I was out of town this weekend and I had an interesting conversation this evening with someone who will hopefully soon become an NBA pro basketball player.
I know it’s a common perception that all jocks are somewhat barely literate and do not pay much attention to their education during their college years. Some are and some aren’t. I was fortunate enough to carry on a conversation with someone I met a gathering given by one of his friends. While the host was making the rounds to greet his guests. My friend who invited me told him I was an author.
Several people whom I had spoken with earlier exclaimed I didn’t reveal that information about myself. They were right. I didn’t.
I had been off line for several years for personal reasons and when I returned I noticed a lot of things were different. I had been taking advice from online sources and try not to mention this newsbeat in every conversation I conduct. I have read so many posts where people lamented they were sick of authors talking about their books.
The host asked me about them, prodding me to talk about them. I was reluctant to speak about them for I had read so many comments of people staying authors overdo it when marketing themselves or trying to become published. But I told him about them. He asked that I write the titles down and I did.
My friend told him I hadn’t been online in a while and had been reading the advice of naysayers who didn’t know what they were talking about.
I was surprised he had been online too and read those snarky comments. He, then asked me how was anyone to know about them if I don’t tell anyone?
I told him this party was celebrate him and his achievement not a forum for me to talk about my books.
It was he who mentioned the comments saying they are all over the net and do not pay them any mind. He used the allegory of the fact he plays basketball for a living and that’s what he does and if anyone didn’t want to hear about basketball then don’t talk to him.
He said that those who matters don’t mind that you talk about your work and those do mind that you talk about it don’t matters. I have heard that before but didn’t tell him I had.
I told him it doesn’t work that way in the literary world. Everyone’s opinion must matter to you for if you offend someone they may give you a bad rating which can destroy the sales and rating of your work.
One man listening to our conversations wholly disagreed with me saying rating only influence the casual or seasonal readers. I had never heard the term ‘fad readers’ which he said are people who only read what’s considered the chic thing to read whether it actually good or not. But he made it clear it has no bearing on serious readers who often look for work everyone isn’t raving over. He laughed, saying a man made it all the way to the White House not caring what anyone thought of what he had to say nor how he said it.
I was surprised at how many people agreed with him that serious readers really don’t care about ratings. (I personally do not care about it if I’m looking for something to read.) Several said they don’t pay ratings online much attention if they want to buy a book. They read the excerpt on line or the back of the book in person and if it interests them then they buy it. They don’t care if the work has ratings or not.
I told him that was different. If he gets accepted into the NBA he will a much larger salary than I probably will make in my lifetime.
I soon learned he was quite a confrontational young man. I mean in an effective way. Not a belligerent way. He argued I could tell people I am a writer when asked what do I do? That anyone who doesn’t want to hear about it then don’t ask me what do I do.
One woman asked what was the advice she have seen where people recommend authors not to defend their work? She thought it was obscure. Stating that in every occupation she’s aware of people are encouraged to defend their work.
I couldn’t answer that question for I don’t understand it either. I don’t feel you have to be rude about explaining what you meant neither. I find people like for the author to explain what he or she meant. I have read lots of books if the author was still alive I would love to ask them what did they mean for I can only speculate what they may have meant
I politely smiled and thanked him and his guests for the advice and believe I made a few new fans. But truthfully, online rating counts for a lot. But it was nice to hear things from readers point of view.
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