Authors V. Readers

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When I started this blog- which I can now say since I’ve been blogging for two years, okay, bye- I wanted to please authors. To past me, this blog should’ve been an awesome place where I raise authors up on a platform, no matter how small it was/is, and it would be a shrine to them and their books.

To quote Kurt Cobain/Nirvana, “Oh well, whatever, nevermind”.

I’ve given up.

There are a few reasons for this, some more, I guess I’ll say, idealistic, nicer than the others. For example, it’s hard to keep up with all these authors and I feel like I can’t give them everything they deserve, so I’m not going to go as hard or try as hard.

That’s simple enough, there isn’t anything wrong with that, I know, and I still do it, I just don’t do it as aggressively as I tried to do it last year.

The other reasons, however, consist of less than things like those other things.

A lot of authors do problematic shit. Again, I get it, everyone makes mistakes, it’s fine, if they learn and grow from it but that brings me to my other point. I feel like a lot of them aren’t. I feel, generally, as I’ve said before, that authors just kind of ignore it, brush it off, put on a face of regret and learning but overall, do nothing.

And then, you should’ve seen this coming, they forget about their target audience in all of the above.

I love authors, I really, really, really do. Genuinely, some of the best people I’ve ever talked with are authors but that doesn’t actually mean anything. Let me cite two popular examples: SJM and CC.

One of my greatest author experiences and I mean greatest, was meeting SJM and now I can’t even look at her books without feeling nauseated. When I met her, she treated me like I was her biggest fan, as if I’d been there from the beginning. But this is also the woman who repeatedly ignores criticism from readers and continues to hurt them through harmful writing.

Same with CC, I’ve heard awful things about her and her books and while I don’t feel physically sick upon seeing them I do feel a lot of conflicting feelings and sometimes get a tiny headache.

Recently, I just feel like it’s becoming more a trend for authors to be, not Authors, but these Celebrities who kind of do what they want and forget who they’re doing this for. As if they’re no long Authors Who Write For Readers, they’ve become Authors Who Write Only For Themselves and For Potential Fame And Money.

(To add on to this, it’s a bit like I think authors should always keep readers in mind, ALWAYS to avoid hurting people, but I also feel like they aren’t writing for themselves. They’re doing it for fame or something else that doesn’t matter and shouldn’t be why people write). 

Authors who view readers as disposable or people to be bought off with cheap tricks like the “I’m Totally Buying Into Diversity That’s Why I Have A Geographically Ambiguous Asian Character and A Black Character Who Are Both Just Poorly Researched Stereotypes”.

If I’m being honest with you all, I’m seriously tired of it. I get that authors usually have a large(-ish) following (larger than a lot of their followers) and they have to do them, I do. I hear it all the time but it’s not just about them and their books it’s about us. We shouldn’t just be some pretty little statistic for them but every day that’s more of what we become.

We aren’t their readers we’re a number. Our personal lives and experiences don’t matter, our wallets do.

It doesn’t matter that we can get hurt by books, it matters that they get published and their book makes money. To them, everything else is just a small side effect of that.

Okay, so maybe you’re thinking “Shit, Cat, who the fuck hurt you?” Well, the YA community. The authors who are supposed to be there for us teens, their readers, but chose themselves.

Authors who seem to have collectively decided “Fuck my audience, I only write for myself!” And leave their readers frantically trying to regain the comfort of our books and the love of the authors who write them.

It’s gotten to a point where it’s like it doesn’t matter how many time readers go “no, this is wrong, this is how you do it right, please, please just do it right”, it’s the author’s story and it’s published, the readers are damned.

Which has brought me to the point of exhaustion. I don’t even want to know what it’s done to others (but I also do want to know, and have an idea, however small).

I understand that I hardly understand the publishing process and the writing community.

But that isn’t an excuse for forgetting us, ignoring us, stepping all over us like we aren’t actually people.

I’m tired of trying to promote authors who half the time couldn’t care less about the people reading their books. Their relationships in the publishing and writing communities, the money they make, their popularity matters more to them than the lives they’ve forgotten they’re affecting.

In recent months because of this shitty polarization I’ve felt like I need to take a side. I can either keep doing what I’ve been doing and try to relentlessly promote authors even knowing what I know and feeling how I feel.

Or I can just go with my gut and do what I can to help the readers, to protect the readers. To listen to them when they say they’re hurting and to try and get other people to understand the problem. To try and get people to realize that our concerns and voices are valid.

Just as people say telling an author that we love a book is valid, saying something is wrong with the book should be valid too.

It shouldn’t be the way it is, which someone pointing out a problem and people acting like the person said the book was shit because it had a love triangle or they didn’t like the writing style.

The problems being brought up, 99.99999% of the time are actual problems affecting people and that’s being ignored by almost every author I see. If not ignored, it’ll be glanced at with a swift “whoops, sorry” which is enough for most but not for those it hurt.

So, I’m going to support the readers. It’s almost impossible to support a group of people who don’t see you. It’s easier to support the people who look at concerns and go acknowledge them as valid. Especially with teens, in the prime years of people trying to not-so-subtly convey our apparent worthlessness.

This doesn’t mean I’ll just stop supporting authors. It just means I care more about the readers than I do the authors. Especially if readers say something is harmful and the author ignores it.

If authors aren’t going to look out for their readers then readers need to look out for each other.

That’s what I want to do. Be there for my fellow readers until authors remember that writing isn’t just for them, especially not when published. It’s for us. Your readers. And our concerns, especially when it comes to our livelihood and who we are, shouldn’t be shoved aside as easily as authors are shoving them aside.

That’s all for this post, check back later for more content and I swear to God reviews are coming, I’m just slow reading and trying to post stuff.

 

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2 thoughts on “Authors V. Readers

  1. Well said, as always.

    I think as bloggers it’s important for us to think of readers more than authors. As much as we’d all like to support amazing authors, I personally am not blogging for authors. I’m blogging for other readers. If I’m supporting an author who doesn’t care about their readers, than I’m contributing to the potential hurt that’s done to those readers.

    I’m fortunate in the sense that I haven’t been personally hurt by authors, but I’ve definitely read some problematic rep that hurt me in the past. I think most of us have. And if we can’t speak up about that, there’s something wrong with the way this community works.

    Thanks for being so honest in sharing your thoughts. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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