ratings

Monday Musings: Pay It Forward! a.k.a. Helping Your Favorite/Fellow Author

Today’s musings aren’t anything new.  You see, this weekend past I was approached by a fellow author trying to get his book put together.  He needs funding and has taken to the popular crowd-funding approach to do so.  He wanted me to take a look at his book and then, if I liked it, to help him signal boost and help him out.

Now, if any of you ever look at my Twitter feed, you know that I’m not a fan of the mass retweeters out there, who fling constant advertisements about their books and retweeting other ads.  There’s advertisement and promotion … then there’s that continual yelling in your ear.  If I don’t like that, how is this sort of thing involving Kickstarter any different?

It’s the simple difference between a simple request done privately and massive unwanting annoyance.  It’s also the difference between being given the choice, fully informed, to do what I want instead of constantly being tagged to ‘RT PLZ’ or the like.  Helping to signal boost indie authors is one of the primary reasons I started my book reviews to begin with, after all, so backing this kind of approach is my bag of tea.

What this comes down to is that there are right and wrong ways to support your favorite authors.  Should you tell your friends about them?  Sure!  Should you review and rate their books?  Of course!  But you don’t do them any favors by constantly signal-blasting about them.  It’s like any other kind of nagging; it gets old fast.  Instead of making your friends read this favorite author of yours, you will likely make them avoid it like the plague out of sheer annoyance!

Until next time, good reading, good writing, and good luck!

Writing is a Bad Habit: Reviewing and Sharing Are Bad Habits! a.k.a. The Title is Sarcastic!

A quick bit of an article before I dig into Chapter 21 of The Twelfth Labor but I think this is an important topic to not only talk about, but continually reiterate!  Let’s talk about one of the most important forms of support an independent author can receive: word-of-mouth support.

Look, the fact of the matter is that there are tens of thousands of indie books out there.  The e-book market especially is flooded with them.  The saying goes that ‘everyone has a story in them’ and, now, everyone can get that story published and internationally distributed!  Every indie book, good or bad, classic-to-be-discovered or affront to literature, is lost in that sea and who’s to say if any will ever be discovered.

That’s where the readers have to step in.  If you read indie books and find one you truly enjoy, it really should be your duty as a responsible reader to rate it, review it, and share it with others who may be interested in it.  Many people still attach a prejudice to the very idea of indie books, instantly connecting them to a lower quality than ‘professionally published books’.  That critical ‘word-of-mouth’ endorsement can break through that prejudice.  While someone may hold that bias, they will almost always listen to their friends’ opinions over it.  Once their foot is in the door, the book itself will then carry the day.

The truth is that all the social media wizardry in the world (though not pointless, it has a place in this grassroots network) won’t get you that many readers without something to hold up to show them that there is a reason to take a chance, to leave that indie bias behind.

It comes down to this:

  1. If you read indie books, rate them.  Review them, even if it’s a simple paragraph.  Share them.
  2. If you are an indie author, encourage your readers to do number 1 above.  Don’t just tell them to rate YOUR book.  Try to encourage them to break the trend of inactivity for everything they read.
  3. If you already do all of the above, well, kick back, crack open a cold drink, and enjoy the boons of responsible action!

Good luck and good writing … and good reading!