Reblogged from: Linda Hilton
@AuthorAvaMiles has posted her “Love Letter to Mean Readers” on Facebook, whining that
When I put a book in the world, it’s like sending my child off to kindergarten.
But I’m deeply concerned how you as a collective contribute to other people not writing or doing something great because they see how people like you treat people like me.
Your words hurt. They’re another kind of bullying.
No, they are not bullying. They may hurt, but they are not bullying. Getting stood up for the prom hurts, too. Are you going to write a “Love Letter to Mean Teen-aged Boys” over it?
Your books are not your children. They just aren’t.
Author Ava Miles is a best seller. She has numerous books in print, with literally thousands of glowing reviews on Amazon. (I didn’t look anywhere else.) She’s good enough that Saint Nora Roberts allowed Miles to use her name in the title of Miles’s best-selling Nora Roberts Land, of which the Kindle edition is currently free and currently has 3,450 reviews, 84% of which are 4-5 stars, for an average of 4.3.
She has over 9,000 “likes” on her Facebook page.
But it’s not enough. It’s just not enough, because someone out there, some handful of people, dared to criticize her books. They found grammatical errors, even though she’s sure she didn’t make as many as other people. They didn’t like the sex in her books or the curse words or whatever.
Oh. My. Fucking. Goddess. The inhumanity of it all.
I wish I had 3,450 reviews. I wish I had 3,450 copies sold. I wish, I wish, I wish.
I wish every author who self-published took the time to proofread. I wish every author who self-published took the time to research. I wish every author who self-published took the time to put out good product.
The reality is that they don’t. And some of them are going to get bad reviews.
Why am I writing this yet again? Why am I not able to shut up and be nice/kind/gentle/silent? I know perfectly well that my outspokenness has had a price. I know that there are people who probably hate my guts, would never even look at one of my books, and would gladly block me on Facebook with the same glee that Goodreads banned me, and I don’t care.
I don’t care, because I value my integrity more than I value book sales. (Thank you, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.)
I can’t afford a professional editor; I have to rely on myself. I can’t afford a professional proofreader; I don’t trust them anyway. My cover art is digital, legally licensed from a fellow seller on Etsy; I added the text myself via Photoshop. All that said, I wrote for my own sheer joy in writing and if someone wants to find fault, well, they have that right. I hope they’ll buy it and enjoy it and like it, but if not, well, them’s the breaks.
“You takes our money, you gets our comments,” as Ridley so famously said. (Or maybe it was opinions, or reviews, but whatever; I’m close.)
When a best selling author whines about negative comments, however, I see red. I think of the late Liberace’s famous line about crying all the way to the bank. If you don’t like negative comments, don’t put yourself out there in public. Shut down your social media presence and shut your mouth. People do indeed, as you yourself said, Ava Miles, have a right to their opinions. And when you have a public Facebook page, when you let your private email address be known, you had better be prepared for the bad as well as the good, because you’ve had a very healthy dose of the good. As in good money.
And remember when you post your whiny little wankfests that there are other writers who would give their first-born novel to have what you have.