This post is based off of several alarming things I’ve seen on the Internet. I see stuff like self-published authors asking for people to buy their book so they can fund their college education, their vacation, etc. There is nothing wrong with wanting to make money at writing, but to come out and ask for someone to buy your book so you can buy something? That seems tacky to me. Then I talk to a couple of cover artists and find out authors are asking to be given “free” covers. Never mind that the cover artist spent time and money buying stock photos for those covers. Then I see authors who want others to fund the editing costs of their books. I’m guessing some of these authors expect editors to do it for free. I don’t know any editors personally enough to have had that discussion with them. Then I see authors using other authors’ blogs, Twitter pages, FB pages (and who knows what else) to promote their book (often without permission). Then I hear about authors who put people on their email list without their permission and won’t remove their email address when asked. Then I hear about authors who threaten book reviewers if they don’t like the review. I mean, really?
All of this has the entitlement mentality to it. Since when does one author, one editor, one cover artist, or even one reader owe an author anything?
There are two things the self-published author is entitled to:
1. To write the book they are most passionate about.
2. To publish that book when they want.
That is it. You want someone to do the cover, editing, formatting, and some promotion? Find a publisher. That’s why they rock. They take the headache and costs out of the equation for you, and they deserve their share of the profits for doing it.
No one owes the self-published author a sale to fund something in their life. No one owes that author a free cover, free editing, free formatting, or free anything. No one owes the author a free promo spot on their blog or social networking pages. No one owes an author a review at all. And if the reviewer doesn’t like a book, that is their right and the author has no right to harass that reviewer.
I can’t believe all the shady things I see going on.
This is going to hurt self-published authors. I hate to say it, but the way some self-published authors are acting are going to piss off a lot of readers. It’s not the quality of our books that are going to give us a bad name. It’s the way we behave.
Think about this for a minute. How would you want to be treated? Would you want someone to ask you to make their cover for free? Or edit their book for free? Or pay for their vacation out of your money? Or post a promo for their book on your site where they are accessing your readers without your permission? Or putting you on their email list without your permission and spamming you all the time? Or emailing you with nasty comments because they didn’t like the review you gave their book?
Whatever happened to the idea of treating others the way you’d want to be treated? I thought we were all taught to be polite and respect others in kindergarten. I tell you when my kids came home from kindergarten with all the nice behaviors they were taught, my first thought was, “Too bad adults don’t act that way.”
I know I’m speaking to the choir here. The authors on this blog have been exceptional. Everyone who comments on this blog have been professional in the way they act. I’m happy to be in with this group. I guess what I really needed to do was vent and get it off my chest. Thanks for allowing me the time to do so.