Category Archives: pet peeves

What a stupid question…

You know, I really hate when people say “are you working hard or hardly working?” It’s not funny…it’s almost insulting. It’s like people want to hear you say you’re doing bad…so they can feel better about how they are doing. And, they use that cliché little jibe to cover their true intentions.
Alright, alright. I know it’s really an old joke, and maybe my recent job situation has just made me oversensitive. But, I have always hated that expression, and never found it amusing.
However, I have the perfect comeback…sad to say, it is actually true.
So, from now on when people ask me “Hey, Karen! Are you working hard or hardly working?”
My retort will be,
“Hm. Let’s see…I’ve got two novellas nearly completed; each part of two different fantasy series. I also have a poetry anthology to be released, a new short story, and a Young Readers adventure series on the back burner. I also just started a new epic fantasy series for NaNoWriMo…all while working a new full-time retail loss prevention job, and going to school online for Web Design. *deep breath*
Does that answer your question…?”

But maybe the late, great Donna Summers said it best…

Writing is hard work, especially working on multiple projects at once.
My day job is mentally and physically exhausting. Plus, going to school online…?
I just wish the world would slow down a little bit…

I also wish that people wouldn’t ask such a stupid, unfunny question.

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Filed under authors, changes, day job, Goals, Goals and Resolutions, nuisances, pet peeves, schedules, time management, Uncategorized, web design, writing

Reasons People Give for Not Reading Indies.

As an indie author, there are several things that annoy me on internet message boards, blogs, and other online forums. People claiming they “don’t read indie authors.” They’re “tired of searching through the muck” for something “readable,” “well-edited,” or enjoyable. While these arguments used to really irk me, and evoke my pro-indie rants I decided that in order to rightfully respect other people’s opinions I can look at their reasoning. Yes, most of the time it’s just a cop-out excuse. But the other side of the coin is that they realize that (most of the time) indie authors are responsible for our own quality control, and they are holding us accountable.

So, without any further ado here are the five reasons I hear most often from the “LYK OMG I DON’T REED INDIEZ” camp. Only two are really worth listening to.

1. All indie books are bad, poorly written, un-edited, typo-laden, etc. This commentary to me is not worth listening to. Stereotypes are formed of ignorance. And, saying all indie titles are bad is no different than saying that all traditionally published books are bad. ALL books have errors and typos. And, there are good and bad books on both sides of the fence. MANY indies hire editors, proofreaders, etc. MANY indies do care about quality control. I happen to be one of them.

2. It’s too hard of work for me to weed through all of the crap to find something worth reading. That’s a lazy, cop-out answer. Sorry, but that’s my opinion. It’s not really all that hard to find good books whether traditional or indie. It’s not hard to download a sample, or use “see inside.” It doesn’t take that much time out of your busy day to read through even the first 3 pages. When you buy trad books, don’t you sample first? When you buy a paperback at B&N don’t you skim through it first?
Here’s a tip: The best indie books are in the TOP of the lists on Amazon. AND, you can narrow it by genre. The worthy titles (in both publishing formats) are in the top 100; other worthy reads are in the top 1,000 – 3,000 range. And, they are NOT at the bottom. If you’re “bottomfeeding” and finding nothing worth reading, then you have no one to blame but yourself.

3. Negative Nellies Many of the people who’ve made the above comment are victims of their own negative energy. If you go around thinking “all X is crap” when you search through indie titles, you’ll see only the crap. Every typo, misspelling, ugly cover, horrible blurb will jump out at you screaming “here I am!” Even in good books, the flaws will jump out at you and look just as awful, because you’ve pre-ordained it to be so.
And, I confess I’m speaking from experience here–not in regards to SP books, but in regards to TP ones. When I first embarked on my indie journey, I adopted the “all TP books are crap” mantra. Every error, every page printed crooked, every little typo and Mary Sue character nearly turned me against ALL books regardless of publication method. Thank Heaven that phase was short lived. 😉 The power of positive thinking. Try it some time. It won’t hurt…I promise.

4. Authors behaving badly. I confess this is hard to argue against. I’ve been turned off of writers for this (both TP and Indie). People in the arts should watch what they say and do as a rule, to be sure they don’t turn off their audience, full of consumers who will buy their product.
I only argue against the idea that “all indies do X thing.” That’s a stereotype, and stereotyping is just wrong. There are badly behaving authors on both sides of the fence. Case in point: Anne Rice.
Regardless, the need to police ourselves is apparent–because we don’t have publicists telling us “don’t do that.” There’s nobody in place to slap our wrists with a proverbial ruler, like a Catholic School Nun. I have a list of dos and don’ts in place, but I’ll save that for another time.

5. But I don’t know of any indie authors…and all the ones I’ve heard of have already traditionally published by now. This is a good argument, and a very plausible one. Maybe, it’s even a call-to-arms for most authors to get the word out about our books.
It’s very important to spread the word, and have our “street team” (readers, friends, relatives, co-workers, fellow authors, etc…) help spread the word about you and your books.
Even good books go unnoticed because of lack of advertising, marketing and ineffective promo.
There’s also a chance that some of these people read an indie/sp book without realizing that they were. Whether that’s due to the author being discreet about her publishing methods, or the fact that the book is just that professional from cover-to-cover and nothing stands out as looking “indie” it’s hard to say.

In closing, I’ll just say this: (and it applies mostly to #4) Don’t judge the whole lot of us based on the actions of a few. There are good indie books, and there are not-so good ones. There are sensible authors and ones who fly off the handle at every perceived slight. And, not every author engages in seedy publicity tactics, or sock puppet review scams. Most authors I know steer clear of doing that. Authors are people, and people make mistakes…it’s a shame that so many get judged on the actions of a few, but that carries over into ALL walks of life, not just authors.

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Filed under authors, competitiveness, creativity, flame posts, Great Reads, internet, nuisances, pet peeves, Recommendations, self-publishing/indie publishing, shameless self-promo, trolls, writing

OFF-Topic Tuesday: Things I hate about the Internet…

The internet has sadly given people a license to say and do everything. Sadly, not all of it good. Some just borders on annoying. Others use it to create mayhem or commit crimes. These are just some of my internet pet peeves.

Top of the list: Predators. Especially those who prey on children. Some people should NOT have internet access. Sad, but true.

Malware/spyware/viruses. ‘Nuff said.  

Trolls. Especially the ever-sneaky Trolls-by-Proxy. Trolls-by-proxy may log in using their regular account, even their real name rather than an actual “troll” or “ghost nickname” account. But…they post the same inflammatory, trouble-making remarks that a troll would. And, they’ll do so repeatedly until they’ve succeeded in irking the rest of the users at that site, and causing drama. Then, when you call them out on their bs they get all passive-agressive and whiny. Cyber bullies also fall into this same category.

Intellectual blow-hards. Self-proclaimed experts at everything and everything, constantly patting themselves on the back while telling others what they are doing wrong.

Facebookoholics and Twitiots. you know, the ones who tell you every little thing they are doing, every single moment of the day via FB/twitter.  Not only that, they use FB/twitter to be intrusive and see what YOU are doing…And, if you don’t post your own status, they’ll spam you with messages to find out what you are doing. Every five minutes they send you an “Are you online?” message. Oh, and they add/follow everyone they’ve ever met in their entire life.

ID Thieves/hacks/spies.  I’ve been victimized by these people. They will ruin you financially, given the chance.  Really a horrible experience. 

Virtual Grafiti. 

You know, when people go to abandoned/unmoderated/unmaintained message boards and post obscenity, radical political messages, “Kilroy was here” or whatever they want to. I can think of no better example than Frodo’s Mermaid Haus website of the late 90’s. It was a place where many could post links, stories, ads, etc pertaining to mermaids and merlore. When “Frodo” fell ill, and was in the hospital (if my memory serves me correctly) the site went unmaintained, and the message board went unmoderated. People started posting “gangsta” style online hookup lines, obscenity, spam, and whatever else they wanted to. The saddest part was it used to be a child-friendly site, where they could talk about Ariel and their other favorite Disney characters. I’ve seen this at other sites too, like Elfwood where random anonymous poster leaves a comment “LYK OMG THIS SUX!!” under a picture or story. I’ve even seen similar “reviews” on Amazon. It’s all VERY annoying, but not as bad as what happened to poor “Frodo.”

There’s probably more online nuisances that really bother me…but this is all that I can think of right off the top of my head. Feel free to add your own.

~K. Crumley

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Filed under cyber crime, internet, nuisances, off topic tuesday, pet peeves, time wasters, trolls, Uncategorized