“How can someone grab 6 copies of one book at BEA.”
“You’re cheating authors out of making money.”
“It’s not cyber-bullying since she’s been talked to before.”
“I’m going to warn by publicist about you.”
“I never want to work with you.”
“Bloggers shouldn’t be allowed to attend conferences.”
“I’m disgusted with you.”
These are just some of the things I’ve been reading via my Twitter feed for the last 3 days. Normally, I avoid drama like the plague. I don’t like it. I don’t have time for it. Quite frankly, I’m too lazy for it. On a rare occurrence, though, I got involved. Why? I was absolutely appalled at my community. We are better than this. We are supposed to be professionals above all else. Cyber-bullying is not okay.
I think my absolute BIGGEST thing right now is that I know that there are a bunch of bloggers who are actual minors. When I first started blogging, there was a 6th grade blogger in our community! I know that there are a bunch of bloggers out there who are under 18 years old. Ages 18 and under are some of the most complicated, risky, uncomfortable, and damaging years. Don’t get me wrong, I am aware that this case did not involve a minor. But what if it did? This is a serious question. How many of your blogger friends have you ACTUALLY met? I live in Washington….I’m clear away from most of you. I do know about 3-4 bloggers who live within 1.5 hours away from me, but I haven’t actually met them. For all any of you know, I could be 15 years old. All you know about me is what I tell you.
So, here’s my concern. What if a kid had done this? Don’t take offense youngn’s. I’m old enough now to call you kids. Just consider me old. Would we have attacked them online? Would we have publicly called them out. I want to give you all a newsflash. THIS IS CYBER-BULLYING. THIS IS HOW SUICIDES HAPPEN! I know it may not feel that way. I understand, and trust me I do, that this is a BIG DEAL. I totally 100% understand wanting to stick up for your community, because I would defend you all in a heartbeat. But this is not okay… We are better than this. I tell you this as a teacher. As a woman. As a professional blogger. As a woman who owns her own business. As a human being. This behavior is not okay.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I TOTALLY agree with sticking up for your community and doing the right thing. Think about it, though, is publicly calling out someone online the right thing to do? Does that really make you feel like the bigger person? I understand you’re upset! I don’t want you to think for even one instant that I don’t. Hell, I’m upset. What might be some additional options, though? Maybe instead of taking it to twitter, handle it via direct messages or have a group chat with some bloggers who share the same views as you. If you feel that strongly about it, email some publicists. I’m hearing you all when you say that this has happened before and that these methods haven’t worked in the past, but this method is not working either.
Now onto my really BIG issue:
Authors, I love you all. I support you all. Hell, I run a huge event every year to prove how much I love you all. That being said, please trust me when I say, STAY OUT OF THE DRAMA.
I’m not going to name names, because I’m the bigger person, but I will say that the actions of 2 authors over this past weekend has made it so that I never want to pick up one of their books. One of them is a 2017 Debut Author, which puts me in a huge pickle. I run the Debut Authors Bash every year. Technically, they’re supposed to be included next year. Now, I feel like my generosity and work has been slapped in the face. I honestly don’t even know what to do.
I 100% understand that authors have the right to be peeved off in this situation. However, I also believe that authors, out of everyone, need to stay the professional ones here. I understand that drama builds up and everyone wants to get involved. When I see an author acting like that, though, I’m just like “what is happening? Where’s the good example? What’s going on?”
Then we had an author tell us that bloggers shouldn’t be allowed to attend conferences such as BEA and ALA. WHAT?! So, let me get this straight. I do all this work. I put in thousands and thousands and thousands of hours per year into promoting your works, and I shouldn’t be allowed to attend a conference? I have news flash for you. I’m invited every year. I never go, but I am invited. Why? Because I’m a professional. Because I built up this blog for the past 5 years. I’ve done the time. I’ve done the formatting. I’ve done the countless author interviews and guest posts. I’ve done the Debut Authors Bash, which always leaves me gasping for air and crying tears by the end. You’re a professional writer who has a book? I’m a professional blogger who has a very successful blog. That does not make me less than you.
I love you all. I really want you to know that. By no means am I sitting here spewing hate at any of you. But this is something that WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT. We need to unite as a community and do what’s right. When you feel yourself in this situation with all the drama, I want you to ask yourself this, “Would I act this way at work? Would I get fired? That goes for ALL SIDES because I am NOT ON ANYONE’S SIDE.
I have complete faith that we can all bounce back from this and unite as a community. We are stronger and prouder than this. We can do it.