17 February 2014 - AN AUTHOR'S RANT


G'day folks,

Here is something different. Author, Jennifer Malone Wright, recently had a rant on her blog, and she has kindly allowed me to re-post it. You might find it very interesting.

Take it away, Jennifer ...

 What the F**K Happened to the Indie Author Community?

By Jennifer Malone Wright

**Warning, this is going to be a rant and ranting is not my usual online presence, so it could get ugly**

When the self-publishing boom began, just a few years ago, I entered into a vast sea of authors and books. I published my first book and had all these expectations that I would be the next Amanda Hocking, (this was around the time she became a Kindle millionaire) but in reality, I was kicking my feet in the waters, trying to stay afloat because no one was buying my book. No one was even seeing my book. Shortly after that I realized that I needed to do something differently.

That was when I began social networking more seriously. I found other groups of authors who were trying to do the same thing. Their books were brand new, like mine. We shared a common love of the written word and desire to reach the readers we wanted for our books.

With my husband deployed and my five children in bed, I would stay up into the night, liking pages, commenting, finding friends on twitter. I made friends on all the social networks. I joined groups of other authors where we discussed writing, promoting and marketing.
And we shared each other’s work.

It has only been a few years and some of us have had a lot of success, some have been picked up for major book deals, and some of us are still kicking our feet to stay afloat. We have all grown in our writing and in the book selling business since then, but not everything has changed for the better.

The indie author circuit has gone down the toilet.

A community of people which used to thrive, is now full of drama, gossip and selfishness. Part of what we do as indie authors is support each other. This obviously does not apply to everyone, but you know who you are. Even, I am guilty of not sharing others work as much as I used to or helping people as much as I used to.

Side note here for everyone who wants to attack me. I share peoples work all the time, not as much as I used to, but I also do spotlight on my book blog for anyone who asks, I have a lot of behind the scenes help going out to other authors and aspiring authors too. Also, K.B. Miller and I hosted, self-publishing 101 to help authors along. The last few months I have sort of given up on the sharing and helping others because I don’t feel that it is appreciated or reciprocated anymore.

So anyway… what happened?

I understand giving up on people, like I just said above. But, if we were to go back to the way it was with everyone helping everyone we wouldn’t feel this way.

Not only have the authors in the indie circuit gone all selfish and dramatic on us, but the many of the bloggers who used to help us out for free, because they LOVE books, now charge for reviews or interviews, or any kind of promotion on their blogs. I guess this is their right to do that, but it seriously peeves me off. It used to be something you did because you loved it and now you just want to make a profit. I can understand paying for advertising space on the blog sidebars or banners, that has always been done.

Book reviewers have been amazing to me over my time as an author, but I’m pretty shocked at what I’m seeing from some of them too.

This entire combination of the authors, the reviewers, and the crap that Facebook pulls on us with people not getting to view our pages is killing our businesses. I just don’t know how much more simply I can put it to you.

While I’m ranting, I have to add a side note to the authors. Your book being free on amazon and hitting the top 100 does not make you a bestselling author. That is false advertisement. It’s FREE!!  Now, the book world is riddled with Amazon Best Selling Authors and no one gives a f**K anymore. Unless that best selling has USA, LA TIMES, or New York Times in front of it, no one is paying attention anymore. So, unless it’s a paid book. Stop it!

I have every right to do that with my book, The Vampire Hunter’s Daughter, which sat in the top 100 free store for a freaking long ass time, but I don’t. I don’t feel that my free book is worthy of a best seller ranking … because it’s free.

Do you guys get what I’m saying here? I have heard tons of authors complaining about their sales dropping lately, Well… maybe if we all went back to how it was and went just a tiny bit out of our way to help each other out we could make the sales rise instead of drop.

It makes me sad to see all of this happening. So, if you can take time with that cat video or that funny meme about being an alcoholic, you can take time to help a friend or fellow author.

Here is the challenge, repost something for someone you hardly know. We can take it one step at a time and, trust me, it will make you feel good.

And lastly I just want to say that authors need to be nice to each other. I can’t understand why in the hell there is so much drama. I won’t get too deep into that topic, but this is NOT a competition, we are all in this together.

That’s all I’m going to say about that.
So, it didn’t get too ugly… comments are welcome, let me know what you think.

Clancy's comment: Well, there ya go. What do you guys think? Here is some of what I initially wrote to Jennifer in response to her rant:

Mm ... what can I say? Heaps. I'm an Indie, a blogger, photographer, publisher etc. However, I write a daily blog and host authors, musicians, lawyers, teens, illustrators etc from around the world - FOR FREE! I also lecture to older folks at the U3A - University of the Third Age and mentor 45 young writers around Australia, and others I know around the world - again - FOR FREE! And, my blog has no advertising and there are no charges for those I have as guests. Why, because I try to do my bit and help those who are probably not as self-motivated as me, or just starting out. I call it the 'village theory' - we are all in the same shit so do ya bit.'

I'm ...

Think about this!

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