Author friendships are The Dream (TM). Having someone who is so cool that they have a published book as a friend? Talking to them on a level that’s more than fangirl but you almost feel equal to them and human? What’s better than that?
But these things are tricky and hell, I’m always finding myself questioning them. Even the ones I kind of feel like I have, you know? See, this topic is tricky because I feel like I might have one or two authors buddies but 1. I don’t know and 2. I’m worried that if they see this they’ll hate me a little? However, I think about it often, so let’s do this.
When I was just a small baby blogger (two and a half ish years ago) I wanted nothing more than to have an author friend or at least be buddy buddy with authors (which is a lot of times what I’m referring to as well, like being in cahoots with authors). Around the same time, I saw someone talk about how it was basically impossible or it was impossible to have an author friend. That killed me a little bit.
That being said, I’ve seen it a few other times especially recently. The idea that author friendships between reviewers are frauds, facades, probably not what people think or what them to be.
In all honesty, I feel this. There’s a certain wariness now that creeps through my bones whenever an author is nice to me. I love it, really, I love the attention, I’m an attention whore for lack of a better term but that doesn’t stop me from stopping. From wondering why they’re talking to me because my following on Twitter is literally my largest following and it doesn’t take a lot to see that it isn’t a very interactive following.
Even so, the only thing I can really assume they want are my services because I don’t know if you all have realized this yet but I have a really, really, really gross and annoying personality. It’s erratic and angry and overly joyful and mean and the nicest person ever. Seriously, I’m a TERRIBLE person to actually like be acquainted with, therefore, they want my services, you can’t tell me otherwise.
I have this theory that authors who reach out to me drop me when they either realize how small my following is/useless I am/unable to promote them I am or when they deem I’m no longer worth their time for any number of reasons and this has happened to me a few times. It’s actually really conflicting data though because there were a number of people who stopped paying me any mind when I read their book or was unable to review it or whatever and then there were a handful of people who stuck around even when I didn’t review their book or when the exposure I gave it was mediocre at best.
(Friendly note: these are all taken from 2016 experiences because 2016 was A Year).
That’s part of why I don’t really buy into all of the author friendship things. And, as I mentioned before, there’s the obvious “I feel like they always want something”.
No matter how many authors are still friends/buddies/chill with reviewers who give them negative ratings- of which instances I’ve seen like two- I’m never going to believe that authors want to communicate with me for any reason other than “please promote my book even if I’m not saying promote my book, do it”.
Okay, yeah, so that. There’s also the power dynamic. Authors have a lot of power to go after me. I’m small, my following is small and while I hate that sometimes, ultimately, I know it’s good and the last thing I want is to “befriend” an author, piss them off and then have them blast me. I mean, if I honestly did something wrong, like racist or ableist or something yeah, fine, I deserve it. But otherwise? Authors who don’t even know readers have gone after them for less.
I’m just terrified that one day I’ll accidentally do something to set off one of the author’s I thought I was on good terms with and they’ll send their followers after me. It isn’t like there’s much I can do about that. I’m some irrelevant blogger with 2k followers on Twitter and less elsewhere and they’re someone talented enough to have agents and book deals and all those glorious things that we put them on pedestals for.
I guess my main thing is… I still love this. I love being on good terms with authors, being almost friendly with them but I fear it. I fear them coming after me, then hating me, and more than that I fear what I’ve been told and witnessed, that it isn’t what it seems.
It’s naive, I know, to want an author friendship, to be in cahoots with an author knowing what I know, having some Experiences, seeing what I’ve seen. But it’s okay to dream and hope, I guess.
That’s really all I have to say on this right now. I’ll probably come back to it later when I’ve developed more thoughts on this, but seeing as this is again, one of many, many drafts, I may as well just bite the bullet and publish it.
Thank you all for reading, please comment any thoughts you have below, and check back later for more content.