Recently there has been YET ANOTHER instance of an author attacking a book reviewer (throwing a hissy fit) over a bad review she received. I am really getting tired of seeing and hearing about this sort of bullshit. As an Indie author it is just…fucking embarrassing. Not only to every other indie author out there but all writers in general. Authors who do this are no better than a petulant child and have no business writing, publishing and putting their work out for people to read.
I see it most often with writers who are south of 30 especially south of 25. Ones who grew up in that generation where they were led to believe that no one loses, everyone gets first place, the world is fair and nothing they do is ever bad or wrong. They were brought up in a time and age group where they were told no one fails. ***Thank you liberalism***
Because of this these kids are unable to handle criticisms of their work that they put out for public purchase and use. I see with many of the kids I go to college with when we are doing writing workshops. When a reader points out what they see as a flaw/s or issues with the piece the writer defends, stomps and stammers and says stupid shit like, “you don’t get it!”
“I say, no I get it you just sucked at doing.” And then I try and help them past their YA inklings hoping they develop a more adult way of writing and storytelling.
We hear all the complaints from Indies on FB, Twitter, Google+, blogs and other outlets. Things like:
“Why don’t readers take my work seriously?”
“Why are my sales so bad?”
”Why is so hard for Indies to gain respect from the established literary world?” (besides the fact some authors are clinging like pups to the lingering teat of the publishing industry as whole for BS out of date beliefs).
“Why is it so hard to get my work noticed?”
I believe one of the reasons for most of these are because of the way far too many Indie authors act poorly toward people who read their books. It represents us (Indies) badly and are the exception and not the rule from my experience. Most Indies I know are class acts.
Its one thing to be like me and say brash and occasionally offensive things on my blog about seemingly random things which I am prone to so. It’s who I am. If I didn’t do that it that would be a lie and If I want my readers to get to know me as an author they need to know the real me as much as possible.
Its ok to dislike like a review about a book you wrote until you are blue in the face.
You can rant in the privacy of your own home until you pass out and sleep off the angst.
You can sit on the shitter, spew expletives and have imaginary arguments with the writer of that 1 star review you got.
But you can’t or rather shouldn’t take to Twitter and other social media outlets throwing a fit over a bad review and you certainly can’t attack the reviewer.
THIS IS OFTEN WHAT SETS INDIES APART FROM THE ESTABLISHED A-LIST AND TRADITIONALLY PUBLISHED AUTHORS.
It’s not that we lack the ability to write wonderfully enjoyable or complex stories that readers like and characters they can connect with. Our writing abilities as Indies are just as wide, varied and competent as traditionally published writers. They are not better at the art of writing than us by virtue of being published by a mid to big time publisher. If they have published many books over many years and are successful than yes by virtue of growing as a writer they are in fact…better than us. It’s ok to say that. The problem lies with how Indies occasionally handle OUR side of the writing business publicly.
****NEWS FLASH NEWBS***
Your novel, whether paperback or E-book is no different than a pizza from Pizza Hut© or Tide© laundry detergent that you buy at a store. Once we hit publish or a publisher publishes a book THAT BOOK becomes a consumable and usable product. One that ANYONE can like or hate. One that any one can legally say anything about.
You AND your book/s are not protected by the mystical gods of writing from the abuse that any other product may get. It’s just a fact of the internet age. It doesn’t matter if your mom or aunty read your book and left you a review. It doesn’t matter if you sent your book to a professional reviewer for a review. And it doesn’t matter if someone who operates a book review blog happens to wander across your book and review it. It doesn’t matter if some stranger from bumfuck Indiana bought your book and read it.
Reviewers can say…. WHATEVER THE FUCK THEY WANT ABOUT IT
HOWEVER THEY DECIDE TO DO IT!
You can’t do a god damn thing about it either. It doesn’t matter whether it’s good or bad (the review). A review is an opinion, a person’s take on a product. It doesn’t matter if you think it’s untrue or not. Given the amount of eBooks out there ranging in quality you should be kissing anyone’s ass and be appreciative that they even took the time to read it let alone notice your book. Not bitch because the outcome isn’t what you would have liked, hoped or expected.
—-I once got a free Pizza from Papa Johns© because I wrote a bad review online. They didn’t yell at me. They apologized that my experience was bad and tried to make it up to me thus hopefully changing my mind—-
*** LET THAT IDEA SINK IN CLONES***
Have you ever EVER seen a traditionally published author or publisher take to social media and attack a review and/or reviewer? Do you ever see them piss and moan about a bad review publicly?
Nope. So why are you?
What makes you think you are so fucking special? What makes you think that your book and you are exempt from opinions and ridicule? I don’t care how perfect you think your book is, chances are it’s not perfect. Traditionally published authors can’t do perfect so get off your high horse. People’s perception about the quality of a product is up to them, the buyer NOT you as the author. You yourself review and have opinions about everything you buy regardless of whether you review them online or talk to your mom or friends about it. So, why can’t people have a bad opinions about the product you put out? Like I said, whether you agree with them isn’t the point.
Don’t cry about being a misunderstood writer/artist and having artistic license. Stop using the trendy lingo you picked up in writing or literature classes in college, just stop it! You are a business person now. To be a writer in 2014 is to be a business person. Yes you wrote a nice book (maybe) but you are a business person now….BUSINESS PERSON! Do I need to say it again?
START ACTING LIKE IT. Stop acting like a wannabe elitist bush leaguer.
**Books and any other purchasable products are primarily sold by reviews, good and bad, true or untrue, verbal and written. Reviews matter no matter what. **
“So what are we supposed to do?” You may ask
Do nothing. A wise person told me very early on in my writing career to not read my books reviews. I rarely do. If you got a couple ratings that were 1 or 2 stars on Amazon or Barnes & Noble you have 2 choices I think:
A. Give up and walk away from the business forever at least until you grow up a little and develop thicker skin and can handle harsh criticism. Being an author today is more than just sitting in your hole and writing. You are obviously not ready for the more aspect of this.
B. Keep writing, learn how the business works, advertise and just do it better.
If the adage is true that we get better as writers by writing more just think about someday, long from now, when you published let’s say 10 books. I think it’s safe to say you will look back on your first published novel and say, “what the fuck was I thinking” or “Why did I do it like that.” You will judge yourself right? So get off the high horse when others judge you and your books now.
If you are going to go about throwing a tantrum on the internet you are doing nothing to help you, your book/s, indie writers or the writing business at large. You are acting like rank amateur who has no business being in this game and it’s time for you to leave.