Sunday, May 27, 2012

Why don't readers like writers?

I want to start with saying, the title is a grave generalization. Most people I meet and talk to in person and online are lovely. There are a few though who puzzle me.

Let me back up a little. If you've made it to my blog, you know what Amazon is. You might not know that Amazon has a number of discussion forums where people meet up to talk about everything from what kind of sandwiches people eat in Sweden (brought on by the Stieg Larsson books) to talking about actual books, or what to do in a hurricane. I spent quite some time in these forums a couple of years ago, but left due to the general hostility in many of them. I think it's a minority of people wanting to stir up a storm, and they seem to be succeeding quite well.

Today, I was looking at something on Amazon and clicked a link into a forum out of pure curiosity. Things haven't changed one bit during the past two years; if anything, it's gotten worse.

Why do (some) readers hate authors so much? They evidently like books, or they wouldn't be there discussing them.

The last time I participated in an Amazon forum I joined in a discussion without mentioning my books or writing. The person who started the thread wondered how Swedish people can be so stupid when it comes to hurricanes, and I tried to explain that we don't have them, so we don't know the first thing about them. It was a fun discussion that veered off into different countries' coffee drinking habits, and everything was fine and dandy until someone looked up my name and shouted, "Hey everyone, she's an author, she's just here to self promote, get her out of here!" Is it wrong of me to find that just a little bit rude?

I understand that people don't want to see self-promotion everywhere, but it seems a tad unfair to want to shut people out of other aspects of society just because they wrote a book. LOL.

The first discussion I saw today was titled, "How do I avoid seeing books from Indie authors?" The person who started that thread wants a special view on Amazon that will only show books from the biggest publishing houses, sorting out small press and self published writers. The post has hundreds of positive responses.

If someone only wants to read books from Random House, it's their prerogative, of course, and probably their loss. I just don't understand.

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