So, while my head was buried in packing paper and boxes the world of publishing sort of imploded. (But I guess in reality, this is nothing new. šŸ˜‰ )

It took me a couple of days to get my work computer unpacked and put together. But when I did I found all sorts of crazy things hadĀ happened in my absence. LikeĀ a link to a blog about an author who self destructed over a two star review that in reality … wasn’t that bad. I’m not going to give you a link to the blog because the authorĀ had an unprofessional meltdown.

Really, it wasn’t pretty. The whole blog went viral and the author kept shouting inappropriate things in the comments and it became a lesson on what not to do when you get a review that bums you out.

The truth is, sometimes reviews hurt. I’ve gotten 5 star reviews where the reviewer had nothing nice to say and 3 star reviews with glowing quotes. But regardless of how the review makes me feel, it’s not my opinion. Of course I love my stories, I wouldn’t release them out into the world if I didn’t, but not everyone is going to think my baby is beautiful. But my job is to thank them for taking time to read my book and move on. If I’m bummed then it’s my closest friends who hear about it, not the world via some reviewers blog. But hey, bad behavior isn’t limited to authors … so sometimes it happens. We’re all human.

And then there’s the conversation that happened between BARRY EISLER, and AMANDA HOCKING about self-publishing and traditional publishing. Amanda made the news when she made over 1.5 MILLION in 2010 direct selling her books on Kindle. She has authors like me wondering if there’s any chance of duplicating her results.

The truth is, I’ve been in the business less than 6 years. When I first published e-books received little respect. There was nothing like the Nook or Kindle and now, now authors realize that self-publishing is no longer a four letter word and that perhaps there is real money to be made if we skip the middle man (the publisher).

Now, don’t get me wrong. I love both publishers I’ve worked with. They have offered me amazing covers and VERY talented editors. I would never put a book out to the public without an editor giving it the very hard eye that I don’t even sort of have. But when backlist books become available again then an author would be foolish to let the edited manuscript sit on her desktop without at least trying the self-publishing route.

Very soon I will be dipping my toes into that pool and I eagerly wait for the results. Of course I can only hope that a fraction of the readers who own Kindles find my books. An author can only hope to get a fraction of the readers Amanda worked so hard to garner.

So what else did I miss in the last week? Any chance everything is fine in Libya and gas prices went down?

0 Responses to And Now a Little Craziness

  • Great post Nina! It is interesting to see what is going on in the publishing world. I certainly applaud Amanda for what she’s done but to be honest- I’m not sure that taking a deal with a traditional publisher now is in her best interests- though it does sound like a good deal. I think she’ll find that there are a lot of differences and that she might not like surrendering all of the decision making to someone else. I have to say that I applaud Barry and really enjoyed his interview with “Ted”. It was very enlightening.

    I do feel somewhat sorry for the self-published author who imploded and was extreemly unprofessional in how she dealt with the review she was given (which you are right wasn’t that bad). I understand why someone would self-publish but don’t understand why the person(s) wouldn’t at least hire a freelance copyeditor to edit for grammar and get at least 5 or 6 friends to beta read the work and beg them to be “brutally honest”. I often have to write things for work and always ask at least one person to review it for me before it gets sent to the masses….lol

    • JuneGirl – When I first started writing I was blissfully unaware of writing rules (including grammar and punctuation and minor things like POV *g*). My family read my first book and LOVED it, despite the fact that I now realize it could never be published … it truly was that bad. šŸ˜‰ But they read it as readers and not editors. As I continued to write and learn the craft I realized how important my editors were for my work.

      When someone hasn’t experienced that part of the publishing world they may not know how critical editing is to polishing a great story. I think the author whose work is full of typos and grammatical errors fell into this category.

      And Amanda? Yeah, I was kind of surprised she accepted a NY contract. OTOH, she may be tired of carrying the ball by herself and would happily turn over some of the responsibility over to someone else so she can focus on her writing.

  • Everyone needs an editor. And not just any editor. A very qualified editor. There are a whole lot of writers out there that would be shocked to see their work after a really good editor has been through it.

    The author’s meltdown was truly something to watch. I’ll be blogging about this type of thing on Monday myself.

    As for Amanda Hocking? WoW…lol…just WoW! She might make even more money if she gave a workshop on how to sell books! I can see her all over the country at seminars with authors just flocking to see her and listen to her methods–at the tune of $500 each. Or more. lol

    • Tess – I think many people will be using the author’s meltdown as a teaching moment. And yep, even Queen Nora admitted after all these years that SHE needs an editor. I know I kiss the feet of those that have edited my work. They’re the bestestest!

      And you’re right about Amanda and speaking engagements. Wouldn’t you LOVE to find out what she did right?

  • I’m just rubbing my hands together anticipating those Amanda Workshops! LOL

    And say it ain’t soooo—Queen Nora admitted that? Oh myyyyyy. LOL
    Hugs…good blog.

    • Tess – Don’t quote me on that, but I’m pretty sure I watched a presentation she did where she said that or maybe a blog post or … yeeeeeah, could have been anywhere.

  • I have read over the comment thread on that author (who shall remain nameless) and her meltdown. At first I doubted what I read and wondered if it was even real. We all have had reviews that we liked less than others, but hopefully have handled them with more grace. Her Amazon rating went down to 1, I heard although I haven’t looked.

    I have 2 self pubs so far, and love them. I also am working with publishers that I love and who provide very good support for my work. Just lots of possibilities out there now, Brave New World for authors, isn’t it?

    • Kate – It’ll be interesting to see how everything pans out for the author.

      I’m happy to be part of this brave new world and I can only hold my breath and hope for the best with my foray into the self-publishing world.

  • Nina,
    I’ve been in my writer’s cave and my internet has been so disrupted lately that I missed this completely! I’ll have to go look this up. I love working with an editor because I honestly believe that they’ve made my work better. I’m grateful to the three that I’ve worked with:)

    As for reviews. In this business, you take the good with the bad. Not everyone is going to love my work and I knew that going in. I stick to my mom’s old rule of “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” So far it’s served me well:)

    • Paris – The blog I’m referring to went viral via twitter. I’m sure you can find it if you look hard enough. I do wonder how the author is handling things two days later because bad reviews come with the territory…unfortunately.

      And here’s hoping hiding in your cave has netted you all kinds of words!

  • Nina, it has been a crazy week in the publishing world. Crazy!

  • Nina you pretty much nailed it all….Those are the things people kept talking about over and over….Welcome back….Hope the new places is slowly starting to feel like home…

    • Savannah – Thanks for the welcome, but unfortunately I’m temporarily hanging. I’m in an apartment and will be looking at a more permanent move as soon as we find a house.

      And yeah, I only repeated the crazy-ness that was last week.

  • Our local writer’s group is using that indie author’s very public meltdown as an example of how NOT to respond to a review. As a follow-through to that lesson, none of us have left comments on the blog involved, either. It’s best to avoid flying poo, even as an observer. “)

    The only crappy review I ever got came from a guy who stole my books on a file-sharing site and then complained he’d already read one of them. Did I nearly bite through my tongue not to respond? You betcha’.

    Authors should never, ever respond to a review, unless they wish to say, “thank you for reading my book.”


    • Adele – I agree with not responding on the blog. Fortunately the owner decided to close the comments since there was some back-biting happening even among the commenters on appropriate behavior and promoing.

      And I have to say, I respond with a polite thank you to all reviews, good or bad. With so many books out there I really do appreciate that a reviewer took time to read mine.

  • I saw that review and the comments from the author. I’d say she’s a poster child for how not to behave when you have a bad review. And her review wasn’t even that bad.

    The best thing to do when getting a bad review is thank the reviewer and move on.

    This is why older writers in the business keep telling new author that they need a thick skin. Because like it or not, not everyone will love our writing.

    It sucks but that’s life.

    • Janice – The thick skin is required the moment you put your baby “out there”. I remember getting back some contest scores that kinda hurt, but were honest and more importantly … taught me about good writing. But I think that’s the teacher in me coming out.

  • Great blog, Nina! I saw the meltdown and cringed. I’ve been tempted before with a bad review but walked away. Thank goodness!

    As far as self-publishing, I’m almost ready to put up my first one. I paid a professional cover artist and an editor I trust. I’m also paying for the formatting.

    But the truth is, when I went through my first round of edits, my stomach churned enough acid to chew through iron. The idea of not having my editor’s final stamp of approval was killing me. So I’m paying for round two. And I’m still terrified. LOL

    If the book does well, I might go at it again. I’ll just have to wait and see. In the meantime, I think I’ll buy stock in Rolaids. *cackle*

    • Shayla – I haven’t tried a book that’s brand new. I’m going in slow with a previously published book. But yeah, it’s all kind of very scary.

      I’m hoping to find some of those independent reviewers to take a look at my book when it’s finally out there. And yes, my responsed will be polite whether the review is good or bad.

      Good luck with your release!

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