Welcome back once again to Not Enough Time in the Day and my contribution to this week's Writer's Words of Wisdom. In case this is the first time you're visiting our pages, we are a group of writers who decided to get together and share what we've learned in our journey to become published authors. Some of our experiences are similar, but in each case we learn a bit more about how to become better writers, bloggers, publishers, editors and promoters of our work as well as others. At the end of my post today you will find a list of the other authors participating this week. Please be sure to visit them all.
Don't Be THAT Author
Once again there have been more reports of authors creating fake accounts on Amazon in order to boost their own ratings and post rave reviews for their own books. Then these people turn right around and go after their competition by leaving 1 or 2 star ratings with mean-spirited, nonconstructive reviews. Amazon did have to take drastic measures to help prevent that from continuing on their site by eliminating likes, tags and deleting any reviews written by competing authors even if they were glowing. Unfortunately, this hasn't stopped the bad behavior.
The divas and trolls are no longer keeping their bullying to Amazon and Goodreads. They've moved on to the Facebook Author/Fan pages. A fellow author and friend was attacked yesterday on her own page by another "author." He slammed her work in a comment he left on a post she shared about another FIVE STAR review she received for one of her books. He went on to say she shouldn't give up her day job and should then use her time wisely by reading his book. And yes he even posted the Amazon buy link to make it easy for her.
I'll let that settle in for a bit.
Yes he really did say that and yes he really had the nerve to then push his own book on her page without permission to do so. My friend is a mult-published author of both fiction and nonfiction and yet this one particular person feels he can search her out, find her author page, like it and then proceed to make comments about how her writing is horrible all in the comments section of a FIVE STAR REVIEW. I know I already mentioned that, but I thought it was worth repeating. To me it shows a great deal of the problem we are dealing with here. Instead of concentrating on his own work and honing his craft, he chose to tear down another author in order to promote himself.
This is just yet another example of how rude and obnoxious some authors have become. Why all the animosity? There are plenty of readers out there, enough for everyone. There is no need to tear down someone else to get your book noticed. The criticism could have a bit more weight if the author above actually had some sales to back up their claims of being a better writer. My advice to him would be to just SHUSH! Stop being a diva and work on your writing to build up your fan base.
Good writers define reality; bad ones merely restate it. A good writer turns fact into truth; a bad writer will, more often than not, accomplish the opposite. (Edward Albee)
More Edward Albee quotes at izquotes.com
Honor Your Commitments
Whew! Sorry, I had to get that off my chest before I went on to another way authors have been behaving poorly and disrespectfully to bloggers, reviewers and those authors with a lot more experience than themselves. This last part of my post today deals with honoring your commitments involving guest spots on other blogs.
Having multiple blogs between all of my pen names and one that I share with three other authors called Four Seduced Muses, I schedule many guest spots each month. I enjoy sharing these spots with new authors and help to promote their work. Not only do I get to find new authors for my own TBR pile, I can introduce my followers to them as well. An added bonus is that more folks stop in and visit my blogs because of the new guests. It can be a win win situation for everyone involved. The Four Seduced Muses blog is so popular, it's booked out two months in advance. We have people lining up for the Monday, Wednesday and Saturday guest spots.
To make sure we are all on the same page, all of my blogs have detailed instructions for guest spots listed on the blogs themselves. Another step we take for the Four Seduced Muses is to send another list of the guidelines to any authors requesting a spot along with detailed instructions on how to submit their posts, and what kind of posts we want for each daily feature. The only "solicitation" we do is to post announcements that we are accepting guests. The authors come to us for the spots and usually all goes well. Usually.
There have been a select few who've basically demanded dates that were already taken, submitted posts not in line with the guidelines, submitted them late (repeatedly), or just flat out flaked submitting nothing at all by the deadline. No explanation. Not even a follow up email apologizing for the mistake and asking to reschedule. Hey, life gets in the way and deadlines are sometimes missed. It's how you handle those situations that shows your true character.
One person in particular stands out in my mind. This author had published multiple books through Amazon and one would assume knew the ins and outs with doing guest spots on blogs. Not so. We had to first explain what a blog was, then repeatedly tell her it wasn't a radio call in show. I have absolutely no idea where she got the idea that we were a talk show, but we got over that hurdle only to crash into another. Over and over again it was explained to her the kind of posts we wanted for the site and what days were available and yet she still insisted on being on dates that were not available. It was a nightmare. When it came time for her actual post, she never sent it on time and then blamed it on us saying we had to have lost it. Finally she sent her post to us and it was straight promo...ugh.
How many more details do you need? When you are warned repeatedly about the explicit nature of the blogs and still insist on having the guest spots, it is expected you will fulfill your commitment. Can you see why I would be upset that you would cancel out at the last minute? I'm not one of those people who keep smiling and stay polite when repeatedly being attacked for my choice of genre. Forgetting a spot or getting overwhelmed is one thing, but to use the excuse you don't wish to be associated with me, my work, or that of my author friends is just beyond behaving badly. You've now created a reputation for being a diva among those who make up the blogosphere.
Yes we do talk and we all know who you are.
So how can you not become one of the divas and pariahs in the author community?
Follow guest spot guidelines to the letter. If you wish to do something different, ask your host.
Make sure the spot you're requesting is on a blog you feel comfortable being a part of. If not, don't request a spot. There are other blogs out there that will suit your needs and your genre.
Don't attack other authors on their pages, blogs, or any other social media or review sites. If you don't like their work, stay away from it. If you do attack, be prepared for the backlash usually from the fans of the one you attacked.
Be detailed in the guidelines for the guest spots on your own blogs. If you feel what they write won't fit your site, tell them in a polite manner and wish them well. Maybe even offer them alternatives. Connections are great. Sharing them can be beneficial to all parties.
Don't put your links up on someone else's social media sites or blogs without permission to do so. This is a sure fire way to get yourself reported, banned, and blocked by not only the author you spammed, but all of their friends as well. (Connections can also hurt you!)
Finally, don't attack other authors who appear to be more successful than you are at the moment. Instead of doing that, continue to work on your writing to become the best you can be. Learn from your mistakes and take constructive criticism to heart. If you continue to put out poorly written and poorly edited novels on Amazon and Smashwords and then accuse others of being horrible writers, you will find yourself the subject of blogs such as mine today.
Remember those connections I mentioned earlier? Well, I will continue to stick up for my fellow authors who are unfairly attacked and I just so happen to have a very large reach between my social media connections and other friends in and out of the publishing community.
An author helping authors or a diva/pariah? The choice is yours.
Come join me and visit some of my author friends who are participating this week. Soon we will have a blog site for all of us in one place. Stay tuned. Until then...