Friday, June 21, 2013

Rule 3: The Manifesto of Independent Writing and Publishing

Rule  3. Stay Away from Forums, Unless You are Seeking Guidance
Every forum in the world has a section for Authors.  It's the special place you're allowed to hawk your book, because they don't want you spamming the legitimate posts with pleas for please, someone, for the love of God, read this thing I slaved over.
Take a glance at any of these sections and you will see thousands of postings, one after the other, by a never-ending torrent of desperate authors.  Nobody is going to read a book because of a posting like this.  I doubt anybody even goes on any of those forums except the people leaving the posts.
Forums serve another outlet for authors too.  The eternal cesspool of wasting time, complaining about negative reviews or lack of readers, and fighting with other people on the forum.
I understand that people need a diversion from writing, just to clear out their head space, but the danger of using forums is that anyone can read it.  Sooner or later, the trolls will find you and they will drag you into some ridiculous discussion that serves no good purpose.  I have seen authors destroyed in the forums, and acquire legions of sick-minded trolls who make it their mission in life to one-star review that person's work into non-existence.  And you know what?  Shame on them.  If you are so bored or insecure as to need constant public reaffirmation of your efforts to publish, then this isn't for you.
All of those people would be better off shutting down their computers, reading for an hour, then concentrating on serious writing.  Not that forum babble.  That's the written equivalent of sitting in front of a webcam and showing people your wobbly bits.  It's fun and it's gratifying and it certainly chews up some time, but it won't move you toward your goal of literary supremacy even the slightest.
That being said, forums do serve an excellent purpose.  You can get answers to anything related to publishing.  Most people on the forums share information and have vast experience and resources available for even the most obscure problem you can experience in your career.  Whether you are experiencing a formatting problem, looking for an editor, want to see how someone did using BookBub or any other possible topic, you will find multiple people on the forums who can give you an answer.
But once you get your answer, back away from the ravenous horde very slowly.  Maintain eye contact with them at all times.  Keep your hand within easy reach of your weapon.  Do not show fear.  And when you are in the clear, run like hell and don't look back.
Always remember, you are a professional author who expects people to pay good money and invest time they could spend reading elsewhere on your work.  Conduct yourself accordingly.

Welcome to The Manifesto of Independent Writing and Publishing: On Writing for Ebook Authors.
After three years in the publishing business and over thirty-five titles in print, I have much to say about this industry.  I've spoken at Comic Con panels, answered countless emails, tweets, and fielded a wide variety of questions from those of you who are interested in how to be a successful author.
The complete Manifesto is now available on Amazon.  It contains tons of extra information not available anywhere else.  Good luck, and enjoy! 

1 comment:

  1. I've never posted on a forum regarding publishing. Years ago I used to post writing at a group forum, but it was never anything serious.
    It wouldn't even cross my mind now. They're a dangerous place for writers who feel good about their work - only to have it destroyed before their eyes by sad, pathetic individuals with nothing better to do with their free time than inflict misery on others.
    Stay well clear of forums. Just write. (Or tweet haha)