I'm very happy to have author Christine Sutton as my guest today. She's sharing about the power of positive interactions between authors, readers, and reviewers. I agree that simple respect and courtesy go a long way not only in these relationships but in all facets of life. Be sure to check out Christine wise advice and don't miss her new release, Let Me In, Burkheart Witch Saga Book 2.
by Christine Sutton
It seems that everywhere you turn on the internet these days, there is an independent author making total and complete asses out of themselves. I have seen more hissy fits, posturing and downright embarrassing behavior online than most kindergarten teachers see in a year. The biggest problem with that is the fact that many readers are unable or unwilling to distinguish between these authors and the rest of us that are simply trying to do what we love. When the average reader sees this behavior, they are loaded with images of radical fruit loops writing stories that are poorly edited, and barely cohesive. They see the dollars that they work hard for, being potentially wasted on drivel. These mental images are only perpetuated by the bad behavior of some writers. A little positivity goes a long way.
The truth is, as an author, artist, actor, singer, or whatever; you are putting yourself in the public eye and asking people to please like you or what you have done.
Here is a news flash: Not everyone will. If they do not like you, it is not because they are jealous, or because they have no taste, or they are out to get you. It is because the product that you have produced is not to their liking. Simple as that.
So, what is an author to do?
Take it. Throwing a fit, hurling insults, and telling everyone about your thousands of Twitter followers, or your hundreds of Facebook friends that all said they loved your book, does absolutely nothing to change that fact. If you receive a "bad" review, the best thing to do is read it. If there is something written in the review that you feel might be valid, and may improve your craft, take it. If the review bashes your skills and refers to you as an amateurish high school level writer, take it.
Then quietly let it go.
If you are at a stage play, and someone boos the performance, the actors do not stop what they are doing to tell the person that they "are jealous" or are "out to get them". They simply do their best to continue entertaining the rest of the patrons. Not once in my lifetime have I ever heard of an artist threatening to take his or her toys and go home because someone was being a big mean doodie-head.
By getting your panties in a bunch, you only make yourself look stupid and childish. Stomping your feet, and listing your credentials will definitely not help your cause. Ranting and raving for the whole world to see is the last thing that you want to do. Trust me.
Some may see a bad review or a criticism as a personal attack, an injustice that must be righted through blog posts or web forums. In 99.999% of cases, this is simply not true. Most often, it is simply an opinion. It may or may not be right, but that person is still entitled to it. If you don't like it…oh well. Suck it up, buttercup. That is after all only your opinion.
Now, for readers and reviewers:
Please keep in mind that what you are reading is not just a doodle that someone threw down on paper in an afternoon and then posted online in between dinner and bedtime. It is something they really worked hard on, usually.
When you read something, please take the time to leave a review. That is the nicest thing you can do for an author after buying their book. Really. Good or bad, leave a review.
If you choose to leave a bad review, please let the author and other readers know what you didn’t like. When you say something like, “This book sucked” or “It was not my kind of book” that is the equivalent of saying “meh”. It conveys your dislike or indifference, but no one knows why. Do your fellow readers a favor.
As far as the author goes, the best way for them to improve is through critique. Help them tell a better story and let them know why it wasn’t your cup of tea.
If an author descends into the ridiculous and inexcusable behavior above, just walk away. Do not engage because that author obviously has ego and personality issues and it will quickly turn into a sucking whirlpool of despair and childishness.
In the words of the famous internet sensation, Sweet Brown:
“Ain’t nobody got time for that!”
Let Me In
Burkheart Witch Saga
Genre: Urban paranormal fantasy
Publisher: DevilDog Press, LLC
Date of Publication: November 15, 2014
Number of pages: 138
Kayla has returned home to find that the fairy tale continues. She finds out some facts about her family history that may be her ultimate undoing.
With the help of a coven of witches, Kayla is tasked with defeating vampires, werewolves and evil witches that threaten to destroy her happiness and her very life!
Will she get her happily ever after, or will she fall victim to the evil that courses through her veins?
This novella will take you through a whirlwind as you join Kayla on another fairy tale adventure. Previously published as Kayla Enchanted.
He laughed, watching the little pigs scramble to clean up the message he had left. He didn't really believe in playing with his food, but this was so much fun!
He could tell that the bitch was terrified, and he loved it. Pigs tasted so much better when they were afraid.
While the bitch pig, the pussy pig, and the little pig in a blanket slept in their bed, he had ripped that rabbit's head off with his bare hands. As he smeared the blood all over the sidewalk to leave them a message, he hadn't been able to stop himself from taking a long drink from its mutilated little body. It tasted so good that he had almost marched into the house and ate all three of them right then.
Self-control had won out. He had simply left the message, knocked over the sad little straw hut and sat in the bushes to watch them scamper around. They had rushed in when they found the message and locked up the house as if that would do any damn good at all.
He had to admit that he had not liked the look on the woman's face. As she had walked into the house, there was a look that appeared to be defiance as she scanned the yard for danger.
He would rip that smug look off along with her lips, nose and eyes. He hadn't realized that the whole time watching them, he had been digging his now extended claws into his own thigh. The blood had partially soaked through his denim jeans and began to drip onto the well-manicured grass. He released the grip on his leg and wiped his hands on the dry part of his jeans.
He knew it would heal completely before nightfall. The mixture that his blood contained was great for self-healing, and even better for speed and strength. There would be no stopping him this time. Even that little witch's magic wouldn't do the trick. He had a few 'tricks' of his own to show her. Wouldn't that little pig be surprised?
Christine Sutton is the author of more than fifteen short stories, novellas and novels. While she tends to cross genres within horror, she is always passionate about scaring the hell out of you.
Her passion would have to be serial killer fiction, but she also loves ghosts, ghouls, demons and monsters of all types. Christine's work ranges from modern day fairy tales to demonic soul eaters to ghostly children that just want to play. Her writing has been called passionate, realistic, gritty, fun, enthralling and tons of other cool adjectives.
You, too can pick up some of Christine's work and come up with some cool adjectives of your own. It won't be hard. I promise.