So, a few years back, I was poking around in the self pub business. I had just published Playing with Tigers 2 and Swordmaster Dasan, and during one of smashwords promotions figured I should try and help out others in the same boat as me, picked up a few books and got to reading. There were a few that were pretty awesome, which should’ve been satisfying. Then I went to one author’s blog before I reviewed and saw a comment that they’d made, calling the self pubs of the erotica genre, “Pornmongers.”
Look at that word. Now, when you look at Pornmongers, does that make you feel that it is a term of respect, or mockery and possibly disgust? I went with the latter, and reading down this emotional vomit session that this person had where they ranted that at least they weren’t one of us, I thought that they might be in that lovely part of the publishing process where they get frustrated. There are a ton of them, I had been through quite a few of those already, and taking a deep breath, left the politest comment that I was physically capable of.
I said that I enjoyed their short story. I said that I would still be buying the other ones (at the time two other shorts were for sale from this author which I did purchase. With money.) and that they had done an amazing job. Then I recommended that they might want to refrain from talking ill about the pornmongerers, since they don’t always read the same as they write. Somebody might take offense, that I was shocked to see it up on the blog that linked to their author profile. I told her that people might not want to purchase her books based on that.
What I did not say was that it was fucking stupid to do that. But it is, lol. This is a mistake that too many authors make, and lately there’s been a lot of authors making mistakes. We’re people, I was trying to help her not make that mistake.
And I thought I had helped.
I am currently laying on my couch pretending to be dead when people talk to me, laid up with kidney issues, a stomach bug and the worst time of the month that I’ve had in about ten years. While clicking randomly on things, I remembered this and went to check to see if she ever replied, because I never got a notification that she had.
OH SHE DID. Here is part of it. I removed the stuff that pertains to her work, because lol done with her and not sharing my fanbase with her.
“It took me a while to figure out what the hell you were on about” <- not a good way to address a reader, just FYI.
“I love porn and whores and pornmongering and whoremongering.” <- sounds like it. Why not describe your love for kids by describing them as uterus regurgitations or possibly parasitic disease sacks. There are a hundred ways to describe an erotica writer. This was nooot a wise one.
“Also, look, I tried not to say this. I really did. But you can’t really threaten someone with “People might not buy your stuff” when I’ve opted in for my work to be free all month.” <- should’ve tried waaaay harder not to say it because guess what? You just did. It wasn’t a threat.
There was more that can’t be put up here because it pertains to her work, which I’m not promoting. Know what? I will not respond to her on her blog, or link to it because I don’t want to give her the attention, but I will rant my rotten little mouth off here.
I have a ten year old with ADHD and Aspergers syndrome. Raising him, I’ve had to adapt to understand every side of everything, to take the numerous and amazingly insulting things that he says and go, “Now, what does he mean by that. Probably this, he’s just (insert emotion here) and it’s coming out all wonky again.” I had a friend ask if a pair of jeans made her look fat when he was 6. His uninvited response was that they looked fine before she put them on, that he though she was making THEM look fat. <- explain that one to a friend lol. I am an unbelievably understanding person. That blog post? I must’ve read it a hundred times to make sure that I was right to be insulted because I go through about 10 anger checks to make sure that my feelings are the appropriate response. If I didn’t, then my kid’s life would be miserable. Which means that if I was insulted, then that shit was meant to be fucking insulting.
She removed the post she was referring to, there’s no way to be sure. But I remember being upset after reading it, and not just a little.
It did cost money at the time that I wrote that comment, and that was intended to be a friendly suggestion from one self pub to another. I bought the other ones. They were great.
Here’s the thing, an author is a person just like their readers. It’s something that everyone says “Obviously!” when they hear that, but really think about it for a second. Spend a year taking an idea and laboring over it, find a cover artist and struggle to get a cover that suits your book, find proofreaders for content and editing, pay an editor if you can afford it knowing that you won’t make that money back, read it, read it, read it, read it until you don’t even know what you’re reading anymore, write the blurb, send the cover back because it’s disastrously wrong, pay for it again, read it again, more proofreaders, read it again, the blurb isn’t good enough so rewrite it, read it, take out six chapters because they weren’t good enough and write them again, now reread the whole thing again to make sure it still works, back to proofreaders, read it…. <- repeat that for awhile.
It can get overwhelming. Being an author isn’t for everyone. But, under no circumstances does that make it okay to refer to any other writer with anything but respect. Because all of that shit you’ve gone through that’s making you think the world has climbed up on your shoulders to stomp you down? They’ve gone through it too.
She didn’t know that I was an author when I posted that comment. Which brings me to my next little twitching idea – she thought I was a reader. That’s even worse, lol. When addressing a reader, treat it like every pair of eyes in the world is on you, judging you on your behavior. Because they are. Is that hard? Yeah. I’ve had comments made that have hurt. Often. Go and see how many people I’ve offended. I’ll wait. One. That’s all. I had a friend who wanted to read Swordmaster Dasan even though I knew that she wasn’t into that sort of story. I gave it to her anyway and she told me that it made her sick and that I was disgusting. Which hurt. So, in a moment of bitter pouting, I wrote in a blog post that anybody who could stomach the first one would probably like the second, and that offended a reader. I will never make that mistake again, because that was poorly worded of me and every time that I look at the review where they mention that, I feel awful. I made the mistake of thinking that nobody was looking because I was hurt, but as an author, mom and wife, I should’ve known better, and this author should’ve too.
So I wish her luck. Her work is fantastic. Hopefully, nobody who likes it will go to her blog lol
Bitchrant done, Kaeli OUT! *flips table and exits the building whilst chain smoking, looking for something to kick*