Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Being Supportive in Groups is NOT a One Way Street #amwriting #MyWANA

See article by author Cassie Mae

Welcome back to Through Stephanie's Eyes. This week I'd like to talk a bit about a topic that's near and dear to my heart. I believe as authors, we should support and encourage each other in our goals to get our name, brand and books out there to the readers. There are literally hundreds of support groups out there to choose from but you have to BEWARE.  What may look on the surface to be a group that fully supports all it's members, may actually be one where you and a few others are doing all the sharing and promoting and getting nothing in return.

As you know, I'm one of several pen names for author Tammy Dennings Maggy. I'm the "good girl" of the bunch and write the mainstream romance and fiction. My audience is at best a PG crowd. My other alter egos have adult audiences and some of their work is EXPLICIT and only meant for the over 18 crowd. Okay they are definitely NC-17 rated. I still promote them here but with censored posts. That's to keep with the theme of this blog.

Now in support groups where it's stated in their rules that everyone must share and support each other, I don't think it's fair when members pick and choose what posts, links, tweets, and books they'll share with their followers. The excuse that the avoided material is not something they wish to be associated with because it's too explicit or goes against their morals is simply...

A crock of shit.

It's all well and good when these erotica, erotic romance and adult fiction writers share all members's posts and promotions to THEIR adult audiences, but not the other way around. Association goes both ways, folks. If you think an author's book is pornography, then what the hell are you doing in a group where your children's book is being presented to the fans of the porn writer? It's obvious to me your morals only come into play when you wish to make a high and mighty statement.

Honestly, it makes you look bad in the eyes of the other authors in your group. They're good enough to share your work with their connections, even though they may not be fans of it, and yet you feel it's okay to shame them by saying your "morals" won't allow you to post "that kind" of material.

There was an incident earlier this week in another group in which I'm a member. Seems a small fraction of the membership complained about one promotion of a book that had a couple making out on the beach. Mind you, the couple had bathing suits on, but according to the "moral minority" they refused to promote blatant porn. 

Let that sink in a moment. Ready? Okay now picture this. Some of the authors refusing to promote a bikini clad model on the cover book, want the author of the "offensive" book to tweet about their cartoon illustrated kiddie book.

These self-righteous few joined this group knowing all the ground rules ahead of time. They didn't have to join at all. They knew in ADVANCE there are erotica, erotic romance and spicy romance authors in the group and all are expected to reciprocate. It's the only rule of the group.

It's the one rule these few wish to change. They don't see why they should have to compromise their morals to participate.

Do you know the answer to this dilemma? What would've been the best course of action for these few to take in the very beginning?

DON'T join a group in the first place. LEAVE if there are promotions you don't feel comfortable sharing. No one is holding a gun to your head to stay but your actions and slamming the work of your fellow authors will earn you the label of yet another author behaving badly.

Don't be one of those authors. Join groups where you can give and receive the support you need. Don't start up groups saying you support all genres and then later ban specific ones. Don't try to change the group dynamics because you didn't read the rules nor did you think they actually applied to you specifically.

If by now you think I've been a bit harsh in this article, you're right. I've been pushed to this point and frankly, I'm sick and tired of it. There's no reason people have to treat each other this way: use them for what you can get out of them and then toss them aside like used Kleenex. 

I feel just as used when my email accounts, Twitter direct messages, and Facebook inbox is inundated with requests from authors and their street team members to help them promote their work. I don't have a clue who they are, and yet they think I want to take the time out of my day to spread the word about their self proclaimed novel of the century.

It would be nice to have a bit of a conversation going here and there. Some interaction between us like clicking the RT button or "share" button once in a while. It's NOT okay to send me fly by promo within one minute of me accepting your friend request or following you on Twitter.

You want support? You have to give it in order to receive it. They way to do that is to put YOURSELF out there for all of us to get to know a bit better. Then we'll all WANT to help you promote your work because we already like YOU.

Food for thought my lovelies. Until the next time.

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