I am happy with my decision, but we indies are very aware of how much work we have to do to generate our own publicity. I love writing for other blogs, but I realize that those don't have the same reach as a print magazine or newspaper. I am not the only indie who fantasizes about having a big platform to shout from so I could convince people that they should buy my book.
It's just that I always figured if I did, I'd be giving you good reasons to buy from me, not telling you all of the reasons why someone who doesn't like my stuff is so deficient. In fact, if I had a really big platform, I wouldn't want to tell ANYONE about the people who didn't like me. So the actions of two authors last week leave me not only disgusted, but puzzled.
I am not going to write out the name of the first author in question, nor am I going to put her name in the tags. Here's a link to some of Dear Author's coverage of the story. I am not going to give this woman anymore publicity because what this author did falls under the definition of stalking. I don't mean online stalking- I mean real-life stalking. I don't understand why the blogger she stalked hasn't brought criminal charges against her, because I would. And how did this start? Because the author could not handle that this blogger and reviewer didn't like her book.
Slightly less disturbing is the tantrum author Margo Howard wrote for the New Republic. Her book was given to Amazon's Vine Program for early review. She seems to find the idea of pre-publication reviews in and of themselves offensive, never mind that most authors (traditional and indie) long for such pre-publicity. Apparently, the Vine Reviews she received were unflattering, and she in turns feels that these unprofessional reviewers are uneducated mouth-breathers who are only reviewing so they can get free stuff and don't understand that books are different from "pots and creams".
I'd also like to add that I'd been reviewing on Amazon by choice for about six or seven years before I was selected to be in the Vine Program. I have a decent rank, but I wasn't in the Top 1000. To this day, I'm not entirely sure why I was tapped, but obviously Amazon felt I offered something that they wanted for their program. This would, therefore, be the case with all of the other reviewers in the program. In other words: we were asked.
I'm an author; I get how much a bad review can sting. But if we're serious about not just writing but publishing our work, I fail to understand why we would not act like professionals and not narcissists. I also don't understand why the Guardian and the New Republic want to perpetuate the idea that reviews, which are really opinions, and perhaps books in general should only be available to those who are qualified.
Here is my list of qualifications: literacy. Yep- done. All those who qualify are invited to read books and share their opinions.