Weekly Ramble #98

Having your book presented to a mainstream level of readers is not always going to work out well. It seems the more readers a book gets the more scathing reviews it can pick up. Truthfully just yesterday while watching the rating for The Teleporter slip after being torpedoed by just a handful of low ratings began to take it’s toll on my mental health.

I’ve been here before but just not on this scale. Perhaps a particular insulting and scathing review tipped me over the edge to sigh-ville but for a comedy that’s supposed to be on the lighter scale of things, people have sure been hurtful in their verdict of it. Does comedy indirectly incite foul people because some of the reactions have been just that. I’m not preaching, I’m not whining, I’m venting – releasing a book into this world makes it open for any criticism from anyone but the level in which some will stoop to try and insult me beyond my work is simply baffling. I had no idea people like this exist and that’s not me being naïve, I mean it’s just a comedy.

Perhaps this is the ultimate price for success in authoring – there will always be jealous foul fucks who want a reaction. Perhaps they are trying to match the comedy of the content but jut not very well. Maybe seeing these hatred filled words is the arrival of an author. After all just good reviews is suspicious. I’m stronger than this, I’m better than this and I’m better for venting on here. The backing I have on twitter came to my rescue yesterday after sharing my woes with those who care. If you think writing scathing reviews for a book that wasn’t your cup of tea and you think that’s a productive way to spend your life then carry on, you’ll gain no respect for it, asshole. You got it for free anyway so your review ultimately means nothing to anyone.

That’s better…

Change the culture

Never did I think I’d know something well enough to see through it and realise there’s a culture that needs changing. Of course what I think like anyone else is just an opinion and not fact, remember that, but after many years of being published I’ve made an observation of something that I believe needs to be changed. Whether it be through lack of awareness or even lack of knowledge, all the way to ignorance, there is a huge step missing in the culture of modern day self publishing.

Now anyone who enters any arena and achieves an eventual level of expertise might inadvertently change the culture just by enduring that journey. Some changes can be natural like evolution – a change nobody see’s but then some changes need a little encouragement.

Right now we are in a boom period for publishing, especially of the do it yourself persuasion. No longer are the gate keepers controlling content. The online world that has evolved and evolved again is driven by content and most probably these big time publishers and literary agents cannot keep up with starry-eyed story tellers who are pumping out thousands of books, their dreams, their visions brought to life before their eyes. Some are pure treasure and probably good enough for any pro publishers interest. Some might not be but are still a good effort anyway and contribute to the literary industry no matter. No longer are authors waiting to hear back from agents leaving them in limbo or having their work destined for the slush pile, in effect that slush pile is now on Amazon and it’s fighting back – it’s great, it’s richly diverse and it’s there for anyone.

There just seems to be selfless disregard for the industry so many of these published authors are entering, and I’m not putting labels on any particular group of authors but every day I see it, authors old and new blindly sharing the link, sharing the link, sharing the link and then getting down because nobody bought the book and let alone reviewed it. The cycle just repeats. That definition of madness comes to mind.

This culture of over self promotion and nothing else is something I have an ambition to address. Yes we all need to get our stuff out there but there is other stuff out there too and authors can promote themselves by supporting others. I choose not to address this because I am an activist, not because I am some kind of wannabe hero or do I even want to stir a debate, fuck debates online. I want this to change because in the past two and half years I have embraced and supported fellow authors probably more than I have supported myself, and the reward – more than any success I had before that time. It’s done way more good for me that I could possibly describe and I want that good to happen to others!

Just how do these authors think they are going to sell their own book if they don’t support books themselves? That whole being an island thing just goes round like a broken record. Authors looking for that quick fix to sell – there isn’t one. All they constantly want is reviews and sales – this is a just a marathon that never ends because no author will ever be satisfied with the amount of sales and reviews they get, but the truth is, this year for the first time in my life as I writer I felt satisfied. In July I broke my sales record and then I broke it again in September. I won’t be promoting my work with effort for at least four months now. I don’t need to, I’ve got enough and so my focus moves back home, to supporting other authors and a little writing. Why? Because I love books, I love stories and that’s all it needs to be. More authors need to love other books too. You probably have time to write one, so you have time to read and review a few, at least. Give back, trust me, just look at the graphic I shall finish this piece with. You can near enough pin point the moment I started supporting other authors.