Reading Rage: I’m Kinda Sick of Your Smug, Self-Published Face
Oh, hey, clickbaity title. I didn’t see you there. I may need to clarify a few things before I continue.
- I am fully aware that there are a number of self-published authors out there that are doin-it-rite. This is not about them.
- I am going to be speaking today to a specific segment of self-published authors, so maybe don’t just get all ragefacey at the title. Read everything before you rip me a new one in the comments, ‘kay? <3
Okay, self-pubs, we need to have a bit of a chat.
First things first. Can you stop calling yourselves Indies?
For one thing, “Indy” to me will always mean Indiana Jones and for another…if EVERYONE is INDEPENDENT, then the word as you’re using it kind of loses all meaning.
I propose a new rule:
If you’re a self-published author, and your sole distribution model is Amazon, you forfeit the right to call yourself Indie.
Cos, guys? I don’t know if you’re aware of this, but ain’t shit that’s independent about a Fortune 100 company (Amazon was #49 in 2013).
Just SAY you’re self-published so that Indie doesn’t go the way of tartlet, okay? Thanks.
Next we need to discuss this whole “WE WILL BE THE DEATH OF THE TRAD!PUB MODEL, JUST YOU WATCH!”
Listen. If traditional publishing goes the way of the dodo (plock!), I will quit fucking reading, no joke.
It’s not even that I have anything against you, per se. It’s that so many of you think that publishers are just out to take your money away from you by making “unnecessary changes” to your “babies.”
Fuck that, you guys. Srsly.
I say this as someone who has edited books. I say this as someone who has been close to a knock-down-drag-out fist fight with an author friend because of the words “bemused” and “akimbo.”
I SAY THIS BECAUSE I KNOW WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT.
You are not the best judge of your own work. Frequently, when you re-read your work, you see what you meant to say, not what you actually said. And if you’re not hiring that shit out, you’re doing a disservice to your readers and yourself.
“BUT LOOK AT ALL MY FIVE STAR REVIEWS!” you cry.
Yeah, we need to talk about that, too.
I’m signed up for many ebook mailing lists, where I get an email every day telling me what’s on sale. I buy a lot of books, but there’s no reason to not take a deal, right? Right.
The quickest way to make sure I will NEVER EVER READ YOUR BOOK is for me to see the following:
Almost 150 five-star reviews on Amazon.
Now, I’m not saying that ALL of these excellent reviews have been begged, bought or borrowed, but I’m fully aware of what a legitimate review sounds like. I’m also aware of shady ass motherfuckers who sell reviews for only five dollars (oh, and for an additional five, they’ll downvote all bad reviews of your book!).
Wait. What am I doing writing good reviews of books I loved for free like a SUCKER?
ORITE, I have scruples.
I clicked around the Fiverr Reviews For Sale and was kind of shocked at the number of authors who use their real names on their profiles when purchasing these services. Soooo…of course I clicked over to Amazon and checked them out.
One has the same number of reviews on all eleven of his books. All five stars. All gushing.
How does this help anyone?
It doesn’t. It makes all of you look like assholes.
Finally, and this really does go for every self-published author out there.
I. Don’t. Owe. You.
Here’s the truth: I rarely read self-published authors. I will read my friends’ books as support and I will occasionally check out something that piques my interest AFTER it has been recommended and AFTER I’ve read a sample to make sure it’s not an unedited pile of bantha poodoo, but that happens so rarely it might as well not ever happen at all.
But because I SAY that I don’t read self-published work (for the most part), suddenly I am EVIL and PART OF THE PROBLEM.
No. No, I’m not.
YOU ARE THE PROBLEM.
You don’t get to try to guilt or shame me into reading your book.
I get that you are taking this whole non-traditional route and you’re proud of yourself for finishing that book (hey, I am too, swearsies), but the thing is…just because you wrote that book, doesn’t mean I have to read it. And I see so many self-published authors attempting to SHAME readers into picking up their books.
Wanna know a secret?
THAT NEVER WORKS. I’ve written countless posts on how if you attempt to shame me into doing something, my response as a consumer is going to be a BIG OLD FUCK YOU.
The world does not owe you a living (tralalala), just because some words fell out of your head. Get over yourself. You’re making everyone look bad.