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.
13 thoughts on “How to Lose a Follower in 10 days…. #writing #amwriting #writerslife #writerproblems”
You nailed it, Angela. Wisdom doesn’t come with age, It’s earned through experience. A dose of grace and humility, no matter how small, goes a long way toward staying on track. Thanks for sharing! ♥
I’ve actually had this post sitting in my drafts for about 4 months. I kept pushing it back because I didn’t know if I should post it or not. lol. 🙂
Oh my Lord, isn’t that strange how she started out so nice and then turned so drastically? It bugs me that we can’t really tell a person’s demeanor, tone of voice and body language through writing on social media. If I had that advantage, I could get a better read on a person. I’m big into body language and an energy someone puts out in person. I’m curious, did she ever find a publisher to publish that book with the bad reviews, or did she self-publish?
I have an author in my writer’s group who I actually consider a friend, but she and I have locked horns on many occasions. She has always been a snob of sorts, even before publication. She is a fantasy author and is doing quite well in the sales of her books (she writes mostly series). If I’m being honest, she is really good at everything she does and a fantastic writer. She is a perfectionist and works hard, and I give her props for that, but boy, does she ever look down on those who don’t work as hard. Not only that, but she considers herself an authority on all things in writing and publication. If anyone questions her input, or wants to do something a little differently, she belittles them. She talks down to me and the others in our group. Like I said, we lock horns. On days I can’t take her condescension anymore, I let her have it. She likes to belittle me about my blog (long story). We argue, then we move on.
Many of us (in our writer’s group) go to her when we need help with something we aren’t familiar with regarding the writing business. I don’t always like to have to go to her, and I really appreciated your help when I needed it. Thank you for being so kind and helpful, Angela.
It’s one thing to give advice, but it’s another to belittle. I would lock horns with her too, probably more often than not. lol. This author self published, and a little while after she started receiving the bad reviews she dropped the bomb that she never hired an editor or had any beta readers. *sigh* It was one of the reasons I had to bite my tongue. IMO if you don’t hire an editor than you have no right bashing readers for finding errors.
This is very true, Angela. It’s sort of sad to see a hopeful, cheerful writer turn into that sort. 😦 I like that you mentioned the author of The Help received 60 rejections. It made me feel better. 🙂
A few years ago, I came across this article. I read if often while on the 4 and a half year rollercoaster of writing the first novel. http://www.more.com/kathryn-stockett-help-best-seller It’s an amazing article written by the author of The Help.
Thank you for sharing!
What Jaye said above rings true. The author clearly had little or no experience receiving criticism. It’s tough to put the work in and receive a rude awakening, but it gives the writer a choice: reject it or grow.
I agree that she didn’t. I actually haven’t checked on her page or her books since way before I even posted this blog. I’m sure it’s still the same. Who knows. Thanks for stopping by Chris!! 🙂
How interesting and disturbing. She sounds like she is full of herself. I would have unfollowed, too. Now, I’m dying to know who this thin-skinned, holier-than-thou author is! Great post.
It’s so sad really, she had to learn the lesson of humility in front of thousands of people, I do hope she learnt it quickly otherwise she will be repeating that same lesson over and over 🙂
I went back to her page several months ago and she’s not even writing anymore. I wish her well, I hope she finds something that she can enjoy doing.
Me too, she had a hard lesson, publicly too 😟