I really don’t think that is the issue here! I think the real issue is the backlash that Lynn Shepard received for expressing an opinion.
First of all, I think it is entirely fine to say you don’t like something without trying it, be it broccoli, books, or whatever. I don’t care how popular it gets, I am not going to start reading ‘dinosaur erotica’. And, moving to the gaming industry, it is not a requirement to play the Grand Theft Auto series of games for me to dismiss it. Playing something that encourages criminal behavior, virtual or not, is not something I find worthwhile. I can almost guarantee that Shepard’s detractors feel that way about things in their lives.
As to her main point, I certainly disagree. But can understand it. Writing a novel is a tough gig. Marketing that novel is even worse and can be so daunting that these feelings of unfairness come into play. I don’t know too many authors that don’t secretly wish for easier avenues of success. Myself included. I certainly pitched a fit when Britney Spears decided to ‘write’ a book and was offered a whopping advance just because of her ‘big name’ status as a performer.
At the end of the day, this has nothing to do with J K Rowling, whether she is liked or not, and if she should follow the advice to stop writing. Lynn Shepard shared an opinion and has been butchered in the media for doing so. Disagreeing with that opinion is one thing, but punishing her by writing bad reviews of her books ‘just to show her’ is just one more example of the cowardly platitudes of malice by people hiding behind their keyboards.