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Thursday, December 17, 2009

One More For the Crazy: How To Ruin Your Career

This will be brief, folks, because you should be reading this post and following the links to the incident rather than wasting time seeing what I have to say. I'm not even the first one to get to this, obviously.

The short of it is this:
Candace Sams, author of some book whose title sounds idiotic to me, developed a particularly nasty case of complete nutjobbery. Some Amazon person gave a negative review of her book, and she decided to comment, only not in the way anyone with a brain might. There are, as of this moment, twenty-seven pages, some of them hers and a lot of them from people trying to fan the flames. Around page 15 or 16 is where she starts claiming that she is getting the FBI involved, but really, the whole thread is a enjoyable foray into one author's psychological downfall.

There is, of course, nothing wrong with responding to a review, per se. Sometimes authors want to get a bit more information or clarify a point, or something. But Nutty Sams has done exactly what no author should do: gone off on a wild tear on the reviewer and anyone else that isn't on her side. The good news is that Nutty Sams has received a lot of free press for this, the kind of press that most writers can only dream of getting (she's apparently been Gaiman-ized). The bad news is that this may very well be the end of her career. At least she gave everyone a bit of fun on her way down.

That is all.

Update: The Guardian talks about this incident here.

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  1. Hilarious or sad, I can't decide.

    -- Nick
    from City of Kik

  2. It appears the author is now deleting her comments. You think that will help her reputation?

  3. Missy Frye: Nope, not at all. Enough people have blogged about what went on and someone, somewhere has all the transcripts. She got called out for her FBI report bluff and is now trying to cover her tracks so she doesn't seem like the nutjob she actually is.

    The sad thing is that there's nothing wrong with commenting on a negative review; it all comes down to how you do it. She's a prime example of how not to do it. The good news is that she has received an amazing amount of free publicity and she had to do hardly any work for it. Maybe she'll get some pity sales out of it.

  4. Anonymous6:49 AM

    >There is, of course, nothing wrong with
    >responding to a review, per se.
    I'm so glad to see someone say that at last. 'cause the whole world seems to believe you must not do that. I can't see why -- provided you can behave like a decent human, of course.

  5. Anon: Exactly. I see no problem in responding to a review in the hopes of trying to learn more. Reviews tend to be necessarily brief, so if an author wants to get a better picture, asking questions about what a person didn't like can be helpful in the future. I don't think authors should change how they write to accommodate negative reviews, but you can still learn something from the people who don't like your work.