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mrsjoseph

MrsJoseph: Books, Life & Wine

I’m currently on the run from the Amazon Empire. The Empire recently used it’s planet sized money to destroy devour my previous safehouse: Goodreads.

 

I read a lot. Have a bit of a tendency to review as well. So…this is mostly a book review site. Unless its not. But I’m not taking review requests.

 

Cause sometimes I’ll write about whatever I feel like, book or no.

 

Things I [currently] like:
Reading
Reviewing
Exercising
Wine

 

So, I’ll talk about that stuff. Unless I don’t.

 

That “life” part in the site title is all about flexibility, lol.

Currently reading

Mistborn: The Final Empire
Brandon Sanderson
Starting Strength, 3rd edition
Mark Rippetoe
Seduction
Amanda Quick
Progress: 25 %

Open Letter to Indie Authors by JM Gregoire

I read this via a link I found in Debbie's blog roll.  OH MAN.

 

She hit SO MANY of my sore points.  I had to share a LOT.

 

Everything below is written by JM Gregoire and can be found here.

________________________

 

Dear Indie Author Community,

 

Something bad is happening in the Indie Author Community.  Several bad things, in fact, and if something isn’t said to you, you’re going to ruin your writing career before it ever gets started.  What is about to follow in this letter is not an ‘I know everything’ bomb.  This letter is to serve as what should be common sense for all of us.  All of this I have learned through experience as a jaded reader, a disappointed fangirl, a pissed off book blogger, a screwed over event planner, a disgusted indie author PR rep, and a fellow indie author who wants to see the community as a whole succeed.  This is an Open Letter meant to try to bring the Indie Author Community back to respectable place where we can all be taken seriously.

 

There are a good many indies out there I no longer have respect for.  Now, to understand the gravity of that statement, you must understand this:  I absolutely love indie authors.  I love the basic idea – you can tell your story without the media or some suit telling you what to write and when to write it.  The ‘we don’t need them’ mentality is one of the factors that kept me from even considering publishing years ago.  When the self-publishing boom hit, I thought it was a fantastic idea!  Take out the middle man and bring stories down to what it really should be – a relationship between the storyteller and their audience.

 

All of that being said, I have become all those things I have listed up above.  A jaded reader because the market is being flooded with books that are not ready to be published.  A disappointed fangirl because of all the authors that feel just because they’re published, they are somehow above everyone else…and treat them as such.  A pissed off book blogger because once upon a time, writing reviews was FUN and now if I don’t like a book, I can’t just SAY SO (even POLITELY, mind you) without running the chance of having the author flat-out attack me and drag my name and the name of my book blog through every mud puddle they can find.  A disgusted indie author PR rep because I keep watching indies spit in the face of the people who are the very reason they exist.  A screwed over event planner because there are so many authors out there booking themselves for events and then not following through on their commitments.  An indie author who is just sick of seeing her community drown itself.

 

As a person who is all of those things, I am offering up a few tidbits of advice here to maybe get us all back on track as a whole.  I am not saying I am perfect.  I am not saying I know everything.  What I am saying is pull your head out of your ass and tap into that common sense thing your parents kept trying to teach you about.

 

Now, if anything I say here pisses you off, then you’re guilty of it.  Point blank.  If you’re not doing it, there’s no reason to get defensive, right?  Take that as a red flag that you have veered off course and take this opportunity to right your path.  You are only doing yourself a disservice, and in the end, it’s your own writing career you’re ruining.

 

SNIP

 

 

NOW COMES THE REALLY SHITTY PART….

 

QUIT BEING AN ASSHOLE!
Oh my GAWD!  This bit of advice comes with a few different bullet points.  From a PR/Marketing perspective, all of the bullet points make you a PR NIGHTMARE.  Especially number two and number three!

 

First Bullet Point – You are a company, your books are your product, your readers are your customers.  The breakdown is as simple as that.  In any other retail environment, an employee would be FIRED ON THE SPOT for acting like an asshole to a customer.  So why, in the name of ALL THAT IS UNHOLY, are you doing it to your readers????  Basic Marketing 101 teaches you ‘do not piss off thy customer’.  They will stop buying from you.  In what has become an endless sea of authors, you are not special.  Acting like a jackass and insulting your readers by being a nasty puke online is going to accomplish nothing but make your readers leave you in the dust and move on to the next author.  The nicer author.  The author that treats their readers with the respect they deserve as HUMAN BEINGS.  Not to mention the fact that those PEOPLE are also what fatten your bank account every time you get a royalty payment.  So, why the hell are you biting the hand that feeds you???  It’s not all that hard to just be nice.  If you’re not a nice person, THEN GET OFF OF SOCIAL MEDIA before you become a permanent fixture in your local blog’s next Authors Behaving Badly spotlight.

 

SNIP

 

NOT EVERYONE IS GOING TO LIKE YOUR BOOK – DOWN A SHOT, ACCEPT IT, MOVE THE FUCK ON


This is straight from experience.  Do not lash out at a book blogger if they didn’t like your book.  It’s not going to shine a good light on you in the end.  Bad news travels fast and when you become the bad news, people will stop dealing with you all together.  Readers will lose respect for you.  You will be cast out.  I know bad reviews kind of suck.  Who am I kidding?  They TOTALLY SUCK.  Been there, stood out on the symbolic window ledge for a few minutes, then came back inside, drank some tequila, and moved on with my life.  They’re horrible, I know.  If you can’t keep yourself from reading the bad along with the good, don’t read reviews at all.  Plenty of authors have adopted that rule and it seems to work very well for them.

 

A bad review does not warrant emailing the reviewer and insulting their intelligence because they didn’t like your book.  Telling the reviewer they must be stupid because they didn’t “get” your book is over the line.  Going off on a book blogger because they posted a review of your book on release day but didn’t like it is also not acceptable (side note: using the jab “I didn’t give you an ARC” when you put it on NetGalley or Edelweiss for bloggers to get as an eARC is also a little fucking dumb).  You would never do that to the NYT, USA Today, or any other paper that would review your book, why would you do it to a book blogger??  Especially since book bloggers are responsible for a MAJOR percentage of your FREE publicity.  Just sayin’.  If book bloggers all said FUCK IT and turned their backs on us indies, we would collectively be SCREWED.  Keep that in mind the next time you’re about to hit send on your latest electronic temper tantrum.  The way to handle it professionally?  That’s easy.  LET IT GO.  That’s it.  Just let it go.  Having your friends and fans attack the blogger???  ALSO NOT THE ANSWER.  JUST LET IT GO.

 

Now, I am not saying all of this pertaining to tear down pieces.  A tear down piece is a blog post masquerading as a review that viciously attacks the author personally (not to be confused with the reviewer saying they don’t like the author’s writing style – that’s still about the book).  In the event of a tear down piece, I suggest you email the blogger privately, state your grievance (it should be a review of the book, not of the author as a person) politely and don’t swear, and request that it be pulled down.  That is the way to handle it professionally.  If the blogger refuses, shrug and move on with your life.  I know it is hard to do, but doing anything public as retaliation is just going to make you look like the blogger was right.  Treat your writing career like any other career – with professionalism.  Any mudslinging you do makes you no better than them.

 

Read the entire Blog Post here: jmgregoirebooks.com

 

Source: http://jmgregoirebooks.com/2014/01/03/open-letter-to-indie-authors