Oh, Get Over Yourself! a rant.

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 They are unpublished, self-published, traditional, fiction, non-fiction, The point is, this disturbing trend goes across the board.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.

True.

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?

6 Comments

  1. bigwords88 says:

    There’s so much here that I can nod and say “yeah, seen that as well,” but I have to point out one small bit that’s maybe wrong (not technically, just… somehow). The “right to brag” – which is abused so often online as it is – is an escalating right. Even that description comes across as awkward, but I believe that for every bragging right to be granted, there must be something valuable enough produced to warrant the brag. Accolades and awards only go so far, and the value to bragging ratio must not be abused.

    Clever self-deprecation goes a lot farther than bragging. 🙂

  2. mariminiatt says:

    True too many people use “right to brag” as a explanation of why they tear down someone else. To me, there is a difference between “YAY I sold a book.” and “I sold 100 books, why do you think I want to talk to you.”

    As for the clever self-deprecation, is there a class for that? I think it is a great way to talk about yourself. I end up sounding like a whinny emo.

  3. LA Hilden says:

    I too have witnessed such behavior, but I’ve seen it from both author and reader. (Some of the Amazon boards are unbelievably rude and even cruel, which is probably why I’ve yet to use them.) As with any group of people there are always a few loons in the bunch, the trick is weeding out the bad from the good. I never like reading about a person criticizing another, but I also realize there’s a reason the person feels the need to cut the other person down, which often revolves around the attackers own self-esteem issues.

    I’ve just recently self-published my book and I can say marketing is tough. I prefer not to brag, ever, it’s just not my way. But a part of me realizes some bragging may be necessary, and hopefully I will be able to market myself as my hard work deserves.

  4. Wow. Where have I been? I don’t recall seeing this. I must be hiding under a rock. LOL I believe it happens. Wait. Okay. I have seen it in some writing groups I’ve been to. So yeah, I have experienced it.

    I think there’s a big difference between saying you accomplished something, like selling a good number of books (and that is reason to celebrate!) vs. trashing someone else. And I think this trashing goes to book reviews. I’m okay with a 1 star objective review, but when the reviewer (who is another author) trashes the book and says something like, “How did this ever get published? It’s a piece of crap! If this can get published, anything can.”

    And since I’ve read those reviews…

    Wow, I’ve seen this happen more than I thought. LOL

    I agree though. Those are authors I purposely put on my “never buy” list.

  5. Actually, I thought it was Harlan Ellison who was on a thread on the main Kindle forum a while back dissing readers very nastily. My memory is foggy so maybe it was another well known author.

    My point is that human nature is human nature and since indies have to rely on the internet so much and it’s all out there, we’re all stuck with people who are in the same “indie” group we are and who are idiots, mean, elitist, etc. Some of them may learn, but I think we’re the ones who have to learn how to handle being part of a group that includes others whose behavior embarrasses and even hurts us. My guess is traditionally published authors include a similar percentage of idiots, but only their agents and editors have to deal with them. For that matter, maybe that behavior reduces the percentage of traditionally pub’d bad actors since agents may turn them down based on that rather than quality of manuscript.

  6. Maureen Gill says:

    Very interesting post; some great points. Nonetheless I’m troubled by some of the comments, especially that under certain conditions people have a right to brag, as if bragging is merely annoying and not thoroughly offensive. Honestly, that hit a discordant note with me; my gut feeling is that bragging is unacceptable, always. I checked Webster’s and I think my gut feeling was justified; it seems to me that a braggart is right up there with any other form of horse’s ass. According to the dictionary, “brag” & “to brag” = (1) a pompous or boastful statement; (2) arrogant talk or manner, as in cockiness; and (3) to be a braggart.

    So, this brings me back to what I thought to begin with: that there’s a world of difference between “sharing the joy” (announcing something wonderful has happened to you) and being “pompous,” “boastful,” “arrogant,” and “cocky.” Bragging implies superiority and sets one apart from others; sharing, however, is inclusive and in no way infers that others are in any way inferior to you or that you possess some quality or talent they lack.

    Bragging is always rude and pregnant with contempt for others and because of this I don’t think it is ever acceptable.

    I think I’ve learned a lot about human nature over the years and one thing in particular is that (so it seems to me) sickness and pain bring out the true measure of a person. Over and over again I’ve seen how suffering softens some people but coarsens others. In other words, it exaggerates what is already present.

    Now I’m thinking that even a little bit of success might do the same thing — it might separate those who are of a generous and pleasant nature from those who aren’t.

Comments are closed.