It’s December. The final month of 2019 and boy has it been a freaking long ass year! I am getting this post out a little later than usual mainly because I struggled with what to write about for the final IWSG post of the year.
The saying “catching stray licks” might not be known to everyone, but it’s something I hear a lot in my part of the south. In short it means getting in trouble by being close to someone else that is in trouble. Most notably in relation to back in the day when kids would get spankings and the belt or switch hit the other person that was the bystander. They caught a “stray lick.” But what does that have to do with writing insecurities? I’ll tell ya.
Being an indie author has a crap ton of challenges. It’s forever an uphill battle that one keeps waging for reasons only they know. As an indie you face a certain level of discrimination because of the still prevalent stigma that indie authors are less than. Our work is shotty, badly edited, riddled with errors, we self-published because we couldn’t make it as “real authors” so on and so forth. And yes I know “not all” people think that way and it’s great, however it’s still an issue.
Whenever some random indie fucks up in some way, it’s inevitable that the “indie haters” come out to shit on us as a whole. This is why I don’t read indie…What’s wrong with indie authors…Why do indies authors act like this…you get the point. No one likes to be lumped in and generalized about but indies are catching stray licks whenever one acts up.
When the whole cockygate thing went down and it was discovered the author in question was an indie…woo boy. It didn’t matter that she was going after other indies and such, all indies were a problem in some circles. Bookstuffing…yup again indies were the problem because that’s mostly what you find in Amazon’s KU library. Again it didn’t matter that the honest indies were taking a loss from the frauds. It was an indie problem. More stray licks.
Don’t get me started on what happens when an indie goes rouge in relation to reviews. I wrote a post giving tips on how authors can deal with less than stellar reviews because I don’t agree with authors attacking reviewers. That shouldn’t be done. Ever. End of story.
The biggest difference I notice though is when it’s a rouge traditionally published author that goes out and shows their ass toward a reviewer folks aren’t “canceling” ALL trad authors, but…when it’s an indie well you can almost put money on folks saying it’s why they don’t read indie, or don’t review them, whatever. They are quick to brush off an entire set of people when it comes to rogue indie authors instead of just saying they won’t read THAT one person. Stray licks.
As an individual you want to be judged on your own merit, not based upon a group you identify with. However it seems like all indies are catching the stray licks when a rouge one acts up. It’s a double standard for sure. Can anything be done about it? Probably not. Double standards exist in life no matter how sad that fact is.
Yes, I can focus on me and my business of writing, but that doesn’t mean I can so easily ignore the crap that goes on around me. It factors in. This day and age it’s so easy for people to get labeled as behaving badly and it cultivates an atmosphere of sit in the corner and be quiet. Hell, this blog post could be considered me behaving badly for simply expressing how I personally feel.
At the end of the day it’s all very tiring to jump through all the hoops needed in general to put a book out in the world and have to deal with so many additional hurdles being thrown your way because you chose to do it independently instead of going with a publisher.
Are the tides turning, and indie authors gaining in some areas, yes, yes we are. But that doesn’t stop the fact it takes very little to push us backwards again.
That’s it for me for the year. So odd to say that. Anyway, hope you all have a wonderful holiday and I’ll see ya in 2020!
Until next time
The Insecure Writer’s Support Group is a home for writers in all stages; from unpublished to bestsellers. Our goal is to offer assistance and guidance. We want to help writers overcome their insecurities, and by offering encouragement we are creating a community of support.
The awesome co-hosts for the December 4th posting of the IWSG are Tonja Drecker, Beverly Stowe McClure, Nicki Elson, Tyrean Martinson!