Why it matters

Good morning! Yesterday was a whole bunch of work and brain dead on my part. LOL. I simply couldn’t come up with a good blog topic! Am happy to report that is fixed!

There’s something to be said about the internet water cooler and the anonymity it provides. One can go on a message board or chat room, create a new persona, and complain about things in your life. Your spouse, your kids, your sex life, your job, your boss, your neighbors, etc. And a lot of people do. They seek to blame others for their own failings by disparaging them.

If you’re an author, though, or any public figure, it’s not a good idea.

Why? You can be anonymous, right? If your book with XYZ didn’t do as well as you expected, why not blast them for not catering to your every whim? You can say the cover art sucked without mentioning you asked for 15 different changes that were accommodated. You can blame the editor even though you’re the one who refused to accept industry standards. You’ll be the hero, the misaligned artist whose work will never be fully appreciated because of what ‘they’ did to your book.

Don’t do it. Because it will bite you in the hiney faster than you can possibly imagine.

How you behave online as an author any more is almost as important as the content of your book. People want to connect with authors, not be blown off by a pompous jerk. They want a pleasant conversation, not a whiny one. They want to name drop you at the next cocktail party in a good way. If all you have to say is negative, they’ll talk about you. But you’ll be the butt of the jokes not the name connected with ‘you have to read their books!’.

My writing big brother, Nick Pollotta, told me once that this industry is ‘incestuous, in that everyone knows everyone else. And they talk.’ That is the single biggest truth authors need to learn. One bad post in an online forum can and will haunt you for decades. It can kill your career before it even starts. Publishers do searches for their name and read the posts. And they’ll try to figure out who the jerk is, because they don’t want to work with them. Who wants to work with someone who goes online and tells the world half of the story? Who wants to help promote someone who expects millions in sales in a month but won’t do the work to get it?

No one wants to work with a whiner. And that’s why what you say online matters.

BB

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