On my travels through the world of publishing, limited though they may be, I have come across all sorts of authors, and made some great friends as a result. There are the consummate professionals, the hard-workers, the writing-machines, the absolute nutcases (hi!), and myriad hybrids.
And then there are the unprofessional.
I don't mean the ones that like to goof off. After all, I am one of those. I'm referring to the authors that somehow have no clue that what they do or say has an impact on those who listen. Those that bitch about some aspect of the business, or go to a public place and rant about their agent/editor/publisher.
In the past few months, I've seen several occurrences of the latter. People complaining, publicly, using their real name/real pseudonym, about publishers and editors, again using names.
The internet - as well as being a repository for podcasts, pornography, and awesome webcomics - is also very easily searchable. Also, once something is put up, it's damn hard to take it down again (Google caching makes sure of that). Search "Adam Slade", for instance, and you'll see my public Twitter feed, this blog, and a bunch of forum posts. While I do occasionally bemoan my luck in finding an agent, I don't name names, and I don't rag on publishers.
If I can search for a name, so can an agent/publisher, and why on earth would they take on someone that is quite obviously going to be a liability?
Now don't get me wrong, in some cases, things must be brought to light. If your publisher is refusing to pay you, or is stealing rights, that needs to be shouted from the rooftops. But even in that case, it needs to be handled correctly. If you sit there and curse and insult, people aren't going to pay as much attention as if you'd calmly laid out the facts.
Short version - Behave, or be prepared for the consequences.
Bleh, I sounded all stern, then.
PS - Back to silly posts now, promise.