Wicked Junkee here with a better-late-then-never post that was inspired by drama that unfolded after the RT Convention. A good bit of Junkee reviewers and bloggers attended the Reader Convention and had a blast (bit meaning about 4 -if you don’t count the voices in some of our heads). There was very little drama, except for a maybe a snip or two by a particularly jealous blogger who thought her chips were more sour cream and onion then a Parajunkee chip (please said blogger see list below – it can be applied to bloggers also). Didn’t really amount to much, more of a who gives a fuck moment – but I am biased, and I prefer my Junkee with a double e…but hell…it is what is it right? And speaking of jealous and insecure, there was a bit of drama that unfolded AFTER the con that this post is really about.
A little Matter of Segregation…
If you aren’t familiar with the story, basically the RT Convention put the “published” authors in one room and the “indie” authors in another room. This led to an outcry by a few Indie authors claiming they were segregated from the main populace because RT declared them “unfit” to mingle with “real authors.” Hashtags labeled #RT14 Segregation popped up almost immediately. Then a few naysayers responded with criticism over the term segregation. The main point of that argument was that when most people think of segregation they think of Racial Segregation in the early part of the 20th century and for authors to claim segregation in these terms was ludicrous. I tend to agree with this camp, it would be like a Romance writer claiming they were segregated from the rest of the group – because they were put in a “Romance” aisle instead of in the Fiction aisle. Even though segregation is defined as just separation of one group from another – it is a tactless way of putting things.
My personal opinion is what I always blame Weird Indie Author Behavior on – lack of self-confidence. By definition an Independently published author has shucked the status-quot and gone out on their own. Maybe they published independently because they were consistently rejected, maybe they self-pubbed because they didn’t want to go through a rejection process, or maybe they just rocked that shit to keep all the profits – either or – the first two situations might lead an author to feeling “not able to hang with the big boys.” Include this frame of mind, with the fact that most self-published works usually are stereotyped with bad editing, silly cover images and bad author behavior – discrimination does happen – well this just leads to more insecurity.
Insecurity Is A Bitch
Insecurity and lack of self-confidence are not going to sell any books, you have to have full confidence in your product, if not, no one is going to buy it. Not to mention, ridiculous insecure posts about how you were “segregated from real authors”are just going to make people pity you – and pity doesn’t sell books either. It just reminds people about how you are a self-published author and sometimes feel insecure about the fact that you self-pubbed. A silly insecure frame of mind will also lead to lashing out at people you feel “think they are better than you” and jealous actions that could do a lot more damage to your career then any special indie room could.
So, indie authors, let’s work on that insecurity – right?
Here are a few tips for self-published authors to increase their self-confidence:
- Your Inner Voice is an Asshole. Shut it up. This is called Thinking Positive according to people with degrees and medical licenses. To me, this is slapping a muzzle on that voice that criticizes you all day long. Think Positive. Your inner critic is a genuine, ugly, asshole…and what do we do about assholes? We ignore them. Drown out that inner voice that says published authors are better then you and replace it with fun mantras like “My book rocks. People like my book. If they don’t like my book, who cares, they can suck it.
- Own that shit. Insecurity doesn’t necessarily spawn confidence, but you need to have confidence in your product (your book) to sell it right.
- Act with Awesome. Act like you got it all figured out, act positively, think positively and behave positively. Do things, don’t talk yourself out of doing things. Just don’t act like you know it all if you don’t know it all. People don’t like posers.
- Rock a List of Amazing. List all the things that you’ve achieved as a writer and focus on the positive. If you are feeling boastful post it all over the place. Make sure the stuff is worth boasting about though, most people don’t give two urine samples about the fact that you won Best Short Story in your 9th grade English class.
- Don’t read negative reviews. It’ll only piss you off and lead to negative thoughts. Hell don’t read any reviews.
Now if you are an indie author, don’t get your panties in a twist, this isn’t saying that all indies suffer from insecurities. I’m saying EVERYONE suffers from insecurity. If you don’t. You are probably lying. I have met indie authors and I’ve met authors published by the big pubs, they all have insecurities about different things. Even Anne Rice is ridiculously insecure. So, yeah…join the insecure club and own that too.