Author Terry Goodkind has proven himself to be not so good or kind after asking fans to trash the cover of one of his latest books.
The bestselling author posted on Facebook on Friday (local time), saying his own work, Shroud of Eternity, is "a great book with a very bad cover", going as far as to call it "laughably bad".
"Let's have some fun with it," he told fans. "Tell us what you think of the cover in my next post (the poll above) and we'll pick 10 random entries to win a signed copy of the hardcover."
Goodkind was left red-faced after the call for a pile-on backfired, with fans shocked at his actions.
One Twitter user wrote that she was "actually appalled".
"Artists DIRECTLY follow a brief they are given by YOUR publisher," she wrote. "Publicly dragging the work they do for you is a dick move, not to mention incredibly unprofessional."
Another fan sarcastically tweeted: "Hey author people maybe dunking on your cover artists isn't the best way to use a social media platform but what do I know right."
Another didn't hold back, calling it "shameful behaviour".
"Illustrators, I would avoid working with Terry Goodkind... Childishly criticising the cover art of his latest book on social media."
The illustrator himself - Basteien Lecouffe-Deharme - ended up commenting on the post: "It was nice working with you Terry. What you are doing is totally disrespectful. As if I didn't create those covers accorded to exactly what I was told to do.
"In my entire career I have never seen an author behaving like that."
On Twitter he wrote: "I have nothing more to say to Terry Goodkind."
All of this backlash prompted Goodkind to post again on Saturday night, apologising.
"I'm reading some of the comments being shared and I want to clarify a few things," he wrote.
"The contest and poll below is poking fun at my own book. The artist is obviously an exceptionally talented creative. The problem is with the publisher. I created the poll as a way to poke fun at the cover art, because it is a poor representation of characters within the book. Characters I am deeply passionate about. It's impossible not to be emotional about such things, when I've spent the last 30 years of my life devoted to their every nuance.
"In no way do I feel the quality of the art is rendered poorly," he continued. "For any misunderstanding, I apologise to the artist, his friends, and of course my own community here."
Goodkind said the purpose of the contest was not to insult the artist, but rather to encourage his publisher to be more thoughtful about cover art in the future.
He also noted that he would leave the contest up and give away the books as planned.