Oh, you thought I meant “coming out of the closet.” No. Sometimes I go in my walk-in closet, close the door, sit down and have a good private cry.
In this particular instance, I was crying about how difficult it is to be an author. It seems everyone wants a piece of the pie in one way or another, and it leaves very little to the author.
Who is it that has their hand in the pie?
Reviewers (who require print copies)
Office Supply Stores
Publishers of How-to Books
Internet Service Providers
Book Promotion Advertisers (newsletters, websites, blogs)
Need I go on? To top it off, most authors don’t even make enough to be considered authors. Take a look at these statistics:
“Over 70,000 books are published a year. Less than 10 percent sell more than 100,000 copies. That means there are 63,000 books per year that don’t sell very many copies. Less than 5 percent of the people who call themselves authors make a living from their books.” ~Buzz Your Book
Guess how I found out this information? Buying a copy of Buzz Your Book. Now I’m getting paid even less. In all the promotion material I’ve read, the advice has been that an author needs to offer some kind of information or service in order to make their money.
I try to do as much free promotion as I can, but it appears the paid advertisement has the greatest affect. Does it pay for itself? Not yet. Will it in the long run? Who knows. All any author can do is continue to try.
Recently, a fellow author got a beating from a reviewer whose whole purpose is to trash books. The reviewer wasn’t kind, she wasn’t considerate, and she wasn’t truthful. The point of her blog is to be overly sadistic, clever and outrageous at the author’s expense. (A little akin to Howard Stern’s “shock jock” persona.)
I guess I’m still pretty naïve when it comes to this sort of thing, but I just can’t condone running down someone else to boost your own success. Writing is what this author loves to do. It’s how she makes her living. Sure not everyone is going to love your writing, and that’s okay. But targeting someone (the author did not request this review) and bashing them for some kind of emotional high is…sad. I feel sorry for this reviewer. I also feel sorry for the author and the impact it had on her and her sales.
All the other people and/or companies I mentioned above who have a hand in an author’s pie are controllable. The reviewer I mentioned is not. Yes, I’ve met a few on my own writing journey, and I guess it comes with the territory. But what does this say about us as a human race? Tell me what you think.
Cindy A. Christiansen
Sweet Romance, Comedy, Suspense…and Dogs!
Fly into a good book today at: www.dragonflyromance.com