What did you think of Kane, dear listener?
Who should be on the show next?
Last year I published something like 17 books. I honestly can’t remember the exact number off the top of my head. I think part of my brain is trying to forget the mad rush that was 2011. Out of those books, five were backlist (already written), seven were co-authored (I didn’t do all the work). But five of them were written in 2011. The average author writes one, maybe two novels in a year. When readers and other authors hear that I write more than double that amount, the next thing out of their mouth is, “How do you write so many books?”
Well, today, I’m revealing my secret.
I was recently asked, on Facebook, what advice I had for self-publishers. The answer I gave was unconventional and not at all helpful in the short-run, but I believe it is the best advice I can give. Before I give it here, let me give you some background information.
I first self-published in 2005, which was still during a period I refer to as the dark times—when self-publishing was frowned upon by authors with such passion that some would organize against you, posting phony reviews on Amazon and belittling you on message boards. Despite the vitriol and best efforts of these angry few, I sold a lot of books. Paper books. E-books existed, but they weren’t on anyone’s radar yet. In 2006 and 2007, I published two more novels, each as successful as the first. I formed my own imprint. Writing and publishing became my day job and has remained so ever since.
I’ve seen a good number of blog posts recently from fellow authors focusing on the issue of reviews, which can be, and often are, posted by folks with rude dispositions, grudges, agendas, etc. For a new author, even an honest negative review can be soul crushing. To the experienced author, with thicker skin, negative reviews can be a distraction. So the advice being given is generally this: don’t read reviews for your books. Sounds good on the surface. By not exposing yourself to these negative opinions, you are protecting yourself from the pain delivered by Internet trolls with nothing better to do than harass an author. The troll might be angry after reading the first line of a book sample, or might disagree with the pricing, or might be annoyed that Harriet Klausner gave your book 4 stars, or any number of silly reasons for an anonymous rant. And YES, these people should be ignored. They’ve likely taken to the Internet for attention, because the people in their real lives have begun ignoring their sour mood.