I have been thinking about something a person in the audience said this past Saturday afternoon at small bookstore I was invited to talk about my series. A man cried out when I finished speaking, “I wouldn’t have come to this meeting has not I saw where you had a publisher because the self-publishing industry is a mess.”
The room grew quiet, and everyone looked at me as if I was responsible for the man’s comment. I had to address him. He was too loud to ignore.
“I asked how many self-publishers’ work have you read that gave you that opinion?”
He shrugged his shoulders, looked me dead in the eyes and said, “It isn’t the work. The books aren’t bad..not bad at all. Often better than the big publishing houses but the readers are sick of the silly competition between self-published authors. On several books, I’ve gotten an instant messages once I clicked ‘like’ on Facebook or Twitter of someone telling me not to read that book and how horrible it is… to read such and such book; it’s much better. Or saying horrible things about the author’s personal life. I hope they know readers aren’t stupid or don’t care about the writer’s personal like. That’s their business. We know it’s the friends of the author of the recommended book or the author themselves saying those things. That’s a major turn off. You guys needs to get your act together or you gonna destroy the market. You guys don’t even support each other so how do you expect the public to support your work? Readers love to see the harmony and support among authors as they do any other entertainers.”
I asked, “Did their strategy work? Or did you receive such a message pertaining my work? If so, I apologize.”
He shook his head, “Nah, no one wrote me about your work. In the instants I’m referring to I’d already made up my mind what I was going to read but I just don’t like being taken for someone who can’t think for himself. Sometimes, I merely click ‘like’ after reading the blurb because I liked it but later I go ahead and buy the book because someone told me not to. I don’t like being told what to do.”
Had I known him personally I would’ve chuckled. For I’m the same.
I told him I’m sorry he was subjected to such unprofessionalism but most self-published authors and authors as a whole conduct themselves with the highest integrity and do not to let a few bad apples spoil his perception of writers. They’re always going to be trolls out there. No writer can do anything about them but ignore them and I hope readers do the same.
I waited until the small but eye opening crowd left . I learned something new: that readers want writers to all to get along and support each other and to cut out the cattiness. It’s driving them away. I feel many feels this way but only this guy had the courage to say it.
He was right. The more authors you support the more exposure for your own work. Think it over.