Authors behaving badly

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Sunset BrideLast year I was contacted by someone on Flickr who was collecting wedding photos for a book about the unseen wacky and wild sides of brides. They wanted to use this photo in the book. I was a little weirded out by the fact that they were building a book of photographs that they weren't paying for (??) but I agreed to let them use the photo, contingent on them mentioning Offbeat Bride in the caption. These are the things one does when trying to publicize a book.

Anyway, their book is finally out, and it makes me SO ANGRY. Sure, they failed to credit Offbeat Bride as agreed, but that's actually a relief, because I don't want my book to have anything to do with this one. I'm not even going to tell you the name of the book, because I refuse to do promotion-by-proxy for these folks, but I have to tell you about how much this book sucks and how pissed I am that my photo is in it.

Despite the fact that the authors publicly announced that the book wouldn't be “mean-spirited,” the captions mock every bride in the book for being drunk, trashy, geeky, weird, angry or any number of other things including … dressed up in a costume. Because yes, despite supposedly containing “Wedding photos you were never meant to see,” the book contains several Halloween and cosplay shots that weren't taken at weddings at all. This one comes to mind — it shows a costume-maker wearing an Arwyn dress she made. She's not a bride. The photo isn't from a wedding.

Oh, and don't even get me started on the QUALITY of the pictures in the book. Most of the photos are crunchy and low-resolution web shots, so they look bad. I mean, really really bad. The book not only mocks brides, but then it has the audacity to look like it was produced on a dot matrix printer.

I'm certainly not offended by them mocking my wedding picture — I'm the one who calls my wedding a freakfest, for fucksake! — but I'm totally angered by the misrepresentation of the project, mocking of nontraditional brides, shit print quality, and fact that it's supposedly wedding pictures when some of the folks are obviously not at weddings. The book seems to be aimed at straight and narrow brides who want to mock anyone who deviates from the “demure princess with a closed-mouth smile” routine.

Anyway, I did what any disappointed reader would do: I wrote a carefully worded negative review on Amazon. In response, someone wrote a review that included reference to “not trusting reviews from the monster brides in the book.”

OH NO YOU DI'INT. Did you just call me a fucking MONSTER BRIDE?!

Anyway, this post serves no purpose other than to bitch and say that some authors are lame and you should never let anyone reprint your wedding photos ever. Pthththth!

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Comments on Authors behaving badly

  1. It’s a shame that someone would create a childish, bitter, spiteful book in the first place! Who are they to mock someone elses special day?! So what if a bride wants a drink. or to pull a face for pictures!!

    I also suspect that the publishers/writers have planted the other comments to encourage people to pick the book up. At least I hope so… unfortunately there are many small minded folk out there! Thankfully, us Offbeat Brides don’t give a flip and will have our day as we want it.

    Bummer you’ve been conned Ariel, but keep up the good work! x

  2. OMG Ariel I saw that book at my barnes and noble and I was like, “this is mean and awful, why would people want this?!?” I just know it’s going to make a bunch of brides cry who receive it as a ‘gag’ wedding gift. I only skimmed through it and thankfully did not see your picture, because I would have been far more angry at the ass-holes who made this book. I applaud you for standing up to them on amazon and making your readers aware of how trashy and poorly made this book is. Go you Ariel!

  3. I am pretty certain I know what book you are talking about.

    That explains alot.

    I was at a local bookstore and stumbled upon it in the “Gag Gift Impulse Buy” area of the store.

    I flipped through it for a few pages but didn’t find it funny. And no, I am not a humourless “Weddings R serious bizness” bride. Most, if not all of the picture are online at various sources, that I am certain the publishers didn’t pay to use.

    It was just a mean book.

    When I get home tonight, I am going to go on Amazon and leave a review as well.

  4. Well you should see some of the other books the author has written. Not that there’s anything wrong with cute pictures of animals making you feel better (hello; but really? A fat dog giving us inner beauty secrets? Really?

    I think making mean-spirited fun of other peoples weddings is just wrong. How are you even “behaving badly” in your photo?

  5. Shannon, my picture was captioned “And if you turn her southwest, you can even get Showtime!”

    At first I just didn’t get it, but then I realized it was a weak jab at my enormous ribbon buns. Which is fine, you know. They were ridiculous! But I can make fun of myself WAY better than that.

    I think that’s the book’s biggest crime. If it’s going to be mean, it could at least be hilarious, like I mean, if you’re going for snark and cruelty, at least make people laugh. As it stands, the book is both mean AND lame.

  6. oh my god delurking to say how angry this makes me. i love your wedding pictures, in fact if you could have weddings outdoors in the UK i would be copying your weding entirely! yet another example of women being made to feel bad if they dare to stray away from the wedding industry.
    and it sounds like its not even funny- god what a waste of trees!

  7. Ooh, how dare they. Some of us pride ourselves on being drunk, trashy, geeky, weird and angry. The authors certainly don’t have as much fun as we do. I hope they see the light someday soon, how boring their lives must be . . .

  8. That sucks. Why would someone go through the trouble to publish something like that… I can’t imagine anyone sitting around actually coming up with a ridiculous idea like that?

  9. The positive reviews are obviously all fake, as they were left by people with new profiles and no other reviews to their names, or people reviewing only the authors’ other books. Pretty pathetic. I bet Amazon would take note of the fraud if it was reported.

  10. Thanks for all the supportive angry words, everyone. >:) Just to clarify: the authors DID credit the photo to me and the photographer, they just didn’t credit my book, which they agreed to. Also, they were very clear up front that they weren’t paying for the pictures, so they didn’t break any rules in THAT regard.

    …That said, it still makes me angry as hell.

  11. oh GET THIS, all the 5 star reviews that book has on amazon were posted on May 30th, and the book wasn’t even out until early June! So sad.

  12. Yeah, I reviewed the book as soon as I got ahold of an advance copy a friend had received. All those 5 star reviews showed up simultaneously 2 days later … pretty obvious that the authors saw my review, freaked out, and then asked their friends to write quick 5-star reviews. That’s not against the rules of course, but it does make for some useless reviews… Oh well!

  13. Ugh, I found it on Amazon and all that everyone says here is true. It’s so gross.

    That said, your ribbon buns are/were AMAZING. And the rest of the photos on Flickr are GORGEOUS. What a hot couple y’all are and what a beautiful group of people y’all have in your lives!

  14. I can’t believe I came across this today on your blog. Ariel, I’ve been reading your blogs for YEARS — I saw the mentioned book at b&n, but didn’t look through it intensely enough to see your pic. You know why I didn’t look through it really intensely? BECAUSE THAT BOOK IS GROSS!

  15. The small-minded need their entertainment, I suppose. Your wedding looks fantastic.

    I’ve started getting a little stressed about mine because everyone feels it necessary to try to correct every decision we’ve made. Your blog really eases that stress and reminds me that its our day, not their day.

    I find it hard to believe that anyone who sees your picture will miss the beauty that just shines through.

  16. I saw that book! It’s so offensive! (The store copy was really ratty and dirty, too) I would think owning that book would be bad luck. It surprised me to see your photo in there. I’m so sorry. Your bridal photos are awesome!

  17. Late to the party, but commenting anyway. I’m the user linked above with the Arwen costume – I happened to be in a book store, to MEET A WEDDING VENDOR for my own wedding, when I came across this book and was completely shocked to find myself in it. (shocked and pissed off, too) I slowly remembered being asked, AGES ago, if this photo could be used for “a book of funny wedding pictures” – I replied to the person and explained it was not a photo from a wedding, but a costume I made for a convention. They said it didn’t matter, and me, not thinking (I know better now), said sure, I don’t care. Now I’m in this horribly offensive book being portrayed as a “bride behaving badly” – and I’m in the middle of planning my own wedding now. I just pray none of the vendors or anyone I meet with would ever look at this book or possibly recognize me, because it’s terribly embarrassing.
    I’ll never let someone use my photos without more info, ever again.

  18. …And I’m even later to this comment thread, but if it’s any consolation, I received an advance copy of this as a magazine editor, snorted at how stupid it was, then chucked it in the giveaway pile. Your book, however, I read from cover to cover and gave a glowing review. I wasn’t even engaged then, but I am now, and I’m sure I’ll be commenting more. Rock on with your bad self.

  19. Holy schit, I thought that book was funny. I didn’t read their captions. WTF?

  20. So, this is a really late contribution, but I was on amazon, and happened upon this book. I saw the cover, and realised that it was “the book” that you had mentioned on here. I checked the used prices. It can be yours for $.01 plus shipping of course and they are all in new with minor shelf wear condition.
    At least they clearly haven’t made any money (well, not much) from it.

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