Tuesday, December 15, 2009

When Authors Attack

Yankee great Derek Jeter’s defensive ability has been the subject of criticism by a number of sabermetricians over the years. Jeter has said of the criticism, “I play in New York, man. Criticism is part of the game. You take criticism as a challenge.” He also responded by engaging in a rigorous training program last offseason which led to him having one of his best years defensively and winning his fourth Gold Glove.

That is one way to deal with criticism. Another—and an unfortunately all too natural way—is to lash out at the critic. That’s what author Candace Sams did in response to a negative fan review on Amazon.com for her book, Electra Galaxy’s Mr. Interstellar Feller, and let to a cringe worthy discussion thread of over 170 posts. Ms. Sams, writing under the username “Niteflyr One,” challenged the negative reviewer L.B. Taylor, and then the thread deteriorated into a free-for-all with Ms. Sams versus everyone else.

I sympathize with Ms. Sams for her visceral reaction to criticism, but taking the Jeter route or simply ignoring such criticism would have certainly been best.

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