I like helping my fellow authors. That's 75% of the reason I'm on WC every day. I'm here the other 25% to learn and help myself do better at writing, promoting, or publishing. I love the WC. I'm here pretty much every day and my favorite threads are the ones where people share their successes. My second favorite ones are where people offer something that might help me, be it a tool or an article or a tip. Whatever it is, I want to hear it. That's why I'm here.
I don't go to the Book Bazaar. That's a reader hangout, and I don't like giving the impression that I'm spamming readers for self-promo reasons so I stay out of there. That's also why I'm not active on Goodreads or the Amazon forums.
So now you know my motivations for the following opinions:
1. I think a single thread for any "help me reach my milestone" posts is a great idea, so long as it's here on the WC. Of course it won't get as many eyes on it as an individual thread will, but it's a good compromise. None of us want this place to become a spam board of self-promo threads, but I want to help my fellow authors find more readers. I'm actively searching for ways to do this, so if there's a thread here for it, I will check it regularly. Does that mean I will help every single person that posts there? No, probably not. I don't have time to go on all the threads every day and I usually only recommend books to my readers that I think they'll like (i.e., similar genre to mine). But if someone wants my help and I can help them, that's what I want to be able to do. Thank you WC for making that easier.
2. I have zero problem with someone posting a note to go join a conversation elsewhere, if the point of it is to help authors or to learn something important as an author. This place is a resource
. That's why I come here. Where else am I going to get those links? I don't have time to search the internet for them, so I appreciate authors bringing them to my attention. If they stop showing up here, I'm going to go find the place that hosts them, which drives me away from WC. I think the goal is to keep people here, where they find helpful and useful information. Give those threads a home. Just because someone clicks a link and goes elsewhere, it doesn't mean they don't come back. People always come back to places that offer good resources. Besides, nothing's stopping authors from commenting on the thread here at WC. It happens all the time. A person provides a link off WC, people go read it, then come back and discuss. I can't believe people are complaining about that right now.
I posted a thread here yesterday telling authors to come join an author-centric thread on my Facebook, for the express purpose of giving them exposure to my readers and vice versa. I see many of my more avid readers have "liked" the post and "liked" some of the author comments. I'd be thrilled to know that someone who reads my books now reads one of these authors' books. This falls under the definition of resource. I
would like to be a resource for other authors. The best way to reach my fans is through my Facebook page. The best way to reach authors is through the the WC. Obviously I'm not the only one who realizes this as we daily have posts about book bundles, anthologies, cross-promotions, and many other vehicles meant to connect our readers with other authors.
For those of you who have a problem with that kind of thread like I posted (from your posts on the subject, I assume you are: Phoenix, Monique, Cherise, Dara, Colin, ...and probably several behind the scenes) , I have to wonder why
. Why do you take issue with authors giving other authors exposure to their readers? Surely you don't expect them to do it here at the WC. This is not a place for readers, although I know they're welcome here. This is a writer's cafe where we talk about the world of writing and being writers/publishers. Honestly, I'm trying to figure out why anyone would take issue with this practice, and I can't come up with a single reason that makes sense.
The general atmosphere or mood on this board shifts over time, kind of like a roller coaster. There will be months it's a great place to be with all kinds of positivity and support and helping hands. Then it slowly starts drifting in the other direction, with negativity, unkind comments, and outright attacks. Last time it happened, I jumped in and made it a point to post a bunch of very positive, hopefully helpful threads, trying to bolster things and get them going in another direction. WC is my writer home and I love it here when it's working and everyone's being good to each other. Thankfully lots of other authors jumped in and did the same and things turned around. It stayed really positive until recently, the past month or two.
Someone told me privately that another forum's members have recently left there and joined here. Maybe that's part of the reason why the forum seems to be swinging back in the dark direction, but I'm seeing garbage attitudes from long-time members of the forum too, so that's not the only source.
I have left the WC for extended periods of time in the past when it's gotten like this. Not only do I find the negativity very bad for my writing mojo, I also don't like that the people swimming in that kind of cesspool of jealousy and unhappiness are often tempted to interfere in an author's livelihood by posting sock-puppet reviews and talking to people behind their backs, saying unkind and untrue things.
Last time this happened, I jumped in and tried to help turn things around. This time, I'm not sure I have it in me. That expression 'no good deed goes unpunished' comes to mind. I have a ton of books to write this year and promotions to do and trips to take to support my writing. I don't have the time or the desire to spend time in dark places, and I'm quite sure my readers won't appreciate it.
I hope that Harvey and his gang of trusty mods can get this forum back on track and do the right thing by the authors who come here to help and be helped. And I hope we can all take a step back and decide what kind of place we want the WC to be and then make a commitment to making it that place through our own actions and words. If you're the one posting all those positive comments, sharing things that work for you, and pointing us to places or resources that will help us, please keep doing that. If you're the one bashing people or what they do, criticizing when criticism has not been asked of you, and being negative about other authors because their actions or level of success doesn't meet with your approval, please stop doing that. You're going to ruin a great place and a great resource for people who really need it.