Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Party Crasher

Being a new author often feels like being the new kid in school. The cliques are already established and everybody else seems to belong. The fact that my book is from a micropublisher makes me feel like a party crasher too. I’m not on the list. I came in through the back door. People are being polite, but I suspect that they know I shouldn’t be there.

I know this sounds a little paranoid and it’s not typical of me. But recently I was unfriended on Facebook by another popular author (meaning well-liked by other authors), and that’s what started this whole introspection. I’m normally very self-confident, and I used to be unconcerned with the opinions of strangers. But as a novelist, you have to care about the opinions of strangers. In fact, you have to seek out the opinions of hundreds or, if you’re lucky, thousands of strangers.

I’m planning a trip to Bouchercon this October, and on the list of attendees, there’s an “A” by my name. So it’s official, I’m an author. But I can’t join Thriller Writers or Mystery Writers of America because Spellbinder Press is not on their list. (Thanks, Sisters in Crime for not being elitist! And thanks Mystery Scene magazine and all the reviewers who read and loved THE SEX CLUB.) A little part of me is afraid that before I get to B-con, someone will decide I’m not a real author and take away my badge.

The upside is that readers don’t care who published the book. They either like it or they don’t. And so far, readers like me. They really like me.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

It is like that in all areas of professional life. I do think that as you grow, as you become more published, more read, more well-known etc, that people will really respect you all the more for your efforts and struggles.

Hang in there! It's your readers' and not your competitors' opinions that count :-)

Best,
Line (who will not defriend you on facebook)

Helen said...

Every profession involves rejection. But it seems like writers have it really tough. And we have to develop a thick skin -- quickly -- or we'd give up and peek out from the quilts.

The Sex Club is your first pub'd book, and it's good with strong reviews. You're putting yourself out there, promoting it. Your readership will grow. And that's what counts. One person may have taken you off their friends list, for whatever reason, but you're making new friends.

Marvin D. Wilson said...

Good post. I can relate totally. Feeling like a freshman among seniors can be intimidating. I first knew I was a real author when I ran into someone I'd never met before at a social event and she gasped when she heard my name, asked if I was THE Marvin D Wilson, cuz she had just bought my book and loved it. That stuff pumps ya and keeps ya writing!

Eye Twitter 2 - http://twitter.com/Paize_Fiddler

bluedance said...

It's like that a lot in the world where anything can be considered an 'art'. I'm still waiting for the day when someone doesn't believe me when I tell them I'm a photographer because I look like I'm still 16... You just have to take everything everyone does and says with a grain of salt and if your work pays the bills (or at least lets you go out to dinner occasionally) you're doing pretty good.

Monica

L.J. Sellers said...

Thanks everyone for posting and being encouraging. I've been writing fiction for 20 years and have received so many rejections, I thought had thicker skin. Under that thick skin, I'm still human. But feeling upbeat now.

Lisa Logan said...

Boy, can I relate much? Allow this fellow service-entrance crash to show my "don't belong" solidarity.


In truth, I suspect even some of the "elite" in-crowd authors feel this way deep down. Artists of all types face insecurity, and sometimes the most popular kid in class is the least secure.

Sue said...

I have come to realize that the only people who care about who published the book are other authors. Usually the readers just want either a story they can relate to or something they can relax with and enjoy. So who cares who published your book as long as it gets into the hands of the important people, the readers!

Good luck on your newest endeavor!
Sue

Proud to put "A" behind my name too. *smile*