As I mentioned here earlier, 2017 was a very good year for me overall. And the new year holds the promise of an even better year.
But there is one last bit of business left to tend to before I close the books on 2017 and with about an hour left I figure I’d better get to it. Recently, I mentioned a problem Goodreads has with online trolls.
Back on Christmas Day, of all days, a friend of mine on Twitter was being insulted and attacked by a young woman from Alabama. This friend is a Navy veteran who served his country and is deserving of nothing but respect – even during times of disagreement. This Alabaman was doing anything but, in my opinion, and I became involved in the exchange because I am just old-school enough to stand with my friends when they are under assault and punch back hard. Which is what I did in this case.
So our young lady from Alabama decided, after I had blocked her, to do the troll thing and attack me on Goodreads. Soon after a troll account – JOHNNY WALKER – was created and every single book associated with me received a 1-star rating. It isn’t the first troll attack I’ve put up with and, sadly, it likely won’t be the last.
Like any author, I was not happy to see this happen. But I am blessed with a solid group of fellow author-friends and one of them raised a very valid point after looking over this young woman’s Goodreads profile. She’s in her mid-30s and apparently very alone and she is also wanting to become a writer but can’t seem to find the time to write her book (one could say if she spent less time attacking people she disagrees with politically and calling them names online, she’d have more writing time).
So after going back and looking at her profile again, I have realized that I am not angry with her at all. Actually, I feel nothing for her except pity. I was 33 once (yes, it was way back in the before time) and wondering if my career path was going to take me where I wanted to go. Fortunately, it has.
But it seems that maybe it hasn’t been the same for her and that must be both devastating and frustrating for one so young. But the good news is that she has plenty of time to get back on track and I am willing to help her do just that.
As you know, I am a business partner with another author. Our company, Tuscany Bay Books, specializes in helping first-time authors get published (and we pay 60% royalties, not the miserly 15% the traditional house parcel out) and learn how to become Independent authors.
So, if Ms. Janet is reading this, and if she is serious about becoming an author, I am inviting her to finish her book and send it to us. We’ll take a serious look at it and see if it is a project we can help land on a bookshelf at Janet’s local bookstore. There’s even a bookstore we work with in Southern California that sells only Indie Published books that we can set you up with to get your book in their store.
I’m offering you an olive branch, because I truly want to see everyone who wants to be an author succeed in making their dream come true, even Janet.
And, if you’d rather not have anything to do with us, I’d still encourage you to spend more time writing on and finishing your book and less time publicly boycotting authors like myself, Anne Rice, Brad Thor and the many others you’ve placed on your GR author-boycott shelf. I think you’ll find yourself a much happier person.
As for my new year’s resolution, here it goes: For 2018 I will no longer engage the obvious trolls on any Social Media, nor will I pay them the slightest attention on Goodreads or Amazon.
Because, at the end of the day, these trolls are just sad pitiful creatures and life is just too precious and too short to waste any time on them. They’re the ones the block and mute buttons were created for.