Let's play a game. You be the author.
Here's your hypothetical moral dilemma: A small industry-entity editor contacts you via e-mail, asking for books. Your publisher and most of the other majors won't ship review copies to this entity, so the only way the editor can get them is from the authors. No ARCs, though, only final copies will do, and please sign them because it will thrill the reviewer.
You add editor to your gratis copy list and ship him signed author copies of your books on your dime.
For your efforts, you get two reviews: one limp lukewarm ho-hum and one vicious hatchet job. After the hatchet job, editor promptly e-mails asking for more books for his reviewer, who coincidentally has just put your signed copies up on eBay and is selling them for three times the cover price.
What does the author do?
A. Send the editor screen shots of the reviewer's eBay auctions featuring your novels and suggest that the thrill of signed copies may be wearing off.
B. Suggest that if the editor would like more books, he go to hell to look for them.
C. You suggest other things, using so many bad words that your e-mail bounces back as rejected pornographic SPAM.
D. You lie to the editor and say that you are presently out of gratis copies. You promise to keep him in mind and thank him for his interest.
E. You can't decide what to do so you write a weblog entry about it.
F. None of the above.
G. All of the above.
H. You quit writing and move to Tibet, where you live happily in a cave with The Abominable Yeti, who cannot read and only wants you for pretty much continuous wild and crazy sex.
I. You wonder why, for God's sake, that every time you try to do a nice thing for people it turns into a blow torch that swings backward and melts your face off.
J. You get an idea for a suspense thriller from the blow torch analogy, forget about the editor and his e-mail, and write three chapters of your next novel. Which you later send to the editor signed with only two words: Blow Me.
K. You remember you're a girl and Blow Me only works if you're a guy. You have a sex change operation to compensate.
L. You hire a hit man from Miami to take out the editor and the reviewer. He turns out to be a Fed and you go to jail for the rest of your life.
M. You consider how hard it would really be to kill someone as you compulsively chew Excedrin. Then, so as not to plagiarize King and because aspirin tastes horrible, you switch from Excedrin to peppermint TicTacs.
N. You know, there's no shame in admitting you need therapy. Again.
O. You just say no. Politely. Without guilt and without returning the nastiness. And you walk away.
P. Then again, not every hit man is a Fed posing as one, right?
Q. By going through all of your options, you come to terms with your universe once more, feel weary but satisfied, and toddle off to bed.
R. Oh, and you just forget about the editor, the reviewer, and their bullshit.
. . . Well?