There has been so much romance land drama this year, it consumes entire visits with friends that read. If you have no idea what I am talking about, you are luckiest reader alive, I envy you and I want to know how your secret. Also…don’t read this article. Seriously, ignorance is bliss.
You are still reading, and I will assume that you know at least some of what the drama is. This post is a reader’s perspective about how the drama is affecting me. How are readers feeling? What are bloggers doing different?
This post isn’t about the specific authors or many issues. So many others have brilliantly reported on all of these issues. There is literally nothing I could add. This post is simple. It is about how all of the drama affects me, as a reader. It is about how all of the drama affects me, as a blogger.
Having the drama (which appears to not be slowing down anytime soon) on a constant loop across every social media outlet is exhausting. Unfortunately, it also is anything new. From plagiarism, harassment, siccing “fans” on other authors, trademarks and catfishing….there doesn’t seem to be any end in sight. I feel like the current issues hit a little harder because of the legal aspects and CLEAR ridiculous ripple effect of authors. For some unknown reason, going “ohhh that was a great marketing tactic” and following the lead of the circus master right into the fucking funny car. Only, it isn’t funny. It is stressful. I know it is stressful on the authors and I think that no one really seems to talk about how the stress has trickled down to the readers.
Witnessing readers gently pointing out that reactions from the crazy drama lama is not productive and they were bothered by it, seemed to create conflict and justifications from some authors. The problem is, those authors are not listening. Others seem to be a little oblivious. Others seem to take the possession of THIS IS IMPORTANT, so readers need to get over it. We get that it’s a big deal. We get why you are upset. The reality is…there isn’t a lot we can actively do about it. When every author everywhere is screaming over the internet about the same drama over and over…it diminishes the value of the real issue. Desensitizing readers with petty drama lama blog posts or social media posts, doesn’t add anything to our concerns. Do we want to be updated about the legal issues, sure. Realistically for every event, we probably get 1,000 updates. Regardless, important legal updates are not the same thing as every bizarre or inappropriate action.
Reading is an escape. Escaping into a world where love wins, fantastic creatures roam and kicking ass is the where we want to be. When you end up absorbed into the business side, it becomes hard to disconnect from it. Losing the value in the escape we desire and creating a deafening white noise effect of worry. What if this author actual plagiarized? What If I love this book and find out he/she is really a damn psycho and tomorrow they are going to show their true colors? What if this author is really a racist? What if this author…… Maybe this isn’t everyone’s internal dialog, but you know what I am saying here.
The effect on me is huge. It is affecting my book purchases, my ability to review and honestly…even my actual enjoyment of reading. Especially reading romance.
I mostly purchase the books I read. Publishers provide a small percentage of the books I read and are an exception, rather than the norm. Budgeting is also is a factor and although I used to be very liberal with purchases, time has shown that only a small percentage of the books I purchased were being read and changes were made to this habit. Now, I tend to make lists and when I am ready to read a new book I scroll through my list and purchase the book right before I read it. Yay, adulting.
Currently, almost all purchases are on hiatus. Being overwhelmed with all of this has pretty much shut me down on buying or reviewing books from anyone new, especially Indie. Many authors out there have a consistency about them and those I trust. This starts at the top of well-known large pub authors and down into Indie authors. The crazy isn’t isolated to one or the other, but it is certainly becoming a more predominate “trend” within in the Indie community – especially Romance. Indies have always made up a huge part of where I spend my money. That is how I have shown support, in addition to reading and reviewing. The random crazy didn’t really affect my personal habits …