Monday, February 23, 2015

Know-It-Alls are Assholes

I got rather jacked over this article last year, but decided to let it go because I had other things to worry about. But then I came across it again, and got jacked all over again. So now I'm saying something about it.

I'm sure the author of this article has seen her fair share of truly whiny and "entitled" authors who can't figure out why their book isn't a bestseller two hours after they've uploaded it to Amazon. I get that, because I've run into a few of those myself. HOWEVER, apparently all of us who complain at some point about the unfairness of it all are lumped in with whiny, unmotivated authors. We aren't doing enough, she claims, so it's entirely our own fault that our books aren't getting noticed.

Let's take a peek at what this professional states is a MUST for those of us trying to get our work noticed (taken straight from the article hyperlinked above. My comments are in red.):

-- a spectacular book (professionally edited, formatted, designed, proofed) (Read: "lots of $$$$" I've seen truly atrocious books become extremely popular because of the marketing hype behind them. So having a spectacular book isn't really a requirement; the $$$$ IS.)
-- reviews (minimum 25) within the first few weeks 
(And how, pray tell, does one get that many reviews if you're not already noticed? Either by recruiting friends and family, or having a great marketing campaign, which equals $$$$)
-- beta or ARC readers before you release 
(This is doable through friends/social media buddies. Otherwise, you're spending $$$$)
-- an optimized website (professional graphics, social media icons, key wording, HTML, CSS for faster loading, etc... all to increase your SEO). Not sure what it means? Look it up. 
(Again, we're back to $$$$. So far, we've racked up HUNDREDS of $$$$ in this list of "requirements.")
-- an active blog (once weekly minimum) 
-- a book trailer (share on your own site, social media and YouTube) 
-- participate in memes like‪ #‎MondayBlogs‬ or chats -- meet cool peeps, learn, promote others 
-- interactive social media (not spammy) at minimum Twitter, Facebook and Google+ (important for your Google ranking) following readers, book bloggers, book reviewers, book clubs 
(Doable to a point, otherwise you have to be independently wealthy and therefore rolling in free time and/or can hire someone to do it all for you. So, time and $$$$)
-- groups (important to establish connections with peers) Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ 
(Again, with the time and $$$$ if you want to spend the time this author thinks you should be spending.)
-- an eBook version (duh) Don't care if you hate eBooks. What do your readers want? 
(Uh, that's how most of us already publish?)
-- a virtual blog tour (won't sell books. DOES increase visibility, SEO, reviews, connections with readers and bloggers, and Google Ranking) 
(Oh, virtual blog tours. MOAR $$$$)
-- Google AdWords (get advice on how to do it correctly, study and research, or pay someone to do it for you), or FB or Goodreads or blogger ads. Something! 
-- book clubs 
(Possibly doable, unless you're like me and THERE AREN'T ANY NEARBY)
-- book signings 
(Only doable if you've already gotten somewhere with your writing, else it's a great big flop/bookstores don't want to have you/whatevs. Again, we have to spend a minimum of about $1000 to creep an inch closer to this point.)
-- swag (bookmarks, pens, postcards, etc) 
(Sigh. $$$$)
-- guest blog guest blog guest blog (and not only about your book and how wonderful your toenails are) 
(Well, back to the "you have to be noticed before you get here," which takes $$$$)
-- interviews (give and do for others) 
(See the comment immediately above. $$$$)
-- don't argue with reviewers (from The Author CEO Naomi Blackburn) 
(Everyone should already be doing this, and if you are arguing with reviewers, SHAME ON YOU!)
-- giveaways, promotions, etc. 
(I'm getting tired of repeating myself. $$$$)
-- email newsletter (aka, email marketing) 
-- Give back, for fuck's sake. Stop talking about yourself all the damn time. 
(Totally doable, and should be done without being told!)

In other words, all us self-pubbed authors frustrated with getting our work out there have only ourselves to blame for not having unlimited money and time to throw at promoting ourselves. We are "whiny" and we are "assholes" because we didn't starve ourselves and our families in order to get on that book tour. We are lazy because we don't spend every second of our free time on social media because--GASP!--we have the audacity to have jobs and families and lives and can't devote every second of every day "interacting."

Not to mention those of us with disabilities that make it literally impossible for us to do all of it all the time. But we're just failing ourselves, you know. It's all our damn fault for not being independently wealthy or in fantastic health or whatever it is that's holding us back. And in reality, according to the list above, what's really holding us back is our reluctance to live in a shack and starve in order to fork over all our hard-earned dough to marketing ourselves.

So, forgive me if I sometimes get despondent over not having the money to make money. I'm so sorry that I have a disorder/disability AND A JOB that makes it difficult for me to hang out on social media 10+ hours a day to get my interaction in. I'm so fucking sorry that I've struggled my whole life and find it very, very difficult to become something as an author, regardless of how good people think my books are, because my money is limited. So goddamned sorry that my particular circumstances--which are identical to a HUGE percentage of struggling self-pubbed/indie authors' circumstances--are so goddamned rant-inducing.

So sorry.

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