What is it about social media and the need to drag each other down? Seriously people, get a grip!
I recently joined a Facebook group that shall remain nameless. It’s not awful – there’s a lot of support in there, and you can promote your own books, helping you get seen. But, there is a lot of bitching as well. Recently, I commented on a post stating that even the likes of JK Rowling were not over-night successes. I dared to suggest that Harry Potter might not have become the franchise that it is without the aid of Hollywood. The lesson I learned was to not piss off a Potterhead/phile/fan/whatever, because I was absolutely flooded with insults, both publicly and privately. Most of it just rolled off my back – writer’s have to have thick skins – but what pissed me off was the idea that I might not have a clue what I was talking about because… wait for it… I self-published a book. Not only that, but my traditionally published books are done through small publishers and without an agent.
I think my favourite private message was:
“You’re nothing but a f***ing self-pubbed c***. You probably don’t even own a DICKtionary. People like you are why real authors can’t get contracts.“
Oh ha ha, you’re so funny. You’re also wrong and very, very blocked.
To suggest that an author isn’t really an author because they’re self-published is… well… it’s bullshit. Sure, there are some seriously crap books out there, and sure there are books out there that really shouldn’t have been published. I’ve been guilty of self-publishing a God-awful book that should have been burned (it’s not available any more, I learned my lesson). But that doesn’t make the writer any less of an author! They published a book, and whether it’s a crap storyline, full of plot holes, never seen an editor with a cover was made using paint, or not, is irrelevant. It’s still a published book. And let’s face it, the people who are saying this shit haven’t ever downloaded that book and read it anyway so they really don’t know what they’re talking about.
How do you know that book is a pile of crap if you haven’t done anything more than checked out who the publisher is? What is it they say? Don’t judge a book by its cover… And, if I’m honest, there are some traditionally published books out there that have got covers my nine-year-old could have made.
Yes, I self-published by book STRANDED. No, I don’t have an agent, and no, none of my books are published by any of the Big Five / Six / However many big publishing houses are left. But they are published. They are professionally edited, with professional covers. I paid to publish Stranded. I did not just throw it up on KU (it’s not available on KU, but it is still free) without thinking about it. I have worked in this goddamn industry for ten fricking years now, working as a freelance writer, editor, proof-reader and fact-checker before I started writing for myself. DO NOT tell me that I don’t know what I’m talking about when it comes to writing and publishing.
I stand by my comments, even though some high-and-mighty admin saw fit to delete them and back-up their precious little clan. JK Rowling was not an over-night success. Stephen King was not an over-night success. EL James was not an over-night success. These writers are where they are through hard work and luck. You’ve heard of them because they’ve made a franchise out of their books. But there are hundreds of authors out there that make a living from selling their books, and you’ve never heard of them. There are hundreds of self-published authors who have never even considered getting an agent or a traditional contract, who are doing very well for themselves.
Sitting on social media, slagging off self-published authors for ‘taking the easy route’ is not big, is not clever, and is not nice. Instead of hiding behind your screen, try congratulating them. Try being happy for them that they’ve reached a goal, followed their dreams.
At the end of this rant, and having read back over what I’ve written, I’ve come to realise that I actually feel quite sorry for these idiots. It’s very sad that they feel threatened by someone else’s success. Trust me, my self-published short story did not stop you from getting that coveted your contract. It was probably your attitude.