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Friday, July 16, 2010

A bit of the grit

So my official posts about the "happenings" at RomCon are over. However, I had a few topics burning in my brain, things I learned, many of which surprised me.
  • Many big name authors really fear bad reviews. Some don't want to be notified at all about reviews because reading them--good or bad--interferes with their creative process.
Really? I always thought a seasoned author would get over worrying, and shrug off the naysayers. Not so. So here's what I'm thinking, and keep in mind this is strictly supposition... Maybe if one has luck and lands an agent early in one's career, and said agent procures a fat contract with a big cat publisher, one doesn't have to face as many rejections and criticisms of one's work (note, I said "as many". I think we all deal with rejections at some point). Heck, I dealt with some really ugly comments about Waiting for Revenge long before I was even ready to submit it to agents or publishers. Did I get thick skin? Well, sorta... I also encountered enough people who felt the same about the story that I did, so I feel strong enough in knowing it's not a story for everybody.

  • There's a perception in the publishing world, at least among some authors, that borrowing books from libraries hurts our business. Even more so, if it's an ebook borrowed.

Unfortunately, I think, again, agents might be a factor. Not that I think agents are bad, but... having somebody else handle all the "business" end of your business leads inevitably to, how can I put this kindly... ignorance? I wish there was a way for me to get the word out that: We do get a royalty every time an ebook is borrowed, so it's not "stealing". It's all tracked through Overdrive, where libraries get ebooks. And the ebook is only good for a certain period of time, after which the license expires and the file will no longer open. One author thinks I'm substandard because I admitted to borrowing books from the library. She says libraries hurt the biz. She buys every book she reads, which makes me lowlife because I can't afford them. *shrug* Hey, the way I figure it, people like me who use libraries keep the libraries open, and if every library in the country pre-ordered her next release, she'd have one hell of a first-run on it.
  • Those really snarky, funny blog sites? Erm. Some of those gals go around just looking for something to be a bitch about. (probably not surprising, but definitely appalling, especially when some of what they blog is fabricated)
I suppose the old truth-in-journalism ethic doesn't apply to blogs?
  • Many authors (and some editors are now telling them to do this) don't send a thank-you to reviewers.
What? Isn't that just common courtesy? I do believe in the old saying, "If you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all", but there's also propriety in a polite thanks. Most reviewers do so on a volunteer basis, just for free books. To completely blow them off, whether the review is positive or negative, is just poor etiquette. And we all know poor etiquette equals unprofessional. I don't see how acting unprofessionally can get you anywhere. At least, not anywhere good. People who review my books get a thank you.
  • I heard a few authors express the sentiment that book reviews should only say positive things about the book.
I disagree. If the book had problems the reviewer couldn't see past, then she/he should state them in the review. If readers start thinking book reviews are just a sales pitch, not a candid opinion, then the reviews will lose credibility.
  • All writers are not introverts. Some very much love the limelight and--whether willingly or not--can dominate a panel or group effort.
I still think mixing new writers and well-knowns is a good idea; but new authors have to be willing to step up and grab the mike sometimes.

And that's it. As it should be--this is an unusually long post for me.

Oh, one more happy note, it sounds like my box of sunglass bags has been located. The person who fell ill was supposed to go pick them up yesterday, and the RomCon director is going to send them back to me. So they'll be nicely "aged" by next year...

Have a great weekend.

Autumn Piper

Got romance?

1 comment:

D'Ann said...

good post!
glad ya found your bags!