Monday, July 29, 2013

The Trouble With Nanny Author Resource Pages and Why both you the Reader and the Author Should BEWARE

Being both a reader and an author, I like to go to websites that not only will help me to see what authors to look up but how I can help promote my own work as well as weigh in on topics with other authors. I love to go to sites like Author's Den, The Blood Bank, Coffee Time Romance, The Brass Spectacle, Manic Readers, Good Reads, and Writer's Beware. I have sadly come across what I call the "Nanny Author Resource Pages". The format is very much like Writer's Beware but the bad thing is that these places have become places for people who are disgruntled with their publishers, their self publishing companies, and gossip pools where they can say slanderous things about authors they just do not like without any real supporting facts to their statements other than they don't like them. I won't be like Sam I Am and tell you to just try them, to just try them and like them because you will see, oh dear reader you will see that those Green Eyed Monsters are not something you will ever like.

I won't mention any names but I joined this page in the hopes of gleaning the knowledge of others and hoped to give something back. It looked harmless until I saw a certain publisher that I knew for a fact was a legit and honest publishing house being slammed. Now before I go any further I want to impress upon you that if you are an author and if you have a literary agent(yeah if you have one that is a legit agent and is working their butts off for you-that's like having a chunk of gold in your arsenal and you'd be crap out of your mind to toss that away just because you're not at the level of success YOU believe you should be) or publisher, heck or even a good promotions company you've hired-do not blame them if your book is not already a New York Time's Best Seller. If you spit in the faces of these honorable people then you are only causing more problems for yourself and less chances at success. Just like any employer; you do not want a bad reputation of having emotional outbursts and going to these Nanny Author Resource forums and slandering them because they will NOT take you on even if you've written the next best thing since Harry Potter. All that hard work will be for naught. Even small publishing houses have great resources that can provide important stepping stones and if you blow your chances there-you might as well forget it. Seriously, think about that.  You never know WHO is looking at these forums or who is keeping an eye on their clients when you register for these Nanny sites. I call them nanny sites because what is the first thing a child does when it feels he or she has been done wrong? They run to their parents or nannies crying. Still aren't too clear on what I'm talking about?  I'll give you an example.

Joe Doe had spent months writing his novel. When it was finished he pondered where to submit it to and after trying various big name publishers, he landed a small press. Now, this press took a huge chance on Joe Doe's book because they had hoped it would appeal to a certain audience and had anticipated that Joe would work with them to make edits that would make the story pop. When Joe refused, the publisher still hoped that there would be success with Joe's book and decided to help how they could but Joe had already cut them off at the knees. When he wasn't selling as many copies, he blamed the publisher and began making slanderous remarks and went to one of these Nanny Sites to rant and rave to any one who would listen. People already members who like this sort of drama, jumped on his story like a pack of hungry sharks. Before anyone knew it-this small publisher was being listed as a scam publishing agency-and here's the kicker-not one of them had read or even purchased a copy of Joe's book. It could have been nothing but blank pages and yet they were all ready to burn this poor publisher to the ground.

The moral of Joe Doe's story: "Don't cut your publisher or agent's knees off. If they tell you to revise-suck it up and revise. Take their edits and advice to heart because if you're not making money-neither are they."

So what exactly is the responsibilities of a publisher, you might ask? Well unlike a literary agent, they are going to publish your book. They will hold you too a very clear and concise contract that is fair for both you and them. They are going to give you to their team who will help fine tune your manuscript, the cover artist will work with you on a design for your book, and they are going to take all the publishing costs upon themselves for a more than fair commission off your book sales. Again, they want to make money and the only way to do that is for you to make money. THIS DOES NOT MEAN THAT PROMOTIONS AND ALL THE WORK FALLS ON THEM. YOU THE AUTHOR ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR PROMOTIONS. I am lucky, I have a publisher who offers great resources but in the end, it is up to ME to promote my books. Since all my books so far have been EBooks, it is up to me to write blogs, to saturate the social networks with my book and how to buy it, go on blog tours which also help to promote, and if I can-hire promotion firms like Sensuous Promotions. It also helps to network with other authors. The publisher is not going to blog for me, network for me, or hire promotion firms for me. They won't do it for you-unless you're some one like JK Rowling, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Stephen King, Nora Roberts, etc., and if you're reading this-you're probably not at that level of success either. What a publisher will also do for you-or they should will assign an ISBN number or something like it. Those cost money by the way, and they will try to get your book on as many mass market lists as they can. Again I stress, PROMOTIONS ARE UP TO YOU.

I'm straying from my topic. I do that from time to time. Nanny Author Resource Pages are detrimental to readers as well because before one even checks out an author or their book (which again might be the book that defines life), they have been spoiled by all the negativity. I mean had I heard that Stephen King, one of my favorite authors, was published through some scam press and his work was crap on a page, maybe I wouldn't have ever taken a chance on him. Who knows. We live in a time when every dollar and cent count and no one wants to throw their precious book money or entertainment funds on crap, do we? No! So, what I recommend is if you go to an author resource page or something like Good Reads, look at the thread titles. If you see basically Jerry Springer gone wild-DO NOT PASS GO! THEY'RE NOT GIVING YOU THE FREE PARKING OR $200 BUCKS ANYHOW FOR PASSING. Look for sites that may have some unfavorable opinions but those opposing opinions are based on something other than....."SO and So just took my masterpiece and spat upon it!" or "This author, I don't like him/her so don't ever buy their books because I heard they really are nasty critters!" Those are not constructive opinions and any reputable author resource page will not tolerate derogatory or hate speech. I may not like E. L James, and while I think she plagiarized her overly hyped trilogy; I'm going to be constructive about it rather than degrade her like we're still kids in the school yard. I'm definitely not going to bash anyone who disagrees with that. I mean that's what makes us civilized human beings right? That we can disagree yet still do it with dignity, poise, and still be civil at the end of the debate?

So in conclusion-stay away from Nanny Cry Baby Author Resource pages and sites. If you want civilized and informative reviews, books, authors, and publishing information and such-go to legit sites. I write paranormal romance, so most of the ones I go to are ones that follow my genre but Good Reads is kind of a fail safe since they represent all genres of reading. Writer's Beware is a great resource as well when researching publishers but BEWARE of their forums. I am not going to discuss in any great length but they link to a place called The Water Cooler and that is a Jerry Springer even in itself. It used to be a very tight run ship-but now it's just who can tattle on who without the benefit of fact. If you belong there-then fine, good for you but do not use my blog for your venomous spew if that is your intentions. I and others like me, have had a lot of bad experiences. There have been so many that not even my faithful annual NaNoWriMo's will recommend that page. I will say there are still some good people that still go there-why I  don't know but they stay mostly to the threads where they feel safe but even they know that the Cooler has went down hill.  So the word for today class is "EDUCATE". Educate yourself as a reader and an author.



Anonymous said...

Good blog Nikki. We all know how venomous that 'water cooler' page is, and frankly I can't understand how people who write for the public, expect to spew out that much hatred and yet say " Oh and buy my book!" Frankly, and this is only my opinion, if someone is that whiny and hateful, that would be the last book I want to read. Keep up the good work

Nicole Noffsinger said...

Well I think about how much damage I could have done to myself by even having a profile on that page. Some sort of trash page is not anything I want to be a part of.

Denysé Bridger said...

Very well stated, Nikki. I think years ago when ePublishing was just beginning to establish itself, places like this were an information pool, and could be relied upon for worthwhile information. No longer true. From what is readily seen, especially at the Water Cooler, the bulk of the daily participants are people who can't get published, so they've made it their life's work to make every other working author bleed so they feel better about their failures and lack of success. I've never had time for shit like and I hope I never do.