This is a rant site – a place to vent, as I’ve called it many times before, it’s my self-therapy. I look back at some of my angry rants at the beginning and I think it must be working a little bit because I really am enjoying myself now. And, I’ve especially enjoyed today’s Writer’s Cafe at KBoards drama. As I ranted about sometime last year, I had an unfortunate encounter with some very nasty posters there when I wandered in to ask a question about publishing. Just the nature of my question seemed to lead some of the disenfranchised members of their group to believe that maybe I was just a little too successful for their liking and I was immediately attacked by some of their regular members there. I posted about it here: “Rant on Kindleboards or Kboards Writer’s Cafe and a Warning to Authors.”
I’ve stated before in a couple of my other rants that I do not think forums are very good places. They never really were very safe and now that there is less anonymity on the web, they are even more dangerous than they were 15 years ago.
No matter how private they may seem to the posters, how familial or friendly the other posters may appear, the fact is you don’t really know those people. And, you don’t know who else is reading your forum posts – like me. I’ve been reading this thread at Kboard Writer’s Cafe since yesterday. I’ve gone through two pots of coffee and enjoyed a lot of hearty laughs. I’ve been working really hard this week and this is my first really enjoyable break. And, apparently, I’m not alone in this because that most recent blow-up thread has had a remarkable number of views.
Certain central ideas persist around the most recent furor, though. Here is probably the very most important idea: Those people that you have deluded yourself into thinking are your friends and supporters are not.
This is especially true if you have a self-entitlement attitude. For example, if you think you are so special or important and have so many supporters that you can ask them to bump you up in the rankings, be aware that there are a lot of people who don’t like you, who think you’re a little too big for your britches. And, if you think you are so special and deserving that you can go into a writer’s group and ask your competitors to help you game the system at Amazon, then you deserve whatever backlash you get.
“Pride goeth before disaster, a haughty spirit before a fall.”
And, even if those people at that forum were your friends, they are not really going to appreciate you bragging about your income and sales figures. Despite what they say, they don’t like it. Nobody likes it. It is not being “helpful” to anyone or anything except your ego.
Perhaps, it has escaped the notice of the braggarts that we are in a recession – truth be told, we’re probably in a depression. Lots of people are struggling. People who work almost constantly are struggling. A lot of people are not as fortunate as you. If you’re an arrogant, self-entitled prat, it may not occur to you that not everyone has the advantages that you may have – you with your massive sales numbers and swelling income. Not everybody is lucky enough to have family support or even a family. Lots of people don’t have friends – lots of writers, especially, are very isolated. Lots of people, especially writers and people who must find alternative means of earning a living, are not blessed with good health.
Now, those people are not going to tell you about their problems most of the time because it’s scary and unwise to talk about your health problems and the fact that nobody has got your back in real life.
And, they may not be the ones leaving the one-star drive-by reviews on your sales pages (for those people, I’d suggest looking to some of those regular posters who you think are your friends, who encourage you to act foolishly, to expose yourself, to boast about your income and good fortune, and who applaud you when you do these things and tell you you’re not doing anything wrong), but they don’t like you.
I don’t like you.
There used to be a thing called etiquette, it’s an old-fashioned idea that goes all the way back to the 1980s – that’s about the last time I remember seeing anything like it, anyway. One rule of etiquette is that you don’t talk about money. You don’t brag about your income, how much money you’ve got in the bank, how much you’ve paid for your house or your car. You don’t count your money in front of the customers, if you have a business.
You don’t brag about how much money and sales you make – even to people you think are your friends. It’s considered very rude – because you don’t know what is going on in other people’s lives. People who are having a hard time and who have a sense of humility and decency, themselves, don’t talk about their finances. Your friends who are, also, working hard, but surviving on 99-cent hot dogs and dried beans aren’t going to appreciate hearing about your swelling bank account. And, it’s not nice to rub it in their faces.
You certainly don’t do it at a public forum or at your website or blog, from which you sell your books. This is a bad idea!
It’s bad form.
It’s bad manners.
It makes you look like an insensitive clod.
And, it’s pretty stupid, too.
And, that is some of the basis for the undercurrent of nastiness that can be seen embodied in that popular thread at Writer’s Cafe at Kboards right now.
If a lot of those people being praised by their sycophantic fellow posters there as “contributing” so much to the forum were not a bunch of braggadocious fools with apparently no concept of how to behave in normal, non-psychotic society, then I would not have had 24-hours of beautiful, beautiful entertainment.
Also, I agree that publicly threatening to sue your reviewers is bad form. It’s not a good idea. That’s the article here: http://www.bigskywords.com/1/post/2014/01/should-you-sue-your-ebook-reviewers.html/ The guy who wrote it is right, although he’s been badmouthed by a lot of people at the Kboards Writer’s Cafe in that same thread. I can’t understand why they want to defend an author behaving so childishly toward a reviewer, but he claims he has been successful, so maybe they think they can somehow get a piece of his success for themselves by groveling at his feet – sort of like rubbing the head of a leprechaun for good luck, I suppose. It’s very odd – it’s the bizarre characteristic of that forum that a bunch of hostile strangers posing as friends stick together as a mob around the internet. You can see it for yourself and see who some of the real trouble-makers are, see the comment section at the above-linked article.
(Quick update on 2/10/2014, regarding the article linked above at http://www.bigskywords.com) – I don’t like to name names, especially when an author appears to be litigious, so I won’t name him – but, something is very strange. The subject of the afore-mentioned article at bigskywords.com is a V.I.P. at Writer’s Cafe Kboards right now. He’s made the rounds with the Alex Jones Show associates based in Texas because he writes in the trendy, testosterone-drenched, apocalyptic prepare-for-a-government-collapse/revolution genre, if that even is a genre. I just caught a podcast with this guy here: http://rockingselfpublishing.com/005-joe-nobody/ and I compared it to this: http://www.kemahbay.com/Clients.php I will leave you to draw your own conclusions. You won’t have to listen to the podcast for more than 6 minutes, then look carefully at the comment at the marketing website to see what I mean. Also, see this: http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,156162.msg2253480.html#msg2253480 And, under the category of “authors behaving badly,” see this here: http://www.amazon.com/review/R1TLFBBHWK9PPJ/ref=cm_cr_pr_cmt?ie=UTF8&ASIN=061559283X&linkCode=&nodeID=&tag=#wasThisHelpful Now, I ask you – would you take either writing, publishing or marketing advice from someone like this? Why is he being praised for “contributing” so much at Writer’s Cafe Kboards? As I said before, in at least one previous rant, listen very carefully when a man tells you about himself, especially upon first introduction – if he’s going to tip his hand, this is when he’ll do it – see what I mean: http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,130586.msg1926804.html#msg1926804
Definition of the word, scoundrel: A person (especially a man) who is cruel, unscrupulous or dishonest; a disreputable person.
Again, if you are looking for examples of how not to behave and what not to do as an author, I think you will find the Writer’s Cafe very instructive. Just hang around for a while and observe. Give the big ducks in the little pond a chance to drown themselves in their own excrement and eventually – as we see from the above thread – it happens.
(Added February 19, 2014) There is one more reason why you shouldn’t share your sales figures in public places, which I had temporarily forgotten and that has to do with contracts. Someone brings it up here at this Writer’s Cafe Kboards forum and reminds people that this is not allowed. Writer’s Cafe Kboards has a special widget for posters who want to brag about their daily sales figures by means of a “badge” placed beneath each post they make. The design of the badge indicates their average daily sales. I predict this thread will not end well: http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,179095.0.html