No, this is not a blog post on mental health. It’s just a post about some random crazy stuff I’ve read over the last few days and how I wish some people would have kept their crazy limited to their own bubbles. This week I learned through some FB and blog posts that there are authors out there behaving oh so very badly. I could handle the trolls, the internet name calling, all that childish behavior out there on the web; you learn to deal with it. However, several of these posts talk about authors freaking STALKING people over bad reviews. Like showing up at someone’s house, day job, etc. All I can say is WHAT THE HELL.
Years ago, when I first started getting into “promotion”, I was looking for ways to do that. I heard about book reviewers and started looking around. I came a day late and a dollar short after some author chewed out some reviewers and then the ENTIRE industry started shutting out anyone not traditionally published for reviews. And apparently at that time it was just a mean email or something! It took me a long time to get anyone to review my book for their blog because I was automagically lumped into “crazy indie”. Why? Because I was not backed by a publishing company. (And I never will be b/c I refuse to give up my rights to things I create) Once that whole mess started to settle down, I enjoyed a few years of good book tours and advertisement on many blogs that started to open back up the “indies”. Now? I’m on the cusp of trying to find promotion, tours, reviews, and advertisement for my new book. What do I hear in my network of professionals that I have amassed over the years? The one I was hoping would help me out with my next big thing? “I’m done.” “No more indies.” “I’m closing my blog.” And then they link to even bigger people in their networks that are just like closing shop completely. SERIOUSLY? This again? What is wrong with people that they behave in such a manner to cause others to just cut indies off completely. No questions asked. Just no, you are indie I no play with you. Why can people not act professional? It IS a business after all. When you write and sell stuff you ARE a business. Ask the tax codes. Is a 1 star review on your book really worth going and physically harming or harassing someone? The cyber stuff is bad enough, but now you have people physically showing up to do things to other people? No, no, no, no, no! This is why celebrities have PR people and big corporations have a lawyer spokes people! Those people reply to the bad press for them.
We already live in a world that is full of hate and random crime based on things as simple as the color of your skin or as complex as your religious beliefs. There should not be a category for “book reviewer assaults” or “author death threats”. Unless you are going into a war zone an author/journalist/reviewer of any kind should not be afraid of being assaulted. In my last post I said authors were afraid of saying the wrong thing, now I am thinking maybe book reviewers are afraid of reviewing the wrong book and saying the wrong thing too!
Nobody likes bad reviews on their works of art. Trust me when I say everyone gets one the more popular you become. Book, TV show, movie, poem, picture, album….none are really immune in this day and age. For everyone 1 person liking something 2 more may appear to tell you how stupid the work in question is. Maybe it is a troll. Maybe it is an unhappy customer. Maybe your sales pitch was so good you sold it to somebody not in your target audience. Criticism hurts. It stings. It SUCKS. But you can either learn from it or ignore it. The most important thing is to move past it…in a non-crazy way. Easiest way is to focus on your work. Or maybe get a hobby like GW2. 🙂 Ranting is OK too, but do it with your support group. Not a baseball bat!
Maybe YOU don’t need blogs that cater to indies. Maybe YOU don’t want to get in with a good blog tour company. Maybe YOU don’t care what people think of your actions. I get it. You have a right to react however you want, but don’t ruin it for other people by making them think all indies are a bunch of whiny, unstable, drama queens. (I might be whiny over some things at times, but unless you live with me you will never see any of that LOL) Don’t break the law over a bad review. It just shows poor form. I know you are not supposed to judge a book by its cover or its author. Yet, if the author goes around harassing others that only hurts them in the end.
Please keep your crazy to yourself and don’t attack people for having an opinion. It’s bad enough people do it on the nameless net. It’s even worse when people start doing it in daylight. Kind of puts a damper on my outlook of “well, they can’t kill me or eat me, so I will move on”. That doesn’t work out too well if people are actually going around physically hurting other people.
Not all independents are crazy either. Many of us work really hard and if we start getting shut out simply because we are not traditionally published then the growing freedom in publishing is going to die. Hey, who knows, maybe that is what the big publishers want? Maybe it’s all a conspiracy by the publishers to get us to come running back.
In the meantime? Please be a responsible author. Write books. Book events. Have fun. Forget about negative reviews. (Put down the baseball bat and go back to writing your next big thing)