from Scath, also known as the author GL Drummond:
We interrupt this series on marketing with a timely lesson on how NOT to succeed…
February 15, 2013 Scath
A writer dropped into the KDP forum today, linked to her two books, and said, “Take a look and your opinions are welcome!”
She stated one was a “wonderful romance”, and the other was about basic training.
For the most part, we’re a pretty welcoming bunch over there (at the moment). The first response complimented her covers, but also pointed out that there were formatting issues with both books.
“Come on people! You’re quick and ready to tear down a bad book, but you have nothing to say about good books?????”
For anyone who hasn’t interacted on public forums, that response is a signal to pop some corn and settle in for a drama llama show. It’s a clear indicator that the poster thinks his/her shit don’t stink.
She didn’t want anyone’s real opinion, she only wanted to be told how awesome she is, and the first responder replied saying as much. Her response?
“oh please…. what makes you an expert?”
Um. [scratches head] Why did she come to the forum and ask for opinions, again?
Another member pointed out that the KDP forum isn’t really the place to ask for criticism. Our fearless writer’s response?
“This is a general forum, is it not???? Many people here offer opinions and thoughts about content. Its not too difficult to read sample pages and enjoy the writing. If there are any Vets on here, [redacted] should be of special interest and well worth the money and time to read.”
Okay, she has confidence in her writing. There’s nothing wrong with having confidence in your work. I and many others have confidence in ours, or we wouldn’t put it out there. 🙂
However, it becomes clear as the discussion progresses that our first responder nailed it: Our new member doesn’t want to hear any criticism.
She only wants to be told that yes, her work is indeed the greatest thing since sliced bread. Yet she says
“I do want honest opinions about the WRITING and the STORY!”
And if you ask, so shall you receive. From another member: “I read few pages of your “great book.” The save is you stink. Your writing is very immature, and loopy.”
“Maybe your just not an expert on hot and steamy romances.”
A few other members also point out flaws in the formatting and writing. Our fearless writer…well, I’ll let you read her replies:
“Your opinion is worthless.”
“Is it really too much trouble to ask some of you to please read the content and offer an honest opinion about the WRITING and STORY???? That is all I was asking for. I would like to hear from other true authors that can see quality writing.”
After that last crack, I finally decided to take a look at her books.
This was my opinion: “My honest opinion after reading the Look Insides: The writing is weak, and the stories aren’t that “hot and steamy”. They need major revisions, with help from a developmental editor.”
A few others posted before our fearless author responded again:
“Its a shame where this could be a very helpful thread of talking about something well written and a great example, but all of you are only interested in bashing other authors. There’s not a patriotic 1 of you in the bunch, is there? I was hoping to see some great military support over [redacted]. This is disappointing.”
OH NO, SHE JUST PULLED THE “PATRIOTISM CARD”.
Whoops, sorry for shouting there. Ahem. But seriously?
More replies, one of which pointed out that if her books were as great as she thinks they are, they’d be selling and have far better rankings than they currently held. OFA’s response:
“Both of these books have been selling great elsewhere, so don’t think just because they haven’t climbed the charts here there not doing well.”
I went to Google. There were a lot of “articles” about her books, but the only ratings on Goodreads were a single 5 star each—FROM HER PUBLISHER. Her books’ rankings on the other distribution sites that I could find were past 1 million or none. I linked to my findings, pointing this out.
“did you not read the great reviews? and did you read either book before you started throwing mud?
No one here has read even the full samples of either book, yet you give an opinion. I only asked for the samples to be read, and then give an opinion. Read it before you sling mud!”
When did stating facts become mud-slinging?
And as I reminded her, I HAD READ THE SAMPLES OF HER BOOKS.
And so it continued, for five pages. OFA told us all how “unpatriotic” we are for not recognizing her great writing, and continued completely ignoring the fact that some of us had gone and read the samples of her books before tendering our opinions of them.
She was taken to task by one of our members who is a veteran for playing the military card: “Remember them telling you about attitude in Basic? If I were evaluating you, I would mark you UNSAT for refusing to learn. Hand me your 341 and report to your MTI.”
Not having been in the military, I think “Oh snap!” may be the proper reaction to that. =)
The sad thing is, this particular author will now go forth and tell everyone how a bunch of jealous wannabes “attacked” her when all she did was try to ask for some honest feedback, and there will be some who believe her. She’s not going to tell anyone how her delusions of being a “great” writer led her to be rude and dismissive of those who did try to help her out.
ETA: Our fearless author’s parting shot – “Well, all of you are a waste of my time. I need to find a more intelligent group of real authors to have a sound discussion with.”
The Moral of the Story
When you have a lot of people telling you there are problems or flaws in something, it’s usually because THERE ARE PROBLEMS AND FLAWS.
It’s not because a group of strangers suddenly decided to beat you down because you’re so awesome.
When you ask for opinions, you’re going to get them. If you can’t handle some of those opinions not being what you want to hear, then you shouldn’t be writing.
If you continue to write, then you are asking for opinions of your work, and at some point, you WILL receive opinions you don’t like.
Don’t be this woman when that happens.