Over the last year I’ve been noticing some new disturbing behaviors among writers on Social Media such as Facebook and Goodreads. Lately writers have been doing things like dropping snarky comments, leaving nasty reviews of other writers work, and changing the rules of Facebook groups arbitrarily so writers can’t promote their work. Now there’s nothing wrong with constructive criticism. However, the behaviors some writers have been participating in show how jealous they are of the success of their fellow writers.
I noticed the new trend of Literary Elitism last year when I was promoting Spinsterella. Around that time Amazon.com and Goodreads had a bunch of wanna-be English teachers nitpicking writers work in reviews for the minutest of mistakes. And these wanna-be literary critics weren’t doing this to be constructively critical. They were doing this to hamper the sales of other writers.
Some of these stuck up intellectuals think that if they tear down the work of other writers people will think their work is better. I have no idea what planet they’re on with this marketing strategy, but all they’re doing is alienating readers with their one two and three star reviews.
I hate to break it to these Literary Elitists, but most of us self-published writers aren’t out to produce some turgid, stuffy 900-page book filled with rambling page long paragraphs that’ll be discussed in academia by intellectuals sipping brandy. We’re just average Joes and Janes who write stories in our spare time that we find entertaining. And we just want to share our work with like-minded readers.
One of the reasons I stopped promoting on Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited were the growing audience of Book snobs and literary Elitists who began trolling Amazon.com and Goodreads. There was no reason for me to keep offering ungrateful readers an exclusive first look at my new titles if they weren’t going to appreciate the books I was offering to them. Compounded with the lower payments on Kindle Normalized Reading pages that only paid me per page read, I had less incentive to offer Amazon readers that exclusive first look.
The other trend that’s been really disturbing to me as of late has been what I’ve been seeing on Facebook in book promotion groups. There I’ve been running into jealous writers who have been using a series of tactics to turn that social media site into a hostile environment for writers. Some of these tactics include arbitrarily changing the rules of book groups, flagging promotional links as spam, and even gaslighting.
When some writers see writers who are better writers or being more successful than they are in some Facebook Groups, they decide to play a game of rewrite the rules. Showing the world how immature, unprofessional and thin-skinned they are. Since the rules aren’t working for them, they decide to play king maker and control who posts what when they post it, and where they can post it.
Some say that they’re changing the rules to keep their forums from being promotional billboards. However, most of these groups were initially made to promote books so writers would have an opportunity to reach customers they couldn’t reach. What most Facebook Group founders don’t understand is that Most writers like myself are only online for a couple of hours at best before they have to return to the keyboard to revise a chapter or start work on a blog or some other writing project. We just don’t have the time to chat with people on a topic with so much on our plate. If we’re talking to you, we can’t finish our books.
Other Facebook Group members do things flagging writers promotional links as spam. These writers are thinking they’re eliminating competition, but all they’re doing is killing their own traffic. When writers start doing things like all they’re doing is alienating people and spreading negative word of mouth.
That negative word of mouth kills foot traffic DEAD for a group. Again, most writers don’t have time to spend talking to people on social media. If we’re not writing, we can’t finish our books.
The latest trick I’ve seen some Facebook posters use is gaslighting. This is where other writers try to discourage other writers by telling them there’s something wrong with their books. Then they either try to sell them editing services or they tell them to take the book down.
I’ve seen Facebook groups that have used these tactics go from thriving with posts into a virtual DEAD ZONE where people haven’t posted for days and even weeks. And these same Facebook Group moderators scratching their heads to where everyone went.
I’ll tell you where everyone went: To another group where they didn’t have to deal with petty people who brought drama wherever they went.
I remember back in the day when writers who had their work published at trade publishing houses were thumbing their noses at self-published POD writers. And sixteen years later in the age of eBooks, many of today’s writers are taking asshole to another level. Unfortunately, they can’t see how their sniping and backbiting is hurting all writers long term.
What most of the literary elitists, Facebok Group Dictators, Literary Elitists and books snobs don’t understand is that Books aren’t sold by reviews on Amazon, or promotional links on Facebook. What sells a story is what’s put on the page. And if your writing isn’t good enough to sell on the page, then you can’t get mad at anyone but yourself.
All the energy these Facebook Group Dictators, Literary Elitists, and Book Snobs use to cut other writers down could be better used towards improving the craft of their writing. Maybe if they spent more time writing and less online whining, they’d be busy writing a story readers could get behind instead of writing posts most will ignore on social media.