I don't know what it is about me, maybe I have a masochistic aura or something but I am the person people tell their problems to, whine about their significant other or complain about life in general. For years I would nod make sympathetic sounds while keeping my mouth shut, because I wasn't sure what life advice I could offer. Then as I became older I started offering advice, huh the advice wasn't taken hmm yet here they come back around again with the same complaint so I offered yet more advice. Huh, oh look at that I haven't heard from them in a while.
Gradually I realized there were people who just wanted someone to whine to. I also realized that getting involved in other people's life and problems was a great big ball of pain in the ass. So I stopped offering advice and kept my fucking mouth shut. I prefer to keep my mouth shut, really I do, even this blog, I write it and usually kind of giving a warning of this is just my thoughts take it as you will except for cover art, because for fucks sake there isn't really something more important than cover art. The cover art is pretty much number one in all self-publishing how to advice books, blogs and all of the above.
Today I was given a lovely reminder of the why to stay the hell out of other people's whining. A fellow author apparently 'helped' her daughter in her first foray into publishing and it all went to shit. The author moaned about the loss of her daughter's innocence that writing is a fairy tale where you hit publish the sales come in and three months later you're buying your first home or that ferrari you always wanted. It didn't go well, at all. I sighed as a read it, this is hard, it isn't easy and the daughter will find if she really wants to be an author because when it doesn't go well, that's when you find out how bad do you really want it. That post went up Friday, I think, can't remember and can't verify as the author has unfriended me and blocked-thus the crux of this post.
Now at least a day later but I'm pretty sure two days later the post continuing to pop up with the link to the book for 'help' sharing and caring and blah blah blah. Out of curiosity I hit the link and damn that is one ugly cover. First thing that hit me and loudly, I barely read the description just the first few lines and noped right the hell off the buy page. Go with your gut people, always go with your gut because my gut told me to keep on scrolling down the page. But did I? Nope, I saw the last comment, one of three on just how bad the cover was and how to find a better one and all kinds of advice. One of those three comment talked about paying money just to find a cover artist-no way. I hesitated, the post was over five hours old so the author had to have read and hadn't responded. Well since I love my cover artist so much I decided to recommend her.
My post went, 'I loathe saying this but the cover art looks homemade and not in a good way. ' I then gave my cover artists info and thought nothing of it. Two minutes later she replied to my comment of thanks for the insult. Ummm, excuse me? Someone else has already told you the cover art is lacking, you had no response to that and I thought you were moaning about the poor showing your daughter's book had and a huge factor in that had to be the cover art. Flash went through my head. Leave it alone, this person isn't ready for the truth she's too close, she's emotional, she won't be receptive for shit.
But of course I couldn't because I have never insulted another author, even when I found their work lacking. I kept my mouth shut and I averted my eyes because I know how fucking hard this is. I have the scars to my pride to show for it. BUT I also figured out really fucking quickly this is a business if I want to be able to sell enough to live off my writing I need to treat everything else but the story like the business it is. That's why I now spend money to make money on my editor, on my cover art and I spend the time on the top 100 on my genre to see what's going on and keep up and know what's selling. I show off my cover and go with the most votes not the one I love personally, although thankfully they are usually one in the same.
I get cover art is hard, because it seems crazy to pay so and art is subjective, like real art. That a person would pay so much for a Jackson Pollock is beyond me. A pretty picture is a pretty picture, right? Um no, not right not when it comes to books there is a standard that needs to be met. This is basically what I wrote back, if you were to walk into Barnes and Noble and look at the book you were selling would it fit into the other books on the table. Look at the 100 genre and does the cover fit there? By the way, I'm not the only person who said as much and you didn't thank them for the insult.
No response but the unfriend and block. I sighed laughed and shook my head. You know they say the person who defends themselves has a fool for a client? When you can't look at the business of writing as a business for the feedback you get to make your business better then you are making your success that much harder.
Do I wish this person ill, is this a get back at the person post? Fuck no. If it were names and ugly cover art would have been shared but it's not and it won't be. Because again despite what that author thought it wasn't an insult it was one author trying to help another. To loosely quote someone much smarter than me if you can't help someone then at least don't do any harm. This is a business, it's a hard sometimes soul destroying business that makes you wonder sometimes why the fuck you keep doing it then you read a review that makes you glow down to your tip toes and then you remember oh yeah, that's why. At the end of the day, this is a business, you don't close up shop if you had a bad day or even a bad week. You go in every day you do the hard work, and you show your customers they can depend on you for a quality product every time.