You’re moving right along, doing your thing, promoting yourself and your books, and all of a sudden—BAM!
You lose friends; people say mean things; sometimes, even, people threaten to “stop” buying your books and say hateful things about you.
What the hell just happened?
People. That’s what happened.
First, it’s really hard to comprehend because you probably aren’t like this. You probably don’t send hate messages and you probably don’t jump to conclusions and you probably don’t spread rumors. And it’s really hard not to take this personally.
I’m telling you, resist that temptation.
Fix the problem, if there is one, and issue an apology and move on. Assuming, of course, that what happened is not at all justified. If it is, you’re kinda screwed . . .
A couple years ago, there was a message board circulating that said some not-very-nice-things about me. These people assumed that since RHP was a new publishing house, we were either A) crooks and criminals or B) clueless. On this particular site, folks seem to jump to conclusions quite a lot; there are many long-time writers on there who seem to “know everything.” I use the word “writers” because most of these people haven’t been published; I reserve the term “author” for ones who have.
I addressed the concerns mentioned with simple answers; those didn’t satisfy a few people, but I stopped. I’d answered their questions. An RHP author saw the thread and jumped in and said, basically, hey, RHP is JUST FINE. I SIGNED WITH THEM.
End of story.
Last week, an RHP author had a social media account hacked. No other explanation. The alleged post, of which I only saw a screenshot, was completely out of character for this author and anyone with half a brain would have realized that.
Sadly, it seems many people do only possess half a brain; I started receiving email. Not the author—no one asked the author. They felt it necessary to email the publisher and threaten not to purchase any more RHP book if we didn’t immediately remove this author.
One of them also couldn’t distinguish between “your” and “you’re,” but I digress . . .
I didn’t ask if they had EVER bought an RHP book, although I did tell one of them that I doubted they’d intended to “place a large order.” Whatever that means.
It was kind of a cluster there for a couple days.
Long story short, the author issued both a private and a public apology via social media, as did RHP. Okay, RHP’s post was a little weighted on sarcasm, but come on! DON’T jump to conclusions, right?
Lesson: periodically Google yourself, see what’s out there; check your social media accounts for “bad” things. Fix problems immediately. And issue an apology.
Then forget it and move on.