To be honest, I didn’t write my New Years post with any expectations. I wanted desperately for the unkind words to stop and was doing what I thought I needed, hoping that by making it public I would achieve that. I was truly humbled by the outpour I received. Thank you to each and every one of you! I appreciate all of your love and support like you couldn’t imagine!
Shortly after I went public, I was shocked to discover many other authors going through the exact same thing as me. I was dumbfounded. The writing community is surprisingly very supportive. Yes, we all can be a little competitive, but we are typically genuinely happy when a fellow author achieves success. It gives us all renewed hope and encourages us to keep pressing onwards. It is the same with the reading community. Reading groups introduce each other to their favorite authors, and, even if they don’t always agree, they support the common bond of reading as a whole unit. Reviewers are that unique in-between group. They are the link between reader and author a lot of times, but, again, despite being a tad competitive, they are all genuinely happy for their fellow reviewers when they receive a new badge on Amazon or gain access to a Publisher’s list. My point? Each group individually is supportive and encouraging, for the most part, yet, for some reason or another, that doesn’t always translate outside the group.
Kendall Grey was the first author I came across. I’m not certain of the extent the harassment she receives goes, but it was enough for her to pull the plug on social media. Here is what she ended up posting on Facebook.
Maya Banks, an author I absolutely adore, has dealt with an outpour of many disappointed readers. Please know, we really truly do not set out to upset you all. Most of us genuinely have the best interest of the characters at heart. We pour blood, sweat and tears into each title for an extended period of time, no matter the length. We want you to love it.
And the lovely Molly McAdams, well, she just has a ring-dinger if I ever saw one…
I suppose more than anything, my question is, what do you gain as a reader by (re)acting this way? It is one thing to express your opinion. Like Maya Banks stated, you are entitled to your opinion, and you are entitled to share it. My Aunt Deborah always said, “It’s not what you say; it’s how you say it.” You can get your point across without bashing.
Growing up, I thought I wanted to be a journalist, but then I discovered that I enjoyed putting my own opinion in things way too often. Journalists are supposed to remain neutral. They are to deliver the facts, perhaps a few thoughts to consider, and nothing more. They are to give the readers the information they need to form their own opinions. What I’ve learned since? I could be a journalist, if I edit the heck out of each piece I write. But, more so, I’ve discovered that there is a time and a place with journalism. There are times, particularly when discussing a hot topic, where it is better to simply state your beliefs, explain why you believe it, and shut up. For example, I could state that I supported gay marriage, give reasons why and leave it at that. I would have gotten my point across, left food for thought without cutting into anyone who supports the opposite.
I feel that most (professional) reviewers have an excellent handle on this. They do not always enjoy a book, but most are great at stating what they did and didn’t like with reasons. They don’t tear apart the author in the process. They state what they believe, what they perceived, and move on.
I wish everyone was like that. I’ve scratched my head several times. Apparently many don’t understand that the more you say, sometimes the less people hear. Tone is always louder than words. It’s like with a dog. They know they are in trouble by your tone, not because they understand every word you spew at them. Reversely, they know they are being praised by your tone, not because they understand every word you say.
I think something that would greatly help close the gap between reader and writer is for the reader to understand the publishing industry/process more. It’s a complicated business. Sometimes, we want to work on a book, but are obligated to complete another first. For instance, I cannot work on another book now until I finish writing a Valentines Day title that has a hard release date of January 18th. (Cutting it SO close!) There are also some titles that require far more work, marketing and networking than others. The Christmas Anthology I was a part of required a lot more time surrounding promotions than I initially anticipated. Maya Banks again addresses readers concerns with a post explaining some of this. (below) Also, I have explained quite a bit on my publishing page. (click here)
It’s all about respect. We each have a different process. The same as no two people are exactly alike, no two minds are exactly alike. We all have a different learning style, writing style, even teaching style. We express things differently. We are all unique, and I, for one, cannot wait for the day when we don’t point out each other’s differences and use them as weapons. You can stereotype, you can hate, you can rip those around you apart piece by piece, but it will never change what is. The books published are published; rarely are they re-written. Your opinion of the book is set in stone; rarely do people change their minds about a title. But that doesn’t mean we as authors have to tear you apart for not liking our book, the same as you don’t have to tear us apart for our book.
So now, authors, readers and reviewers, please gather round the campfire, join hands and sing Cumbayah 🙂
Update on my work load:
This next week, my head will be buried in a notebook writing. I have a new VDay book to write, edit, send to my beta etc, with a hard release date of January 18th. For this book’s title, cover and blurb, please go to http://www.facebook.com/redhotvalentine on January 16th. (Please note that this is an adult title.) Please also know that this title is part of an author group release and will require extra time with marketing and promotions in the coming weeks.
Once I finish writing the VDay book, I can then begin typing up book 2 of the Snowy Mountain Wolves. Yup! It’s officially fully written…but will take a bit to publish. Here is the aftermath of this:
These pages are front and back and don’t even include what I’ve already typed. I absolutely love how the book came out and could not be happier for these characters! (Please note that this too is an adult title.) Depending on the amount of time it takes me to finish the VDay book, I will be posting a hard release date for this book this week.
This is more of an exciting announcement, but Amazon will be releasing a print version of Two Times the Charm! Their awesome team is working on a mock-up as we speak. I will be announcing a release date for the print version of this title soon.
Okay, I am going to hobble to the kitchen and get a cup of coffee before getting back to work. Yeah, that’s the other bit of fun I’ve had. I took a hard fall on wet tile New Years Day and messed up my left knee pretty bad. I’ve been on bedrest ever since. And who knew it could be so difficult to write with a knee elevated? Also, since I’m used to being busy all the time, I’ve been going stir crazy! I’ve managed to hobble around the last few days. They do say that slow and steady wins the race. I think I’ve found my bedrest writing groove though 🙂