It’s been a tough week. No, make that year. Every time we turn around there seems to be another drama and craziness. It seems every time I go on twitter, another drama has erupted and I’m pulled in because while it may not effect me directly, it effects people around me.
So lets get to the bottom of this drama shall we? These aren’t in order of importance and most of this has been said, but I just had to type today.
1) Roni Loren posted here about how she was sued for using photos she did not own. Now, as someone who is slightly paranoid, I’ve always tried to be good about using photos I own. I have two subscriptions to different stock photo places that I download photos that are free or I pay for to use their photos. Now, I used to have a third subscription, however it turned out that place was illegally using photos for free. I was beyond pissed and went through and deleted ever photo I had of theirs. You may have noticed that some of my character inspirations have changed. It was because of this issue. I went through Facebook and my website and deleted them and made sure I replaced them with photos I purchased.
As an author, I don’t want my property to be sold without my knowledge. Even if people say its for fun and not for payment, that doesn’t make it write. I mean, if someone was just sharing my book for free and not gaining income on it, I would consider that wrong. A lot of us do. Just because you aren’t making any money off a photo doesn’t make it YOURS to use. If you like using pictures in your blog or on Facebook of Man Candy and other things, buy them. Yes, it costs money, but there are plenty of sites out there.
2) Piniterest is a fun place to look at pictures. And have the possibility to be sued. But pinning a photo or even repinning, you are saying YOU OWN that photo. I bet you 99% or more don’t own those photos. I used to have two boards where there were called “Inspiration” and “Settings”. Those have been deleted since I do not own those photos. But ALL of my other boards that have to do with my books are my own pictures. I purchased them through Deposit or Dreamstime photos. By using Pinterest, that’s what I’m agreeing to, so that’s what I’m going to do. Now, is there a way I can get sued? I hope not. I own my own work. Is there a way you can? It’s a long shot, but as Roni Loren told us, it happened to her. Plus, why do something illegal? Someone DID WORK AND OWNS IT. Don’t steal it.
3) Reviews come in good and bad. I try not to read them unless someone sends me them because they want me to read their review. If its amazing, okay, or OMG bad, I thank the reviewer. I mean, they went out of their wait to write that review and read my book. I like that. Not everyone is going to like your work. You can’t please the world, and sometimes it feels that you can’t even please one person. But its their right as a reader to have an opinion and share it. It’s your right as an author to say thank you and back away. Don’t be that person who creates drama. It’s their opinion. Don’t rant about reviews. Just don’t. You look petty and people aren’t going to want to read you. Get over it. It hurts. But keep doing what you love because there ARE others out there who will love your work.
4) GoodReads and bullying have been all over the social media sphere recently because of a website I won’t even link to. You guys know the story: Bad reviews, a sock puppet campaign in which they harass and threaten reviewers. Going as far as taking photos of them and stalking them. Then HuffPo decided to give the harassers a platform in which to basically said it was okay. THEN in HuffPo’s apology, they said the stalking couldn’t be substantiated, so they were sticking with the other post, but would take more blog posts to discuss it. Yeah, you read that right. They wanted publicity and did their best to claim it was just an op-ed piece. Ugh. I don’t even want to get into anymore than this. I’m just sick. What happened to reading and writing and actually enjoying yourself?
And that’s not even the big picture. Dear Author did a wonderful piece on the fact that this isn’t just about reviews. We are attacking people. Learn about it.
5) My hometown and the movie theater my husband and I went on our first date was in the news because the killing spree. Now, I’m sick at what happened. I didn’t know the people who were hurt or killed, but I feel for them. I’m just sick. And then as we are on Twitter to send our thoughts and prayers, a thoughtless promotional person tweeted #Aurora is trending, must be about Kim K’s #Aurora dress or something like that. Seriously people make me want to scream. The internet went crazy and cruel. What is wrong with people?
6) And lastly, lets talk about promotion. I’ve stopped following over a dozen folks for tweeting every 10 min or less about their books or replying with a Thank You with an RT. Its got so bad that I’ve quit reading an author’s books because I can’t stand her promotional practices. Now, I tweet my links a few times a day. Not my book links, but my blog links. I do that because not everyone is online at the same time. But I don’t do it every 10 min. Its annoying. Please, if you’re doing it. Stop. #Oh, #and #don’t #hashtag #every #word. #It #doesn’t #help #and #we #unfollow #you.
Okay, that was a lot. But really, people need to stop and take a breath. Think before you do something. If you doubt what you’re doing is right and lawful, DON’T DO IT. If you find your tweets a bit tedious, STOP IT. If you are going to RT something, KNOW what you’re RT’ing. If you get a bad review, IGNORE IT. Don’t RANT or ATTACK.
As the internet gets bigger, our world gets smaller. Authors and readers are interacting more and more and we need to learn a social etiquette. We are not anonymous. We don’t get away with things because we are safely behind our desks. We need to be held accountable.