Thanks to everyone who shared and commented on yesterday's post, both here and on Facebook, and in a few instances in emails.
Some of you, and it might be my fault for not being clearer, thought the article was about Ginger Nuts, it wasn't. It was about you writers slaving away and the sense of loss of community (that's why I used the picture from Community).
Most of the comments were positive, but some of them and in particular some of the emails had a rather sour grapes feel to them. I want to address a couple of them here briefly, before a more in-depth follow up article in a few weeks.
The one topic that appeared in a lot of emails and PM's was
"you go on about sharing, but you have never featured me on your site"
Woah, wait a minute! You do realise that this site and 99% of other websites dedicated to promoting fiction in whatever genre is a child born from love. We don't make money, we have full time jobs, family and other commitments. We do this because we care about the sort of books we promote. I can't speak for other sites, I am now at the stage where I spend more time dealing with emails, than actually writing articles or even more importantly reading for myself. We can't feature everyone it's impossible!
I'm human, which means I am susceptible to the same prejudices as everyone else. We respond to politeness, so sending a badly worded, completely impersonable email, that doesn't even get your name right, kind of puts us off. In a similar vein we are more likely to feature writers who interact with us out there on Social media. See the points about sharing and interacting are valid. You can say that we are biased and yes you are correct. But it all comes down to time, we will feature those writers who interact with us outside of the website, it's only human nature.
Don't moan about not getting featured when all you have ever done is send a shitty email for a book that frankly has a cover that looks like your rather unartistic two year old kid had drawn. We don't know you from Adam, we have no clue as to whether you are good writer if this is all we know about you. But an email that is nigh on impossible to read clearly is kind of a give away.
"But we can't share everything"
I never asked you share everything, and it was never about sharing everything, it was about getting the sense of community back. Stop the spamming come out of your bunker and interact with other writers, readers, bloggers etc. It's all about the chat (no spam)*. Have fun, make friends, sod it have a party.
"Why should I share other writers when people like Stephen King won't share mine"
This was my favourite comment. In truth why the hell should he. He got where he is from paying his dues. He worked his arse off, he also found fame in a time where there was a sense of community. And if you must know he does help writers, even if it is a simple thing like blurbing a book.
There seems to be a growing sense of entitlement amongst certain factions of the genre. A feeling that just because they have written a book, everyone else should start tripping over themselves to buy and push the book. Sorry but that's just part of the disbanding of the genre. These are the sort of authors who send death threats to website admins,call the owner of what was a really good horror discussion group on Facebook a "c**t", just because they get told off for spamming the site constantly.
Seriously if you are one of these authors then you need to get a grip off yourself. This sort of behavior is NEVER acceptable. Apart from the fact that this is abuse and probably under the new internet laws could be a criminal offence, what you are doing is the exact opposite of what you think you are achieving. You are destroying the very building blocks of the community. As these sort of places close down, you'll soon find yourselves just shouting at others just like you,with the only dialogue being heard is
"BUY MY BOOK, BUY MY BOOK, BUY MY BOOK, BUY MY BOOK, BUY MY BOOK, BUY MY BOOK!
That will be a sad, sad day for the genre.
* sorry could think of a better pun to tie in with that bass song.