Involving myself in a post on Facebook I learned about Hugh Wooley's recent fuckup. (I was first to post an answer to the question, let's see how much I get picked apart for it)
I direct your attention to this site (sorry about the ads): http://www.salon.com/2013/04/15/self_publishing_star_faces_backlash_for_misogynist_rant_partner/
Mr. Wooley should've remembered "Smile & Nod".
Manipulative buzzwords like 'misogynist' aside, I agree - partly - with Mr. Wooley. However, I also feel the fool should've still kept his hands in his pockets instead of writing about how he rose to the insult.
I've made similar mistakes. Someone says shit about my beloved choices or shows prejudice towards me because I'm cheating some poor agent or Trade Pubber their nickels; I get pissy. I might even rant about it here (oh my, yes!).
This is what I see so wrong about the situation:
1. Wooley stuck his neck out with blatant honesty and someone else had his head for it. Other bloggers and so-called news sources manipulate the story with buzzwords for their own ends.
2. 'Crazy' mentioned in Wooley's blog is a self-absorbed, self-centered coattail rider who only was looking out for her own career.
3. I agree with Wooley's wife; 'Crazy' needs a fucking slap. Two, in fact; one for the prejudicial attitude and one for the ignorant thought no one would see how transparent she was.
4. When both sides of the argument throw insults and slurs, nobody's right. Wooley needs a slap for forgetting himself and providing the sharks something to chew on.
It's an agreed standard practice now for Indies to take all negative reviews and responses and put them in the Do Not Respond pile. When you're in real life, the equivalent is "Smile & Nod". Unless you can use your words and publicly shame the hell out of the offender with dashing responses that make them nearly combust in front of you, SHUT IT.
Smile & Nod.
I invite others to provide in the comments their responses they'd like to give when insulted about their choice to self-publish and anecdotes about similar instances.
I'll start it off:"While I can respect the fact you have an opinion, you reveal how little you're informed about the subject. I know several resources that can aid you so you look less foolish in the future." (Smiling and nodding)-M-
** Written with gratitude to Sabrina Holmes for her donation of ample subject matter and inspiration for this piece. Your love for your children’s innocence is one more item on the growing list of things I love you for. ** What do a restaurant, hungry patrons, and the innocence of children have in common? Normally the answer is the exchange of goods and services for money. In the case of a stop to grab a bagel with the family, I watched foul words get added to the equation and ruin almost everything.
My readers know I will not hold back on my knowledge of the dirtier words of the English language. I occasionally bash someone on their display of intellect (or lack thereof), but I won’t act to restrict your right to display either. I certainly attempt to refrain from restricting your right to speak.
However, when there are kids present, you best shut your profane piehole up when their momma asks you politely. Otherwise, you’re subject to become the jumping off point of some irate bastard’s weblog.
Yes this happened the way you can probably guess. We went in, got our food, sat at the table, and proceeded to hear ‘fuck’, ‘shit’, and assorted other political diatribe from some asshole with an apparent lack of intelligence.
In defense of her 8 and 1½ year olds, mother kindly asked if the trio could staunch the profanity. The main mouthpiece stammered and attempted to make the lamest excuses (paraphrasing: “I didn’t see them; my tablemate blocked my view.”) before resorting to a stage mutter with one of her cohorts while the third found solace in a well-timed call to his cell.
On their way out shortly after, Missus Mouthpiece decided to loudly insinuate we were infringing on her freedom of speech before bolting out the door like the coward she proved herself to be.
I’ll tell you, a french toast bagel with cream cheese sucks when it’s seasoned with distaste for the self-absorption of others. I have an issue with this as I’m seeing it more and more.
- Everyone believes they have a right to speak freely.
- What you do NOT have is a right to pollute my children’s innocence or vocabulary.
I’ve spied at least two other examples of this kind of thing on Facebook lately. Two instances that involved beliefs and foodservice ended the servers up with no gratuity whatsoever.
There was the waitress who got stiffed on a tip because she didn’t realize she was wishing her Atheist guests to, “Have a blessed day.” The other got stiffed because a pastor with her flock (party of 8 or greater) paid a visit and triggered the auto-tip of 18%.
The message left on the receipt: “I give God 10% what makes you think you deserve 18?”
Unless bread was being broken in a place of religion, I very much doubt pastor-lady deserved anything more than a painful case of indigestion. Much less than paying her waitress more than the auto-tip for dealing with a sanctimonious coward hiding behind religion so she didn’t have to pay for more than the meal.
These instances of self-absorbed, entitlist asshattery remind me of a sign I saw in a Pennsylvania curio shop. In that cross-stitched drugstore chocolate box kitsch It read: “HUMBLE THYSELF” It strikes me a notion we’re much remiss to remember.
I’ve worked foodservice for a short time, and I can say I’ve been on both sides of the order counter. I know there are times where gratuities are due and when to hold back for lack of decent service. I also know patrons should remember that there are more people of importance in the room than they, who are either the reason you’ll find spit in your food or why your waitress is bidding you a “blessed day.” However, it’s not only restaurant venues that this should be observed; it’s anywhere humanity thrives.
Americans like to preach how “it’s a free country”, and “they have a right” to whatever it is they’re on about. They don’t realize the real fact:
They ain’t entitled to shit. At least, nothing they haven’t worked for.
This blessed naïveté that a person can hide behind an overly-abused belief or right to get what their arrogant heart desires is more rampant than necessary. It isn’t held by every American, but it sure is flaunted in excess as an attempt to make it up for others who have the intelligence to know when to watch what they say in front of someone else.
With the above scenarios as example, I feel we lack the constant reminder to utilize the fundamental traits of proper etiquette. I feel those hiding behind their faith as a reason to be shitty to others deserves what they get in the end. I feel those that hide behind freedoms of speech to talk garbage in front of impressionable children have yet to show they respect such a freedom.
I am a writer of words both profane and profound. I am nobody special except to those whom he earned such distinction from by his actions. I have no right to take away the rights of others, nor flaunt a belief that disrupts the common solace of human activity. No matter how tempting it might be.
Swear in front of my kids again, however…
Have a better one.
REPRINTED FROM FACEBOOK
545 vs. 300,000,000 People
-By Charlie Reese
Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them.
Have you ever wondered, if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, WHY do we have deficits?
Have you ever wondered, if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, WHY do we have inflation and high taxes?
You and I don't propose a federal budget. The President does.
You and I don't have the Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations. The House of Representatives does.
You and I don't write the tax code, Congress does.
You and I don't set fiscal policy, Congress does.
You and I don't control monetary policy, the Federal Reserve Bank does.
One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one President, and nine Supreme Court justices equates to 545 human beings out of the 300 million are directly, legally, morally, and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country.
I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem was created by the Congress. In 1913, Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered, but private, central bank.
I excluded all the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason. They have no legal authority. They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman, or a President to do one cotton-picking thing. I don't care if they offer a politician $1 million dollars in cash. The politician has the power to accept or reject it. No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the legislator's responsibility to determine how he votes.
Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con regardless of party.
What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall. No normal human being would have the gall of a Speaker, who stood up and criticized the President for creating deficits.. ( The President can only propose a budget. He cannot force the Congress to accept it.)
The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating and approving appropriations and taxes. Who is the speaker of the House?( John Boehner. He is the leader of the majority party. He and fellow House members, not the President, can approve any budget they want. ) If the President vetoes it, they can pass it over his veto if they agree to. [The House has passed a budget but the Senate has not approved a budget in over three years. The President's proposed budgets have gotten almost unanimous rejections in the Senate in that time. ]
It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 300 million cannot replace 545 people who stand convicted -- by present facts -- of incompetence and irresponsibility. I can't think of a single domestic problem that is not traceable directly to those 545 people. When you fully grasp the plain truth that 545 people exercise the power of the federal government, then it must follow that what exists is what they want to exist.
If the tax code is unfair, it's because they want it unfair.
If the budget is in the red, it's because they want it in the red.
If the Army & Marines are in Iraq and Afghanistan it's because they want them in Iraq and Afghanistan ..
If they do not receive social security but are on an elite retirement plan not available to the people, it's because they want it that way.
There are no insoluble government problems.
Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and advice they can reject; to regulators, to whom they give the power to regulate and from whom they can take this power.
Above all, do not let them con you into the belief that there exists disembodied mystical forces like "the economy," "inflation," or "politics" that prevent them from doing what they take an oath to do.
Those 545 people, and they alone, are responsible. They, and they alone, have the power.
They, and they alone, should be held accountable by the people who are their bosses. Provided the voters have the gumption to manage their own employees... We should vote all of them out of office and clean up their mess!
Charlie Reese is a former columnist of the Orlando Sentinel Newspaper.
This will be the only political thing I share for quite awhile.
Do not try to engage me in debate about it, or try to change my agreement to this viewpoint. I understand that this will probably get me labeled something ending in -ist; more probable, -hole.
In turn, I will not ask you to agree/disagree, or attempt to change your mind either. These are non-requirements.
*We don't need a House, Senate, Congress, et. Al. if they flagrantly abuse the trust we place in their members.
*A President should have final say, but the people who voted him there the right to replace them immediately (as in 'within the hour') by majority vote of a representative per each state.
*Taxes should only be placed on the things we use the most and do not effect directly (as in: we don't pay for the road patch mix or fill the pothole), but those taxes applied to the perpetuation of the very things taxed. Only if there is a surplus after everything that can be perpetuated has been sorted will that surplus be placed where most needed other taxed things requiring perpetuation. This should not require much thought, nor a set budget; it's simply math and making the numbers work for everyone.
Income Tax should protect the worker, their job, and their future from poverty by keeping work available to all who are taxed. This could potentially reduce the individual chip-in each week as there are more working, the more are chipping in. Regulated surplus can be utilized to broaden available jobs or create new ones, not line the pockets of CEOs or become "bonuses". The only bail-out this surplus can become is to aid another struggling business to reduce the issue causing its financial decline (updating tech, updating procedure, updating employee training, etc.). What will this result in? Potentially the same thing workers do when passing the hat to help a coworker fix his/her car so he can continue to get to work, for example.
There's so much more that can be added, but I have not the time. Again, I will not control your decision to agree/disagree, but please keep responses civil. I can only hope for a thread full of proactive thinking rather than a flame war.
In response to a silly Facebook picture about the Mayan Prophecy crap and how I to be rewarded for saving the world from it:
The initial plan is to delve deeply beneath the island of Manhattan in order to re-start the great pillar that keeps Manhattan afloat (right now, the only thing keeping the island above water is a compressed layer of dead rats). This will require the refined oil drawn from the wells beneath, but the inlet doors are stoppered up by silt, muck, and petrified twinkies.
Once the pillar returns to its rightful rotation, the island will rise revealing why Central Park was really a bunch of landlocked floating islands. It will also reveal which of these floating islands contains the Spectral Cache (alien technology that exists simultaneously across Planes of Existence 1, and 4 through 6) holding the New Mayan Calendar.
This will then be jettisoned using the alien ship escape pod trapped in amber and ratshit beneath the Museum of Natural History. The Museum will be severely damaged in the process, but I feel it's a price worth paying. The escape pod with exit Earth's atmosphere and slingshot around the moon for extra speed. Planetary placement will exponentially increase the inertia already in place at takeoff via a column of lessened gravity created by a northern front, force radiance from the moon, and a Monarch butterfly fart. This would also reset the moon's orbit to a respectable distance reducing the frequency of weather-derived disasters.
At optimum inertia, the alien escape pod will make contact with the asteroid threatening Earth destroying both the alien fuel source that would allow humans to destroy their race 10 years sooner than predicted by the New Mayan Calendar and the Calendar itself. There are other secrets it would reveal, but seeing as how humans exist longer when on a Mushroom Diet (kept in the dark and fed bullshit), this is another cost well worth paying.
With the asteroid destroyed (sadly not taking Bruce Willis with it), Manhattan re-aligned for another century, and the moon keeping Earth's gravity stabilized with the aid of the pyramids and resonance of amethyst geodes stored in the head of the Sphinx, the human race will persevere. At least...for 3/4 of another century.
I will, of course, remember to take a photo with the New Mayan Calendar for posterity sake. It will be framed and placed on my mantle, unknown to those that see it that it is NOT actually a novelty picture I had made for a laugh, but a prediction I can exploit before anyone else.
Bein' my usual goofy self. ;3
"What's inside the mind of an author like?"
Scary. Dirty scary. Looking into that is like looking into those kinds of deep caves crazy people fling themselves into with cute little parachutes to save them.
You want to know the mind of an author, read their books. Read their blogs, their short stories, and their anecdotes. You'll see the inspirations and dreams along with the hardships and failures.
You can see the author's mindset by the quality, sometimes the theme, and sometimes the sheer abandon of their writing style.
All jokes aside; artists have 'periods'. Composers have 'movements'. Authors have 'phases'. Our minds change as the moon changes with each phase a little different, but just as beautiful as the previous. Our minds are also as equally difficult to reach. however, when you first set foot on such an alien landscape, be prepared to leave it a little wiser on the whole.
While you're visiting though, please don't litter. It makes the Indian cry. ;3
DON'T FORGET TO CHECK OUT THE CONTEST AND HOLIDAY BLOG HOP INFORMATION ON THE BOOK PAGE (link located on the left column)! YOU HAVE A 1:3 CHANCE OF WINNING A COPY OF Tyme And Yon Serpent!
Seeking the Zen of the Golden Word “You can write a million words of shit, before you write one word of gold.”
I don’t know the origin of this quote exactly, but I heard it from a traditionally published author.
Three years ago, my first book was only in planning stages with a few pages of the manuscript written.
I was taking a break tooling around Myspace when I saw Mr. Dolley’s page.
He was kind enough to answer my email asking which way to publish was better: traditionally, or by “Vanity Press”. He cited the merits of both, however, he suggested in the time I spend waiting for answers I should keep writing. I even titled my weblog page “A Million Words of $#!t” to keep me in mind of the issue.
So it’s about 3-4 years later, and here’s me with one book published, book #2 a fifth of the way finished, and a handful of blog entries to my credit. That, and doing a guest blog – my first – appreciative of the writing space I’m graciously allowed. Which gives me pause for thought: did I ever figure out what my Golden Word was?
What is word 1,000,001? Is it golden by status or is this some sort of riddle dropped on me that I have to figure out if I want to consider myself a good author? Are there other authors in the world that share this Golden Word or do they have their own?
I see it as more of a question one meditates upon concerning whether or not it’s such a good idea to pick up the pen. It’s the kind of question that isn’t answered by thinking, but rather by doing.
I’m not satisfied with calling 3 years of somewhat steady writing (by very loose standards of averaging) my million words of s***. I don’t factor in several spotty phases of writing where I thought a good idea should find its way to the page, but never gave it much thought to write a story around it (yet). I don’t include social forums I’ve posted complete twaddle on for the fact that to me it equals striking up a conversation comprised of small talk with a total stranger. So what shall I count as my million words – or my Golden Word?
It’s a Zen question for me more profound than: “What is the sound of one hand clapping?” The answer to that one is, of course, completely pointless. It’s so, because a clap is the desired sound traditionally made from a hand striking another hand to achieve a report. You look like a complete moron to others waving one hand around trying to hear something.
I suppose the first thing to consider is what fundamental need clapping with one hand satisfies. I then compare that need with the pursuit of authorship. You need two hands to create a clap, just as readers need authors to keep writing.
To achieve authorship we write like mad until our hands cramp, heads hurt, and fingers callous attempting to fill several dozen pages with something worthwhile for others to read. We go back over our writing several times to figure out what we did wrong and try to correct every aggravating mistake. Sometimes, we do such a job that all we have left is a handful of pages we’re satisfied with while the rest of the manuscript sits on the recycling pile. We’re then forced to go write more material that still pertains to the work just to flesh it out to avoid writing nothing more than a short story.
If we’re inclined, we’ll throw money at someone who’ll professionally sieve the lot for the good stuff before handing back roughly the same thing. Back to the desk to write some more and repeat the cycle. Correct the errors, pick out the bits we like, and then write some more and that’s just to get the first draft of the manuscript finished. Don’t get me started on other aggravations like correcting plot holes, culling out anything and everything ending with –ly, or changing from one kind of quotation mark to another…passive voice…show, don’t tell…strike head soundly against closest wall…
Even after the manuscript is finished we look to publishing avenues that work for us. Do we go traditional or do we make it quick and augment the MS to fit the requirements of Print-On-Demand? Do we accept the fact we’ll probably see enough rejection notices to paper the office walls from floor to ceiling (unless we’re writing well in a genre that’s the height of fiction fashion at the time)? Do we resort to writing for the readers instead of ourselves?
Finally, we’ve made our work available to the public at a price we find is the acceptable norm. We sit and wait for sales not gained from only friends and family. We scour library and internet resources pertaining to methods that help sell books.
Some gauge the future of their work by the numbers. They believe that great sales ranks or other contrived figures will keep them from languishing in obscurity. More will spend half their day – like me – attempting to find the quickest/cheapest ways to advertise so those contrived numbers shrink to acceptable visibility in the Top Whatever. Others will blindly follow every bit of “advice” given about how not to kill your sales and in the process learn what a good idea that wasn’t.
Please, for the love of all that’s good in this world, do not get me started on seeking out reviews. That in itself is an entire blog not worth writing for all the fear it would instill in the hearts of new authors. The trouble there is finding people who’ll take the time to tell you what they think. May your personal god(s) help you if you find the ones who tell you before they’ve thought at all.
Once the satisfaction has set in we finally have our works polished as much as possible and in the public view; we have to start thinking about the NEXT project. I’m guessing it would be at this point in my work that I’d ask myself, “Is this where I look completely mental swatting at invisible flies? Will anyone read what I’ve written? Is this worth all that effort each time I want to write a book, with or without the aid of a Publishing House?”
I am either completely mental talking to myself like that or I can look back on it all and find the good in what I was doing all along. Seeing both sides of the issue brought me to the conclusion of finding my first Golden Word:
Despite every disheartening or negative response, every unkind pursuit against the SPA community in part or whole, writer’s block, data loss, revision after revision after revision…
The diligent writers command their pen and do what they must to succeed. They continue to write even though they are confronted with doubts and uncertainties. They look past bad reviews, and voting wars. They couldn’t give the southern end of a northbound rat about who thinks whatever about them. They don’t have time to; they’ve got a self-appointed deadline to meet. I for one don’t even have time to care about deadlines.
I learned I have to ignore false labels like nuisance, liar, cheat, fraud, and other adjectives too unsavory to mention. I learned I must respond to insults, snarks, and What-you-should-have-done-isms with politeness I surprise myself that I am capable. I understand I’ll be exposed to the kind of emotional sapping that would normally make me wonder why it is I continue.
The truth is I am writing for myself. If I write how others say they think I should I’ll be cheated of the pleasure and the stories I want to share. I would be cheated of the kind of fun being completely mental provides.
In retrospect, my million words is the embodiment of all the work I’ve created to reach that crazy enlightenment where I can sum the entire experience in one word. Like a cross-referenced database in the depths of my consciousness, I can see that word for what it represents to me. It is the sum of my writing so far. I’ve marred the surface and proved its worth to be pure and invaluable.
However, whether I reach this ink-soaked Zen alone or with others, we all know that a little bit of gold will only get us so far or buy us so much. I’ve completed too much to not continue slogging through the process, finish writing the next book, write another blog, and seek the Zen of the (Next) Golden Word…
…because I’d be fucking insane if I stopped now. ;3
Thanks to all of you who stopped by during the Blog Hop and even after. The free copy promotion is now concluded and the remaining distribution is at hand.
My thanks again for the patience and interest from these readers!
Finally got going on some of my other projects, so I apologize to all three of my kind readers and their cats for the lapse in updating.
After the Afterthoughts:
We aren’t all saints here on the internet. I’ve certainly not a place in the holiest of holy forum denominations for anything I may have written.
I could write for quite a long time about the goings-on of the Malicious Spectrum, but even I’m getting bored of hearing about it. I will give credit in this last piece to those who’ve provided the contrast; the safer havens for the self-published and independent authors.
In order for me to even devise this Spectrum, I visited several forums that didn’t exist because of territorial antics or push-advertising. These were well-moderated forums, controlled, and played a neutral role in communication apart from enforcing the laws they initially display.
What set them apart was simple: they gave no slack. Clear as crystal, the rules stated you could only use the forum for the purpose the moderators allow. There were few loopholes to exploit and no extra features to abuse. No voting on whether or not a post remained in view, and if removed, it’s removed completely.
Good forums clearly prioritize from the beginning so that no indication of segregation can exist later on. Threads are made for the advertisements, the genre-specific, and the reader/author-friendly.
The dot-com’s specific to an eReader are run by those that have the simple ability to forecast or at least know what not to do by the mistakes of other forums before them. The Kindle alone has something like half a dozen boards devoted to it that I visited.
Nook has a few also; the Barnes & Noble reader forums are run well enough that one would not have to wade through full pages of deletion messages and hidden posts that didn’t need to be displayed anyway. I did see a bit of negative posting – the usual bitching about the trivial matters – but it was of a nature you’ll come to find on any other board. As one of the commercially moderated boards, I’ve seen a reduction – by a clear half – of what its competitors allow for Malicious Spectrum activity. There’s still a few rude asshats trolling around for flame wars, but in the end the provided controls make them much easier to ignore.
The neutral ground sites like Goodreads.com allow for some advertising (for a price), but in controlled channels and working like other social websites. You can make friends, share book reviews, and all that other jazz. Although periodically buggy, I have yet to see any bigger issue than a listing losing features because of the eventual changes in the market or website adjustment. Amazon recently made a few changes that affected the book listings of several authors on Goodreads. Not a big deal unless they didn’t back up their work.
It’s the author boards I liked the most; not resembling the A-zon Auschwitz “Meet Our Authors” forums, but a kinder version where the authors work together to enrich the community. As examples to get the squares well-rounded:
A site dedicated to alerting SPA’s on major news or fads and giving time to guest blogs providing similar information: http://www.indiesunlimited.com
Author Blogs: Meet up with an SPA who acts on the goodwill of other SPA’s and you’ll likely find helpful information posted on their blog. Many allow for discussion threads if kept civil.
David Gaughran's “Let’s Get Digital”: http://davidgaughran.wordpress.com/
Jeff Faria's “Patriots of Mars”: http://patriotsofmars.blogspot.com/
The Kindle Hub: This is a group allowing advertisements for cheap or free books. It’s Facebook’s equivalent to the discount book stacks at your average Price Club. Just don’t go hammering the lists with more than one ad every other day or you’ll probably get booted.
Indie Writers Unite! (IWU!): This is a great group of lovely people sharing viewpoints, discussing news and events, and providing a wealth of networking services from cover artists to editors. No ads allowed save for threads specially created by the group’s creator for such a purpose. It’s one of my favorites.
Review Seekers: If you have an ebook you need reviews for you can solicit for them here. Group members trade a free copy per potential review. Ads are not permitted and are usually deleted quickly. Phil Torcivia (Author of the “Nice Guy” Series) does a fine job moderating this one.
Finally, any personally discovered advice I might have I’ll likely dispense when asked. The big things I’ve learned when communicating on forums:
- Stand by what you write, but be completely certain about what you’ve written. Watch what you say and how you say it for your words can be twisted into a foul shape that damns your reputation quickly.
- Don’t whine or bitch because someone found errors with your post/book/blog and said so. Take the review as feedback to tighten up your writing. The biggest mistake ANY SPA can make is to offend just one reviewer with a large following or adhesive online friends. Consider the result a domino effect of customer loss, and a very good reason not to give up your day job.
- Even the nicest of people are accidentally/intentionally cutting, insulting, or foolish. Do not rise to anger until you are sure you understand what they say. DON’T ASSUME – ASK! Some folks may not understand how the tone or wording of their posts and responses are construed. Others are looking for a fight.
- Everyone is right. Everyone is wrong. You’re not everyone, but you ARE someone. Someone should understand what humility is.
- Don’t let others attempt to abuse what humility you already display.
- You are not owed a spotlight, do not demand one – earn it. Demanding one will get you a spotlight eventually, however, you’ll find it’s dropped on you to shut you up.
- Not everyone will find you as witty or charming as you do.
- If an idea didn’t work the first two times you tried it, it’s probably not time for that idea to be used. Not all great works of writing became successes immediately after the author(s) submitted them. They stashed their manuscripts away until they got famous, dusted them off, and tried it again with a new perspective about what their public wants.
- No one is obligated to buy your book – not friends, not family, not your chat group. However, those that step up and help in any fashion are to be added to your “Do Not Be A Dick To:” list (I’m hearing this is considered the “True 1000 Fans” technique). You haven’t the Big 6 network finding new ways to convince the public they must buy your book, but every booster you earn likes receiving what the Big 6 gets for respect over opportunistic goals.
- Disclaimer: All of the above are subject to change at any time.
Reasons why it's OK for authors to bash Twilight (and the people who bought anything of the series):
1. Stephanie Meyer can now nonchalantly disregard any snubs made against her, or her work from atop a large pile of fangirl-soiled book, movie, and product money.
It can be safely assumed no matter what anyone says to the negative of any one facet of her work, she couldn't care the southern end of a northbound rat. If she wanted to care, she has the cash to drop for a number of gold-plated rat parts to hang over her writing desk. Therefore, we can all go ahead and freely bash or dribble over anything attributed to her works while she buys shiny rat parts she can mount brass plates under describing the very things we say that she doesn't care about.2. Fangirls (and their mothers) - being the majority share of commerce for the series - have already displayed themselves in public to the level their predecessors did when the Beatles were in town.
Add images shown in search engines number over 100K of crappy Twilight
-themed tatoos etched about a back, boob, ass, ankle, or parts hidden displayed on the internet. Add the fact that celebrity geeks like Kevin Smith and others have also made snide comments about these drooling or damning individuals. Decorum was thrown out the window; allowances, mad money, and funds acquired by more demeaning means were spent in mass consumption. The money is proof. Also, have you ever challenged a Twilight fan on their fandom? You might as well ask a Trekkie to provide contrast as to which is better - Star Trek or Star Wars - and expect a short answer that wasn't already pre-determined for such an occasion.3. Writers of vamp lore have never once mentioned words like 'glitter' or 'sparkle' unless they reference what the ashes are doing when sunlight was applied.
I firmly believe Bram Stoker would have slapped Meyer for the insult. Béla Ferenc Dezső Blaskó would have kicked Robert Pattinson's arse up around his earlobes before sending him back to doing bit parts in movies (i.e.: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire).4. Authors who snub Twilight realize that the only reason why this series got picked up was because of an Agency, a Publisher, and the resources they have at their disposal knew they could polish a turd to a higher shine than the lion shit Jamie Hyneman polished on Mythbusters
They were also in bed with movie production companies, product creation firms, and advertising sense that made guys like me want to buy Burma Shave before I even knew what the hell it was. Authors know the quality of the work, because when we all picked it up looking for a morsel of how-to knowledge, we realized the same thing: 451 degrees farenheit.
Quoting Stephen King via wikipedia: 'Comparing Meyer to J. K. Rowling, Stephen King stated, "the real difference is that Jo Rowling is a terrific writer, and Stephenie Meyer can't write worth a darn. She's not very good." King went on to say that "people are attracted by the stories, by the pace and in the case of Stephenie Meyer, it's very clear that she's writing to a whole generation of girls and opening up kind of a safe joining of love and sex in those books. It's exciting and it's thrilling and it's not particularly threatening because it's not overtly sexual"'.
Case in point: we ALL want to be insulted by Stephen King this way if it means never having to say 'I quit
' again. Think of what can be implicated in this statement...5. We're writing for the soul-satisfying art, for writing's sake, and not for what placates demand from paying customers
"Sour grapes" don't even enter into it. Sales are nice, but only matter when we've put out 5-6 books and the units don't move.
Fucking well stop getting so pissy when people have something to say about a book - A BOOK - that you like. Or admonish an author when they snub a reader for their choices. The reader certainly isn't reading the author's writing, because they're too choked up over things they haven't got a handle on themselves, and are too remorseful about it to do something constructive to rectify the issue. Instead, they sympathize with a fictitious
character's plight and long for the ability to climb into the book like Gumby and give that character a cuddle.
Sports games have fans on both sides rooting for each team. There's no sportsmanship, otherwise. The same applies to writing; you either loved it or hated it, and everyone has their opinion.
To cover the other side of the argument, I personally welcome
negative publicity for anything I happen to write or produce. I use that information to my advantage, or my amusement, or my profitability due to the mass word-of-mouth advertisement that sates the cravings of my blackened, cynical heart.
For those that like my work, I love you and hugs all round. For the rest, there's MasterCard. Go buy yourself something nice and get screwed by the credit card fees...
Finally, I describe the last of the 5 Malicious Faces. I would have posted sooner, but life intervened providing a particular group enough time to make themselves all the less desirable to have to deal with.The Cyberhood Watch:
(A.K.A.: Net Nannies; Grammar & Spelling Police; Custodians)
If Spamjackers take one end of the Malicious Spectrum, The C-Watch comprises the other. They appear as self-appointed moderators of forums where moderators are lacking. However, they have the dubious flexibility to become one of the other four Faces on a whim and retain their original designation when the dust has settled.
Again, I mention that many individuals I met on the forums I used as Case Studies were quite lovely. If I made a particular mistake, they were not altogether rude about it as if rubbing my nose in the mess I made like a bad dog. Their tone was that of respectful, professional courtesy. I find anyone willing to show the simplest of human respect for one another as exceptions.
The C-Watch has several key identifiers to allow one to pick them out from a crowd:
- The screennames will be the same in a large quantity of topic threads in a particular forum unless periodically changed for the sake of their own paranoia or ego.
- They will immediately admonish any who do not keep within their desired/preferred/demanded viewpoint(s) on how a poster acts within the forum they too inhabit (TOS-Flogging, et. Al.).
- They take a staunch opposition to any possible variant they consider against their acts of moderation or bending of the forum rules.
- They will quickly use terms like defamation against any who they believe are labeling them with even the cutest of nicknames.
- They will come to the aid of other members in their clique as often as they appear conversing across the forum threads.
In short: same names, same hubris, same bullshit.
In my experience, the worst of them populate the Amazon.com boards. However, customer forums with a similar level of lax moderation by their owners suffer similar fates.
What is commonly seen there:
A newly circulating Self Published Author (SPA) looks to whatever modes of advertisement they can get on the cheap. They’ve learned of several sites, and begin registering and listing their information in each after being made aware (usually) of the strict Terms Of Service. A compliant SPA keeps their ads to the “proper forums”.
The non-compliant SPA proceeds to bomb the hell out of any of the forums they can get into because of the free publicity made readily available, and damn the TOS. Other SPA’s have done the same so what’s the harm?
Well-moderated forums take notice of the SPA’s violations and send missives letting them know about it right before they ban the SPA from the forums altogether.
Not-so-well-moderated forums take notice and the Cyberhood Watch bomb the TOS-violating SPA right back. You might think only one would post their distaste; several post the same admonishments, and usually one right after the last. Despite the fact that the forum owners equipped the forum with useful functions like 'Report Abuse', 'Down/Upvote', and 'Hide Screenname' links. This would be the easiest way to handle the matter, but C-Watchers don't like to do things in easy ways. The more difficult ways fulfill their cravings for attention. Repeat the last paragraph several times.
Continuing with Amazon.com’s C-Watch as an example, the demands made towards a SPA resemble that of a religious commune, and sound something like this:
“You will do as we say and act like us or you’ll be shunned. Kiss up to us like any good Sycophant and we’ll let you hang with the cool kids until you do something stupid. Don’t argue with us when we raise our voice against Spamjackers or Soapboxers, even if it’s completely pointless for us to do so. We understand there will be more spammers showing up, but if we remain the defenders of the forum, we [foolishly] believe we will have it our way.
“If you even mention you have a book, are looking to get reviews/opinions/likes for a book, or act in even the least possible way we can say you’re promoting a book; we will TOS-flog you until you leave.
“We know the moderation of these forums is lax and we’re more than willing to slake our thirst for attention by taking the place of sensible moderation. Talk about any book here other than your own or your ‘friend’s’. Any book we recommend should be considered a top priority read; even if it’s crap.”
I watched a few SPA’s get hammered with hatred at the briefest mention of their work. I agreed with those who kept trying to get the C-Watch to understand this kind of thing will continue to happen. It wouldn't matter how much they protested, SPA’s on a strict budget (read: ‘whatever they can get for free’) will use every avenue they can to advertise. Let forum Moderators do the moderating, it’s their sandbox anyhow.
I chose to include myself in the discussions and see what I could find out from the actions of the C-Watch. Adopting the role of Soapboxer I challenged several of their members over several forum threads about how they believed they were the right white knights for the job.
It’s surprising how quickly one C-Watch member suddenly has three of their C-Watch friends turn up and start hurling insults, downvoting any of my posts – agreed with or not – and being as negative as possible without getting reported.
Then their Instigator friends turn up and start playing their little games (as mentioned in Part 2) to try and make my situation worse.
I did read a couple of kinder and more respectful individuals question the C-Watch as to why they would gang up like this. Responses were rude, including false labeling and sarcastic postings of, “You poor, self-absorbed and put-upon author! Why don’t you just go away?”
Others who’ve felt the sting of reproach lent their voices to support my Soapboxing. The argument grew longer and spanned over several pages.
The most well used ploy C-Watchers adopt when they cannot have it their way and the argument is at a stalemate: Misdirection!
All it took was one poster to add something about a favorite recipe; the argument instantly derailed and went off-topic. When reminded of the original post of the thread or the point of argument brought up, they were ignored for the most part. One might’ve considered the issue fizzled and everyone could go sulk in their own corners.
Not more than a day later, another forum thread was posted luring SPA’s that “the thread was for them”. The first point realized was that one of the same screennames of the C-Watch started the thread. Secondly, they were attempting to begin the argument again by being the first to speak on the matter as if theirs was the only word worth following.
This is also after the fact that several other threads arguing the same point were already posted and filled with pages of argumentative posts, exactly like the one I referred to as a Case Study. When that one filled with the same arguments, the same redundant debates, and the same vein of misdirection, another of the C-Watch chose to create another thread. Even if differently worded, the original post still preached the same demands for SPA’s to stick to their own forum if they wanted anyone to know about their work.
I left shortly after reading this kind of redundancy and was about to continue writing Part 4 when life intervened. Double-checking to make certain the evidence of my Case Study was still present before I wrote; I found more evidence of self-serving arrogance:
- One Sycophant had created a thread that suggested a casting list representing the C-Watch members in a mock movie premise.
- Another Sycophant started filling a thread with post after post in the style of telling children a fable of the actions these C-Watch members committed. When he ran out of steam another took up the fable, while the C-Watch members posted messages of their glee.
- One of the more well-know C-Watchers posted a thread titled [paraphrasing] "Come here to insult potential readers and lose sales, proving that we were right all along."
I keep my chunder-bucket next to my desk now for such emergencies. The saccharine sweetness was appalling. Several things I’ve drawn from this end of the Malicious Spectrum are particularly galling. Their actions raise a number of questions I won’t hold my breath while waiting for the answers. I believe I can guess pretty well the answers.
How can the C-Watch that TOS-flogged SPA’s for repeat spamming were in the right as they redundantly posted their Anti-SPA message over several threads?
How can purposely shifting a thread off-topic of the original post to avoid an argument they can’t win be the right thing to do? Especially when it violates the same TOS rules, they flaunt without censure.
How can a C-Watch member not be looking
for argument from SPA’s when they create new threads fated to become the same argument they left in another forum?
How can any C-Watch member waste time telling an SPA what rules to follow or how to act on a forum when the rules were ignored from the start? Rules weren’t followed after the SPA signed up to make posts in any forum. They’re probably not going to follow them until the SPA’s are banned completely. Especially when the C-Watch members don’t follow the rules either!
How can anyone be territorial about forums that require everyone to make the same efforts or pay the same costs to be able to post in it? We all have to give over our emails and passwords or buy a product in order for the forums to be open to us.
How hard is it to use a mouse to scroll past countless pages of deleted messages to find those few that haven’t? (This is one of the main complaints of the C-Watch in Amazon’s forums. What’s wrong; can’t they be bothered or are they afraid they might sprain their mouse-clicking finger?)
As an afterthought, why would you bother reading the thread after seeing the first page is nothing but deleted posts? Another afterthought: are your lives so mundane and fruitless; TOS-flogging is the ultimate online thrill?
I have my own opinion how to consider members of the Cyberhood Watch of any forum: They are self-serving, arrogant hypocrites who are better suited finding a chatroom they can territorialize [sic] than hassling people for fun and ego-fluffing.
Have a better one; I’ve got to go empty out the chunder-bucket.