Why Are Authors “Hating” On One Another?

21 Sep

Website Update: We hit 9,000 followers on the 19th! That means a HUGE giveaway is coming soon. If you’d like your book to be a part of it, please email me at shannonathompson@aol.com. Other than that, THANK YOU for all of your dedicated support and heartfelt encouragement. 

There are many authors and writers out there, sharing their works with the world, whether it be through books, blogging, or another form of communication. But I’ve come across many who astound me—and these people are preaching hate at one another. This post is my attempt to bring light to why this needs to stop.

Although there are many kinds of publishing, I’m focusing on the three main ones I often see verbally assaulted. 

  1. Traditional
  2. Small Press
  3. Self-Publishing

Unfortunately, I’ve seen hate from all sides, and I’m sure most authors have. 

I’ve seen hate from traditionally published authors, generally saying anyone else is not “good enough” for bigger publishers. Ironically, a lot of these authors have admitted to previously knowing someone in the industry. Even worse, they don’t seem to consider many authors aren’t comfortable with traditional publishing houses monopolizing the market. I’ve seen hate from small press published authors, saying almost the exact same thing about self-published authors. But I also see hate from self-published authors, saying they don’t like traditional publishing houses for the reasons above but also hating on small-press published authors, because they aren’t “capable” at marketing themselves and, therefore, have to rely on someone else by means of payment.

This is ridiculous, and it needs to stop now.

It seems to me that many of these authors have forgotten why we’re all authors in the first place (and, YES, we are ALL authors.) We share the same love of expressing ourselves through words. We love writing, whether it stems from fiction, nonfiction, poetry, or something else entirely. We love words. So why do some use their words to preach words of hate about others who love the same thing?

The most honest explanation I can come up with is insecurity (although I want to clarify that this isn’t the only reason I’ve seen.) Either way, who cares how another author is sharing and publishing their works? Just be happy that they are living their dream and/or chasing after it. Support their decision to bravely share their works of art with the world. It is not your responsibility to decide who is “ready” or “good enough.” Let the reader decide, because, after all, they are the people who are reading our works. You don’t have to support every author out there, but you shouldn’t put down every author out there that isn’t like you. It’s the basic rule to respecting others. You may not respect their work, but you should respect the fact that they are a human being, working hard to follow their dreams—just as you are, no matter what kind of publishing you are in.

 … 

Some comments from my Author Facebook page about this topic:

Scott Collins: Anyone willing to spend that much time and energy to put their book to paper deserves support and encouragement.

Nicole Castro: This is why I use the #writingfamily hashtag on Twitter.

Quinten Rhea: Part of our job is to encourage, support, and help promote each other.

Kyle Garret:  I think the book market is perceived as so crowded, especially these days with ebook “shelves” constantly getting more full and fewer lucrative traditional deals going out, that it naturally conditions authors to turn on each other because there’s this perceived idea that only one can “make it”. I don’t agree with it – and think it’s downright odd given how people in similar markets like music, gaming or film treat each other – but it’s my take.

Feel free to discuss your opinion and/or your experiences below, especially if it includes ways we, as a writing community, can prevent this “hate” from continuing any further.

~SAT

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32 Responses to “Why Are Authors “Hating” On One Another?”

  1. Eva Acharya September 21, 2013 at 1:14 am #

    Very well said. I think sometimes, these actions come about because people tend to value their own struggles above everyone else, without realising that they too are going through the same struggles. Thanks for such a candidly honest post.

    • Shannon Thompson September 21, 2013 at 1:54 am #

      Eva,
      That is a fantastic point as I’ve seen many say things like “I work harder than x or y, because my publishing form centers on a, b, and c rather than the other person’s form. I find it interesting how a lot of the “hating” that authors seem to be doing are almost identical to how people “hate” on one another socially. In this case, it would be the “my life is harder” competition some tend to have.
      Thank you for adding another perspective on why writers might act this way.
      ~SAT

      • Eva Acharya September 21, 2013 at 2:58 am #

        Exactly! Everyone keeps thinking ‘I work harder/my work is better’. It has to do with ego being hurt. But I truly don’t see why one authors successes should pinch another. Thanks for giving me an opp to comment.
        Eva

      • Shannon Thompson September 21, 2013 at 2:19 pm #

        Thank you for commenting!
        ~SAT

  2. kkline922 September 21, 2013 at 1:19 am #

    Well said. Regrettably, as soon as anyone dares to create, someone will want to destroy it. But I strongly believe we are at a pivotal point in human evolution where people are reaching out with love. I choose to see the best in humanity. Some people thrive in mediocrity, and when anyone excels, reaches for their dreams, they want to pull them back down. You hit part of it, it’s insecurity. I believe this comes from fear. People need to let go of fear in order to love, but it can be very difficult to climb from shadows. Thanks for sharing.

    • Shannon Thompson September 21, 2013 at 1:56 am #

      KKline922,
      I think your addition of fear causing insecurity is important. In this case, it simply means one author shouldn’t fear another author’s success. Once they can get past that, they can support each other in a healthy manner :]
      Thank you for commenting with such a loving perspective.
      ~SAT

  3. Christina Lawrence September 21, 2013 at 3:28 am #

    Glad you addressed this on your blog. I have read so many people advocating one thing over another, being very vocal and aggressive about their point of view. Like you said: what does it matter how you bring your book to your audience? Some audiences are better reached by one platform than another and instead of hating on one another, we should encourage everyone to find their own platform.

  4. cnmill September 21, 2013 at 3:56 am #

    I’ll admit that I haven’t seen many authors directly hating one another (more so disliking certain aspects about whichever avenue to go about publishing and things of that nature), but I’m not surprised that it happens.

    I read the comments above and have to agree that fear causing insecurity must be part of it, at least in some cases. But I can see how arrogance would as well (‘They make mistakes I would NEVER make’ or as you said with people looking down on the choices people make specifically toward publishing and the lack of work an individual would have to do/the stigma with self-publishing, etc.)

    I really just don’t understand it at all. We’re all entitled to make our own decisions, for whatever reasons we have, when it comes to our work. I can’t fathom how that would lead to hating from anyone. And I also can’t fathom why any author would be afraid of another author’s success.

    There might be a ridiculous amount of books out there, but there are enough people to read them. You just have to write them, do the work to the best of your ability, and see what happens.

    We should all be supporting one another, regardless of whichever direction we pursue to get our work out there.

  5. powerpuffgeezer September 21, 2013 at 3:56 am #

    Thank you… I’ve seen a lot of it myself… I don’t think it is only writers. I have (probably because I have been posting in other forums) from Composers, Artists & the Gay community. I think it stems from frustration and low tolerance. I NEVER hate on anyone but have been banned, blocked and spat at by vicious keyboard pressers, since I started my self-promotion. I know none of these would front me in the real world, they are bitter cowards. Plus I’d slap ‘em down if they tried. ;-)

  6. powerpuffgeezer September 21, 2013 at 3:58 am #

    How annoying a bloody typo…. I have “Witnessed it” I meant to say.

  7. darylgstewart September 21, 2013 at 6:45 am #

    I agree, Shannon, even though I am not a published author. This type of rhetoric is devisive, hurtful and a negative energy drain on all those around it.

  8. CL Mannarino September 21, 2013 at 6:46 am #

    Thank you for addressing this topic. :)

  9. John W. Howell September 21, 2013 at 8:04 am #

    I agree that the bickering should stop, but sometimes those that engage in it end up hurting themselves. Reminds me of the old saw; “when you point a finger at someone there are three pointing back at you.” Good post.

  10. W E Patterson September 21, 2013 at 8:12 am #

    Good post, Shannon. As you say “Let the reader decide”. Writing is hard work at best, an actually making money from it even harder. Frankly, I wish everyone well in their writing endeavors.

  11. J. Dominique September 21, 2013 at 9:10 am #

    I was just thinking of this today! Everything you said is so true. Despite how good or bad an author’s book is, they still put the same amount of love and work into it — is that so different from your own self?

  12. kingmidget September 21, 2013 at 9:48 am #

    I don’t hate other authors. What I dislike is the publishing process and what agents and publishers force authors through. I also don’t like what some “publishers” do in terms of ripping off authors without really giving them a legitimate shot at publishing success. It’s not the authors that are the problem, it’s the company’s that have come up with scams to rip off authors desperate to see their dreams come true.

    • Shannon Thompson September 21, 2013 at 2:24 pm #

      Oh, yes! That’s another topic I’d like to cover soon. I guess this was more directed at authors who are literally saying another author isn’t good enough via the publishing system. But there are a lot of spamming publishers as well as publishers simply taking advantage of people who don’t understand the market, generally taking a lot of money from someone.
      ~SAT

  13. John L. Monk September 21, 2013 at 9:49 am #

    More authors competing for the same amount of money. Hating is an easy way to distinguish one’s self while ‘damaging’ the perceived competition, whomever that may be.

    Amazing blog discovery – followed!

    • Shannon Thompson September 21, 2013 at 2:25 pm #

      I’m glad you’re following! And thank you for commenting.
      ~SAT

  14. debyfredericks September 21, 2013 at 12:11 pm #

    I agree completely with your point. Maybe deep inside (or not so deep inside) we’re all a little bit vain and think we know the way things should really be done. I’m a small press author who aspires to be big-press because of the distribution, and I’ve been asked why I don’t self-publish (as if I’m crazy not to.)

    Everyone makes the best decision we can for our own careers. Nobody else knows how much time or energy or money we have, or what else is going on in our lives while we work toward publication. As with so many things, a little respect goes a long way.

  15. Val Vogel September 21, 2013 at 3:02 pm #

    Healthy message. Thanks for this blog. Val

    Sent from my iPhone

  16. pamelacook September 22, 2013 at 4:14 am #

    Great post. I agree authors need to support each other and not make disparaging remarks about authors who take a different route to publication. Fortunately there are more supportive authors out there than the other type and I have been fortunate to have found many of them on Facebook and twitter. We’re all out there doing the same thing after all and there’s plenty of room for all of us on bookshelves, real or virtual.

  17. frasersherman September 22, 2013 at 2:18 pm #

    As one author put it, everyone wants to believe they found the right path. Which encourages us to believe other authors are doing it wrong. So yeah, insecurity.

  18. Danielle L. Davis September 23, 2013 at 8:21 am #

    You made some good points. I’ve noticed it too. I’m choosing to self-publish, but if someone wants to choose another option, that’s their choice. People make their choices in this life we live, or they ought to.

    By the way, thanks for following my blog. I’m about to follow you too.

    Have a great week!

  19. Stacy Teitel September 23, 2013 at 1:18 pm #

    Great post! I think it’s important to keep authors aware of this problem and remind them of their reasons for writing in the first place.

    As an editor, I work with writers to help them improve their manuscripts, and we’re both deeply invested in their project. When we’re finished, some writers choose the traditional publishing route, some choose the indie publishing route. It doesn’t matter to me what they choose (it’s such a personal choice for each writer), but I don’t forget, and I hope my clients don’t either, what brought us to working together in the first place. It’s a love for storytelling, learning, communicating with others, and doing it to the best of one’s ability.

    Thanks for writing such a thoughtful post!

  20. vozey September 25, 2013 at 8:47 am #

    I’ve read some pretty… unprofessional manuscripts. Lack of grammar, poor dialog, poor details, poor readability in general. If it truly comes from the writer’s heart, you will find something you like. I never try to take the wind out of another author’s sails. I’ve only ever tried to encourage them to improve and give them resources for improvement.

    But there are a lot of selfish people in the world. What they don’t realize, is they aren’t getting themselves anywhere with such behavior.

  21. Lisa Cresswell September 30, 2013 at 9:10 am #

    I’ve seen some of this going on as well and I’ve literally said to myself “Self, i don’t think I’m going to read any more of her books.” Authors need to realize that social media can bite them in the butt with readers if they let their heads get too big. Nice post!

  22. The Sandwich Lady October 14, 2013 at 5:11 pm #

    A great post. Writers’ insecurity often causes them to look enviously and critically at one another instead of how they can make their writing more compelling.

  23. Steve Spatucci July 3, 2014 at 5:00 pm #

    When I was a teenager in the 80′s, I wanted to publish books (children’s books, comic books, and novels), write and direct movies, and put out music. So publishers, movie studios, and record labels ruled – putting out your work on your own, or through some more independent means, was almost certainly dooming it to obscurity back then. And also dooming yourself to a hobbyist instead of someone who makes a in those creative fields.
    So like a lot of others who grew up in the pre-Internet age, the success I aimed for was based on the existing paradigms of those institutions. And I equated those big publishers (using the term in the broad sense – book publishers, movie studios, record labels) as a sign of quality – if they put out your stuff, you’re in the club for life. Your work is “good” – which is a silly thought because there’s always plenty of work coming out from those places that’s mediocre or outright bad – and not financially successful, too. But before the Internet and the universal, equalizing distribution system it brought, that was really all we knew.
    Because of this, I think the majority of the hating we see in the arts is the result of the old system’s slow breaking apart. If you had your work put out by a traditional publisher, it’s easy to see anyone who’s self-publishing as someone who’s slumming it – bypassing a system that wouldn’t have them. And self-publishers or small press authors sense that attitude and try to combat by putting down what they see as the opposing side.
    I agree with you, Shannon. I don’t expect the argument will ever end, but I do think it will slow down over the next decade or two as things equalize. Great discussion, though – you’ve got some really thoughtful comments on your blog and your Facebook page, which is a testament to you.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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  2. Can’t writers all just get along? | Gary D. Robson - October 12, 2013

    […] Sometimes I scan down the short list of “great posts” and see things like “One strange tip for making money on eBay.” I delete the email and move on. Sometimes I see fascinating post titles like the second one in the image above. That made me want to follow the link to Shannon Thompson’s blog and read the article Why Are Authors “Hating” On One Another? […]

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    […] Note: This is where I shamelessly link to one of my previous posts about this topic because I just want this publishing world to be a better place: Why Are Authors “Hating” On One Another? […]

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