Thursday, June 12, 2008

A big can of wiggly worms

The picture in tonight post pretty much sums up my present state of mind and so it seemed a highly appropriate choice.

What a can of worms the self publishing thread that I mentioned a day or so ago seems to have caused. It is amazing how quickly these things degenerate and how they seem to bring out the worst in human nature, triggering everyone's defence mechanisms into overdrive, including I hasten to add, my own.

I got home from work yesterday to find 2 messages from the site administrator informing me that some of my comments had caused offence, and that because of the comments that had been posted by certain other members, the thread had now been closed. I cannot speak for anyone else or their motivations, but my publishing insider radar was going off left right and centre, after what I interpreted as some rather personal comments which seemed to be criticising both my work and this blog, and after a link was posted back to here, inviting other readers to see for themselves what I had written on here.

In all fairness though, as the poster of these comments did say to me, the fact that I did actually post links to this site in my signature was an invitation to members to come and visit. It was not so much what was said though, as the way in which it was said. We have made our peace now though and all is forgiven, so all is well that ends well.

It is always difficult to see your work being criticised in such a public manner. Writers have large egos, and over active pain bodies, as much of what we write is very personal to us. The ego reacts so strongly to what it sees as criticism, as it views an attack on what we write as an attack on self. It does not know the difference. Self published authors such as myself seem to face an almost endless barrage of criticism from all quarters, and constant prejudice from the publishing industry in general. It may have been the case 10 years ago that print on demand books were dreadful quality, but things have changed, and their views have not kept pace with this change.

When you have to face this seemingly endless onslaught, and continually justify your reasons for choosing the POD route, it does get very, very tiresome indeed, and to be quite honest, I think that almost everyone would have reacted in the same way - with outrage and anger. It is difficult to face criticism from those who know nothing about your work other than the free chapter posted on your site, which you do not have to provide, and have them making negative comments about a book which they have not even read, let alone seen, simply because it is self published.

It did not help that I have had an awful couple of days at work - since Tuesday we have had just 2 members of staff in all day, running a busy store, for up to 9 1/2 hours with no break. The 2 of us that were in were running around like tits in trances trying to get the store looking good - don't ask me why when they are probably about to close it anyway! All this because some other Managers were coming to the store to do an inspection, and of course, they cannot possibly see it as it is. Well, when one of them asked me what I thought of the company, I told them the truth, and said we were not paid nearly what we are worth. I was utterly surprised to find that he actually agreed with me.

So, to say it has not been the easiest week is an understatement. Tomorrow though is another day, and it is also the first of my three regular days off (I only work four days a week). One week from now I shall be packing my bags and heading for Lundy via the M3.

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