Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Discussion: What Indie Authors should or shouldn't do to establish their reputation...

I'd like to start this post that is open to feedback from both Indie authors and readers.

Authors-What type of behaviors do you implement to maintain the integrity of not only yourself as an author but that of your work?

Readers-What behaviors/tactics have you seen from Indie authors that you are absolutely appalled by? Please be honest.

Please keep this discussion respectful. If we aren't open to feedback, there's no room for growth. If you aren't open to growth, how can you become something bigger than you are now? Some comments may strike a nerve, but remember each person is entitled to their opinion. Of course I will delete any inappropriate comments, but please take the time to reflect on why a particular comment is striking nerves with you before you respond.

To start the discussion I’m going to share a trend I've noticed from several Indie authors, not just one! Please note the difference between stretching the truth and a lie, especially on things that are easy to check online.

Here is a randomly created very cheesy example of stretching the truth: 

"My book will change your life! I've got nothing but five star reviews, so I'm sure you'll love it too! (Insert link to where to buy said book)" 

Reality- you have 5 star reviews from readers, wonderful. If I'm an eighty year old  southern male, your book about a single woman's fast paced life in the big city isn't going to change my life. Your goal as an author was to sink a hook into those who it would appeal to, so not a big deal.

Here is a common lie: "My book is a top seller on (insert site that has its lists public)."

Reality-NO it's not. Why is this bad? Because I can see that list and so can every other potential reader out there. You are making yourself look like an idiot by insulting the intelligence of your audience. And why is that bad for you? If your own intelligence comes into question, then the products of your intelligence a.k.a. the integrity of your work, goes flying out the window right along with it. Yes some people may fall for it hook, line and sinker- but how often do you really expect it to work. Let those few be served up and let that sale pay for your dinner. But not me, any guess as to what I'm going to do immediately after I’ve popped right on over to the list you referenced to validate you in my mind as a liar? Yes-that’s right. I’m not gonna buy your book.

I may not directly call you out on it, but I do like to make these things known in a discreet manner. Why? Just in case you’ve somehow failed to miss something else that should be obvious-most people who spend money on books are very intelligent. They possess the ability to take words from a page and use their imagination to breathe life into them and create vivid played out scenes comparable to an HD screen. What a reader possesses is a gift that commands respect.

Please think of how you would react to a salesperson that disrespects you while visiting their store before you make such false claims that carry a backhand to their intelligence. Furthermore, please think everyone else’s reputation that you are dragging through the mud along with your own.

1 comment: