|Photo credit: banspy on Flickr|
chances are you’ve heard about poor behavior from other anonymous writers.
I’ve been on Twitter for nearly two years now, and I’ve heard stories that fit all over the “horrific idea” spectrum—stories that I often didn’t want to believe. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen agents and other publishing professionals tweet about things writers have done or said to them that have made me cringe.
Then, a few nights ago agent Jessica Negrón said this:
Do we pay attention to online behavior when considering a potential client? You bet we do.
— Jessica Negrón (@loladeee) April 2, 2013
How you behave—both on the streets and online matters. If you’re an unagented writer and you’re looking for an agent to fall in love with your book, then you are searching for representation. Someone to represent your book, yes, but also by extension represent you.
And no self-respecting agent wants to represent poor writer behavior.
Even if you’re not searching for representation, bad behavior can impact your sales, as well. I can guarantee that writers who respond to negative reviews with scathing tantrums won’t get very many reviews, and will certainly turn away readers who look at the reviews before buying and come across your online hissy fit.
The point is this: if you’re serious about your career as a writer, then you need to compose yourself professionally. In other words:
If you feel the need to respond to a rejection in a manner that makes the agent feel as hurt and angry as you are in the moment—don’t.
If you get the urge to bash other writers for any reason whatsoever—don’t.
If you feel the need to talk about how your work is superior to others in your genre—don’t.
If you feel the need to be anything other than perfectly respectful to your peers, to publishing professionals, to people in general—get off the computer and vent. Just don’t do it online.
What do you think about bad online behavior (from writers or otherwise)? Have you ever witnessed an online incident?