What Stace had to say on Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010
On sales, promo, pressure and lists

I’m in a release day frame of mind lately, what with DEMON POSSESSED being released last week. See, it’s not just that that book was released, it’s also that it means UNHOLY GHOSTS will be out soon. Well, soonish, lol; three months.

And like any other writer with a book coming out, I’m thinking about promo. See, I want you to buy the book(s). I want you to get all of your friends to buy the book(s). I want to sell thousands and thousands and thousands of copies. I want to hit the NYT list, or the USA Today list, or the Publisher’s Weekly list, or Bookscan or whatever. Lists make writers happy, you see. And they make publishers happy, and everybody’s happy. Happiness is good.

And of course, I would hope that you guys, my lovely readers, would want to help me sell books or hit lists or whatever. Because we have something of a symbiotic relationship, you know, you and me. I write books, and you buy them, and when you buy them you encourage me to write more of them, and it’s all very cheering and makes me feel warm and happy inside to think that I’ve given you something you enjoy (I honestly love giving presents; I’m one of those weird people at holidays who gets more excited about the things I’m giving than what I might get).

But here’s the thing. While I would hope that you would want to help, I don’t expect you to. I’m surprised and thrilled and grateful whenever you do, but I don’t expect it. At all. Ever. And I certainly wouldn’t presume to INSIST you do, or berate you for not doing so. Or imply that you’re stupid for not purchasing my books in the exact fashion that I would prefer you to do so.

Sadly, it seems sometimes as if I–okay, I and several of my close friends–are alone in that feeling, that instinctive cringing when we see readers being treated like nothing more than open wallets whose sole purpose is to drive said writer to greater glory.

Do I want to hit a list? Of course, although I would never presume to think I have a real shot at it. Do I think it would be great if readers everywhere held off on buying my books until the day of release? Well, sure, I guess so, but see the aforementioned “I would never presume to think I have a shot at a list anyway so what does it matter,” answer. (Yeah, I know, that wasn’t the full answer, but it’s what I meant.)

Are there things readers can do to help a favorite author hit a list? Yeah, but not as many as you think, really. Sure, waiting until release day–or the day before, since books release on Tuesdays and sales are counted for the entire week, so buying on Monday is okay–helps. That’s a good thing to do, if you’re interested, but really that’s about it. It’s certainly all I would ever think to ask.

See…I work for YOU. I mean, yes, I work for myself, but I DO the work for you. You are my audience. You are not my slaves. You do not exist in order to feed my ego or allow me to add a shiny “List” pin to my vest. It’s not for me to tell you where you’re allowed to buy my books or in what format. I’m just amazed and grateful that you buy them at all.

I’ll be perfectly honest here. There are times when it feels as if the world of readers and the world of writers are at war. Readers want certain things; they have a right to want those things as consumers. But writers/publishers want certain things as well, and we have a right to want those things as content creators and producers. And don’t even get me started on copyright violations/piracy, and some of the justifications for those. Again, to be honest? There are times when I see discussions of it, or come across my books on filesharing sites, and have the sick, deep feeling that I should just give the hell up. I can never “win”–by which I mean earn a decent living consistently, when I’m being stolen from.

And it’s not just the financial theft, it’s the feeling that someone has literally reached into my mind and taken something from me without permission. It feels like I got drunk and told a deep secret to someone I thought was a friend, and that so-called friend turned around and told the world, and they’re all laughing at me. Or like a when a guy you really like sleeps with you and then never calls you again, you know? It makes me feel worthless, and frustrated, and lonely and sad. Sure piracy bothers me because of the money, sure, but really?

Piracy just hurts. It hurts to think someone is using you for entertainment but doesn’t think you deserve any compensation for that. It hurts to think you’re seen as less than human; as some sort of machine which exists for the gratification of others but is not permitted any gratification of its own. It hurts to feel that someone thinks they’re entitled to the fruits of your labor–the expression of the truth as you see it and the worlds and people you created and love–without paying for them. It doesn’t feel like a royalty payment was stolen from you. It feels like a tiny part of your soul was stolen from you.

That shit hurts.

And I imagine it hurts readers, too, when they’re made to feel–from being yelled at, lectured, or treated like they’re stupid–that they exist solely to provide the writer with titles and accolades. That just buying and reading and enjoying and talking about a book isn’t enough, that they now must buy it at certain times, in certain places, in certain formats, at certain phases of the moon, or whatever. Just as writers are not simply typewriters churning out words, readers are not simply notches on that big bestseller belt. They are people.

I’m not really sure where I’m going with this. Just that I think it’s wrong.

Do I want to sell a lot of books? Hell, yes!

But I don’t want to just sell a lot of books. I want to entertain a lot of people. I want to give them something. That’s what this is about, not numbers or lists. It’s about books and writing and reading and the way when we read a book we love we feel connected to that book, and those characters, and that author. And when we discover another fan of those books we have a connection with that person, and books created that connection, and it wouldn’t exist without writers, readers, and publishers.

So do I want to hit a list? Of course. Have I thought of various promotional things to do, fun things, that may help facilitate that? Sure.

Do I want to hit a list at the expense of readers, by berating them or nagging them, by treating them like my minions or like they fucking owe me that goddamn list, so they better get off their fat asses and do what I say?

No.

That’s not worth it to me. I don’t want it that way. It wouldn’t mean anything that way.

I may never hit a list. But I will always be grateful that people have bought my books, and read them and loved them and took the time to tell me. Yes, this is a business, and I want to succeed in it and make money. But not at the expense of readers, and not at the expense of my own soul.

So that’s it. Just some things I’m thinking of, and will continue to think of as we get closer to the summer and the release of the Downside books (finished copyedits on CITY OF GHOSTS last week, and am quite pleased, btw).

So…thanks.

ETA: Moira Rogers, who writes awesome books, has also done a post on this topic, and I highly recommend you check it out too. My response to it? Ditto.

85 comments to “On sales, promo, pressure and lists”

  1. Natasha (Wicked Lil Pixie)
    Comment
    1
    · March 2nd, 2010 at 7:52 pm · Link

    From the bottom of my heart Stacia, THANK YOU. Thank you for sticking up for us Readers & Bloggers, who have been made to feel horrid by some of the demands on when, where and how we purchase books.

    *clutches her 2 day old copy of Demon Possessed, that I HUNTED for*

    Can’t wait for Ghosts!



    • synde
      Comment
      1.1
      · March 2nd, 2010 at 7:58 pm · Link

      Unholy Ghosts will be awesome…
      I have faith in you and it…and trust me I KNOW!!!



    • Stace
      Comment
      1.2
      · March 3rd, 2010 at 1:16 am · Link

      Hey, Natasha, thanks. I kind of think you readers & bloggers do enough, without being yelled at the way I know you and others were, you know? I mean, you don’t owe me a damn thing. I wrote a book; you bought it. Our contract is thus fulfilled, you know? Since when do you owe me posts and reviews and discussions and buying things according to when I tell you it’s okay? It just pisses me off to see people treated that way, and I wanted to go on record as saying that I do not approve.

      You buy, read, and/or blog about books. That’s more than enough, and the vast majority of us are grateful for it every day.



      • Meljean Brook
        Comment
        1.2.1
        · March 3rd, 2010 at 11:27 am · Link

        I wrote a book; you bought it. Our contract is thus fulfilled, you know? Since when do you owe me posts and reviews and discussions and buying things according to when I tell you it’s okay? It just pisses me off to see people treated that way, and I wanted to go on record as saying that I do not approve.

        This, 100%. As much as I love it when readers buy my book and talk about it, not a bit of that is owed to me. I write something I’d want to read, and I hope readers will love it, too — but it stops there. No berating, no cajoling, no guilt trips needed. If I ever hit a list, I don’t think it’ll be through any of those tactics, anyway — it’ll be because enough readers really, really want that book RIGHT NOW. Not because I’m bullying them, but because it sounds that great or the last book was that freaking good.

        And so that goes back to my part of the contract: writing good books.

        Which I really need to get back to doing now.



      • Stace
        Comment
        1.2.2
        · March 4th, 2010 at 1:27 am · Link

        Exactly. The list is such a crapshoot, and there’s no way to manipulate yourself onto it (hell, we don’t even know which specific bookstores the NYT uses, and we don’t know how much influence print run has, or any number of other little idiosyncrasies), and I’d rather worry about stuff I can control, and keep trying to write that book that will make readers flock to the store because they just can’t wait.

        Thanks for the comment, Meljean! Lovely to see you here!



    • Lori Foreman
      Comment
      1.3
      · May 19th, 2010 at 10:07 am · Link

      I admit that I pirate. Maybe even quite a bit…but I also support the authors that I love. I only get the books that I could check out at the library for free, and if i like them, I send them to all of my loved ones as presents.

      It’s not uncommon for me to buy and send the same book to five people. I’ll also purchase new releases to fill up my bookcases.

      I can get a free copy of a book for my Kindle and find myself purchasing everything they ever had.

      I pirated the new Southern Vampire novel, but I’m buying two hard-copy covers at the book signing this weekend.

      While you may not like to know that it happens, it does. We’re free advertisement, cause you can bet that I tell others when I get a hold of a great read. I go through about 400 pages per day, and I DO review a good amount of that.

      I’m not buying any less than I used to, either. I’m just switching up the mix. What I buy goes to OTHER people, rather than to myself.



  2. Moira Rogers (Donna)
    Comment
    2
    · March 2nd, 2010 at 7:59 pm · Link

    Can I have your babies? My husband says it’s okay.



    • Kindle Vixen
      Comment
      2.1
      · March 2nd, 2010 at 9:56 pm · Link

      Donna I am not sure you have the right plumbing for that, but it would be interesting to see….



    • Stace
      Comment
      2.2
      · March 3rd, 2010 at 1:17 am · Link

      I’m done having babies, sigh, but I do have two daughters, eight and five, that you’re welcome to. :twisted:

      If I wasn’t done with babies, though, you would be way up high on my list.



  3. Bree
    Comment
    3
    · March 2nd, 2010 at 8:02 pm · Link

    Thanks for this. It appalls me just as much as seeing epublished authors yelling at readers for buying books at fictionwise instead of a publisher website. I’m responsible for managing my career, the only thing I have to say to anyone who wants to buy one of my books is “thank you.”



    • Stace
      Comment
      3.1
      · March 3rd, 2010 at 1:29 am · Link

      Exactly. It’s not my place to tell readers how, when, and/or where they should purchase or enjoy my books. I’m just glad they do.



  4. synde
    Comment
    4
    · March 2nd, 2010 at 8:27 pm · Link

    also as a reader and bookseller it’s nice to have someone stick up for us..It’s a rare thing..



    • Stace
      Comment
      4.1
      · March 3rd, 2010 at 1:30 am · Link

      Thanks, Synde. :smile:



  5. Dakota Cassidy
    Comment
    5
    · March 2nd, 2010 at 9:11 pm · Link

    I’m a mediocre author who’ll never hit a list–even if you put said list directly in front of my dart :)

    That said, guerilla-like promo tactics only work in hand grenades and bazookas. I don’t want a reader terrorized, demeaned or debased for their efforts in a purchase that ultimately means my children eat.

    I want you to be happy you bought my book. I don’t care where you bought it. I don’t care if you got it in the 75% off bin or for free at the library. I don’t care if you bought it/swapped it/loaned it out in Idaho or on the frickin’ White Cliffs of Dover.

    I remain stedfast in my belief that shoving your shit down readers throats, berating them, be it for opinions about your book, or dismissing the clear joy they’ve shown in supporting your book is not okay.

    Not. Okay. And I’m totally okay with being flambéed for my above opinion :)

    I swear, grateful, appreciative, doesn’t hurt–not even a little.

    Dakota :)



    • Kindle Vixen
      Comment
      5.1
      · March 2nd, 2010 at 9:57 pm · Link

      and this is why you are on my list Dakota :) My very own list of super rad authors who I buy all the books I can get my hands on.



    • Stace
      Comment
      5.2
      · March 3rd, 2010 at 1:32 am · Link

      Yes!! That’s it exactly. What good is a prize–whether it’s the NYT list or a fucking cake at an elementary school carnival–if you had to bully your way into winning it, and it wasn’t based on your merit but on how many people you managed to coerce, threaten, or insult? (Or all of the above.)

      And yeah, especially when they’re excited about the book. That’s a GIFT, it’s not something to be smothered at every opportunity.



  6. Kindle Vixen
    Comment
    6
    · March 2nd, 2010 at 9:58 pm · Link

    Thanks for a great post Stacia! I saw some posts on twitter last night that had me wondering and went to bed with a bad feeling in my gut. This was a nice post to see today and I am looking forward to getting to read your books!



    • Stace
      Comment
      6.1
      · March 3rd, 2010 at 1:35 am · Link

      Thanks, Kindle Vixen! I’ve been dealing with that same sick feeling, and I just couldn’t take it anymore. I don’t like seeing people treated that way, and while I usually think it’s not my place to say something in this case I thought it was. I thought somebody should.

      There’s lot of info on the books here on the site; the two series are very different. :smile:



  7. Emma Petersen
    Comment
    7
    · March 2nd, 2010 at 10:40 pm · Link

    I dont care where, when, how or why or who buys my book. Seriously, I just get fricking giddy that someone has bought it. Seriously, I get to make up stories. Sometimes funny stories, sometimes dirty stories and I get paid to do that.

    That’s enough for me. Sure, I get pretty damn excited when I’m on a list, ANY list. (seriously any, right now I’m like #27 on the Care & Feeding of Equines & I am so honored I could jump over the moon) I know this is corny but I literally love my readers, I’ve made a lot of good friends from people who read my work and emailed me. So I’d never want to do anything to hurt their feelings or make them feel less than.

    Pirates on the other hand…I don’t like pirates. You put it perfectly here.

    I often wonder if they realize what they are doing is NOT a victimless crime and that it’s actually a horribly horribly thing to do. Le sigh. Great, great post.



    • Stace
      Comment
      7.1
      · March 3rd, 2010 at 1:46 am · Link

      Totally, Emma. I honestly can’t imagine being so certain that readers will turn out in droves to read my books that I feel comfortable in instructing them how and when to do so. I’m just pathetically grateful when they do.

      And yep on the reader love. I did a post a few weeks ago on “the rules of the blog.” Those rules aren’t for me, they’re to make sure that this is a place where people feel welcome. I avoid certain topics not because I’m afraid of reprisals but because I want everyone to be comfortable. They deserve that.



  8. Michele Lee
    Comment
    8
    · March 2nd, 2010 at 10:41 pm · Link

    I totally agree. And the sad thing is I’ve come across a rant or two on piracy (and I know it’s a touchy subject) that just comes off as the writer screaming about how the reader owes them money.

    Many times it’s a hard balance, but sometimes it’s not. Sometimes it’s easy to see what going too far is. No one likes to feel like nothing more than a royalty, and the converse is that I have and still do sometimes buy books I’m not terribly interested in just because I like the author, or am friends with them, and want them to get that sale. To turn around and be treated like that’s not enough is quite upsetting.



    • Stace
      Comment
      8.1
      · March 3rd, 2010 at 1:50 am · Link

      Hey Michele! Yeah, you know, finances are a part of it but for me it’s honestly the smallest part. That’s why it both bugs me and comforts me to see arguments like “They wouldn’t have bought it anyway.” Yeah, that’s good as far as not losing money but…it still makes me feel used.

      And yes, I think all of us own at least a couple of books that we bought simply to support a friend, because that’s just something we do. Hell, my family and my BFF still all insist on buying my books even though I keep telling them I’ll GIVE them copies. Which I do. And then they still buy their own, lol.



      • Michele Lee
        Comment
        8.1.1
        · March 5th, 2010 at 5:04 pm · Link

        Ironically enough the day you posted this was also the day I discovered my own small press novella on a torrent site. I despise pirating, though I have to confess I’ve done it in the past (long ago, about ten years, when I thought I had no other choice, and in the end I felt so crappy about it that it provoked me into getting a library card for the first time in years and got me involved with the local libraries. Now I’m not a heavy library user, but I am a heavy library donator. All my review copies that I don’t keep go to either my kids’ school, if they are kids/middle grade books, or to the library. I also hit the library book sale as much as I can and have gotten a lot of books that way. The money isn’t going to the authors, but it is going to fund the library. I don’t know any authors who wouldn’t be okay with that.)

        Ironically I think my book being up on Amazon is what led to the pirating. That’s the only thing that has changed.

        I see so many authors upset and enraged over this, and I know they have the right to be. It is their livelihood and the attitude of “Well you should be grateful we read your books at all” is ridiculous. What a bull shit, disrespectful attitude to have.

        I do know people who think that’s the only way they can read (and they do love to read). I have to bite my tongue (you know, because I’ve been there, when rent was $275 and we had trouble making it). But I also know that’s BS now. I have a lot of books, I read every day. Most of them I bought used, borrowed, inherited (when friends moved, etc) or bought paperback. Or was given to review. If you love books you can find a way to read and not pirate.

        And on the note of books given to me for free, I feel a greater responsibility to review books I’ve gotten for free. Not to give it a positive review, but I spend a lot of time reading books because I’ve gotten them free rather than because I want them. The books I buy myself often fall by the wayside. (Though I do often buy paperback of the ebooks I’m give to review.)

        Not knowing better, or not caring are the only reason I see both both pirating and this kind of over the line behavior and BOTH can be fixed.



    • Nonny
      Comment
      8.2
      · March 3rd, 2010 at 5:51 pm · Link

      The Dear Author thread on piracy awhile back led me to put several authors on my “do not buy” list. I understand how frustrating piracy is to deal with, being that I deal with it myself as an e-published author, but some of the things that were said were just sickening. A couple people brought up experiences of being unable to read books they legitimately bought because of DRM. So, they would buy the book then download the pirated copy without the DRM. (I have actually done this for music. I want to be able to play it on whatever damned computer, device, or player I like, tyvm.)

      And there were authors jumping on these people and telling them they were evil, that they hoped they NEVER bought any more of their books, that there was NO EXCUSE EVER for downloading a torrent, that if you PAID for the file and couldn’t read it — you should either go through customer support (which has no control over format or DRM!) or buy a new computer or device that would allow them to read the legally purchased copy.

      I still don’t have words to that. I don’t like piracy, but if you’ve legally bought a copy and can’t read it because of localization or DRM… by all freaking means, do what you need to in order to read the damn thing. *sigh*



      • Stace
        Comment
        8.2.1
        · March 4th, 2010 at 1:33 am · Link

        See, and that drives me crazy. I dislike the idea of people pirating in those situations simply because I don’t like to encourage piracy sites for any reason, but nothing is black and white.

        I’ve long been in favor of making the ebook version a sort of bonus when you purchase a hardcover, or offering it for an additional dollar or two if you buy the paperback. Kind of like how for some movies now you buy the BlueRay and get the regular DVD for free?

        Either way, not being able to read a book you legitimately bought is just fucked up.



      • Angie
        Comment
        8.2.2
        · March 4th, 2010 at 4:14 am · Link

        What Stacia said here. [nod] It sucks that some people feel like they have to turn to the pirate sites because the software they legitimately bought has DRM so “secure” they can’t even use it, but in that case I save my anger for the publishers. Or in some cases, the vendors — my publisher doesn’t use any DRM at all, but some of the third-party vendors add it when they sell our books. :/

        No DRM scheme has ever prevented piracy. None. It’s a pointless waste of time and money on the part of the publishers/vendors, but they don’t see that. The only people inconvenienced by DRM are the legitimate customers who’ve handed over money in exchange for a legal product. It’s the honest customers who are forced to jump through hoops and bend over backwards to get their software to work, who find that their legal software no longer works in the future because the publisher doesn’t feel like maintaining the activation server anymore, who find that after a couple of reinstalls (a hard drive crash, a computer upgrade, a component upgrade) their software won’t reinstall another time and they’re expected to buy a new copy if they want to keep using it, and who are treated like criminals when they contact the publisher with a problem. The pirates and thieves, whose software has no DRM, have none of these problems.

        If anything, the publishers and vendors who use onerous DRM schemes are driving honest people to the pirate sites. Someone who’d never have considered pirating software — whether books or games or music or movies or whatever — but finds that their legitimate purchase doesn’t work, might well go to the torrents to get a functional copy. (I don’t consider this piracy, BTW. If you’ve paid the publisher for a copy, you’re entitled to a copy that works, wherever you get it from.) And once they’re there, once they know how to find the pirate sites and how they work, some fraction of them will figure, “Screw it,” and just keep using them. The publishers are creating more pirates, in their completely futile attempts to protect the unprotectable. They’re shooting themselves (and their writers/musicians/developers) in the foot, and have insufficient brain function to even feel the pain of it. [sigh]

        Angie



      • Angie
        Comment
        8.2.3
        · March 4th, 2010 at 4:18 am · Link

        Oh, Stacia — some publishers have done that, and I agree it’s very cool. For a while, if you bought a new hardcover release of one of David Weber’s Honor Harrington series, it came with a disk containing e-book copies of the whole series to date. I don’t remember if it’s still the case; I’d have to dig out one of the recent books and see, but they were doing it for several releases at least.

        Even if the disk only had an e-copy of the book you just bought, that’d still be awesome and I agree that it’s a cool thing for the publisher to do.

        Angie



  9. Amy Stewart
    Comment
    9
    · March 2nd, 2010 at 10:47 pm · Link

    Thank you! I was the recipient of one of those “insistent authors” and it completely ruined my day when I read the comment to me on Twitter. I thought I was helping, but because I am Canadian my purchase wasn’t “good enough” to be eligible for a “prize”. I didn’t make my purchase so I could “get something extra,” I bought the book because I genuinely want to read it. But I was told that because I am Canadian, unless I buy 2 of the books my purchase was basically useless. How is that right? I’m still going to read it, I’ll probably still recommend it to my fellow readers…but I’m Canadian – so I’m worthless? I am so hurt and completely baffled that an author would treat their audience this way.

    Your post was honest and I thank you for sticking up for us “little people” who are too shy and unsure about how to stick up for ourselves.

    Sincerely,
    Amy.



    • Stace
      Comment
      9.1
      · March 3rd, 2010 at 1:59 am · Link

      I know you were, Amy–it was pointed out to me by someone else–and I’m so sorry. You didn’t deserve that at all. {{{hug}}}

      FWIW, all sales count where it matters most–in the sales totals, and in the royalties. Lists are a crapshoot; one slow week may mean the #1 on the NYT sold 15k copies, whereas a week with lots of heavy hitters released may mean it requires 150k.

      Sales are solid facts, and every book sold is another tick in the “sold” column. Period.

      Anyone who buys books is helping. You’re helping the bookstore who sold it it, the publisher that published it, the writer who wrote it. Please don’t feel like your purchase was worthless.

      And don’t be afraid to stick up for yourself. You don’t deserve that treatment, ever.



      • Amy Stewart
        Comment
        9.1.1
        · March 6th, 2010 at 9:23 am · Link

        Thank you for the hug is was very much appreciated!



  10. Crista McHugh
    Comment
    10
    · March 2nd, 2010 at 11:05 pm · Link

    Awesome post, and very relevant to the past week for me. I released an ebook on the 23rd. The same day I released it, I got a notice it was up on several pirating sites. And yet despite that, people still bought it. As of today, I’m #2 on “a list”, and I’m absolutely floored that so many folks bought my story. When I wrote it, I was just happy it was picked up by my pub so I could share it with other people. And my only wish is that people enjoy it.

    As for the pirates, I’ve pretty much given them the middle finger and walked away. At first, I sent take down notice after take down notice for some of my earlier releases. Then I realized that those jerks who preferred to steal my work instead of purchase it legally weren’t worth my time. I’d rather be working on my next story for my fans. *shrugs*

    Looking forward to getting my hands on Demon Possessed later this week (waiting on B&N to deliver it).



    • Stace
      Comment
      10.1
      · March 3rd, 2010 at 2:01 am · Link

      Honestly, Christa, that’s about where I am as well. Sometimes I send takedowns, sometimes I don’t, but just finding them makes me feel so worthless and awful and angry and hurt that I try to stay away from the whole thing now.

      Congrats on your list!! :smile:



  11. Mahesh Raj Mohan
    Comment
    11
    · March 3rd, 2010 at 1:48 am · Link

    I think you do a great job of promoting your novels without laying a guilt trip on prospective readers. I think “Unholy Ghosts” has a cool premise and plan to be one of your customers when the book comes out.

    I think I’d be as concerned as you about e-piracy if I had a book coming out. But looking at some of the numbers, particularly from the Attributor report cited by Publisher’s Weekly: http://bit.ly/aW5GlP), I think that any e-piracy will be offset by your online/offline promotional efforts, particularly for fiction writers (which has fewer pirated titles when compared with business/investment books). It’s like the light side/dark side of the Internet at play. People who download a copywritten work without payment suck, in principle. Lots of people suck in principle, though.

    You are reaching your target market every day and building a fan base through direct communication. That will win out in the end.



    • Stace
      Comment
      11.1
      · March 3rd, 2010 at 2:06 am · Link

      Hey, thanks Mahesh! I hope you like it!

      Yeah, I know. They probably wouldn’t have bought the book anyway and it increases word of mouth and all of that. :smile: And really it’s not something I think about a lot either; I mostly brought it up in the post because it seemed like a good correlation to draw between the way writers feel when we’re pirated and the way I imagine readers feel when they’re treated like numbers instead of people, you know? And to point out that nobody deserves that sort of treatment, for whatever reason.

      Thanks for commenting!



  12. Angie
    Comment
    12
    · March 3rd, 2010 at 2:41 am · Link

    This is only sorta marginally on topic, being about a vendor feeling entitled to promo help from readers, rather than a writer feeling entitled, etc., but it’s pretty WTF and I think you’ll appreciate it anyway.

    Erastes runs Speak Its Name, a site which reviews gay historical fiction. She posted about receiving an e-mail “from a ebook selling site complaining that I’d bought books and hadn’t done reviews for them.”

    I mean, seriously — she bought the books. As a customer. They weren’t free promo copies, she didn’t go begging. She paid money and received books. And now the vendor is whining at her for not having reviewed the books. o_O

    You really have to wonder about some people. I mean, bad enough if they had been free review copies; IMO the professional thing to do, if you give someone a bunch of review copies and they don’t actually post reviews of them in some reasonable length of time, is to cross them off your list of people who get freebies. There you go, problem solved. But now I’m wondering whether this site nags all its customers about posting reviews, or whether they just think they’re entitled to reviews whenever a known reviewer buys books from them. Either way, it’s pretty outrageous. :/

    Angie



    • Ann Somerville
      Comment
      12.1
      · March 3rd, 2010 at 3:54 am · Link

      She posted about receiving an e-mail “from a ebook selling site complaining that I’d bought books and hadn’t done reviews for them.”

      Once again, Erastes proves herself to be a fucking idiot and making a drama out of nothing.

      Smashwords has notification preferences. One of which is “Remind me to review books I’ve purchased” And if you have that *selected* then of course it does exactly that – reminds you to review books you’ve purchased.

      All she had to do was set her account up properly. But no, much better to whore for attention and make out that SW is doing something horrendous.



      • Angie
        Comment
        12.1.1
        · March 3rd, 2010 at 6:17 am · Link

        Ann — well, hi. I didn’t know you hung out here.

        At any rate, I don’t think Erastes has done anything to deserve this kind of flaming. She made a short, calm post to her journal, and that was it. If anyone was overly WTF about the situation, it was me, and if it’s all just a misunderstanding then I apologize (to Stacia) for bringing the mix-up to her blog. But a simple misunderstanding does not make Erastes, or anyone else, a “fucking idiot,” nor has she been “whoring for attention.” Nor do I think some third person’s blog is an appropriate place to be flaming and cussing out someone who hasn’t even posted here.

        Angie



      • Stace
        Comment
        12.1.2
        · March 3rd, 2010 at 10:48 am · Link

        Hi Ann! How great to see you here!! :mrgreen:

        And thanks for the comment, Angie! Not knowing either Erastes or the situation I can’t really comment on it, but yeah, if we could keep the discussion focused I would really appreciate it; I try to keep a very welcoming atmosphere here.

        Unfortunately I have heard of places that complain when reviews don’t go up fast enough or aren’t as good as the seller would have liked, so whether or not this particular example “fits” or not, such behavior does exist, and it’s wrong.

        Either way, thanks to both of you for commenting!



  13. Portia Da Costa
    Comment
    13
    · March 3rd, 2010 at 6:16 am · Link

    Wonderful post, Stacia!

    I’m just grateful when someone buys a book of mine. I don’t expect to ever be on any of the big lists, so I’m happy for readers to purchase my stuff if/whenever it suits their inclination or their budget. :smile:



    • Stace
      Comment
      13.1
      · March 3rd, 2010 at 10:53 am · Link

      Yeah, exactly, Portia. I mean, I don’t mean to swing all the way in the other direction, because the “They should just be grateful someone is reading their work” argument is one I see used to justify all manner of piracy and plagiarism and whatever else. But I’m certainly aware that readers have a choice, and it never ceases to amaze and thrill me when they exercise it in my direction.

      Like you, I just want to sell books. Lists are not my goal; sales are. So it always makes me feel grateful and pleased that they do buy my books.

      (And anyone who doesn’t know Portia, her books are well worth purchasing!)



  14. Nadia Lee
    Comment
    14
    · March 3rd, 2010 at 8:50 am · Link

    When certain authors complain or demand that I buy their books at certain time, it just perversely makes me not want to buy at all. I buy when I can within my budget, and some authors just don’t always get the priority. That doesn’t mean I don’t value their stories or don’t want them to be successful. However, it’s not my job as a reader to do something actively to help their career.



    • Stace
      Comment
      14.1
      · March 3rd, 2010 at 11:00 am · Link

      No, Nadia, it absolutely isn’t, and I find the idea that it somehow is to be just…disturbing, you know what I mean? Readers don’t owe writers any kind of special allegiance and they certainly don’t owe them obesiance.

      I’ve had people ask me what they can do to help; hell, I have my little street team, the Downside Army, which really functions more as a news/newsletter group but whose members have chosen to join, and in so doing they’ve basically expressed an interest in supporting me. So they may be given suggestions on how to do that. But whether or not they follow those suggestions is entirely up to them; I would certainly never kick them out or anything, lol, for not posting about the books on their blog or whatever. It just amazes me that people decided to join at all!



  15. Jass
    Comment
    15
    · March 3rd, 2010 at 10:01 am · Link

    What you are talking about is usery, which used to put your immortal soul :twisted: in peril, but is so prevalent in our society now with that whole “let the buyer beware” attitude that most people don’t even recognize it as a “wrong :shock: .” How sad is that? :sad: I applaud you for taking this stand. Honor and integrity are more valuable than the almighty dollar.



    • Stace
      Comment
      15.1
      · March 3rd, 2010 at 11:15 am · Link

      Is it really? Oh, that is awesome!! I feel like a medieval badass now, condemning usury.

      And yeah, it’s surprising and sad how many wrongs people just accept these days. But it’s certainly heartening to see how many more of us don’t and won’t. Because that’s it exactly. Honor and integrity are way more important.



  16. Jeannie Lin
    Comment
    16
    · March 3rd, 2010 at 10:09 am · Link

    Wow, I didn’t even realize that timing mattered so much — though maybe as you said, it doesn’t sway the pendulum too greatly. In any case, I’m with you. I’d be grateful for the sale any which time or place and that hopefully that reader enjoyed the story I had to tell.



    • Jeannie Lin
      Comment
      16.1
      · March 3rd, 2010 at 10:17 am · Link

      Wanted to add: By asking reader to buy books a certain way, is this fostering any loyalty? I’m an impulse reader. Even for authors I adore, I buy and read when the mood strikes me. And it’s rarely when the book releases. Might me months later. Hope that doesn’t discount me as a reader to these authors.



      • Stace
        Comment
        16.1.1
        · March 3rd, 2010 at 11:20 am · Link

        Yeah, timing is helpful, but I think unless you’re selling huge numbers it doesn’t really matter. And the thing is, while I certainly don’t mean to argue with you–I agree with you–I don’t think, or didn’t think before, that it’s such a big deal to just say to readers in a calm and non-bitchy way, “Hey, if you could wait to buy until Tuesday that would be awesome,” and leave it at that. I don’t make requests like that–or rather I haven’t ever but who knows–with the intent of forcing readers to do things; the idea is “Hey guys, you asked how you could help and here’s one way that is totally up to you if you want to do it or not,” you know?

        It’s when you get into belittling those who don’t do so, or yelling at them, or acting like they owe you, that it becomes troublesome to me.

        But I’m surprised to see how many readers apparently dislike even being asked politely to wait, so that’s something I’ll be thinking about further.

        Thanks!



  17. Moonsanity (Brenda H.)
    Comment
    17
    · March 3rd, 2010 at 10:44 am · Link

    I was feeling pretty down this week, and partly it was because I was thinking of this topic and not understanding it. I love supporting authors. I’m a freelance writer and know how tough it is for all writers, fiction or non-fiction, so I really try to help out when an author says they need it. To tell you the truth that doesn’t bother me, and I know my blog is not getting a huge amount of traffic, but I was hoping for at least a thank you. Not a BIG thanks, just a small one. When none came I started feeling bad, then wondered if I was the petty one. I ran out yesterday to see if I could find any of the new releases at our local store. No such luck. Then I felt guilty about THAT. Overall I’ve been suffering from a major guiltfest, thinking that authors I’ve gotten to know on Twitter would not be able to get another deal if I didn’t buy the books right then. Sigh.



    • Stace
      Comment
      17.1
      · March 4th, 2010 at 12:35 am · Link

      Well, I’m thanking you, Brenda! See, this is what I hate. There is absolutely NO REASON why you should feel guilty in any way, or like you have to blog or buy or tweet or anything like that. It’s great that you do, and I know I can speak for most of us when I say how much we appreciate it.

      I will say one thing, though. I’m not necessarily defending the behavior of those who don’t acknowledge your efforts at all, but I know for me, I often don’t comment on review posts or whatever simply because A) I don’t want to look like a Pushy Author and B) The review isn’t for me, it’s for readers, and it kind of feels sometimes like I’m intruding. Like, geez, some readers got together to have a nice talk about my book and here I am poking my big nose in and acting like I’m the important one. Do you know what I mean? So a lot of the time when I see mentions of me or my books I don’t respond, because I don’t want to overstep myself. Does that make any sense?

      I love reader blogs but sometimes feel like they’re just that–reader blogs, for readers. Of course, I’m a reader too, and am happy to participate in other discussions, but when it comes to my books or my friends’ books I wonder if I’m intruding.

      Not to mention I don’t always find those types of posts until months later, at which point it seems kind of silly/pointless to comment, you know? Like it will look as if I’m just trying to draw attention to myself again.

      Anyway. You’re not being oversensitive at all, and you have every right to be hurt. I’m just trying to say it isn’t always because we don’t appreciate it, sometimes we just don’t know or aren’t sure we’d be welcome.

      Having said that, I am definitely going to make more of an effort in future, because I don’t want anyone to feel unappreciated.

      So thanks for the comment, and thanks again for everything you do to support books, readers, and writers.



      • Moonsanity (Brenda H.)
        Comment
        17.1.1
        · March 4th, 2010 at 5:39 am · Link

        I should have clarified about the thanks :smile: She asked for help promoting and I did a blog specifically for release day, not a review. I’d done that weeks ago for the last book. I don’t expect thanks for reviews or author comments because I think what you said is true-they are more for the readers plus authors don’t have time to run around to every review. Actually I’m a regular at her blog and on twitter. I’m over it though. :lol: I appreciate your thanks though!



  18. Gwen
    Comment
    18
    · March 3rd, 2010 at 12:45 pm · Link

    Thanks for a thoughtful and heartfelt post, Stacia. I appreciate you showing both sides of the coin – how authors can abuse readers and how readers can abuse authors. There is no excuse for either. It’s a mutualistic relationship – they both need each other.



    • Ann Aguirre
      Comment
      18.1
      · March 3rd, 2010 at 2:37 pm · Link

      Gotta say I agree. It’s wrong to complain about how people buy your books. I’m just happy when / if they do.



      • Stace
        Comment
        18.1.1
        · March 4th, 2010 at 12:42 am · Link

        Yep. That matters a hell of a lot more than anything else. I don’t feel like I need to kiss readers’ asses all the time (not that anyone has indicated they expect it), but I do think the act of buying a book is a huge deal, and every person who does so is important, and we should remember to be grateful for it.



    • Stace
      Comment
      18.2
      · March 4th, 2010 at 12:39 am · Link

      Thanks, Gwen! And no, there isn’t, at all. It bothers me to see people on either side talking or behaving as though “the other” isn’t even human and deserving of the respect we owe every other human on the planet. (And I’m not talking about honest reviews here, or even snarky ones, lol.)

      It’s sad that we don’t all put our heads together more and see what we can achieve, you know?



  19. Nonny
    Comment
    19
    · March 3rd, 2010 at 5:46 pm · Link

    I remember a few years back some brouhaha because an author made a blog post demanding that the readers buy within the week of release — and if they didn’t, they shouldn’t consider themselves “her” readers and should just quit buying her books because they obviously didn’t care. I was… pretty horrified, and wish I could remember who the hell said this.



    • Stace
      Comment
      19.1
      · March 4th, 2010 at 12:43 am · Link

      You know, that sounds really familiar, now that you mention it. I know there was one where an author got all angry because her reader loop didn’t vote for her in some online poll and told them that if they didn’t she would kick them out of the group, because they “owed” it to her. Yeesh.



      • Nonny
        Comment
        19.1.1
        · March 4th, 2010 at 3:42 am · Link

        I remember hearing about that one too!

        I swear, there are some authors who just need to NOT have an Internet presence, because their big mouths do more harm for their career than good!



  20. DC
    Comment
    20
    · March 3rd, 2010 at 6:59 pm · Link

    All the talk about piracy lately makes me wonder: what do authors think of libraries (what would I do without libraries? ♥), letting your friends borrow your books, and so on? You’re still reading it for free that way…



    • Stace
      Comment
      20.1
      · March 4th, 2010 at 12:53 am · Link

      DC, I have to echo Angie here. Most of us love libraries. We like used bookstores, too. I love it when readers share my books with each other and know I’ve made sales that way. I’m very excited that the Nook has a sharing capability; how awesome is that?

      And like Angie, I have bought ebooks for other people, generally by buying an additional copy, then emailing it to my friend and deleting it from my computer. I have “loaned” them once or twice, when it’s a friend I absolutely trust, and I know they wouldn’t have bought the book otherwise and I know they won’t pass it on. I give out my own ebooks all the time; I’ll be bored one night and throw a little contest on Twitter, or something, just because I enjoy doing it. Books are meant to be read, and shared, and discussed and loved.

      But yeah, piracy isn’t “sharing.” You don’t have to give back pirated ebooks when you’re done reading them; you own them and can read them as many times as you like. If you rent a movie, watch it, and take it back, you rented it. If you rent a movie and never take it back, you’ve stolen it.

      As I said in the post, my main objection to piracy isn’t whatever money I (and my publisher, and my agent; it isn’t just about me) may lose. It’s the idea that I’m not deserving of compensation for my work, and that the thief in question is entitled to the fruits of my labor for free just because they want it.

      You know what I mean? It’s the lack of respect. It’s upsetting.

      Thanks for commenting!



    • Nonny
      Comment
      20.2
      · March 4th, 2010 at 4:21 am · Link

      The difference between libraries and pirating is that libraries have bought a copy, and often library copies are more expensive than regular consumer copies (or so I’m told). Also, only one physical copy can be taken out at a time, and often libraries that loan out e-books only allow one copy to be downloaded at a time (and the downloaded copy usually “expires”).

      I HAVE seen authors argue that libraries are no better than pirates because they don’t pay royalties per copy loaned out, and that they think readers who are renting library books are no better than pirates. :( It makes me sad, because the library I grew up with definitely fostered my love of books, and the librarians certainly weren’t there for the money!

      But for every author who’s said something that horrible, I’ve seen dozens more say that they love libraries and hope people support them, so… while there are some, they are the definite minority.



      • Angie
        Comment
        20.2.1
        · March 4th, 2010 at 4:27 am · Link

        Nonny — I HAVE seen authors argue that libraries are no better than pirates because they don’t pay royalties per copy loaned out, and that they think readers who are renting library books are no better than pirates.

        To be brutally frank, every large group has its whack jobs. [sigh] Libraries are a huge market on their own, and when I start getting hardcopy books published, I’ll be hoping very hard for library sales.

        I remember Hollywood screaming about video rentals too, back in the old days. All they could see was all these people paying money to the rental store, but no extra money to the studios. Nowadays, video (well, DVD) rentals are a huge part of the DVD market, and Hollywood would be yelling just as loudly if that went away.

        Although I have to say that libraries aren’t exactly a new thing; they’ve been around long enough that the authors griping about them will probably never change their minds. :/ That’s sad, but you’re right that most writers love libraries and think they’re a great boon to readers and writers alike.

        Angie



      • Stace
        Comment
        20.2.2
        · March 6th, 2010 at 2:58 pm · Link

        And you know what my opinion on those authors is. :roll:



  21. Angie
    Comment
    21
    · March 4th, 2010 at 12:00 am · Link

    DC — the thing is, “authors” aren’t a hivemind. :) We disagree on things just as often as anyone else.

    Yeah, there are authors who’ll gripe about libraries. Personally I think they’re idiots. There are thousands of public libraries in the US alone; I’d love to think that each of them might buy a copy or three of my books. (Once I have something out in hardcopy, but you know, it’s the principle. :) ) I also don’t mind if someone gives a copy of one of my books to a friend. I’m e-pubbed, and I’m sure my publisher would disagree, but if someone buys one of my books and loves it, and e-mails a copy to a friend with a note saying, “Hey, read this, it’s awesome!” I’m not going to complain. There’s a good chance that person might become a fan and start buying books herself, which would be excellent.

    The problem most (rational) authors have with “sharing” e-books (which is actually copying and giving away; you don’t “share” an e-book the same way you’d share a paper book, by depriving yourself of its use while your friend uses it) is with the torrents. People upload books to the torrent sites and hundreds or thousands of people download them. This is nothing like a library, where each copy was purchased, and then is lent to readers one at a time. One purchase can be copied to many thousands of readers within a week or less. With libraries, you can only borrow the book if no one else is reading it. If there’s a waiting list, you have to wait, and if there are waiting lists then the library might buy more copies if it can afford to. You have to give the book back when the lending period is over; if you like it, you might go out and buy yourself a copy.

    Even used bookstores are fine in my opinion, although that’s something else a small, irrational fraction of writers complain about. Every book in a used bookstore was sold at one point, and only one person can have it and read it at one time. If someone doesn’t have much money (like I didn’t when I was in high school, when I spent most of my lunch money buying romances at the used bookstore across the street) then I’m happy they can get cheap books and become fans. I’ll bet a lot of them will be like me and buy books later when they can afford it.

    The big difference, though, is that a physical book can be lent to only one person at a time, and if you want to give it to someone, then you can’t read it while they have it. E-books are “lent” by being copied; if you give a copy to a friend, you still have your copy. If you upload a copy to the torrents, ten thousand people can download it and you all have copies at the same time.

    Putting an e-book on the torrents is like if a reader set up a printing press in their basement and started printing new copies of a book they bought — copies identical in every way to and just as good as the legit copies from the store — and giving them away for free. That can be significant competition for the legitimate publisher.

    It’s a matter of scale, really. Making copies for a friend or three is fine, IMO, even if my publisher has to disagree on principle. Giving copies to thousands of random strangers is a whole different kettle of weasels.

    Angie



    • DC
      Comment
      21.1
      · March 4th, 2010 at 12:44 am · Link

      Oh, okay. That makes a lot of sense. :)



  22. Moonsanity (Brenda H.)
    Comment
    22
    · March 4th, 2010 at 5:47 am · Link

    Piracy sucks– it seems that simple. You’re stealing. Don’t do it. :lol: Libraries are our friends. LOL They don’t always have entire series, and people will “test out” a first book, then buy the rest if they love it. They promote authors, reading, and books in general. I can’t imagine not having access to a library. The bottom line is that seven bucks for a paperback doesn’t seem expensive unless you need that money to buy bread and milk for your kids. I remember those days when our kids were tiny and my husband was in school. Buying books was not an option. Now, I’d buy books before chocolate. :lol:



    • Stace
      Comment
      22.1
      · March 5th, 2010 at 1:08 pm · Link

      Lol. This comment and a few others in other places, have inspired me to blog about libraries, so that will probably go up shortly. :smile:



  23. Bernita
    Comment
    23
    · March 4th, 2010 at 9:43 am · Link

    Cheering the sound common sense here.
    Thank you.



    • Stace
      Comment
      23.1
      · March 5th, 2010 at 1:09 pm · Link

      Thanks Bernita! Oh, and thrilled to see you won a book from Juno! {{hug}}



  24. clare london
    Comment
    24
    · March 5th, 2010 at 2:50 am · Link

    Very well said! As a fellow author, I feel the same way about it all, piracy, the readers/writers relationship and the astonishing promo game! :):)



    • Stace
      Comment
      24.1
      · March 5th, 2010 at 1:10 pm · Link

      Thanks Clare! Always nice to add another name to my list of writers who don’t see readers as enemies. :)



  25. Rob
    Comment
    25
    · March 5th, 2010 at 8:58 pm · Link

    In theory, you would be writing regardless of any living soul reading your books. You don’t write so that people will read do you? You write because you love to write.



    • Stace
      Comment
      25.1
      · March 5th, 2010 at 9:05 pm · Link

      Rob, welcome to the blog! I can’t help noticing that this is the second comment you’ve posted in a very short time period inquiring as to my motives for doing what I do for a living. Can I ask why you’re so interested?



      • Rob
        Comment
        25.1.1
        · March 8th, 2010 at 2:06 pm · Link

        Hi Stacia,
        I’m a photographer, but years and years ago I wanted to be a writer, so it’s very interesting to me how and why writers are able to produce and publish. Writing a novel is something I flat-out can’t do, so when I find people the ARE able to do that, I just like try to find out a little more of the “Why?” aspect.



      • Stace
        Comment
        25.1.2
        · March 9th, 2010 at 2:28 pm · Link

        Well, really, that’s the answer right there. Why? Because I can. I imagine it’s the same reason you take pictures for a living, right? Doesn’t everyone try to do what they love for a living?



      • Rob
        Comment
        25.1.3
        · March 9th, 2010 at 9:04 pm · Link

        Yes! People do try to do what they love for a living, and those talented enough to pay the bills w/o a day job usually seem so happy!

        I’m not sure the reason I take pics is because I can… There are individual aspects of creating a photo that I really enjoy doing (using photoshop, making albums, etc.) so looking forward to those photo-production tasks is big part of why I even pick up the camera at all.

        Anyway, thanks for the reply and congratulations on your new book being released!



  26. Tez Miller
    Comment
    26
    · March 5th, 2010 at 11:13 pm · Link

    Thank you so much for writing and sharing this post – it’s always nice to feel appreciated. ;-) You’re a fabulous person, and I very much look forward to reading your books. :mrgreen: *hugs*



    • Stace
      Comment
      26.1
      · March 6th, 2010 at 2:59 pm · Link

      Thanks, Tez, what a lovely thing to say! :grin:



  27. Roslyn Holcomb
    Comment
    27
    · March 6th, 2010 at 2:06 pm · Link

    This is a terrific post and I can’t imagine what people are thinking when they harangue their readers that way. I guess it’s the southerner in me, but I feel uncomfortable even notifying my mailing list when I have a new release coming out. And I asked their permission before I put them on the list so obviously they want to hear from me. And I’m absolutely insane with joy when I hear from a reader. My God, not only did they buy my book, but they took the time to let me know they liked it, it’s absolutely divine.

    I did a recent post about pirates and expressed the same sentiment. Even if I never lose a dime, and I’m fairly certain that I don’t, it still hurts. It’s comforting to know I’m not the only one who feels that way.



    • Stace
      Comment
      27.1
      · March 6th, 2010 at 3:03 pm · Link

      Thanks Roslyn! And yeah, I TOTALLY know what you mean. I hate doing promo like that and talking about releases and everything. Honestly there are times when I have something to say on a subject, but say it anonymously just so it won’t look like I’m trying to push myself or my books or whatever. It makes me feel icky.

      I actually have someone else handle the Downside Army, too, for that reason. It’s the same thing; they’ve signed up for it, so of course they want to know what’s happening and they want to help out, but…I still feel weird asking. It’s much easier to have someone else do it.

      And yeah, when they actually bother to email?? That’s amazing. I’ve gotten a few emails from reviewers who read ARCs of UNHOLY GHOSTS, and that TOTALLY blew me away. I keep going back and rereading them to make sure I didn’t imagine it, lol.

      Thanks! Going to go check out your post soon.



  28. Hailey Edwards
    Comment
    28
    · March 7th, 2010 at 2:23 pm · Link

    There is one author I have limited dealings with who writes a controversial series. People either love it or hate it.

    I will admit that I love her work, but this series progressed from something I enjoyed and looked forward to reading into something…well…else.

    The point I’m trying to make is, on the release day of her last book, she got an Amazon review that echoed my exact thoughts. It wasn’t mean or ugly. It just said something along the lines of “I love your work. I’ve invested in the series this far and have to see how it ends, but I won’t be reading your next attempt to write in this genre.”

    The author’s response was to tell her “most loyal” readers to go to Amazon that instant and “fix” the problem. I was appalled. I had chosen not to comment since I didn’t want to hurt her feelings. I’d expressed my opinion when the series took what I considered a wrong turn, and didn’t see the need to keep repeating it as the books continued to decline.

    I was shocked that she would tell her readers to go to Amazon and give her five star reviews to “bury” that one person’s honest opinion. I was even more shocked when an avalanche of “thisbookisthebestbookevah” posts showed up within the next few hours.

    I mean, really? That’s how it works? I don’t think so.

    Sorry this is drawn out and a little off topic, but I’ve been stewing over this for months. I guess I needed to vent.



    • Stace
      Comment
      28.1
      · March 9th, 2010 at 2:31 pm · Link

      Yeah, the gaming of Amazon reviews–on both sides–bugs me too. Sigh.



      • Mac
        Comment
        28.1.1
        · March 18th, 2010 at 12:14 pm · Link

        It sort of gets one to the point where one just… ignores all five-star reviews. Which is sad, because at times I’d like to give a five-star review, y’know? But not if the system-gaming has rendered them meaningless.



  29. Jackie Kessler
    Comment
    29
    · March 8th, 2010 at 8:01 am · Link

    Coming in late (wow, shock) to tell you that you’re brilliant, Stace. Well put all around.



    • Stace
      Comment
      29.1
      · March 9th, 2010 at 2:32 pm · Link

      Lol, thanks Jackie! {{hug}}



  30. Kasey Mackenzie
    Comment
    30
    · March 8th, 2010 at 1:15 pm · Link

    Wow…Just…wow. I read this entry when you first posted it, and I nodded along with it like a crazy nodding thing, but apparently I missed the Twitter Kerfluffle that inspired it. I am shocked, SHOCKED to hear that book-loving readers who spend their hard-earned money and time buying and promoting books were brow-beaten like this. It is awful. Absolutely awful. No two ways about it. It is ONE THING to post something informational letting readers know how they can help someone get the best sales results and/or hit some sort of list–IF THE READER WANTS TO! It is ANOTHER THING ENTIRELY to talk down to them or act as if the reader in any way, shape, or form OWES IT to the writer.

    I know that I didn’t make the comment and it’s not my responsibility to own someone else’s words, but I still want to say that I am SINCERELY SORRY that the readers/bloggers who encountered this vitriole had to endure it and be made to feel in ANY WAY lesser. Because you are not!

    Especially not you, my fine, Canadian friend Amy Stewart (Hi! I know we don’t know each other but hi!), who has that nationality in common with my beloved father-in-law and many of his relatives. =)



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