You know, I hear the word bully thrown around a lot in the indie publishing world. Usually, it seems to be an author being bullied by a group of readers. I’m not going to pass any judgment on whether or not said authors were bullied. I just know that I hear about it a lot.
I witnessed last week a huge nasty mess of one author (who shall remain unnamed) bullying and shaming an aspiring writer (who will also go unnamed), just because the young lady was trying to get folks to contribute to her Kickstarter campaign so she could publish her novel. It has continued to bother me, so much so that I needed to say something about it.
First off…yes, I too was asked by the aspiring author if I could contribute to her campaign. Secondly, no, I didn’t contribute, and those of you who caught my Facebook post earlier this month (my “confession” post) know why I am not in a financial position to help anyone right now. That said, I’m not sure that I would contribute to her Kickstarter anyway. It’s not that I don’t want her to succeed, and I am certainly not going to be mean and nasty and tell her to “get a job” like a lot of authors have, but succeeding in the indie world is tough. I think you HAVE to find a way to survive on your own or fail trying. I taught myself every indie trick I know. It wasn’t easy, but I didn’t spend any money to publish my first book—not a dime. The cover photo was mine and hubby designed the cover. I formatted the book myself. I had no f*cking clue what a blog tour even was. To appreciate the results of a published book, I think the blood, sweat, and tears (and money, if need be) need to come from the author.
Again, I’m not passing judgment. If she can get her Kickstarter funded, more power to her. I wish her the best of luck.
But holy shit. The behavior I witnessed last week coming from other authors was shameful. SHAMEFUL. I was pulled into a group message on Facebook (I’m not sure why) and then was given a link so I could go witness said author’s mean and VERY nasty rant at this young lady…and she managed to get a large group of other authors to join in the meanness too. We are grown ups here, not Scut Farkis on the middle school playground. I was ashamed of their behavior and left the conversation. Instantly, my heart went out to this girl. If I’d been able to contribute to her campaign—at that point—I would have. Instead, I replied to the message she had personally sent me, explaining that I couldn’t help her right now but wishing her the best of luck.
Authors…if you don’t like something and you feel like being nasty, please instead shut the fuck up. Grow the fuck up. We have to live and work together in this indie world and there is no reason to be a nasty bitch. None. If you don’t like it, keep it to yourself. Go ahead and tell aspiring author no. Feel free to tell her the reason too. Again, though, you don’t have to be nasty. Shame on you.
What does it hurt to be nice to someone? Not a damn thing. Negativity, though? It hurts the victim and it even hurts the bully, even if she doesn’t know it yet. I’m a believer in karma. What goes around comes around. You want people to be nice to you? Start by being nice yourself. It will come back to you.