Self published authors – These daring artists have all the freedom of the world!
Here´s the thing- Many of us believe self published authors are living the dream and most of them are… partly. Yes, it´s wonderful to be able to write and publish without the restrictions from a publishing house. No one is breathing down their necks and pressuring them to write. No one is holding them at gun point or threatening with lawsuits when there´s been a breach of contract. They truly have carte blanche. Want to publish a book? Sure! Go ahead.
Self published authors are left to fend for themselves and some wouldn´t want it any other way. Write. Publish. Voila! Let the book work for itself. Yeah, some haven´t gotten the memo that there´s more to self publishing that just publishing a book. Some self pub writers hardly think about future feedback and what this feedback will do to their emotional household.
Now, I´m a book blogger who specializes in YA fiction, HR, contemp. romance and fantasy, so naturally, I can only speak of the self published writers who write in these genres.
Also, in no way do these 6 points annoy me, personally. I am a book blogger, not a writer / an author.
#1 Tell Them Their Book Needs Editing
Have you ever read a book from a self published author and thought the book was poorly edited? Have you ever included in your reviews how you think the book could have been better if it had been placed in the hands of a professional editor?
“My book has been edited by an editor!”
Is what they usually comment with.
Yes. We know about the editor / book blogger / friend / person you found on the internet who has everything except for the proper qualifications. And it´s okay. We get it. Editors are expensive. You don´t have to start a revolution to defend your baby because 800 people are complaining about misspellings and the non-existent formatting.
Boy, there are some gems that have never been looked at before hitting the market and it shows. And the self published writers who skip an editor are often the ones who are willing to go to war to defend their babies against the grammar mafia and self-proclaimed editing committee who dared mention the editing issue. It´s unpleasant when the editing things comes out. This can influence sales. A classic conflict among self published authors and reviewers.
#2 Tell Them They Need To Up Their Self Marketing Game
Granted- This is something that´s not seen outside of social media bookish groups. Doesn´t make it less annoying, though.
Some self published writers will stop at nothing to tell you they´ve done “all they can”. Which no one has ever doubted. Some people are marketing magicians. Some don´t know where to start with their promotions. Then there are the lazy writers who feel that self marketing is beneath them. But I guarantee you, it annoys them when they complain and the other party suggests better marketing. I´ve seen this happen once too often and it´s frustrating for all involved to witness. You can literally feel the eye roll through the computer screen when you even mention self marketing to some self published writers.
#3 Tell Them They Need More Social Interaction
As in real life- there are people who find it easy to interact with others, and some find it almost an impossible task to speak up. And most self published writers ( scratch that- most book people ) are introverts. Which isn´t a terrible thing, mind you. It´s just extremely difficult for these folks to approach other people or get involved in conversations. Now, the internet offers this wonderful thing called “being partly anonymous” meaning- A writer is allowed to be someone else. Because they have to be someone in order to sell their books. They need a personality that´ll represent their books ( or they could be a ghost…. Because these days everyone can be anything they want to be ).
It´s not that difficult, to be honest. But it is for most self published writers.
Getting the Pope over for afternoon tea is often easier than getting some self published writers to contact potential readers ( incl. bloggers ), chat with readers, comment on reader posts. Without social interaction there won´t be much marketing going on. A writer´s name has to be seen as often as possible in all sorts of chats and forums for others to notice. We can´t smell a new author. We don´t feel new books being published ( although that would be awesome, wouldn´t it? ) To tell a struggling self published writer, who doesn´t like to hold chit chats, to interact more often does no good. This annoys them because they´ve heard this piece of advice a hundred times before.
#4 Correct Them On Their Research
Oh yes. The smart asses. No one likes a smart ass, unless the smart ass plays their smart ass card. The smart ass card holders annoy self published authors the most.
Popular smart asses are:
- anyone who studied history
- anyone who studied criminology
- anyone who studied science
- anyone who studied law
- anyone who suffers from an illness / disability
Basically anyone who went to get a degree in a specific field. It doesn´t even have to be someone who went to uni. All it takes is for one person to spot their occupation in a book and BAM, shit can hit the fan. I´ve seen authors get so annoyed with reviews / reviewers because of the stuff they
supposedly got wrong. Which I can´t understand because it´s truly a pain in the ass to read about the Dolce & Gabbana dress an author included in their historical romance that´s set in the Georgian era.
It shows when a self published writer doesn´t do their research and this results in angering the professionals. Wrong facts goes against all of what has been branded into our specialist brains. Unless writers write in the fantasy genre. No rules apply for fantasy / paranormal or horror. Fantasy / paranormal writers can give their characters three ears and 6 eyes and no one would ever bat an eyelash.
As for the complaints coming from people who suffer from an illness or disability: That´s a tricky one where, in my opinion, no author can fully get things right. Either they can back their research up with their own experiences ( which is always the better option ) or they truly have to take some time off to speak with professionals to get things right. There are always people who´ll claim the author has gotten a limp wrong, etc.
Of course, one could argue over the fact that books in the romance, YA, NA genre are meant to be realistic ( or not ). The bottom line is- Books are meant to entertain.
#5 Missing Reviews
They write, we read. Simple. That there is half the rent according to self published writers because they need readers to get sales going. It´s all about getting readers to crank up sales. While word – to – mouth marketing is great it can also die down pretty quick. This is where reviews become more helpful. There´s a whole philosophy behind the review / rating system for books ( which I will dive in to another time ). It´s a tad tricky to understand. When a self published writer publishes their book they need reviews. Hmm, kind of hard when the writer is a social hermit. So they wait for a miracle to happen. Miracles in this business hardly happen, so….. They get annoyed that they have few reviews.
Then there are the greedy authors who demand reviews from every single reader who has ever read their book. They literally throw an online fit because a few people ( they know ) haven´t left reviews. However are they going to survive being an author without those missing reviews?! We know they´ll survive. They always do. But they can´t force people to leave reviews. Yes, it would be nice if everyone left a review after reading. It would also be nice if I´d win the lottery…. These people get annoyed because they know, out of the 153 people who have purchased their book, 56 of those people haven´t left reviews.
#6 Not Enough 5 Star Reviews
Oh, I know. First they complain about not receiving enough reviews then when they do get reviews they seem to continue to nag. This isn´t always the case but often enough. These self published writers get so annoyed by the fact that someone gave them 4 stars instead of 5. And this gets thoroughly discussed in chats and groups. Because they believe only 5 star reviews get book sales going. Quite sad and desperate, if you ask me.
As always, I am not speaking of all self published writers. There are quite many self published artists who don´t get annoyed by the points I´ve mentioned, simply because they´re aware of the fact of how things work.
This post was also not meant to harass or belittle introverted self published authors. I was just revealing personal observations and experiences I´ve collected for almost a decade. I´ve met wonderful authors during my bookish career, both self published and traditional published writers who are a blessing to work with AND who are grateful to the core for the work everyone around them invests.
What experiences have you had with self published authors? Do you recognize any of these points? Are you a self published author and have been confronted with these points? Feel free to leave a comment below so we can chat! ❤
Thank you for reading.
Hope you have a lovely day.