Need some help, check out Fiverr.

We are all busy. Being a self-published author means, you have to wear all the hats. Writer, editor, artist, promoter, etc. Sometimes you have to get assistance.  I found one place that might help you out.

As NaNoWriMo 2011 was going on, a Doug Lance on G+ was doing book covers for fun. His stuff was really good. After NaNoWriMo he posted that he would make a cover for your book for $5. The link sent me to a site called Fiverr http://fiverr.com.

At this site people offer services or products for $5. There are a lot of helpful services for writers.  Editing, cover creation, electronic formatting, etc. And a few suspect ones, ie. people offering to give you a five star review, without reading your book?

I haven’t used the site yet, I have a few services bookmarked for my next novel.  As with any site, check out the rating of the person that is offering the deal.  Email them to make sure that they are offering exactly what you are looking for. In the case of cover creation, make sure they are using art they have permission to use.

This looks like a helpful site. Not just to find services, but if you have a service to offer, it might be a good way to put a few extra dollars in your pocket.  Although you only get $4, the site keeps $1.

Its not a place to look for full novel editing, but if you are working on a press release, you might find someone else to write it for you.

Has anyone ever used this site? Would you recommend it?

As for the stuff Doug Lance offers, here are the links:

Book Covers: http://fiverr.com/douglance/make-you-a-book-cover

Formatting: http://fiverr.com/douglance/format-your-ebook

Google+ finally has brand pages!

Very first impressions.

One of the issues that has kept writers away from G+ is their anti-pseudonym rule. They say they will change it, but it has not happened yet.

Tonight they opened up G+ for brands. And there is a way around that rule now.

It took me 2 minutes to set up my page. You can title it anything you want, so if you go by a pen name, you can use that pen name. This might be the answer authors might have been looking for. You can have your personal page, for venting and whatever. But over on your brand page, you can work on selling your stuff. The best part is you can post to your personal page as a link to your brand page.

Confused?

This is how it works. You post something on your brand page, say an update on the book you are working on. Then you click on share this. The link to your brand page will post to your personal page.

From a author view point. I like it. When people see a link to my brand page, they can decide if they want to click on it or not. They don’t see the content only the link to the page.

As a consumer, I like it because if I in the page’s circles, I get the posts directly. If I am in an author’s personal circles too, I won’t see double posts.

One drawback, you have to be a member of G+ to join a brand page.

The general public can still see your posts. But only people that join the brand page, can interact with you.

The pages have only been live for a few minutes as I write this. As the bugs are worked out, I will keep you informed on how well they work.

UPDATE:

Multiple pages! This is great. I have one Author page and two character pages. Like Facebook you have to chose the category (Strange no author one, everyone has been picking “book”.) Fictional characters are a choice.

No verification: Right now Google is taking you at your word that you are setting up the page as member of the business or brand. So this means someone else could set up a brand page with your stuff.  I don’t know if any of us here are big enough to worry about it. But it might be a good idea to “stake a claim” just in case.

Integration with Blogger: Great idea, does not work like I would like it too.  It sends the blogger feed to your personal profile. So if you don’t want to flood your family and friends with your writing blog, you can’t do it automatically. You would have to enter the link manually. Not that big of deal, but it would be nice to pick which page you want which post to go to.

Team Members: One of the circle suggestions is Team members. In my case, once my husband gets his profile up. I can merge him with mine. Since he does the art work, it would be a nice touch.  You could also have a page for a blog with multiple authors. The Team Member circle would allow you to have private conversations with your team from the brand page.

Links: Looks like they are unlimited, so you could put many links up where people could buy your books. I hope later they integrate Google Checkout, that would be a big help for authors. You could sell your books right off the page.

Keep watching it, if you are not sure about using G+ for your author platform. I am gladly being the test subject for the rest of you.

Google+ for writers, again.

I have been on G+ more than Facebook or Twitter now. As a selling platform, not that good. But as a networking and collaborative platform, amazing.

It can sure seem like that when you first start up.

First thing I want to share is make sure people can find you and circle you. The nice thing about filling out your Google profile (and you better, because it is necessary for G+) is that you can private and share what you want. Under occupation, set it to everyone. Then put in there how you want to be viewed. Why? Because if you name comes up in a stream and I want to find out about you, the first thing I do is hover over your name.

A little bubble pops up. It will have your name and you occupation listed. If you are a writer all you have to put in occupation is writer or author. You don’t have to put where you are working for a pay check, unless you want to connect to people that way. There is a place to list your employment, that you can set to private.

You are easier to find, now what. Connect with a few people and jump into the conversations. As you read the responses, check out who is responding. You might find a gold mine. And don’t be afraid of adding them to a circle.

I use two circles for people I find interesting, but not sure where to put them right away. The acquaintances one (which G+ gives you when you start out) and one I made called suggestions. That is for everyone G+ suggests to me. I can watch them for a bit and decide if they are worth moving to a different circle or dropping.

Find someone you don’t like, you can drop them from your circle, ignore, block, and block with reporting. Ignore means they are following you and you don’t have to read their posts, but they can respond to yours. Block; stops them from seeing your posts. And Block and report, reports the profile to G+ as well.

Those are some quick tips to help you out.

Why have I stayed, since selling isn’t that good. There is more to being an author than selling. Something I think a few of us have forgotten. Selling only on G+ will make you a pariah very quickly. There were a couple of authors I followed on Twitter and Facebook that when they went to G+ I dropped. Why? They were cross posting the same thing (word for word) on all three platforms. And all I saw were “Buy my book” posts. They gave me nothing to interact with.

But as for networking and collaboration, G+ is wonderful. I have posted problems I have had with a recent manuscript, within minutes I get suggestions, links and pep talks. And collaboration: I am working on a horror wiki with other writers and artists.

Maundbury came about because I saw a post that said. “We should make up a horror setting.” With in an hour the wiki was in place and over the last month it has grown. We haven’t seen any writing, except for the entries, but I am sure that will change.

I am also using it for my beta readers, and the people working on my book trailer/mini films. (More about that later, if everything falls into place, it will be very interesting.) G+ makes a nice little place to sort out who I talk to and why.

One negative: The real name policy. I don’t like it. If you write under a pseudonym, you maybe asked to delete that profile. G+ users are fighting it. Because it makes no sense why Lady Gaga can keep her stage name, but a blogger that has used their Internet handle will be kicked out. They have also kicked out people with unusual, but real names. So if you are known under a pseudonym, I would wait and see if G+ changes that policy.

Last piece of advice. G+ is not Facebook. It’s not Twitter. It’s another community. One that you have a little more control over. Facebook is the frat party. Twitter the cocktail party. And G+ is the small town.

If you want to meet more writers; connect with me ( http://gplus.to/MariMiniatt ). One of the circles you see on my profile is my writing one. Jump in.

First impression of Google+ for writers.

I love it.

Google+ is Google’s social networking attempt. I have been on for less than a week, and I love it. Here is my profile! http://gplus.to/MariMiniatt

Just from a writers standpoint. It has a lot more functionality, than Facebook. There is no character limit to what you post, so you could post snippets of a work in progress. And who you share it with, is a plus too.

G+ uses circles. You set up a circle for a certain group of people. Such as family, friends, writers, beta readers, etc. You can choose who sees what post. There is a public choice as well. That one allows your posting to be seen by everyone and searchable.

I said beta readers. That is one of the first things I used it for. I have a group of ten people that are beta reading Minstrels for me. I added all of them to one circle. Not all of them are on G+, but when I send a post out. They get an email. The ones that are on G+ can respond below the post. The ones that are not can send me an email. A nice combination of forum and email communication.

What about selling? Haven’t tried yet. But your profile would be best for that. Links to your blog, links to your books. You could set up a circle of people that want to hear about any deals you have, and when you do, send out a post that goes public and to them as well.

I am still messing with it. I asked a question this morning and got wonderful, educational answers.  There  is talk that blogger will be phased into G+ as well. That should make blog posting easier for us that use blogger.

It will be going public at the end of this month. Right now, beta invite only. I have invites. If you are following me on twitter @mariminiatt DM me your email, and I will send you one.

You Want to Brand Yourself? Do What Tom Does.

We talk about author branding and I think most of us get how to do it in cyberspace. But what if you are in a supermarket and someone recognizes you? Or a friend introduces you as “that writer”. What do you do?

Well, I had a great lesson.

As you know I have been researching merchandising. I have a shop on Zazzle and the products are good. But a bit on the expensive side. When I ordered my buttons so I could see how they were made. I was impressed with the quality, but not the price. Two buttons cost me fourteen dollars with shipping and handling. The same size buttons I could pick up anywhere for two to four dollars. So I started to look locally.

Enter King Weasel Custom Buttons and Shirts. I found them through a mutual friend on Facebook. Its a local company. And I already was familiar with the work because I have the RESA buttons from when I helped with their fund-raiser. But I dragged my feet about approaching them for design work. If you look at the website, you’ll notice its a bit of a niche market.

Last Friday, my husband and I went out with a friend for drinks. And guess who walks into the bar. The owner of King Weasel: Tom.

I knew who he was right away. How? Through our facebook contact and his personal website, that is connected to the King Weasel site. And he wore a denim jacket with his face screen printed on the back, that said Tom Around the World.

My friend made the introductions, turns out she’s known him for years. We talked for a bit. As soon as I said “I am looking to get merchandise made to promote my books…” he had his business card out.

What did this teach me? (and other good points)

1. You have to slip into your “brand” no matter where you are. We were at a bar at ten at night. I would not have thought about bringing something with my books there (in fact I didn’t, I left my business cards at home.)

2. Always carry business cards. Make sure those cards promote you, not your latest book. It’s okay when you have one book, but more than one and it doesn’t work.

3. Do something to make yourself stand out. Tom had his jacket. It doesn’t have to be an article of clothing. But thats the easiest. Maybe you have a favorite necklace. Wear it in every photo you have taken as an author. A person might not remember the face, but they might remember the necklace. Find something that a person that has seen your name will make the connection to you quickly.

4. You are an author. Repeat. You are an author. This is hard for us that work another job to pay the bills. It is so ingrained into us that we are what we get a paycheck for, that this is hard to accept. I have recently started to introduce myself as an author. It opens up more conversations than saying where I get my paycheck.

5. You never know where the next connection will be made. My husband got recognize in the grocery store for a play he did a year ago. Just because you think you can run down to the bakery, doesn’t mean you might not have an opportunity to promote yourself.

6. Get involved in events that fans of your genre would like. If you write romance, attend a romance convention. Horror writers could go to a horror movie marathon. You can have fun while promoting yourself as a brand.

Branding is not a scary word. Its putting your game face on all the time. Sounds daunting, but we are writers all the time, why not show the world that.

Giving Your Characters Life: Online

I am cross posting this on MariMiniatt.com and the Self Published Author Blog

I did something crazy, but fun this weekend. Something other authors have done, but I was a little nervous to try.

Giving your fictional characters on online presence.

I used Twitter for one. Facebook for the other.

How do you do it?

Things you need:

  • An email with an alias.
  • A third party client like Hootsuite. Not really needed, but makes it easier to manage.

Email with Alias
You need to make an unique email. You could go through the process of registering for a new email. OR if you have gmail (maybe some others) you can make an alias email address.

1. Log into your gmail. At the top, next to the search box, there are two choices. Click on “create filter”.
2. In the TO: box. Enter your email with an alias, so it looks like this email+alias@gmail.com. Your email name with +alias then @gmail.com. Use an alias that is unique, because it is your character, their first name is perfect. Click on Next Step.

3. Create a filer: click on Apply a Label. Use the drop down to make a new label. Enter your character’s name. Now every time an email comes in for your character it will be sorted for you.

4. Last step. Send yourself a test email to see if it work. From you. to You+alias.

All done. Good.

Twitter
You set up your fictional character profile, like yours. BUT use the alias email. Twitter only allows one profile per email. The alias email gets around that.

Here is mine for Steopa: @SteopaR

Noticed I did not come out an say he is fictional. But anyone reading his bio should figure that out. For the website, use yours. Unless you are maintaining a website for the character as well.

Here is another good example: @crookedfang

Facebook

YOU CANNOT CREATE ANOTHER PROFILE.

Facebook will kick you off for that. What you have to do is make a page:
Very simple.

1.Go to: https://www.facebook.com/pages

2.Click on create page.

3.Choose Entertainment

4. In the drop down box. FICTIONAL CHARACTER!

Facebook made it easy. Follow the rest of the instructions as you make the profile and page. As you fill out the profile; you could use your alias email as the characters email. But, it will be visible.

Once you get 25 likes; your address for you page changes from https://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/pages/Vincent-Hugh/149281288471540 to https://www.facebook.com/Vincent-Hugh

What can you do with them?

1. Interact with fans as the characters.
2. Help promote your book.
3. Help you practise writing in your character’s voice.
4. Have fun.

Don’t go too overboard. Plan it so you only have to spend a few minutes to an hour a day maintaining them. That is where a program like Hootsuite will help. On the free version you can link up to 5 different social networking profiles. I find it works better for keeping twitter straight. Facebook moves slow enough that all I have to do is log into the page or twice a day to keep it maintained.

I hope this helps and gives you some ideas.

Merchandising: Choosing items and setting up a store with help.

For this post, I will reference Zazzle, it is the website that I use.

You want to make extra items for your fans and give you a little extra money in the pocket.

Now, you have to choose how you are going to sell your merchandise. You could have the items made, store them, and mail them from your home. That could work for you. Or. You could use sites like Cafepress or Zazzle. Or. You can do a combination.

The pro of those sites, is that they do not make your merchandise until it is ordered.

The con of those sites, limitations on what you can make.

(I use Zazzle because when I set up my site, Cafepress did not do direct deposit. I don’t think this has changed.)

The first thing you have to do at Zazzle is register. When you do, you can choose the name of the store. I chose my publisher name; Animated Liar Media. You can use your own name, or get creative. Choose one of the basic templates to begin with, you can always change it later.

When you use Zazzle. What you are doing is providing an image that they will print on the items. The first thing you have to do, is prepare the image. There are many things to consider.

1. How the image will look on dark or a light background.
2. If you have any transparencies are you going to use them, or fill the space with color.
3. Will the same design look good on a t-shirt and a cup?
4. If you are not using any design that has your name, or the books title on them. How are you going to link this image to you?

I will not go into how to make the images, if you have made your own book covers, the process should be familiar to you. And there are more graphic savvy people than me on this list.

But point 4: How are you going to link this design with your books? This is part of the branding that most authors don’t think about. For mine, I made a small graphic that says Coiree Series and includes a QRcode*. Maybe you have a logo of your name that you can use. The point is not only to catch people eyes with the design, but make them wonder where it comes from, and give them the answer right away.

What type of images? The easiest is your book cover. That should be eye catching already and gives all the information that you need to help promote your books. If you are doing a series, perhaps an image that will be central to all the books. I have used illustrations that were in my book. Coming up with a graphic that represents you is a great idea. Nora Roberts has her initials on a seal, for example.

But don’t limit yourself. Recently, a fan of mine started to design tattoo flash like images that represent the characters. We have already talked about how I could pay her for use of them. They are not what I would have thought of, and I really like the look of them.

When you have settled on a design, keep these things in mind:

1.These sites have templates that you can use to make sure your design will fit on the product. Download and use them. They are a big help. This is a good time to learn how to use layers in your graphic program. Once you do, the design process will become easier.

2.Make sure your image is set at 300 dpi. Some images will work at a lower resolution, but 300 seems to take care of any issues.

3. Match the template in size, or make the image larger than you need. It is easier to shrink an image than it is to make it larger.

4.Make two image files. One for dark backgrounds and one for lights, if you are going to use transparency. A good way to see how they will look, before you upload them, is to set the background on your layers to either white or black. Adjust the image until it looks good.

5. Most will allow you to use a .jpg file. DON’T. A .jpg can lose resolution and might not look good after you upload it. Stick with .png or .tiff

How do you choose what will make good items to sell?

Good choices: T-shirts, bags, coffee cups.

Those three are the safest to start with. And with the online shops, they are common. The nice thing about those choices is that you can pick one graphic file and they can fit on all the pieces. Zazzle lets you do a quick creation, they put the image on 25 of their top sellers. you can delete the ones you don’t want. And tweak the ones you like. Then hit create and you have a full store.

Zazzle does allow you to print on tennis shoes too, but I don’t know how those would fit with any of my stories. Surprisingly, book marks are not a choice for printing. For those you may have to find a local printer or an online shop like Uprint.com.

If you decide to get your products made from someplace that does not do print on demand products or if your product is not available at one of those sites, be prepared to find storage space. A hundred book marks might not take up a lot of room. But if you had someone make figurines, a hundred of them might take over your kitchen.

Having the products made, so you have to ship them out, brings with it a load of other issues. How to set up an online store (if anyone else wants to do the tutorial to that, I will be taking notes), storage, shipping, and what to do with the product that does not sell? But a nice plus side, if you are doing book signings you can bring the product with you. Instant store.

Next month I will talk about how to protect your images. A hint, copyright it’s still your friend.

*QRcodes are great. If you are not familiar with them, they are the square bar codes you are seeing around. My editor actually introduced me to them. A person with a smart phone scans the code, and it can load up a website, an email, or other things that the code is linked to. Mine are linked to my main site. Google QRcode creator, there are many out there. Save the code it generates and stick it on your items. My next set of business cards are going to have one on them.

Merchanding? Taking the Plunge. Part One.

First off, I am sorry I have not been posting as much as I have in past here. Real life can slow you down.

I would like to talk about something that some indie authors might not have thought of. But in the last few weeks has been thrust into my face. MERCHANDISING! For the rest of this post, I am assuming you are in the same position I am; not ready to outsource to some factory to make millions of do-dads. And this is also a post at the beginning of my journey. Some parts of this will be easy, others will not. So stick with me as I try it.

Back up over a year ago. I am going through the last touches of Fledgling. And one day, for fun, I mocked up some shirts. Making images to promote the fictional bar in the novel. I put it on Zazzle to see what it would look like, but left it private, and forgot about it.

Back up to last month. Some fans start to ask me questions. “Is there anyway you can find someone to make me that set of jewelry?” “Do you have a t-shirt with Vincent on it?” “How about water bottles with the Rathskeller logo?” Multiple requests from many fans for MORE!

Now I am ready, but I should have been doing this from the beginning. Why didn’t I? Because I was looking at merchandising wrong. A year ago, it was a way to expand on an already popular book. Now I realize, it is another marketing tool. And a way to give something back.

Some of you are saying “Well, duh.” But others are like me. The thought is, so they liked the book, that’s all I need. Well some fans, and I should have known this from being the former Star Trek geek I was, need more than just the source material. As I started to see fandom from the other side. I realized I had to give them what they wanted.

So how do you go about it? On the Internet you can find multiple sites that can make posters, t-shirts, and other printed items reasonably. Some like Zazzle and Cafe Press will even let you set up your own shop to sell. So you could easily upload an image of your book cover and have it grace a book bag. You get a small portion of the sale back. It’s a win/win for everyone.

Be open to what type of merchandise you will offer. Maybe the t-shirts and book bags are all you need. Maybe you have fans that keep telling you “that story would make a cool game.” But don’t go nuts and offer everything under the sun. Even with the million dollar bestseller, that can back fire. I am sure you can think of one or two titles that you are sick of seeing on merchandise that is not sold in bookstores.

What if your fans want something different? Like with the jewelry from my books. And this is new for me, so bare with me. In the case of the jewelry, I am lucky to personally know and know people who know other artisans of jewelry, glass blowing and the like. But what if you are not in the same boat as me? What if I didn’t know anyone that could even draw?

First: I would ask around the people I know. I might get some leads.

Second: I would go to craft fairs and look at the wares. I would talk to the artists and see if any would want to do commissioned work.

Third: find a local shop, where local artist sell their work. I would talk to the people there, for leads.

Fourth: or maybe first, I would check out Etsy. There are a lot of hand crafted items on there. Some shops even are looking for outside work. I would send them an email and see if they would be willing to do custom, but repeated work.

For my sanity and pocketbook; I will order no more than one to five pieces to start with. To see how it goes. I may have to purchase the work outright and mark it up to sell on my site. But I might be able to work out a deal, because you will be giving them repeated work, plus free advertising for them. Remember to make a contract with them. Technically, this is called licensing, which is something I am researching, more on it later.

None of us have the money to sit down with a marketing group and saturate the market. But that doesn’t mean we can’t have a few little extras available for our fans. Yes, you can make a little extra off the items, and you can use them to promote your books. So why not?

Over the next few months I will walk you through some of this. Such as how to set up a shop on Zazzle, my adventures with the jewelry, and how to protect your creations from getting stolen (I have seen it done first hand, not pretty)

My Zazzle shop is in the early stages of getting set up: Animated Liar
Zazzle
Cafe Press
Etsy

Don’t use Twitter for Marketing?

Lately, I have seen a backlash against using Twitter for marketing. The main complaint is that after they develop a large group of followers, that many start to leave. They blame the people on Twitter. They call them fickle.

The problem is, most of the ones that are saying don’t use Twitter, don’t understand Twitter.

I like to compare Twitter to a large cocktail party. You come in, you find a small group of people to talk to, but around you other conversations are happening. As you move through the room. You catch snippets of some of the conversation. You repeat them to your core friends. They pass the snippets along if they think they are worthy.

Old style marketing comes to that same party and starts harking. “Roll up, Roll up!” They don’t engage with any of the groups. The only shout to get your attention. Is it any wonder that they are left standing alone at the end of the night.

Another group of people sees this happen. They do engage with other people at the party, but they only have four or five stories to share. They repeat them over and over again, then try to sell you something.

The harker and the repeats don’t understand the basic rule of Twitter. Be Social.

The first people I don’t follow (if they follow me) or drop are the repeaters. On Twitter they will tweet nothing but quotes, or links, or other tweets. Nothing original. If they are marketing, they never got their foot in the door.

The second group I don’t follow are the harkers. All they do is sell. It becomes boring.

Why do I bring all this up? Because there is a way to market on Twitter. The trick is to find your comfort level. The first thing you have to do, is engage with the people on your list. Respond to them, retweet the cool tweets, and comment to them on the Twitter feed if you followed one of their links and enjoyed it.

While you do that, slip in a mention that you have a book. Don’t be pushy. I send out about four tweets a day promoting my book. That’s it. Most of the other tweets are comments about what I am writing about, something on TV, complementing another writer, etc.

I was told once a good rule of thumb is one promotional tweet, then three non promotional. I suppose it could work if you like the number crunching. I send a link to your blog or your book, the next tweet better be a reply to someone, or a retweet. Because I have seen too many people use that rule of thumb this way:

  • Promotional tweet
  • Stupid observation.
  • Stupid observation.
  • Stupid observation (repeat)
  • They never look at their feed and respond to the people that follow them. There’s the mistake.

    So my feed might go this way.

  • Promotional tweet.
  • Reply to someone
  • Stupid observation.
  • Retweet
  • Stupid observation.
  • Reply
  • Post a link to a video I like
  • Reply
  • Retweet
  • Stupid observation (repeat)
  • Of course I don’t get bogged down in following that list to the letter, depends on what is happening on Twitter. You have to be fluid, you have to adjust to change. Tweeting about your book, when some horrible disaster has just happened, might not be the best plan, for example.

    Should you market on Twitter? Yes.
    Does it work? Yes.
    Then why do some people fail. Because they forgot the social part of Twitter. Be social, and you can sell.

    Addendum:
    There is a certain Twitter feed that breaks those rules. The ones run by business that want to inform you of events. So it is okay for a restaurant to post nothing but tweets about daily specials. Because you are following that feed for that information. You wouldn’t expect your favorite restaurant to respond to your comment about your cat.

    Oh, Get Over Yourself! a rant.

    For simplicity the numerous people I have seen do this, will be rolled into one person for this post named N.V. The examples are general.

    I follow a lot of authors, on Twitter, on Facebook, on blogs, etc. They are unpublished, self-published, traditional, fiction, non-fiction, The point is, this disturbing trend goes across the board. But the ones I have to call out, are the self-published authors.

    What are they doing that is so bad?
    They are becoming rude.

    So lets take N.V I started following him/her a few months ago. I found their discussions interesting. I learned a lot. But then things started to happen that made me wonder why was I still following them.

    Little things like:

    From N.V blog:
    A reader commented. “I really was inspired by this post. Point A made me really think.”
    NV’s response. “Point A, what? That wasn’t the important bit. Do you really know what you are talking about?

    On N.V Facebook:
    N.V posted. “Did you read xxxx last post on her site? She is bragging about her latest award.”
    NV posted “So xxxx thinks she is hot! Ha! I am better than her!”

    Do you see what is going on? You have a right to brag, you have a right to be proud. But at the expense of other?

    Before you think I have been attacked by one of these authors and this is a case of sour grapes. No, sort of. I did post a response on Facebook to one of these authors. And they posted back, twisting my words around. As if they wanted to get me into a forum flame war. I ignored them. That’s how I handle trolls and that’s how I handle that behavior.

    But after that happened, I noticed more authors doing this. Mainly self published. Ugh.

    What I have noticed is that all of them have reached their personal goal of success. Maybe they have quit their job, or maybe they have sold 10,000 copies. But that is where it starts. Not every successful self published author does this, but the few that have make the rest of us look bad.

    I have to say this to them: You are a big fish in a small pond.

    True.

    So you have a website that gets 50 hits a day. Big deal.
    So you have twenty books up on the Kindle. So What.

    This doesn’t give you the right to look down at the rest of the authors out there and your readers! I am not talking about looking down at us “little ones”, but some of them have started to attack the “big names” too. And when they attack their fans, that makes me cringe.

    I know it sounds like I am only attacking the self-published authors. Some of you might argue that it sounds like it’s okay if you are traditionally published you can get away with this behavior. That does not protect you either. A rude author is a rude author.

    Look at Harlan Ellison, some people consider him rude. He is abrupt. I can’t see him starting a flame war on a blog (for one he is not on the Internet.) He backs up his points and argues. He doesn’t insult someone just to get the attention (he will insult, but after the conflict has started). Most of  his controversies are rooted in good points. He is famous.  I like his work. And there are many that are turned off by his behavior.

    Being a success, no matter how you define it, does not give you the right to be rude. Maybe they want the negative attention. I really hope they start to think before they respond. Because I have stopped following them because of their behavior. Which means, I will never support them by buying one of their books.

    And if I stopped, how many others have too?