For simplicity the numerous people I have seen do this, will be rolled into one person for this post named N.V. The examples are general.
I follow a lot of authors, on Twitter, on Facebook, on blogs, etc. They are unpublished, self-published, traditional, fiction, non-fiction, The point is, this disturbing trend goes across the board. But the ones I have to call out, are the self-published authors.
What are they doing that is so bad?
They are becoming rude.
So lets take N.V I started following him/her a few months ago. I found their discussions interesting. I learned a lot. But then things started to happen that made me wonder why was I still following them.
Little things like:
From N.V blog:
A reader commented. “I really was inspired by this post. Point A made me really think.”
NV’s response. “Point A, what? That wasn’t the important bit. Do you really know what you are talking about?
On N.V Facebook:
N.V posted. “Did you read xxxx last post on her site? She is bragging about her latest award.”
NV posted “So xxxx thinks she is hot! Ha! I am better than her!”
Do you see what is going on? You have a right to brag, you have a right to be proud. But at the expense of other?
Before you think I have been attacked by one of these authors and this is a case of sour grapes. No, sort of. I did post a response on Facebook to one of these authors. And they posted back, twisting my words around. As if they wanted to get me into a forum flame war. I ignored them. That’s how I handle trolls and that’s how I handle that behavior.
But after that happened, I noticed more authors doing this. Mainly self published. Ugh.
What I have noticed is that all of them have reached their personal goal of success. Maybe they have quit their job, or maybe they have sold 10,000 copies. But that is where it starts. Not every successful self published author does this, but the few that have make the rest of us look bad.
I have to say this to them: You are a big fish in a small pond.
So you have a website that gets 50 hits a day. Big deal.
So you have twenty books up on the Kindle. So What.
This doesn’t give you the right to look down at the rest of the authors out there and your readers! I am not talking about looking down at us “little ones”, but some of them have started to attack the “big names” too. And when they attack their fans, that makes me cringe.
I know it sounds like I am only attacking the self-published authors. Some of you might argue that it sounds like it’s okay if you are traditionally published you can get away with this behavior. That does not protect you either. A rude author is a rude author.
Look at Harlan Ellison, some people consider him rude. He is abrupt. I can’t see him starting a flame war on a blog (for one he is not on the Internet.) He backs up his points and argues. He doesn’t insult someone just to get the attention (he will insult, but after the conflict has started). Most of his controversies are rooted in good points. He is famous. I like his work. And there are many that are turned off by his behavior.
Being a success, no matter how you define it, does not give you the right to be rude. Maybe they want the negative attention. I really hope they start to think before they respond. Because I have stopped following them because of their behavior. Which means, I will never support them by buying one of their books.
And if I stopped, how many others have too?