Be Yourself Online (Unless Yourself is a Jerkwad) by Jody Casella

One of the things I like about interacting on social media is how I don't have to leave the house to participate. I can sit on the couch in my pajamas blearily holding my coffee while I tap out all my sparkly and thoughtful and insightful comments.

Of course, I could just as easily spew idiotic, offensive, or boring blah blah blah kinds of things too.

Authors are encouraged, even expected, to use social media to promote their books. It should go without saying that if you are a writer, representing a book you poured your heart and soul into, and you'd like for readers to find it, and possibly read it, you should be careful not to come off like a Jerkwad.

But here are a few examples of people who did not get this memo (and I am leaving out names and identifying characteristics to protect these poor saps):

  • A writer wrote a blog post mocking book reviewers. A book reviewer discovered the post and tweeted the link to all of her book reviewing friends.
  • A blogger wrote a "meh" review of a new book. The author's agent called the blogger a curse word in the comment section.
  • A writer upset about a negative review bad mouthed the reviewer on a popular book review site prompting the book reviewer to create an Authors Behaving Badly list. 


Be kind, dear writers. Don't say things in the heat of the moment that you might regret later. Of course this applies in the real world too, but it's so much easier to offend a larger number of people in the social media world. Break the rules and the consequences can trail after you forever.

Or maybe not. I was talking about this with my husband the other day and he assured me that at some point, all of this data floating around--silly but adorable kitty pictures and snarky tweets and random photos of you and your dippy ex boyfriend--will be deleted to make room for more recent insulting and/or inane stuff.

I don't believe him.
(I suspect that this kitty will be floating around forever)


  1. An AGENT behaved that way?? Egads!

    1. I know. Hard to believe but I saw it with my own eyes...

  2. This post made me think of the episode of Kitchen Nightmares, where the celebrity chef gave up on helping the two restaurant owners because they refused to listen to him. Then they apparently went off on a rampage on Facebook and started insulting and criticizing everyone (and even before that they wrote scathing responses to negative reviewers on Yelp) on Facebook, though they later claimed their Facebook page was hacked. I think they definitely fit the definition of online jerks.

    1. I don't know that show but there are so many examples of people behaving badly online (and in life). The really sad thing is how it even helps some of them--the old "any publicity is better than no publicity" saying. But I don't think that would work for authors who write for children and teens!

  3. Yeah, I assume that anything that appears on the internet is there forever. I am so, so careful with what I say online. I'll even avoid commenting on books or movies unless I have mostly positive comments.


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