Indie Rage and Public Relations

The Indie author does much more than write. There are all the learning curves, fiddly bits, and marketing. We are our own publicists. Hugely successful authors like Ann Rice can have as many wobblies as they want to online, but they’ll still be selling lots and lots of books. She’s also traditionally published anyway, so what she does doesn’t besmirch Indie world. I’ve seen enough shame inducing, call your mom a donkey dramas lately from some Indie authors online to wonder what the spectators who just read for pleasure must be thinking.

If you’re online as much as we must be, and on so many various sites, sooner or later you’re going to stumble across a comment or an article that will insert itself firmly up your nostril, and it’s possible that you will then dive right in there and firmly express your opinion. Before doing that though, try and dial up your inner public relations department, and see what that lot have to say first. If it really is something close to your heart, and commenting would be of some benefit, go for it. I’ve been known to get into scraps when it comes to animal cruelty, and that isn’t likely to change, because it’s hugely important to me. Otherwise, take a little breather first, and ask yourself if your getting loudly or publicly involved is worth it.

These past few weeks have been quite tumultuous in Indie world, with authors taking sides about Amazon’s reviewing policy, that whacky Twitter thing that E L James did, and the KU payout barney. A large group of authors is signing a civilised petition about the reviews to formally submit to Amazon, I’m sure E L James doesn’t give a hoot, and the KU payout is done and dusted. Unfortunately, many authors are using their platforms to really make some noise. This is fair enough – we can all say exactly what we want to on our own sites, and we can always delete posts later if we change our minds.

Not so much though. I’m pretty sure that Amazon is very well aware of some of the really strong things being said about them, and by who too. I noticed that the authors shouting the loudest about Amazon being criminal, thieving, swine still have their books with Amazon for sale. It’s never a good thing to try and bite the hand that feeds you. Rather get your views across in the calmest, most civilised way you can. Also, even when you delete a ranty post, you’re not guaranteed that it’s gone forever. The review that Ann Rice wrote on her own book’s Amazon page has been long deleted, but it’s still very easy to find on line if you want to read it.

So before you go in all guns blazing, ask yourself if this would be something you’ll fondly remember when you finally whack out that bestseller, and all your adoring fans want to know every little thing about you. The internet is for keeps, and dignity and respect are kind of nice to have in our Indie world.

Angry Writer

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47 thoughts on “Indie Rage and Public Relations”

  1. Great post. As indie authors, we really do have to think carefully before leaping into a fray. Yet, it seems to happen so often that some readers think that’s what all indies are like. I’ve actually been asked by a friend if I’m going to enter a flame war. It’s an odd question to field.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m guessing you did a great job of fielding it. 🙂 There really do seem to be people just waiting in the wings for something to flame about – even something apparently totally innocent.

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      1. I said no and left it at that. You see battles erupt over negative reviews a lot. An author will find even one thing in the review to use as a reason that the entire thing is a farce. It gets rather ridiculous at times.

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  2. Reblogged this on philipparees and commented:
    And it is not because she’s a buddy South African (though nothing wrong with outrage in common) but I think this was worth thinking about. Everybody likes to play David to Goliath, but a good and proper sling is necessary, not just lobbing pebbles for the hell of it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh wise woman! It might just inspire me to resume running the blog bath. It has grown cold recently but somewhere I think cogitation is happening. Have rebogged this because it leads naturally on to other things…like the nature of virtual relationships which I think we confuse with face to face at some peril. I usually accept peril if it leads to clarity, but not to blood on the pavement.

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    1. Go cogitation! Definitely warm up your blog Philippa – what you have to share is important, and the way I see it, even if something we say is beneficial to a single soul it has to be a good thing. I love blogging and bloggers. Maybe I’ll find a way to ghost blog from beyond to continue my addiction when I do depart this mortal coil. There’s always a reason at the end of every little trip.

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  4. Excellent point, I would like to offer a counter one, because that’s what my bloodsucking people do 😉 Some indies have made a name for themselves in niches specifically by writing about their beliefs in stuff like politics, and then used people in that forum or following that blog to launch their books. Some people will never hear of the author or won’t buy them just because they disagree with their leanings, but some people will buy them just because they agree with them and “know” them from their online presence.

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  5. Wise words and this applied to everyone, not just indie authors. Anyone who is employed by a company (or self-employed) needs to think twice or three times before leaping into the fray (or a flame war as my fellow indie author Charles Y. states). Social media is forever, no matter if you delete it not. Don’t believe me? Just ask Paula Deen or Donald Trump. 🙂

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    1. Thank you Olga! You’re so right. We’re connected all over the place, and getting all nasty, even in “clever” ways, is never going to win many friends or influence people. 🙂

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  6. I don’t know what Ann Rice did or said, and I’m really not interested in ‘celebrity’ behaviour at all, whatever the medium. Say your piece, its so important to speak up for what you believe in, but speak with knowledge and dignity, otherwise who’s gonna listen anyway? Great post, Jo.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. You know how a writer should always have an editor? Well, same thing with what we post online. Thing twice. Show it to somebody else. Wait a night or two. Then decide if this is what you really want to be doing – – and if you’ll regret it in the morning!!

    Liked by 1 person

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