I’ve probably rehashed some of these points in one form or another but hey, some of it bears repeating. My last year wasn’t as productive as I wanted it to be in writing. Whether I’ve gotten complacent or my focus is shit remains to be debated. I did have publications, as noted on the side of my blog yet I had the potential to do so much more.
If you haven’t noticed by now, the internet is full of anonymity and vitriol. While I can’t profess to be a saint in such matters, I can say I owned up to anything I might have said. Perhaps it’s my age or just because I’ve been through a metric ton of crap and just don’t have time for the bullshit. Like memes that misquote people, for example. I’ll call people out on that with facts more so than calling them a fuck puppet.
First order of business is the tact of reviews. I’ve had my personal up and downs with this, and I’m not talking as an author on this one. Sarcasm that might be a little too turned up, my time before being published consisted of beyond snarky reviews. I couldn’t turn my brain off to any fault I perceived. So each review pinpointed those. Could I say maybe the lackluster life I had been leading played a part? Maybe but that makes it an excuse, right? I knew what I was doing and could have walked away yet I didn’t. The sad fact is when reading mainstream, they have a formula for a story and stick to it. Happy endings are overrated but that’s for another time.
Now I’m an author and on the receiving end of bad reviews. While not pinpointing the specifics like I endeavored to do, they stab at things that have nothing to do with the story and that bites a little. I learned to ignore them, and inform my publishers that I’d prefer my books do not go to those places. I’m all for an honest review. It’s the vague passive-aggressive reviews that seem more like a vendetta than honesty. Eh, I’m getting of track. Point being, a review site should give a review and not a few stars because they’re in the business of reviews. Hate it? Speak it or, in my opinion, you lose credibility. Readers should keep posting reviews and remember it’s about the book, not the author. For fuck’s sake, know what you’re getting into. Erotic romance, for example, is going to have raw raunchy sex. Don’t get all puritan when you read it.
Another elephant in the room is jealousy. Should authors sharpen their claws and go after their own kind? My simple answer is no to that. I’m not even talking about inter genre hissy fits that do happen. People that don’t write romance dismissing it, though romance is the number one genre, because they don’t think the writers have anything remotely resembling a plot. Get over yourselves. No one genre is better than the next. Take it from someone that reads just about ever one out there. Stop hiding behind the ‘anonymous’ tag too. Things can be tracked on the internet more than you know. Less asshat, more honest chat-chat.
Sometimes I’m flabbergasted at the amount of reviews new books get when I scramble sometimes for one. I want to cry and pitch a fit because even with free copies going out, I’m not seeing a return on investment so to speak. In reality, I got to suck it up because sales matter. Someone’s reading my book or is going to and if my life is hectic, imagine what someone else’s might be. For the most part, the free readers are honest and that’s great. Secretly, I love the readers of a purchased copy. For me, their review has a little more credence. My suspicious nature lends to that.
Lastly, the mother of all woes–marketing your book. Spamapolooza. The flood gates of social media open wide. With so many groups on Facebook and whatnot, how are you going to make any dent or get noticed? I belong to a few and honestly? It’s too much to even keep up with and I’ve left a lot of them. With so many scrolling across the screen, I wonder if it’s effective. Even Twitter gets away from me. My smartphone doesn’t make me much smarter for social media. I cringe at the word “buy”. Sure I want someone to purchase my book but I don’t want to spam the shit out of their feed, email, or any other means of communication. Truly if I could give any advice, I’d say back off. Think of it as game requests on Facebook. Some love it, some don’t. I blissfully ignore them.
Writing is a full time job with barely a part time job pay for some. Let’s be a little more thoughtful to each other because, as I’ve shown in the past, I’ll call that shit out.