Where do I begin? I’m broken hearted that it’s reached this point, that it’s hit this level. I’m warning you ahead of time that this post will be a bit lengthy…
It’s come to my attention that many readers do not understand the amount of work it takes to be a writer. As with many careers, there are a lot of details that aren’t often associated with the title. I wear a lot of hats. I don’t just write, I edit and proofread – along with an editor and beta reader. I’m a “cover artist,” marketer, campaigner, promotions extraordinaire…err…sort of. I have to keep up with my publishing contracts, do quarterly taxes, account for all of my expenses related to my books and writing regularly. I am a social media expert…well, kinda…responsible for keeping all of my information up-to-date while pushing across all platforms. I have to routinely deal with back office issues with distributors and business concerns with publishers. I’ve been dealing with an issue spread across 5 titles with Amazon for more than 2.5 months now. I have 7 distributors/publishers that I must review monthly reports with, and this is on top of blog tours, book review requests, writing etc. And all of this is compounded on top of taking care of my family.
For those who don’t know, I am the sole breadwinner in my family. I have 3 children, one of whom is special needs with another at a 90% likeliness of having developmental issues as well. My children’s grandmother is still battling stage 4 cancer and I am responsible for taking her to some of her appointments. My sister is pregnant, her husband works on the road, and she does not have a car, so I am also responsible for taking her to some appointments. My car has broken down 3 times in the past 2 months and is still having issues, yet I have to keep it going. There is a large pool of people who rely on me, and I’m not ignorant to the fact that you, the readers, are included in that pot. I’m also very well aware that I am blessed. My situation could be far worse. It has been in the past. I am doing my very best to juggle everything, to balance the sick baby with writing, to rearrange my day and promotion schedule around doctor appointments, school plays and finding time to finally clean the house. Some of you may understand the stress of being the “responsible one.” Others, perhaps not.
I’m not making excuses, I’m explaining the situation in hopes that the harassment will stop.
I’ve posted this information in several places over the past couple months, but it seems many of you have not read it. I am the first to admit that I am behind on my website comments, e-mails etc. I have promised to get back to each and every one of you and I still promise that I will, with the exception of a growing lot. Admittedly, I have tried to avoid this website’s comments over the past month especially. Admittedly, I have tried to avoid checking my Facebook pages. Not because I don’t want to interact with you all, not because I want to cut you off, but because I’ve had many rude, harassing, and even a few threatening messages, comments and posts delivered, all regarding the final book in the Vamp Chronicles series.
Contrary to what one reader accused me of, I don’t sit on my bum all day doing nothing, nor do I enjoy pissing off my readers. This past month-and-a-half, I have been required to do a lot of heavy promotion and marketing for a Christmas anthology I was a part of. I also ended my contract with a publisher and had to deal with rights and legalities while continuing to work with Amazon execs on another ongoing issue. This was while dealing with all the regular stuff listed above and the holiday rush etc. We all know how crazy it can be for us this time of year. I like to believe that I’m the energizer bunny, but, the truth is, I can only do so much in a day.
I’m going to speak strictly from a business perspective right now. I make far more money with my adult books than my young adult books. I enjoy writing both genres. I enjoy reading both genres and most of their subcategories. But, hands down, adult books are what pay the majority of my bills, some of my family member’s bills, and all the items my children need, including doctors and therapies. Please do not mix my words and suggest that I write with greed, as another reader suggested. (I paraphrased a bit. She stated, “Youve made us wait all this f****** time on purpose probly. I bet youre gonna drive up the price too. Im so over you. You are the worst author. I hate how inconsiderate some of you are. You hook us and then treat us like s***. You write with greedy fingerz.” – And yes, she left out the apostrophes, misspelled ‘probably’ and typed fingers with a ‘z.’) To clarify, I write what comes when it comes. I don’t purposefully write any one book. I don’t purposefully avoid writing any book or category. In truth, I enjoy writing period, so I will continue to write this way. I won’t force anything. I will never stop myself from writing a young adult title next because I’m likely to earn less money with it. Reversely, I will never avoid writing a young adult next to force an adult title that is likely to earn me more, even at the same price point. I’m not driven by money. It’s a necessity in life, but it’s not what my world revolves around. I have morals and ethics that I would never sacrifice for it. I have quality and personal standards that I would never sacrifice for it.
I bring this up so you have a three-dimensional image in your head. Readers are harassing me, threatening me, for a specific release date, slaying me for not rushing, for not releasing a book in the series that earns me the least amount of money per title than any of my others.
I’ve attempted to erase, block and delete as many as possible, but, to be honest, that’s not how I want to spend my weekends. I don’t want to have to cipher through this level of negativity, having my character be challenged every step of the way. Perhaps you feel entitled. Perhaps you are entitled. But in the South, we have a saying: you catch more bees with honey. My FAQs page has been updated to answer this question for a while now. The book’s page has been updated recently to answer this question. I’m also linking two posts from November that touched on this question. I am always open and honest with you all. I am constantly aware of my responsibilities every second of every day. I can assure you that I don’t do these things on purpose, that I don’t enjoy pissing people off, and that I don’t just sit on my bum all day.
I’ve contemplated blocking the ability to comment on this website. I’ve contemplated shutting down my Facebook pages, removing my contact information etc. But I don’t want to snub you. I don’t want to be that elusive, unreachable writer giving off the impression that I’m better than anyone. Because I’m not. I’m eternally grateful for all of you, even those who have treated me so unkind, because you’ve made it possible for me to do what I love. I love to write. (I love to read too, but I haven’t had time to do it lately.) The truth is, I wish there were another 24 hours in a day… or, better yet, I wish I didn’t need sleep, then I could get far more done. I could stretch myself thinner, write more, do more, be more along the lines of what so many expect me to be: superwoman. But, alas, there aren’t, and I’m not. I’m human. I make mistakes. I miss deadlines. My laundry piles up for days sometimes. I feed my children boxed dinners some nights so I can work longer, do more, be more. I’ve struggled to juggle it all.
I’m sorry if I’ve let you down. I’m sorry if I have not met your expectations. But I will never apologize for refusing to sacrifice quality. I will never own up to being lazy, because I’m not. And I’m sorry for anyone this might affect, but I will shut down website comments and all of my social media if derogatory comments, statements and threats continue to fly my way. I’m human, just like you. Treat others the way you want to be treated is the golden rule for a reason, and I’m not asking for anything that every other human doesn’t deserve as well: to be treated with kindness.
I hope you all have a wonderful and safe New Year. I’m going to spend the last ten minutes counting down with my children. I’ve been working all day long writing, promoting, assisting another author and, now, writing this. My children deserve ten minutes of my day, at the very least. – Christin
…the answer to your question is in all of these links.