What a weird weekend it was in the world of writing. I was consumed with one author pulling her book off the shelves indefinitely, but then a fellow author alerted me to yet another author doing her best to decimate her own career. I won’t mention the self-destructive author by name, but unless your head was under a rock like mine, you probably know who I’m talking about. However, I have never and do not plan now to speak negatively and publicly about another author. That said, I feel the need to address that author’s words head on, because her views are not my own, and they are not the views of most of the writing community.
Said author basically used her blog (from what I’m told) to bemoan the fact that she had spent years of blood, sweat, and tears writing and developing her baby, an urban fantasy trilogy, and it had largely gone unnoticed by readers. But then she wrote another book—one that could be described as erotica—but the voice was fresh and funny and different. It climbed the Amazon charts rapidly. She sold hundreds of copies and made thousands of dollars in weeks. She was angry that readers bought what she considered her “trash” while ignoring her “art.”
That author quickly realized her misstep and pulled that blog post, but not after angering the very fans who had bought her book and raved about it. It was a book I was going to break my “read only out of my genre” philosophy for—that’s how different and exciting it looked. But now as I reread her “disclaimer” wherein she states that the plot is “ridiculous and insipid,” I believe she meant that. It seems that this woman is ashamed that she wrote this book and preemptively apologized for it. And, being floored by its success, went on a rampage and said some pretty nasty things about the intelligence and integrity of her readers.
Again, I don’t wish to judge her. She had a moment of weakness. Don’t we all? However, I thought it best to say a few things on my behalf right now, a reaction of sorts to her words.
- I respect the hell out of my readers. I know you are intelligent and discerning. I have interacted with a good many of you and I am proud to be writing for you. I am thrilled that you enjoy my writing, in spite of the fact that I often go against the grain of what many other authors in my genre do. Does everyone like what I write? No, not even close. And that’s okay. Whether or not you read my writing has nothing to do with your intelligence; it has to do with personal preferences. And we’re all a little different in that respect.
- Some of my books do not sell as well as others; that’s true. Again, though, it has no bearing on the intelligence of my audience. Most of my audience found me either through my rock star books or the Nicki Sosebee series, and those are the books of mine you want to read. Some fans then go on and read everything I’ve ever written. I think that’s fantastic! If you don’t, though, that has no bearing on what I think about you. As I’ve said multiple times here, it’s instead a matter of preferences.
I didn’t mean to spend so much time picking apart that author’s post. I meant instead to assure my readers that her opinions are simply that—her own. I and many of the other authors I converse with regularly value and respect our readers. Actually, I should say we love our readers and feel so fortunate to have your loyalty. I never want to abuse or misuse that, so I will close by simply saying thank you. I appreciate you more than you know.
A reader took the time to write me about this post. She knew the author I was talking about. She happens to love said author and read the author’s most recent blog post explaining the situation in its entirety. While it definitely puts a new light on what that author may or may not have meant, it doesn’t change my message here to my readers, which is that I want you to know that I love, respect, and value you. (That said, though, if you do know the writer I’m speaking of, you might read her side of the story as well.)
That was beautifully written. I’ve only ever seen one author argue with fans over negative reviews. I know it’s not the one you speak of here. I appreciate all of the hard work that goes into writing a book, more so than when I was a child when I thought it happened by magic 🙂 . You cannot make everyone happy, there are millions of books out there I wouldn’t read if I were stuck on a desert island with them, but I respect the writer who took the time to bring the books to life ….for the book lovers that will love them and devour them. We are all different, so we like different things. My daughter loves Jodi picoult and that’s about as far as she will go – she won’t even look at the cover of anything I read. I think she nearly passed out when I had the book Bullet on display – told me to take it down before someone sees it… Nope I did not. Anyway I’m rambling. I love you Jade and you are amazing, keep doing what you do, most people love it and if they dont ….well they can read the books on my desert island.
Thank you, Joanne. I will continue to write what I write! I really do put my heart and soul into my books and also know that they are not for everyone, so I’ll persevere the negative reviews and comments. They’re part of writing. But there’s no way I could give birth to one of my babies and then hide it from the world…unless it was bad. If that were the case, though, it would never see the light of day to begin with. And thanks for displaying Bullet proudly! That makes me smile! 🙂 There are lots of books on my desert island too, and I respect that they are for someone out there, someone who will love and respect and cherish them.
Well said Joanne! And I completely agree! It’s like television …. Remember all that controversy before?? On “offensive” shows like married with children? Seriously… People all you need to do I’d change the channel! Pretty easy… With a book… If it isn’t your cup of tea, just stop reading… That’s as simple as it gets… I could never slice myself open and put out to the masses something I wrote!! I could not take it if someone hated it… I am amazed that authors do this… Pour their blood sweat and tears into a labor of love for it to get slammed by ignorance, instead of respected for what it is and then respectfully given its due… The masses just need to calm down… Breathe people! There is soooo much worse out there! Xoxox Jade!
LOL XOXO to you too, Elizabeth! Thanks for your constant support! 🙂
Oh, man… I always cringe when I see authors shoot themselves in the foot. I think so much of success is luck/timing and ‘ease of market’ and by ease of market, I mean how neatly does it fit with a hot genre. Erotica is hot right now. It probably will STAY hot, though surely there will be twists and turns as to the flavor that’s in favor. I sometimes look at where I’ve had success, too, and cozy mystery has a lot more formula than my other stuff, so it doesn’t feel as close to my heart, but it has an easy readership–they are far easier to sell. And that isn’t a negative about readers at all. It is just that it is an easier path to get it in the right hands for who wants to read them.
Well said, Hart. Bottom line, I think, is valuing and respecting both ourselves and our writers, no matter what we write.