A Comment From a Newbie Writer

Here’s an opinion for you:

Keeping in mind that I am using exaggeration for effect here…

Any writer who ever uses the phrase “I don’t want [X group] to be reading my books” deserves to go bankrupt and die homeless.

I mean any group, including (but not limited to) Nazis, commies, SJW’s, both Puppies groups, CHORFs, Morlocks, Vox Day, and John Scalzi.

Here is why:

As authors – not writers, but authors – we are in the business of selling our work. We are trying to make a product that people want to read and will enjoy reading. And as an up and coming author without the luxury of a massive fanbase, I literally cannot afford to insult the people who are forking over their hard-earned money, and taking the time out of their day, to pay attention to something that *I* created. It is a privilege of mine, a dream come true.

It is not a right. I do not have the right to pick my readers, they pick me. I do not have the luxury of calling them racists, or homophobes, or SJWs, or snowflakes, because if I do, I am finished. I will lose my base, and I’ll be grounded before I end up in the air.

Insulting your readers is a privilege for the rich. But for working writers? For the people who are still trying to build a career, who are up until 4 in the morning after they finish their day jobs or their schooling? We can’t do that.

And we shouldn’t do that.

Because WE owe THEM.

And we should NEVER forget that.

  • I use to be a very big Girl Genius fan — I still have the rather nice knapsack and a pin, I was a Jaeger for Halloween, urged folks to read it, the whole nine yards.

    Then… one of the authors took a great deal of time and effort to attack a guy for having rather mainstream religious views with which she did not agree, and insist that her morals held that bigots should NEVER be given any custom.

    So, out of respect for her views, I do not buy their stuff. I don’t suggest it to other “haters” who may have views they cannot tolerate the existence of. I don’t even read it, anymore– I might, some day, read it for free or in a form where they didn’t get money directly from it, but the sheer vitriol rather destroyed the enjoyment.

    ********

    If someone is secure in the quality of their writing, they should pray, hope and dream that those they disagree with will read it– and that the correctness of their world-view will go through the writing, through the art, and into their hearts.

    That’s what coherent world-views DO.

  • Hmm. Just to be contrarian, I have to try this…

    I don’t want gerbils to be reading my books. Because frankly, if gerbils are reading my books, I’m doing something terribly wrong. Plus, who wants to be paid in food pellets?

    The Roman emperor Vespasian, back in the day, launched a major austerity campaign to keep the imperial treasury from going bankrupt. One of his measures was a tax on public urinals. When his son Titus complained that this revenue was undignified, Vespasian took a bag of coins collected from that tax and held them under Titus’s nose, saying, ‘See, my child, if they smell.’

    My books have been bought in some surprising places and by some surprising people, but not by anybody whose money smelled.

    • Bellomy

      I don’t want gerbils to be reading my books. Because frankly, if gerbils are reading my books, I’m doing something terribly wrong. Plus, who wants to be paid in food pellets?

      If gerbils are reading your books, you might be in the wrong business. You’ve learned the secret language of gerbils; perhaps you should be a linguist.

    • Bellomy

      Alternatively, you’ve bred super-intelligent gerbils, in which case, a biologist might be more to your speed.

  • The more I think about it, the more I find the worldview that says “I don’t want your business” revolting. Not only is someone saying that they’re too good for your money, they’re also saying that you’re beneath their viewpoint. You don’t matter. If I’m right and you’re wrong in some meaningful way– a way that is harmful– then socialization is the way to change that harmful idea. Worldviews transfer through contact, not through lectures.

    But then… the prevailing attitude is “You should just up and change yourself because I’m telling you you’re wrong.”