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Have done so, many times. One example: H.P. Lovecraft was a loathesome anti-semite and racist, revealed by letters and other stuff he wrote. But his horror fantasies don't really reflect that, and they stand or fall on their merits as stories, not on issues about the character of their author.
 

Kate Thornton

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Yes - I separate the person from the writer.
But I have to admit that many of my favorite writers are also very fine human beings with manners and everything.
 

Kitty Pryde

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An author who acts jerky--I'd still buy their books if they looked interesting. An author who takes a stand in a public forum as a racist (like Elizabeth M00n) or anti-gay (like 0rson Scott Card) or similar--no, I won't read their books anymore, nor will I recommend them to others. And yes, I do have a list :) I don't think it's that hard, as an intelligent blogging fiction writer, to avoid offending one's fans. But if they can't be bothered to care about their words, then I can't be bothered to buy their books.
 

backslashbaby

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I don't like monetarily supporting authors who need to STFU, but just being a jerk isn't enough to make me feel that way.

I can definitely like a work by a child molester, etc. I just won't give them any money or support.

Actors are kind of different because you have to look at them so much in their works. I'll never see past Mel Gibson's Mel Gibsonness now, for example. But he's pretty extreme.
 

jennontheisland

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No.

I believe consumers can advocate with their dollars and I won't buy a product that I don't believe has value. Whether it's because of their manufacturing process, company ethics, or whack-job-ed-ness of an author.

Besides, why do I want to give my money to people I don't like??

That said, I don't read most author blogs.
 

Rowan

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... An author who takes a stand in a public forum as a racist (like Elizabeth M00n) or anti-gay (like 0rson Scott Card) or similar--no, I won't read their books anymore, nor will I recommend them to others. And yes, I do have a list :) I don't think it's that hard, as an intelligent blogging fiction writer, to avoid offending one's fans. But if they can't be bothered to care about their words, then I can't be bothered to buy their books.

Exactly. Some people don't seem to realize how far and wide their audiences are--with mediums like Twitter, boards, Facebook, it's easy to step in it.

For the record, I won't blacklist an author because they have different beliefs, etc. but if I find someone to be a tiresome, insolent, obnoxious jerk then I'll find something else to read.

[Not that I expect all authors to be nice, sweet and beyond reproach--we all have our faults--but I won't waste my time or money on someone who goes out of their way to be a total @ss.] :D
 
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Amadan

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I do avoid books by authors I don't like. I care less about it if the author is deceased. (And if the author is long dead, well, how many authors from the early 20th century or before had views that would stand up to scrutiny today?)

Have done so, many times. One example: H.P. Lovecraft was a loathesome anti-semite and racist, revealed by letters and other stuff he wrote. But his horror fantasies don't really reflect that, and they stand or fall on their merits as stories, not on issues about the character of their author.

He wrote some virulently racist stuff, yes -- but in fairness (and 'cause I actually wrote a biography of Lovecraft way back in middle school and still remember this), he seemed to repent of many of those views later in life.
 

whimsical rabbit

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No.

I believe consumers can advocate with their dollars and I won't buy a product that I don't believe has value. Whether it's because of their manufacturing process, company ethics, or whack-job-ed-ness of an author.

Besides, why do I want to give my money to people I don't like??

100% agreed. Call me a purist, but I apply this rule to anything I could spend money on, anything at all. If I found a person to be repulsive I would most definitely not contribute to their wealth, and would not be driven by curiosity to read a book of theirs either.
 

gothicangel

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Depends on the book. I don't buy into this cult of celebrity. If there is a great book, I will read it. Why would I deprive myself of the experience of reading a great book because I don't agree with someone's politics?

Take Anne Rice. I don't really care what she gets up to Amazon. What I do care about is that Interview With The Vampire is so damn clever.
 

leahzero

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I may still read, but definitely will not buy anything by any writer who acts like an ass.

And that goes beyond the obvious wrongs, like racism, homophobia, etc. Any author who disrespects their fanbase is out; for example, authors who excoriate their fans for innocent, tributary fanfiction and such.

I read a mediocre book earlier this year (title withheld, but you can find the review on my blog) where the author included a snarky, defensive foreword note to the effect of, "This is fiction, so don't criticize the liberties I've taken with history/geography/etc. because I don't want to hear it." Well, duh. All works of fiction contain that disclaimer on the first page with the publication info. This catty note, coupled with the author's uptight, pedantic tone on their blog, completely killed any goodwill that remained after the book's failed efforts. I felt like the author took a disdainful attitude toward their fans by default, and I have no time for an author who doesn't respect their readers.

It's almost unfortunate that modern authors can be judged not just by their works, but on their behavior on blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and elsewhere. They're much more exposed and visible.
 

KTC

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I use my voice...no matter how infinitesimally small it is. I will NOT go to a Tom Cruise movie. If I was equally repulsed by an author, I would boycott their book too. Not that my boycott is going to change the world...but it will change MY world.
 

Rowan

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Posted by Whimsical Rabbit:
100% agreed. Call me a purist, but I apply this rule to anything I could spend money on, anything at all. If I found a person to be repulsive I would most definitely not contribute to their wealth, and would not be driven by curiosity to read a book of theirs either.

I use my voice...no matter how infinitesimally small it is. I will NOT go to a Tom Cruise movie. If I was equally repulsed by an author, I would boycott their book too. Not that my boycott is going to change the world...but it will change MY world.

QFT...

[Whimsical Rabbit: LOVE your avi! So cute.]
 

brainstorm77

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I use my voice...no matter how infinitesimally small it is. I will NOT go to a Tom Cruise movie. If I was equally repulsed by an author, I would boycott their book too. Not that my boycott is going to change the world...but it will change MY world.


This.
 

Mr Flibble

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If they are just a bit of an arse - sure. We're all an arse at times (well..I am)

Serious racism/anti-semitism-whateverism- no, probably not. Because it might leak through and then I'd have to wash my hands...then I would say ick and wish I hadn't given them money.
 

Ken

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... would color my perspective of them, but it wouldn't necessarily deter me from reading a book of theirs if I found the subject particularly interesting. And you know, most all of us act like jerks from time to time. So unless the remarks are really glaring and offensive in the first degree, I think we should be forgiving. Otherwise we may well find ourselves on the receiving end ourselves one day.
 

Rowan

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I guess I'm looking at this as more than a "one off", ie., not just an author having a bad day. I'm thinking more along the lines of a truly insufferable, nasty person with a bad attitude in general. I can forgive a random snarky comment but when they start to add up (a pattern), then all bets are off. ;)

I'm all for the notion of hitting 'em where it hurts---the wallet.
 

milly

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I like to think I'd be able to separate my feelings about the author from the writing but, thankfully, Palin sucks either way :)

hence...I haven't had to face that tough decision just yet
 

Don Evan Scott

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No, I wouldn't buy their books. It is one thing for a writer (musician, sports star, etc) to be elevated to fame and success, but it is an entirely different think for a writer to elevate themselves beyond that.
 
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