Proper Author (Human) Behavior

thank you for not smoking signWhen someone invites you to dinner in their home, that’s a nice gesture, right? Normally guests offer to bring something, and sometimes, even if the host says “We’re all set, but thank you,” some guests bring a gift to show their appreciation. But sometimes, and I guess it doesn’t matter the reason, people just don’t think they need to show any sort of appreciation. Sometimes, people don’t think rules apply to them. Sometimes, people just don’t think.

So imagine, if you will…

A guest arrives for dinner, sits down at the table beneath the No Smoking sign, and lights up. The host politely says, “Guest, there’s no smoking in the house.” The host points to the sign. “You’re welcome to smoke out on the deck, but we’d love you to stay for dinner.”

Gracious, right?

So the guest puts out his cigarette. Maybe he didn’t see the sign behind him and it was an honest mistake. A moment later, he lights up again. The host looks at him quizzically. The guest says, “You’re kidding, right? You expect me to eat dinner without smoking?”

The host looks around the table at the ten other guests who are happily enjoying their meals without smoking a cigarette. “Yes.”

“Well, fine then. Have a nice dinner.” The guest removes himself from the table and leaves. A moment later he is back. He sits down and lights yet another cigarette. “I’m going to leave this lit, but I’m not actually going to smoke it. Technically, that’s not smoking.”

Wow. That’s rude and disrespectful, isn’t it?

Damn right it is, and something similar to that happened right here on Indies Unlimited recently.

The Evil Mastermind and I work tirelessly to make Indies Unlimited a place where people will feel comfortable. The minions are always responsive, gracious hosts, and welcome one and all. None of us receive any compensation for the time we put in here. Some of us do it full-time, some of us part-time, but either way, we are donating our time to help, educate, and mentor indie authors from all walks of life. Sure, we sell advertising. Have you checked the prices? At one to two ads a week, we’re barely covering expenses.

Hise and I never complain about putting our own projects aside to work on IU business (okay, maybe I do). We run thirty-five articles here every week, and get hundreds of queries. There is a lot of “behind-the-scenes” work, including scheduling, formatting of posts, and more. Sometimes authors need hand-holding. Sometimes we have to find the gentlest way to tell someone that their book needs work before it can appear on the site. Sometimes it’s overwhelming, but we’re always polite to people. You never know what someone could be going through. Guess what? It would be nice if people treated us the same way.

Just because Hise and I help people doesn’t mean we don’t need help sometimes, too. It doesn’t mean that we don’t have health, or personal, or financial issues. It just means we don’t make them public. Do I sound angry? Damn right I am. We actually had to block an author from commenting on the site today.

I will not stand for someone coming into my home and being rude and disrespectful. This is a place where authors can come to learn, socialize, and have their work promoted. All for free. Because of Indies Unlimited, I have met some super nice people. I enjoy giving my time, because most people are grateful. I enjoy reading the posts and the comments, because even though I’ve been in this industry for over 30 years, I’m still learning.

What warms my heart the most, though, is the fact that so many people, both minions and guests, are willing to share their knowledge and offer support in this confusing and difficult industry. There are so many good, kind authors out there – and it’s a pleasure and an honor to host them right here in the Indies Unlimited home.

To the author we had to block today, I have three words: Shame on you. To everyone else, I say: Thank you.

Author: K.S. Brooks

K.S. Brooks is an award-winning novelist, photographer, and photo-journalist, author of over 30 titles, and executive director and administrator of Indies Unlimited. Brooks is currently a photo-journalist and chief copy editor for two NE Washington newspapers.Β  She teaches self-publishing and writing topics for the Community Colleges of Spokane, and served on the Indie Author Day advisory board. For more about K.S. Brooks, visit her website and her Amazon author page.

35 thoughts on “Proper Author (Human) Behavior”

  1. Some people’s children. Some of it is ego too I think. People think that they are superior to everyone around them and so they act that way. Too bad. So much more is accomplished when you are polite and respectful.

  2. Hug.
    I have observed incredibly rude and self-centered behavior across the Internet. I don’t understand it, and often put it down to deep unhappiness, jealousy, or desperation. It is very sad.
    I can’t have negative people around me because it deflates me. IU has been one of the best things that has ever happened to me. If an author can’t behave, block away. Negative karma is destructive.

  3. I echo Lois. Negative, nasty people pull me down. We don’t need them. Send them packing. And hugs and thanks to you and Steve for all that you do. IU is my family.

  4. So sorry to hear IU had an unpleasant visitor. IU’s posts are stuffed with helpful and encouraging goodies, and I am grateful for the IU community. Politeness is a must, *especially* on the Internet. Tell the rude ones to “Hit the Road, Jack…” if they can’t be civil.

  5. You can have all my gruel tonight, Kat. AND you can borrow my sackcloth dress. Just to cheer you up. I’m hanging on to my lycra, though. πŸ˜‰ Hugs, sweet cheeks, I/we all love you squillions.

  6. You guys go above and beyond the call of duty and deserve lots of praise for all you do. IU is a life-line for many of us and we appreciate the tutorials, advice, humor, etc. Thank you, Steve, Kat and everyone else who contributes to Indies Unlimited.

  7. Sorry to hear that happened, K.S., particularly since you guys do such a fantastic job. Thank you for one delicious dinner after another!

  8. Brava to you, Kat! As one who’s been “slimed” by comments many time as an online journalist, I know well the kind of ill-mannered guest of which you speak. There’s never EVER a time when ugly, inconsiderate comments are appropriate or acceptable and I’ve often said it’s up to a site’s publisher to draw the line and be non-negotiable about allowing them. So EXCELLENT for drawing that line, and THANK YOU for that and all your hard work for which I – and I’m sure many others – am deeply grateful.

  9. I honestly cannot fathom an author coming into IU and being rude after all the hard work and sacrifice that is put into this blog for US! If it weren’t for IU, I would be lost.
    We may not say it enough, but we do appreciate all the articles, tutorials, ideas, friendship… as Kat said, IU is my family and if anyone wants to come in THIS house and try to mess that up, he/she has a long line of writers lounging in different rooms waiting to take a piece of their behind.

  10. Yup, some people believe they’re above the rules. And sometimes I think it’s worse on the internet. It’s a little like when you’re cursing out another driver — people feel like their computers, like their cars, are extensions of their bodies, and if the other guy can’t really see them, they think it’s okay to be a doink.

    Sorry that author was a doink, Kat. And big hugs for all that you and the EM do for this place. πŸ™‚

  11. One thing is for certain, the IU family stands together. A classier bunch of folks with generous hearts can’t be found anywhere. If “that” person has spent anytime here at all I think they have a lot of chutzpah to behave badly. Thank you EM, Kat, and the rest of the IU family for what you give. It is so appreciated.

  12. I’m really sorry to hear this is happening here, but it apparently is happening everywhere. Is really sad people can’t treat each other with respect, and instead feel they are owed something. It really saddens me to hear it is happening to you, Kat and Stephen, here on the IU blog. I’d be lost without reading articles on here that are so helpful. Thank you so much for taking your time out of your own writing to put this together and to keep it going. You know if you ever need help with anything, you just have to ask.

  13. You guys did the right thing. Boorish behavior cannot be condoned. The scribbler needs to learn etiquette or face the consequences. Maybe ostracizing will wake him up. If not, good riddance!

    Much love to you and all the IU staff and supporters!

  14. So sorry that happened. πŸ™‚ I would be lost without IU and cannot imagine why anyone would come to the website and be so bad as to get blocked.

    Thanks for all you do, Kat. And thanks also to EM and all of the minions for all you do as well. Keep up the awesome work!

  15. I am so surprised anyone had anything to be rude about here on IU. (Shaking head in disbelief) You are great peoples and I get my best RTs from tweeting IU articles. πŸ™‚

  16. Kat, it was because you were kind enough to point out that my manuscript on Kindle had screwed-up formatting — the friend who offered to do it for me was very busy and had no prior experience and nobody thought to check up on what he did — that I was able to correct the problem. You have been wonderful to me, a total stranger, and so has Stephen Hise — and I am always awed at how folks like you — busy writers with busy lives I am sure — can also make the time to do what you do for the indie community — you are right, people’s manners often suck. A publisher recently asked me to courier them my novel, I did so, and the woman did not even bother to acknowledge receipt. This happens all the time. And no one apologizes or even thinks they have done something utterly rude. Most writers (me for sure) who don’t work for a salary have to put out quite a bit of money and energy to mail something off — and these people don’t even have the decency to say, I got it, thank you. I don’t know what happened with your rude commenter, but I’m glad you are bringing this issue up. Thanks!

  17. I’m going to echo comments from those above who also think bad behaviour is unnecessary. It saddens me when people are downright rude to those who give selflessly of their time.
    I am a far more confident writer and have learned so much from you all. Your advice has helped me time after time.
    Shame on those who can’t behave with a little decorum and appreciate the help that is offered.

  18. As an author, my behaviour should be tempered by the realization that I am vulnerable, too. I need the (reading) public to survive, to blossom. I can’t understand people who ignore such elementary common sense.

  19. I really understand your anger! I run site to showcase authors and their books, and some folk demand, and many never say thanks when I let them know it is up and running! Rude. You are doing a great job, thank you.

  20. So very sorry you ran across someone who was disrespectful. Hopefully they will read this and understand what the view looks like from your shoes, and maybe think before typing in haste next time.

  21. -hugs- I’m really sorry this person messed things up, and you have a right to be angry, but I think it’s downright amazing that this is the first troll I’ve heard about on IU!

    For a site with such a broad reach, that says a hell of a lot about the quality of the community you and the EM have built. I love that IU is a Troll-free zone. πŸ™‚

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