Maybe the first was meant to clear my head. Although, do take it seriously. Especially my recommendation of Kerry Nietz's books.
So now that my head is clear, or at least as clear as it can be at the moment, I want to get to something that is really rolling through my mind lately.
This whole being published thing has been one wild ride, and one that has left me happy, angry, thrilled, disappointed, and surprised.
Look around you. The people who will buy your book and love it, and the people who will never even give it a chance, are not the people you think.
Small presses flat-out do not get the respect that large presses do. We are generally lumped in with self publishers. For some of us, this is not fair, for others, it makes perfect sense. I adore my small publisher. I think she is professional, talented, and one of the coolest people I've ever known. She has an eye for awesome fiction and knows how to pull the best out of it. And our team of authors are amazing. That said, anyone can start a small press. Anyone can claim to be a book publisher. Many who do haven't the slightest clue what they are doing.
If you want someone to leave a review of your book on Amazon, you have to ask them to. Most readers who are not writers, and many who ARE writers, simply don't. They don't even think about it. I have no idea why.
Book review bloggers mostly are in a tight circle of their own. I blogged about this a long time ago. But truly--they get the big press books for free, so most of them aren't really looking to help out indies.
What works in marketing for one person, does not work for everyone else. And finding your thing is like searching for a needle in a haystack for some authors while others have it land in their laps. It's usually the haystack.
People who are more than willing to love you to death for helping them promote their work will suddenly forget you exist when you need promotion.
Other people will show up from the most unexpected places and promote you like crazy. Those people are awesome! Love them!
There are injustices and pettiness and unprofessionalism in writing and publishing. But speaking up about those things marks you in the industry and a good little unknown writer must keep her mouth shut.
How much you love a person and how much you love their writing are often completely unrelated.
Loving a person's writing often opens doors to incredible friendships.
There is intense pressure to give good reviews to your fellow writers.
There is equal pressure to give honest (translate--> negative) reviews to your fellow writers. No matter what you do, someone is judging you.
But the biggest observation, and the one that is really bucking inside my skull is this:
Those reviews I mentioned. I've given a few honest/negative reviews that have put me in the minority. Does that make me wrong? Or are others just giving nice reviews out of friendship or for fear of backlash? Should I be doing the same? Should I just not give a review if it's not good? Does my review carry any weight at all? Maybe I have no right to express my opinion on a book at all if I'm not a perfect writer myself.
Re: my last blog post...Am I off the mark? Should I shut up? Do I simply still not know enough about writing and publishing to form a justified opinion on such things? On anything related to writing?
No matter how much I grow as a fish, the bowl keeps growing faster.