It started quite slowly a couple of years ago, but unfortunately it has now become a pandemic. The insidious contagion? The acquisitive author affliction.
Self publishing has given absolutely anyone the right to write, be published and be read. The gatekeepers have been removed and without exaggeration, it has delivered the basic right of freedom of expression to everyone. However, as with any freedom, there will always be those who either misunderstand it, or abuse it, and then ruin it for everyone.
The rise and rise of greedy, money-hungry, demanding and quite honestly, pain in the butt self published writers, who think that because they have written a book, millions will come running to buy it, are filling social media sites with their mindless attempts at flogging their books. Or more often, their one and only book.
Repetitive posts using the imperative to impolitely order people to tag, like, preview, review, check out and of course, buy their damn book, pollute Facebook and Twitter in particular. In recent months, even Linkedin and my email inbox are now being befouled by their mindless, and destined to failure methods of trying to peddle their wares.
Another grating habit many of these nouveau writers-cum-book trafficking fools posses, is to deride, criticise and downright insult other writers and authors in the belief that this will enhance their credibility. Well, dream on trolls.
Let’s get one thing straight. Self publishing is not a Yellow Brick Road to success and wealth. It is a pipe dream to think of self publishing as a way to riches. It is an opportunity to express oneself, and be heard, well, read. For 99% of writers it is a hobby and hopefully, may provide a nice little side income at some time along the way. Yes, there are the rare overnight success stories, but it is as sure as hell that their success was not gained by peppering social media with ‘buy my book’ every half an hour.
Those who bombard social media with demands and pressure trying to flog their one and only book and become an overnight success will of course try for a while; and fail, and fade away. There are even some who are very slow learners and will persist for much longer, but in the end they learn, fall by the wayside, and complain. “People just won’t do as they’re told!”
Writing was, and has never been a competitive pursuit, so these fools who are happily deriding other writers day in and day out only prove that they know nothing about what it means to be a writer, let alone an author. The expression, ‘give them enough rope and they will hang themselves’, comes to mind.
Writing is a creative art, and as such, is a great métier for those who wish to remain poor. Writing is creative art, and as such, you do it only because you love it. Writing is creative art, and as such, not everyone is going to love what you write. Writing is creative art, and as such a lot of people may even hate what you write. Writing is a creative art, and therefore not a business. Writing is a creative art, to be respected, and not to be ‘hawked’ like cheap dishwashing liquid.
True writing is not about money and selling. It’s about passion. And readers certainly do discover, and do buy, well written books by passionate authors. Authors only need to inform readers intelligently that they are passionate about what they do. Then book sales will happily look after themselves.