I had the unlovely experience last week of being contacted by another author via Facebook chat. Mind you, I didn’t initiate this conversation, and I truly, truly hate being contacted via Chat by someone I don’t know in order to berate me. It seems I had committed the unpardonable crime of deleting the ‘gentleman’s’ – and I use the term loosely – post for a violation of the rules of the Facebook page I administer. It seems that he has the best book since the invention of the printing press and I was damaging his career by not allowing him to promote on my page in clear violation of the no-promotion rule. Oh dear. He also said unflattering things about my personality and character, but that’s neither here nor there.
There seems to be an odd rash of authors doing that sort of thing lately. Another self-published/Indie author – although apparently he’s FAR too good to be lumped in with the rest of us – went off on a rant in a forum, protesting the fact that his posts kept getting moved to the self-published thread. His books are published by himself under his own imprint. That would seem to make him self-published I would think, but apparently he disagreed. Vehemently. His book, too, was supposed to be the best thing since Gutenberg. What an amateur.
Quality has suddenly become a buzzword in the Indie Community, whether it’s Indie books, gaming, movies, etc.
Imagine that! (All of you should know by now that this is my personal bugaboo.)
It’s certainly become a topic on the readers forums on Amazon and elsewhere, as someone commented. “All these freebies which we use as promo for sales seem to be creating an environment where some readers only go free because they toss it after one chapter if it’s rubbish and only pay for a “real” author.” One response to the Indie title on one site was “That’s good support for why attaching a label like “Indie” and trying to make it be a badge of quality might be more trouble than it’s worth. After all, eventually, the work defines the label, not the other way around.” As to that last, he’s right. The work does define the label, and for too many Indie writers that doesn’t seem to mean much. The gentleman in question added later that there’s not much value for an author to call themselves Indie. One author recently proposed that – lacking an editor – you should just post to the marketplace and wait for the readers to comment, then revise and repost.
That has to change or the perception that Indie writing is rubbish is one that will stick and all of our hard work will be for nothing. And the traditional publishers will be proven right, that this Wild West Indie publishing thing was just a flash in the pan, a global slush pile from which a rare few gems emerged. Continue reading “Quality/Control”
Okay, I’m stealing the snark queen crown from KS for a bit. Pardon my ranting….
Once upon a time I was the supervisor for a department of a retail computer electronics company which shall remain nameless. One day one of my employees – we’ll call him Dick – came to me in a bit of a snit. It seemed that another employee, John, wasn’t sharing his tools. Well, John was a great employee. In the Army Reserve at the time, he kept his work space neat and clean, his tools maintained and in place. As a consequence, he had the best tools in the department and he usually shared them. He had only one rule – return it the way you found it. Dick had broken that rule. Well, actually he’d broken the tool, and it wasn’t the first time. So John banned him from borrowing his tools. Dick, feeling he’d been treated unfairly, decided to help himself to John’s tools. At which point John went to him and politely asked for the tools back. Military trained, he used please, explained why Dick couldn’t use his tools, and then said thank you. I knew this, because as supervisor I’d been watching. Continue reading “No one is entitled to anything….”
Writing, like other forms of creation, is a vehicle for learning our life lessons. As writers, we must find the courage to speak our own idiosyncratic truths, and learn to stand in the limelight and be seen by others without flinching or trying to hide. If we are good writers, we are tempted to stand in ego, but ego is just puffery on a foundation of insecurity, and one bad review is enough to send us crashing down into discouragement. One of the biggest gifts writing offers us is the chance to become convinced of the value of our work. Writing invites us to learn to love ourselves, to become so solid in our self-love that no one else’s opinion of us matters.
In the beginning, of course, those opinions do matter. We show our words to our teachers, often when we are quite young, and we are lifted or dropped depending upon the response we get from them. As we age, our writing expands but so too may our insecurity about it. Know any writers whose books end up in the desk drawer, attracting mice? Know any writers whose books end up unwritten, bouncing off the insides of their heads? Continue reading “The Healed Writer: Impervious to Praise by Alix Moore”