#1: The revelation that Amazon might be paying some authors a fraction of a penny per page read. Everyone acts surprised, even though Amazon has been mistreating authors for years. (Go here to see how Amazon treated me when I stood up to a pirate who probably costs them tens of thousands of dollars in lost revenue.) They already have been allowing readers to buy a book, read it (or even pirate it) and then return it for a refund. And now, they’re deleting reviews if they suspect that the reviewer knows the author (of course, they refuse to explain how they arrive at the conclusion that the author and reviewer know each other… nor is there any right to appeal or even to dispute to a real human being.)
Very simply, people need to stop putting all their eggs in the Amazon basket. If you ate at a restaurant, and the waitstaff was rude, the service mediocre and then they suddenly vastly diminished the portion sizes, would you bitch about it on social media and then keep eating there? Or would you find another place to frequent?
Encourage your loyal readers to support you by obtaining your books on Smashwords or other sites. Give them a quick tutorial on the couple of extra steps that might be necessary to get a SW book onto their Kindle. And, be sure to point out that Amazon is obviously actually tracking what they’re doing on their ereader after they’ve purchased and downloaded the book. And that’s just creepy.
#2: #AskELJames. This was nothing more than a bunch of classless individuals trying to fire off witty putdowns in 140 characters or less. Instead of snide remarks, how about asking adult questions such as: “Critics often allege that your story is the exact same story as Twilight. How do you respond to such critics?” or something otherwise intelligent.
Some people shrugged it off. “She doesn’t care, she’s laughing all the way to the bank.” Think about it. What if you went to work, and your boss/coworkers were constantly putting you down. Criticizing every report you filed, every line item of every to-do list you completed, every facet of every project you worked on. And suppose in addition to this, they constantly barraged you with personal put-downs. Would you laugh it off and rationalize it because a paycheck is being direct deposited every other Friday? Or would you be upset? Don’t assume that people don’t have feelings just because they are financially successful.
To authors in general, and erotic authors especially… EL James is still one of us. She’s not a card-carrying member of the Erotic Authors Guild, but still part of the genre. Shame on you if you were one of those participating in bashing her.
There is already enough hate and bullying in the book world. Authors tearing each other down rather than helping one another. I have never witnessed so much virulent hate… and this includes having fought in a war in which the people on the other side were striving to kill me.
So, in summary: stop the hate and bullying, and stop kissing Amazon’s ass.