Saturday, November 23, 2013

Author Meltdowns (What Not to Do!)

In 2009, an independent author confronted an established traditionally published veteran author in what has been termed a gunfight or a cat fight.

Then in March 2011, an independent author took on an online critic, spiraling her Amazon review from a 5.0 rating to 1.5, then to the writer removing the book from publication for review and further editing.

More recently, on a social media site, a third independent author has blasted her readers and posters telling them to get the bleep off her page (11/22/13 post).

While all or any of these writers might take the stance that they were putting forth their opinions, or they might have been misinterpreted, or their intent was not to attack or insult, the overall results have been the same for all three.

Each has done something I strive and am working to do, independently publish, and yet all three have successfully alienated readers.

In all cases, these very public meltdowns (at least considered to be so by most readers of their posts) did not help their careers as independent authors, further book sales, or encourage the reading of their books.

Since these instances all evolved from independent authors and as an independent author myself, I find these behaviors cringe worthy. It does not encourage confidence in readers of independent books nor add any positive reflection upon independent authors. Yes, these authors are human, they react in feeling, emotional ways. We all do. However, in my humble opinion, what is missing in each of these encounters is a solid level of professionalism and respect for potential readers.

"But it wasn't my intent" doesn't cut it. Perception is the major factor here, and those subjected to watching this sort of reaction play out, in their shock and, yes, even revulsion, don't consider or care about the writer's intent.

Appearances, online comments included, matter. Perception is paramount.

Intent, emotional backlash, vendettas, and hidden agendas do not have a place in the way an author presents their persona to the public.

Didn't they self published to sell books? Based on their actions and reactions, as a reader, would I buy these author's books?

One thing that I'm curious about, is that if self publishing elicits this behavior from them, why do they bother? Why not find another line of work and/or not do something that appears to make them so miserable, angry, or unprofessional, and show their negative selves in public, no less?

As a soon to be independently published author, I very much appreciate and value their efforts in paving the way and, sadly, their examples of what not to do.

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