by Giselle Renarde
I saw a tweet the other day that really pissed me off.
I won't say who it came from or even what line of work they're in, but the tweet was a real screw-you to all their followers. It said something along the lines of: you think you're so supportive because you follow me and retweet me, but if you're not buying my products then you're not helping me at all because retweets don't pay the rent.
When I saw that, I was seriously taken aback. I haven't stopped thinking about it, and I certainly don't feel that way about my followers on twitter or on my blog or here or anywhere else. Quite the opposite. I appreciate the time you take to read my words, whether they're in blog form, tweet form, or book form.
I appreciate your time.
If you read something I've written here or at Donuts and Desires or on twitter and you take a moment to share it with others, I appreciate that action tremendously.
In fact, it's about more than just your time. It's about much, much more.
The other day I was thinking about book reviews. I don't read reviews of my work, but I appreciate beyond words that readers take the time to share their thoughts with the entire internet.
Sharing your opinions with the world isn't always easy, especially when you consider the nature of what I'm writing: erotica and queer fiction. If you write a book review about my work, you're sharing a lot about yourself.
Some readers are not in a position where they're able to be "out" as kinky or queer or whatever the case may be. They don't feel they can tell the world this is what they're reading. If you fall into that category, I want you to know it's okay. I don't wish for you to put your security in jeopardy to boost me up. Just know in your heart how much I appreciate that you're reading my words.
And if you are in a position to share your views on my work with the world, I appreciate that too. I appreciate it tremendously. And I appreciate it even if you didn't buy the book you're reviewing--if you checked it out of your local library or you got it for free during some kind of promotion or you found a tattered copy in a bus station bathroom.
Yes, I write for a living. Yes I need to put food on the table with my words. And pay the rent. And cover utilities. I couldn't do any of those things without readers. But does that mean I begrudge the people who "only" subscribe to my newsletter, who "only" retweet me once in a while, who "only" read the free stories on my blog? No! Not in the least.
Forbidden Family Erotica" don't give a fuck that today is my grandmother's 87th birthday (Happy Birthday, Grandma!). They won't remember my name once they've read my smut. And you know what? I'm okay with that.
Not every reader needs to be a fan, and not every fan needs to be a reader. Most of my twitter followers have probably never read my work, and they probably never will. But every so often someone retweets a book trailer I've made, and that gets seen by a few people who've never heard of me, and they get interested in my work and a fan inspires a reader without even knowing it.
It's so shitty for anyone to tell their followers "if you're not purchasing my product, you mean nothing to me." I can't get over it. It's got me so riled up.
Hey, YOU. Yes, you! If you're reading this right now, you mean something to me. I've written these words. You've read these words. No money has changed hands, but we've made a connection. And that means something.
At least, to me it does.
|And if you want to support me financially, Patreon is as good a place as any!|
You're so right, Giselle. We need to know we're not writing in a vacuum, that somebody realizes we're out here on the edge, even if they aren't putting down their cold hard cash for our work.ReplyDelete
It's good to see Lexi up to her old tricks!
I read that comment myself and thought what an asshole. I feel that people should buy our smut if they get some type of value out of reading, even if it is just abusing yourself. I buy books from authors because I like to read what they write and it entertains me. I don't want to buy because I have to.ReplyDelete
Honestly, I've made so little money from my writing, that sometimes I think it's not worth it to continue. Then I have voices beginning their story lines in my head again, and I sigh, knowing that the only way to shut them up is to write their stories, so they can live in others' heads as well as mine.ReplyDelete
I realize that for some, writing is a full-time career. If only! But I will keep plodding along, writing whenever I get the time. What will really piss me off, is if when I finally do get to retire, my brain stops giving me stories! Then I will have to scream!
I'm thrilled if anyone puts up a review, or reads my blog. I'm thrilled to think that someone, anyone, is reading my stuff. It's a gift they're giving me, and like you, Giselle, I don't care how they got it. It pisses me off when I get "google alerts" letting me know that one of my books is listed as a freebie...but not enough for me to try to do anything about it. What's the point? Richer authors can hire someone to "take care of that" for them. I can't. And writing notices would take away from my writing time.
We write to reach out, to matter in one way or another, or to make the characters we've created matter. I'd like to say we write to make a difference to somebody, but that's could be , above asking too much. Still, we write to be read, above anything else. I admit to getting pissed off when a writer reported a fan saying, "Why should I have to pay for the imaginings of your mind?" That felt like denying the worth of all the work we put into it. But I still feel that being read is the most important part.ReplyDelete
I AGREE WITH YOU WHOLE-HEARTEDLY!ReplyDelete
While I do this for the money -- I rely on writing income to pay some of my monthly bills -- I don't look at my followers as a source of money. As far as I know, my followers on social media are entirely different from the folks who buy my books -- I don't really care if there's crossover.
You’re generous and also right, Giselle. Now I need to find some of your tweets and blog posts, and comment.ReplyDelete
I totally agree, Giselle, I love to know that people read my stuff, and hopefully enjoy it. If they want to tell the world, well fine, I love that too. Even if they only 'tell' me by maybe signing up for my newsletter or liking someone else's post or tweet, that's just as welcome. In the end, yes, I need to make money but every positive comment contributes.ReplyDelete