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Monday, January 7, 2013

An open letter to twitter authors

Dear anonymous indie/small-press author I met via Twitter,

First let me say I love the fact you're breaking away from traditional publishing. I agree. Many talented and capable writers are overlooked for the sake of profits. And yes, readers should explore alternate avenues beyond the expected tripe the Big Six churns out. Like you, I too believe small-press/indie publishers are changing the industry for the better. More writers are breaking away from the herd at record numbers, and I'm totally behind all that! 

However, please stop the elitist, self-righteous douchebaggery on Twitter. Snark is OK. Cyber bullying is not. 

Do not attack other writers, regardless how talented or untalented you think they might be. And when you promote your books on Twitter, stop treating your fellow small-press/indie peers like "customers." Enough with this: "Hey, hey, buy my book! Let me flood your twitter feed with at least 200 different purchasing links! I have 1,000+ followers so that makes me super talented and famous!"   

I can count at least four times I bought a book from some indie/small-press writer only to have that person UNFOLLOW or IGNORE me after my purchase. Um, hello. Don't you want a Goodreads review? Amazon rating? Guest blog opportunity? Or do you only care I increased your sales count? C'mon. Network professionally! 

Indie/small-press writers cannot survive without helping one another. It's not a competition, guys. Really. It's not. Granted, not every indie writer on Twitter is a flaming asshole, but dear lord, the loudest of them are! 

Social media is a useful tool to promote yourself and your work. And Twitter can be a wonderful place to meet and connect with other folks in the industry...but the cannibalization needs to stop. I urge you to pull your head out of your ass. If you truly care about books, you'll stop tearing each other apart and focus on your own work. Write the best book you can and stop worrying what the other writer next to you is doing. 

And so ends my morally superior rant of the week. Over and out, minions. 
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