I am about to tell you a story about two crime authors. In the interest of fairness, I will refer to them as Author X and Author Z.
There was a terrible crime many years ago that was very violent and claimed many lives. Both Author X and Author Z were reporters at that time. X was a freelancer who had been published in many national publications such as the New York Times and the Washington Post. Z was a local reporter who worked for a prestigious big-city paper. Neither of them were slouches.
Many years after the crime both X and Z wrote books about the crime. We’ll call them Book X and Book Z respectively. Book X was a smash hit. It made the New York Times bestseller list and was very received not only by the critics but also by the public. Book X has almost become a de facto textbook about the crime in question. Book Z? Not so much. Now, this isn’t a critique of Book Z as I haven’t read it. It may even be the better book for all I know but that’s not the purpose of this post.
Recently Book X has been nominated for a state educator’s award. Author Z has taken to the web to plead that the voters of the award to not vote for Book X. Author Z even goes as far as to refer to Author X as merely a ‘blogger’ instead of referring to him rightfully as a journalist. Considering I saw Author Z’s piece on blog sites like Examiner.com and The Huffington Post I found that kind of ironic. Is this because Book Z is up for the same award? No, Book Z was not even nominated. I thought that this kind of behavior was odd for not only a professional author but a former journalist as well.
So I decided to more research on this supposed rivalry. As far as I can tell Author X has never said anything about Author Z or Book Z in public. Author Z, on the other hand, has been all over the web complaining about Book X. One of the more unusual places I saw Author Z defending his book and berating Book X was on a message board dedicated to the criminals and not the victims. This is one of those message boards where the troglodytes that inhabit it think the victims deserved what they got. This is where Author Z went to plead his case. Author Z went on to blame that lack of success of Book Z on everything from Book X had better marketing to blaming the public for being misled by Author X.
The bottom line is I found Author Z’s behavior to be beyond unprofessional but then again I’m just a lowly blogger who has no real publishing experience. Is this normal in the publishing world or is Author Z just experiencing a case of sour grapes?
Personally, I think it’s the former and not the latter.
You see there are other crime blogs out there that vastly more successful than mine. With some of them, I take issue on some of their ethics or lack thereof. But rather than worrying about what those blogs do I work on mine to make it the best blog it can be. Maybe Author Z can take a lesson from this ‘blogger’.