I’ve been an independent author for 16 years now. The name of the game has changed dramatically. The ways to piss off indie authors has not. If you are guilty of any of the following, rest assured, you are on our bad side.
- Expect Us to Give You Free Books. Would you like it if we went to your job and prattled on about how your career is not an actual career and then proceed to demand free services? I think not.
- Say You will Give a Book Review then Not Do It. If the old adage is true and you are only as good as your word, then perhaps you’re shot. No follow through is never popular… not on the dating scene and certainly not among authors.
- Ask for the Plot to our Latest Novel Before Publication. Do you expect the Pope to release his speech before an appearance? Do you walk up to an inventor and ask him to tell you his revelations? I think not. When we are in the creative zone, we want to perfect and polish our work until it becomes a masterpiece.
- Be Tardy or Late to a Book Signing. No, we will not save a book for you. If we can show up with our hair curled, heels on, and balancing twenty boxes of paperback books, a banner, and a pen, you can arrive to the book signing on time too.
- Ask Why We Don’t have an Agent. Do you have an agent? Why must we have an agent to validate our work as an author? What if authors were to go around asking other professionals what their credentials were over coffee and tell them they are not validated as a professional until they have a representative agent? Mark Twain never had an agent and he published his own work. Does that mean he doesn’t produce literature? Get off your high horse.
- Ask for Advice and Not Use it. This happens more often than you might realize and it is my greatest pet peeve. Case in point, there is a certain person who kept sending me e-mails asking for advice in publishing and how to become an author. I gave her a very thorough response… to which she proceeded to never take my advice. This does not solicit a response. Would you go to a doctor, ask him for advice on what to do to improve your health, not follow through with the advice, and then continue to pester him? Bollocks!
- Only Talk to Us for “Writing” Favors. People know when they are being used. As authors, we are no different.
- Incessantly Prattle on About Your Novel Idea. The insinuation that if we published a literary piece, anyone can is incredibly insulting. Would I go to your job and tell you the same? No, I would not. The truth is, not everyone has what it takes to be an author, moreover, rarely do those interested in being a writer with superb ideas actually have the drive and thick skin to do so. We have writer’s groups to bounce around ideas, learn, and grow.
- Tell Us What Trouble It is to Use a Discounted Coupon/Go to the Freebie Link for our Novel. If Bill Gates gave you a $100 and cut off his right arm to help you, would you complain? Then why do you complain about us giving you free copies of our novels or discounted prices? We are giving you our life blood, the very thing that makes us tick as human beings and you are complaining that you cannot click on a link. We are exposing our souls and you are whining about us giving you free money. Cry me a river.
- Say, “Anyone Can Do That.” We will obliterate you in fiction and not think twice. See#5.
- Ask if We’ve Written Another Book Yet. Do you poop masterpieces? Don’t expect us to churn out a revolutionary work of art in a week, month, or even a year. There is an intricate process to not only write a novel, but release it in print. See my blog post, A Writer’s Life. And just for good measure…
- Demand Reading Recommendations on Facebook. This is probably my second biggest pet peeve. Do you know an author? Good. Support your local author instead of demanding that the entirety of Facebook provide you with reading recommendations on your status update. And no, Fifty Shades of Grey does not count as literature.