I had an amazing chat with a fellow writer this morning. Yes, that's right. I'm calling myself a writer. We discussed pod (print on demand), self publishing and Indie publishing in general. We really built each other up and said positive wonderful things and all the while encouraging each other to keep writing and not let anyone discourage us. Then the conversation took an unexpected "darker" turn. Maybe it was our special moon cycles aligning... as it's been known to happen to women sometimes, but we basically both started to.... ummm, cry. Yep, cry.
As the flood gates opened, we began to express how we felt silly and humored by our family members and friends, while we tried so hard to impress them with our stories. We unceremoniously want them to love and support us. Shameless isn't it? This is where I will now introduce my self described pet peeves.
Pretending To Read It pet-peeve #1. I know when they lie and say... "Oh yeah! I read it... it was soooo good." (But that's all they ever say about it)... You can ask them about certain things... or what there favorite parts might be... but when your heart grows still, you silently know what's coming next. "Oh, I loved it all! I don't have a favorite."
Burn. Yeah... it smarts a bit, but you chalk it up to... "they're so busy, they don't have time! To... Oh my good GOD! It sucks doesn't it? It's so crappy that they can't get through it! Dear Lord help me.. I'm a failure."
We bonded over our heart breaks and built each other up again... "Oh well! It's not for everyone. That's alright! Let's focus on the fans we have, and the ones who really give a damn! It doesn't speak to our work... it speaks to there personal preference and we respect that!"
Yeah. For a little while. Then we get into the heart of the matter....Feedback and reviews.
Pretending To read it pet-peeve #2... "Oh, I can't leave a review on Amazon... I don't have internet on my phone." (The one they're using to get on Facebook.) Or there's the sympathy text... "I really enjoyed your book. I will recommend it to others." Great. Thanks. "I can't see the review button, I don't know how to leave a review"... or the ultimate diss... ready? "I left you a review! I don't know if it "went through" or not but I did. It won't let me try again... must be something wrong with there website." You didn't try... and you didn't leave a review. Shakes head). No you didn't. You pretended to read my book... and now your pretending to like it, pretending to leave a review... which is sooo important to writers. Oh and FAMILY! Super important to family and good friends... to just support them. Hello?!
It's happened to us all, right? I have sold/given away a combination of 125 books to family and friends... and I have 9 reviews on amazon. 9. From strangers, friends and family. If you're going to fake read a book... and fake support it, then fake review it. For posterity's sake!
So I will leave you with my final thought, in which I told my new friend. "It's okay if they haven't REALLY read our books. We haven't read there's either."