This subject came up elsewhere on the blog (in Hunting the Wily Cover Blurb), but I felt it was worth extracting from the long comment stream for emphasis. The Etiquette Primer for New Writers could be subtitled, “Stuff I wish somebody had told me when I was a pup, because I made most of these mistakes myself.”
So here’s Etiquette Lesson # 1:
If somebody says, “I liked your story ‘Moon Women of Titan’s Caves,’” the proper response is
(a) Oh, well, jeez, it wasn’t my best work;
(b) That piece of tripe? You’re a moron for liking that;
(c) I always hate everything I’ve written after it’s pubished;
(d) You BOUGHT that? In HARDCOVER? Why didn’t you wait for the paperback?
(e) Thank you.
For a lot of people (I include myself), it takes a lot of effort to work up to telling someone they admire how their work has affected them. You, the writer, have put a little piece of your heart out for people to look at, and once in a while someone will put a little piece of their heart out to thank you for your work. Do you really want to stomp it flat?
The correct answer is left as an exercise for the reader.
I blog here every Sunday, and irregularly otherwise as the spirit takes me. You can find some of my science fiction at the Book View Cafe website.
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