For the past several months, I’ve been following a particular author on Facebook. When I first came upon her page, she seemed nice, helpful, and open to promoting other authors while she was gearing up on the release of her debut self published novel.
Her posts were light, funny, and the same as any new author counting down the days until their book is finally live on Amazon. Full of excitement and worry, she laughed, she freaked, and she supported everyone who was supporting her.
And then her book released and everything changed.
Her posts became self-absorbed, all about her book and how it was going to take the world by storm and surpass every other book on the market. Oh yeah, she was that conceited. She stopped promoting other authors, and her total behavior did a complete 180.
It was bad . . . and then it got worse.
Her reviews started coming in . . . and they were not good. Readers bashed her with one and two stars over her bad grammar, typos, plot holes, bad character development, too much detail, and her odd writing style.
With those all heck broke loose.
She lashed out, ranting about their ignorance and how she doesn’t care about the errors because she wrote a book and those people are just jealous of her and they couldn’t ever write a book themselves. The comments from other followers toward her bitter diatribes were even more shocking, showing full support for her bad behavior. I bit my tongue so many times I have permanent wounds. More and more bad reviews came in and her posts worsened. It was awful, and my mouse hovered over the “Unlike” button at least a dozen times. I don’t know why I never clicked it, but I didn’t.
After a few more bad reviews her posts took a turn from anger to self-pity. The ‘oh poor me’ and ‘I guess I should just give up writing because I’ll never be a good writer’ posts started popping up. Her mood swings were giving me harder whiplash than Edwards’ gave Bella in Twilight. Of course, those posts didn’t last very long, for once again they turned angry, worsening every day until one day, with one post, I finally called it quits on following her journey.
Even though she had received dozens of rejection letters from agents before, she posted one day that she received a rejection from a publisher. She was annoyed that they sent her a form letter and couldn’t even be bothered to put her name on letter. How dare they? Do they not know who SHE was? Certainly, they should make time for HER.
While I understand it’s never fun to receive a form letter (believe me, I’ve opened up my fair share), bashing a publisher for sending one isn’t going to reflect poorly on the publisher, it’s going to reflect poorly upon your ability to handle rejection.
Publishers are busy. They receive thousands of emails a week, between new submissions, contracted authors, cover artists, and editors. They organize their schedules, they make sure covers are created in time, they create ARCs and send them out, they format manuscripts, they upload them to their distributors, they handle royalty payments and checks to the authors, they handle problems, they correct typos, they do everything else under the sun for each and every one of their authors, and because of this they just don’t have enough hours in the day to hold the hand of every single author who sends in a query.
Not to mention, as authors facing rejections, I think we should have a thicker skin instead of getting so bent out of shape because we opened a form letter. So it was a form letter. So what. Suck it up, Buttercup, and move on to the next publisher. After receiving a total 0f 29 rejections, which isn’t even a record (the author of The Help received 60 of them), I’ve been through the disappointment. Yes, they sucked. Yes, they hurt. But I also didn’t become a b***h on wheels or temper tantrum throwing child when I didn’t get my way.
Which is exactly how I began to see this woman, and why I finally clicked the unlike button. Not to mention, her condescending, self absorbed, I’m the best ever because I’m a published author posts were driving me up the wall.
While I agree that publishing a book is a big accomplishment, I don’t think that I’m better than people who haven’t. This is just a career path that I’ve chosen, just like a doctor or a lawyer. I’m no better than my friends who have careers they love and are good at. And, to me, it’s unflattering when I meet authors who now hold themselves above everyone because they’ve published a novel. Again, though, that’s my opinion. If someone believes different then they believe different.
For me, though, nothing turns me away from an author quicker than someone putting themselves up on pedestal and thinks everyone should them up on one too. It’s a sure fire way to lose this follower perhaps quicker than even 10 days.