I am making a New Year’s Resolution to be a kinder, gentler Sith. You can all stop laughing now. I mean it. Seriously. I’m going to make a concerted effort to be nicer. Really, you can stop laughing now. You are already making this hard for me.
See, I have come to accept the fact that nobody actually cares about reality or truth or ethics anymore. I’ve been preaching from the mountaintop to a bunch of people who are wearing earplugs and blindfolds. And I have spent an enormous amount of energy trying to protect people from themselves. And this just is NOT the Sith Way. It isn’t the job of the Sith to protect weaklings from their own failures. They should be left to wallow in their self-created misery.
Now I realize that, my own nature being what it is, that I need to develop an actual plan to avoid putting myself in situations where I may be tempted to break my resolution. And that is fine, because I’ve given this a lot of thought and came up with one that I think will work.
The Sith Witch’s Evil Plot to Be Nice
Step One: I will never offer a critique of any story, blurb, or book cover of a book that is already available for sale. Let’s be honest, shall we? Nobody who posts a thread asking for feedback on something already released to the marketplace is really looking for feedback. They are looking to engage in stealth marketing and get a pat on the back. They aren’t going to change the cover or reedit the book or even fix the blurb. These people just want to be told how great their work is and hopefully trick someone into buying it.
Step Two: I will no longer discuss the 99 cent price…ever…again. People want to give their novels away for 99 cents, I don’t care. They want to give them away for free, I don’t care. Hell, if they want to PAY PEOPLE to read their books…I might point and laugh in the corner…but otherwise I don’t care. Not my book. Not my target market. Not my wallet.
Step Three: I’m not even going to OPEN any thread with a subject line that says “Want to Squee!” or “Got another great review!” or any other grade school attention grab. First, I hate the word “squee.” What the hell is a “squee” anyway? Is it even something you should be doing in public? Around strangers, no less?
But more importantly, whatever you are posting is probably not all that impressive beyond the “That’s great, honey. Let’s post this on the refrigerator for daddy to see” level. 99% of the time it is an anonymous customer review or the fact that you gave away a hundred copies of your book for free or got into the top 100 in some obscure category only 100 people in the country actually search through anyway. There is celebrating the small victories, and then there is the shameless excuse for a stealth marketing post. Not gonna even look at them anymore.
Step Four: Speaking of reviews, I’m no longer going to get involved in posts about reviews. Not getting involved in conversations about whether or not to respond to negative reviews. No getting involved in “have you ever gotten a review like this?” threads which are nothing more that a poorly executed attempt to promote your book Not getting involved in threads that talk about review swaps or buying reviews. You know why? Because I have visited the Amazon forums, that is why. And there is nothing I can say anymore that the fine folks in those forums do not say far more viciously and pointedly. Go ahead and keep trying to game the system with fake reviews and paid reviews. And when those sharks discover you, I will simply sit back and enjoy the show without having to type a single sentence.
Step Five: I am purging my twitter and FB accounts of almost all writers. Why? Because the majority of them don’t know how to post anything that doesn’t start with a variant of “My Book.” I friended or followed a bunch of people who I thought were interesting, but they aren’t. Most of them are boring, self-absorbed individuals who can’t go one day without trying to sell me their books. And when they aren’t trying to sell their books, they are complaining about or making fun of the rest of the industry. Because, you know, a self-publisher selling a dozen copies a month at 99 cents is such a threat to the Big Six after all…
Step Six And while we are on that subject, I’m going to avoid any conversation that references…er…legacy publishers. “Legacy” as if the Big Six are going the way of T-Rex. Newsflash, boys and girls, ebooks are currently 13% of the book market, and that 13% is not the sole domain of self-published authors. The bulk of it is those “legacy publishers” everyone wishes were dead. Yeah, Darcie Chan sold 400,000 copies of a 99 cent ebook. That’s nice and all. Good for her. But The Help has been in the top 100 on Amazon for over TWO YEARS NOW, and it sells for $9.99. All this talk of “legacy publishers dying” is wishful thinking.
But go ahead, keep pretending otherwise. If it makes you feel better, go for it. My self-esteem doesn’t require me to believe that the “evil empire” of the Big Six is crumbling. But maybe your self-esteem does. So have at it.
So anyway, this is my plan. I figure if I stick to these six points, I should be able to reduce my public displays of snarkiness by as much as 33%. I think a 33% reduction in snarkiness is a realistic goal.
Didn’t I tell you to stop laughing? The New Year isn’t here yet. I still have a couple of days to unleash all the snark I want!