Let me start by saying that it doesn’t surprise me because there are shady, slimy con artists in every industry. And I don’t even fault the authors who fell prey to his scheme because we’ve all been guilty of coveting the brass ring of notoriety in one-way or another.
But I felt compelled to comment.
When I began writing novels in early 2009, a few things happened:
· My agent couldn't sell my romantic comedy, Kat Fight (it was 2010 by then, and I should’ve put vampires in it and called it Kat Bite. I digress…)
· I read a blog post by Amanda Hocking that changed my life
· The stigma of self publishing began to rapidly disappear
· I self-published One Pink Line and became a novelist
Here’s the thing…I went insane when I started selling books. I’d sit at my computer and refresh the KDP report page and clap like Mrs. Klump every time the numbers changed.
Then I started to get reviews. From people I didn’t know! Great ones, from all over the world. People who’d taken a chance on my self-published debut novel, and me...and loved us. I was truly astonished and a little bit proud of myself.
So, if I were to look back and ask my younger, cuter self from five years ago to list my initial publishing goals, here’s what I would have said:
· Write a great book
· Find an agent
· Have said agent find a publisher
· See my book on a bookshelf or in a library one day
· Have someone other than my mom and sister buy said book
· Write a few more great books
· Turn one of these great books into screenplays
Money was never a goal for me because everyone always said how difficult it was to make money as a novelist. The revenue was a complete bonus.
But money and notoriety are the number one goals for some people, and that’s okay…if they aren’t mocking the rest of us by compromising the system and the craft as a whole. Can a crappy book make a quick buck? Absolutely. Can a fantastic book get lost in the shuffle and fade away to rankings oblivion? You bet.
The cream doesn’t always rise to the top, but the bullshit sure does.
All I will say is that if you want readers to take you seriously, you need to take yourself seriously. Believe in yourself and keep your credibility in check. Be serious about your writing, your craft, your work, your peers, your brand, and yourself.
Trust me, I’m old now…I know things.