Hi everyone, as I was sorting out keywords and other SEO McGuffins to see how I could improve Heir to the Sundered Crown’s search rankings I stumbled upon an oldish article in which I and the book were mentioned.
Entitled: ‘Social media as a writers aid’ the piece mentions Wattpad and the 2014 Write Awards which Heir won.
You can read the piece here (I’ll wait. Ignore the mention of KOBO links etc., it must have been written a good while ago now.)
Read it? Good. The competition was nothing too serious, just a way for entrants to show off their works in progress and encourage them to keep going. Writing Heir was a big project that I needed a lot of feedback and encouragement to see it through to the end and winning the Write Awards was the push I needed. Nominated judges read every book that had was entered and then voted on which books would go the next round. I was just one of many indy writers taking part, and it really surprised that my first attempt at fantasy became so popular and eventually went onto to win the competition.
The article begins by highlighting the fact that Heir won and even shows the book’s blurb, so far so good right? Wrong. That’s when the article turns shall we say a tad nasty. First off the ‘writer’ of this piece states –
If you despise fantasy books, the above précis will confirm why. Even if, like me, you are a lover of the great fantasy authors of the C20th, the blurb will probably elicit a groan (oh no, not more magic and wizardry on the same old themes!). The tenor of reader reviews us old-time SF/fantasy fans feel most sympathy for is likely that in ‘Cliché and abundance of grammatical errors make this a chore’.
You’ll notice that the kindly writer leaves a link to one of Heir’s two 2-star reviews on Amazon.(Leave a review!) To be fair to that reviewer the book did have the issues he mentioned regarding errors, but since then it has been updated multiple times and is now in a form that I am happy with. That’s the great thing about Ebooks; errors can easily be changed. But even so, including one of the only negative reviews the book has received in the piece is a dick move. Haters gonna hate I guess…
Anyhow, the article continues with the writer railing against Wattpad and its readers despite him openly admitting he uses the site himself.
Despite my contempt for Wattpad users’ choice of an award winner, I have to admit to having been myself a user of Wattpad for a couple of years.
Hmm, out of curiosity I checked out the writers Wattpad profile (which he has the gall to promote in the piece btw).
The chap clearly has no idea how social media works something that I seem to be encountering quite a lot lately it seems. He seems to get that Heir won via the way it was pushed via social media ergo highlighting the importance of social media to authors. But then he goes on a tangent by slagging it off! Those who don’t understand social media seem to either resent those that do or dismiss it entirely. To be fair, the chap does seem to be of the older generation. (Although why he thinks he can dismiss younger people the way he does is beyond me. If he wants to target older writers there are far better websites that would allow him to do so)
One of his closing statements is this –
‘Assuming Wattpad survives which seems likely, and when the shift to a more mature user base happens, my writing may get noticed. Meantime, I attach my Wattpad account to my online avatar, Gravatar, so that some of my correspondents or followers may find what I post to Wattpad (and may even assess it as of interest!).’
Authors Should Not Bash Other Authors
Overall I have no ill will against the writer of the piece; I’m just disappointed that a fellow writer felt the need to bash another’s work. It undermines us all and makes him no better than those people who get a kick out leaving 1-star reviews just to get some sort of twisted kick out of it. The attitude displayed in the article is one of the major reasons why I choose to avoid getting too involved in writing groups in the first place. In such groups, you meet some of the worst people imaginable from grammar Nazis (really nasty ones) to those who think they poop gold.
Writing books while having a full-time job, no budget and a steep learning curve are not easy after all. The article I think is just a self-indulgent moan at his own lack of success but annoyingly for me, it remains as a fairly high up search result in the Google search rankings.
Anyway, in my next blog post, I will be writing about how to properly use social media to promote your work and in turn, improve sales and reads (without bashing anyone else’s works).