February 25, 2014
I don’t usually review books, and I try not to snark on other writers. As someone who has both written and been published, I have way too much skin in the game.
But sometimes, an opportunity is just too good to pass up. Sometimes, a writer does something so spectacularly wrongheaded that it leaves me in hysterical, Schadenfreude induced laughter.
Everyone’s read this by now, right?
If not, take a minute and read it. It’s short.
It’s not that I don’t think it’s unfair that, after 17 books, and some odd stories, I am writing this post while eating ramen in Wisconsin, instead of from the deck of my yacht. But I had no idea, until yesterday, that it was J K Rowling’s fault. If only she stopped writing, people would automatically flock to my books and then I would be the one richer than the queen.
Never mind the fact that I do not write in the same genres as she does. Apparently, if she would just step out of the limelight, or at least stick to kiddie books and stop being successful in each new venture, even when she works under a male pseudonym so as not to capitalize on previous success, then the world would immediately turn to me, buy my entire backlist, and make me a millionaire.
And while you’re at it, J K, convince E L James to pull her books from the shelves, get Nora Roberts to retire, and run over Stephen King (again). Then I will go to RWA, this summer, put some strychnine in the guacamole, and wipe out all the rest of the romance novelists.
And then, it will be me, and only me, that makes the sales.
Like everyone else, I went and checked out Lynn Shepherd’s backlist on Amazon. That was probably what she wanted. I’d love to say that writers only blog for altruistic reasons [fall of a saint]. But a lot of it has to do with publicity and sales.
So, I went to check out what Lynn Shepherd had written. Historical detective fiction. Nothing like any of the stuff J K Rowling has written. One of them is a Jane Austen knockoff. A lot of people do those. Maybe it’s brilliant, but it sounds derivative.
And Mansfield Park? Really? Does anyone like that book? Because, ugh.
Normally, I would never write about snap judgments if I hadn’t read the book. But since she admits that she hasn’t read Harry Potter? Guess that’s legal now.
Anyway. She might be brilliant. This essay might make her some sales, since no publicity is bad publicity, right?
Wait a minute. Since yesterday, her Amazon rankings have dropped. In fact, they are lower than mine. And her best reviewed book lost an entire star on Amazon, from all the people saying, “I haven’t read this. But I don’t like it. Lynn Shepherd should stop writing.”
Ms. Shepherd, you have done the impossible. You have proven that there is such a thing as bad publicity.
Now, I’m impressed.