You win some. You lose some.

Be a starfinalI’ve taken the time to ponder why some people I’ve known for years aren’t interested in reading my books. I have a great support system, so this isn’t a complaint as much as it is a curiosity.

I recently had a conversation with someone who’s known me for years. It went like this:

Anonymous: I think it’s great you’re publishing a book. I don’t plan to read it though.

Me: Oh, why is that?

Anonymous: I read informative books. What’s yours again? Romance?

Me: Yes it is.

Anonymous: Besides I have a stack of books at home I need to read first.

Me: Do you know the authors of those books personally?

Anonymous: No, none.

Me: So, let me get this straight. Knowing the author has no bearing on whether or not you will read the book.

Anonymous: If I ran a coffee shop would you come drink my coffee?

Me: Yes, why not?

Anonymous: What if it was out of your way?

Me: I would come just to say hi to you.

Anonymous: What if you didn’t like coffee?

Me: I would get tea and a muffin.

Anonymous: You’re so defensive about this writing stuff.

So……I’m trying to decide what this means. I might be over analyzing, but then again I am female, and a writer. It’s what I do. Could it be there’s a cultural difference? (of sorts)

I try to support other writers whenever I can, so maybe I tend to expect a certain amount of support in return. Other writers are happy to support me. Non-writers not so much. They don’t see the point. Maybe they see it as a waste of time? Anyway, it seemed to make no difference to Anonymous whether or not they knew me. To me is does. I’m much more likely to read books written by people I know.

Door open. Door closed.

You win some. You lose some.

But that’s okay, because I’m happy with the support I have, since it already exceeds my expectations!

Love, Olivia

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26 thoughts on “You win some. You lose some.

  1. I confess that I will buy books from authors whom I know – sometimes even if it’s not a book I would normally read. I’ll buy it, even so, to show my support in a tangible way. And if I do get to reading it and I like it I will review. If not, I won’t.

    It does seem odd to me when people who like me and have known me for a long time don’t think that reading what I write is important. If I painted, they’d look at what I created and smile and make nice noises. Reading a book, though, is an investment of time. It’s a commitment.

    Someone in my family supports me in my writing by buying my books. They don’t read them. But I smile and thank them, because they’re doing what I do – support through a tangible means. And that’s worth something. 🙂

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    1. And it is, BUT, one thing that does get to me is the people who make snide comments about my writing, even though they never even bother to look at my blog, much less a book. Why judge my writing when they have never read it?

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  2. I’ll buy books from writers I know even if I have no interest in the topic, because I know what it takes to get those words onto the page. However, I’ve encountered the same resistance to support in my own family, and I know many of them will not buy my book when it becomes available. That doesn’t mean I won’t try shaming them and friends who don’t – at least a little bit. 🙂 Of course, my sister never told me *her* book was available on Amazon, because she didn’t think it was my genre. It isn’t, but I bought it anyway.

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    1. Maybe non-writers just don’t understand. Thanks for sharing Katie. I’m trying to decide how best to deal with these things. At times I am feeling disrespected right to my face, so the question is, when do I smile and pretend, and when do I let them know that making a rude remark about how I won’t last as a writer to my face is NOT appropriate.

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      1. Wow, I would get a little sassy if someone were that rude to my face! Of course, a smile and nod for a business/co-worker is probably more appropriate. But, for friends/family that are rude, I would tell them what their lack of support means to you.

        It is as you said, some are going to be there for you right from the start, others, not so much. In terms of writing, focus on those that will help keep you in pen nubs and loose leaf (or is that flash drives and bandwidth, now?), because they’re the ones who want to see you succeed.

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  3. I think convincing friends/family that your writing is worthwhile is much more difficult than convincing total strangers. Heh, I recently told one person (closely related) that I was going to try to self-publish this summer or fall, and his reaction was: “Ah. Well… just be sure you put this writing stuff on the back burner once school starts.”

    Can’t say that was the reaction I was hoping for!

    I’m not sure why, but this seems to be the prevalent attitude. 😦 Maybe it’s that they don’t understand how near and dear it is? The effort, the pain and the enjoyment, the incredible accomplishment? They don’t see you as an author? I have to wonder if friends/family see it as “just a book”, while others – especially other writers – see it in an entirely different light.

    Best of luck dealing with the lack of support from friends and family. Even if you do have a great support system, a lack of enthusiasm at home can be rather depressing. So, good luck!

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  4. People are stupid. Thankfully there are less bad ones than good ones. We all know you can write, blog and do a million other things and make it look easy. We love you Olivia!

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  5. I think at the end of the day you are writing a specific genre..for readers who ENJOY reading it. I love your blog (although I realise I havent visted yours -or many of the others I love for a while and I apologise) but like with posts…If there is a post that doesnt interest me..I wont read it – perhaps a quick skim and a ‘like’ for support. I don’t have the income to allow me to buy books just for the sake of buying them – however…if I did… I would…especially if I knew the author personally but also because I will give anything a go… you dont know unless you try it right? – Perhaps people closer to home are worried about not liking it and then giving their opinion?
    Perhaps that should be a new goal of mine…to share the books/authors as best I can every now and then, reblogs, links and recommendations…my way of moral support. I must admit I would feel a little false for sharing things that I havent personally read (yet) but at the same time I do like what I HAVE read and regardless I would want to help that person and do whatever I could…Does ANY of that make sense? lol xB

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  6. Exposure to the right market is definitely one of the tricky parts about indie publishing. Like others have mentioned, I will often purchase fellow writer’s books even when I know my Kindle is full to bursting with books I want to read, if only to show support (I’m a big believer in Karma). But let’s face it, for most people a book’s a big commitment in the era of TV shows and cinema. I myself am a notoriously slow reader, often taking months to finish a book (odd trait for a writer). And in anonymous’ defence, it’s much more time consuming commitment to read a book than to stop in for a coffee. But eh, what cha gunna do… 🙂

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  7. My thinking is that people who know us are afraid to read our writing in case they don’t like it. Reading someone’s book is a larger time investment on their part than driving out for a cup of coffee or even attending an artist friend’s showing in a gallery. Plus, it’s harder to fake conversation about a book we don’t like than it is over a cup of coffee or painting.

    In other words, they don’t want to hurt our feelings. I don’t think non-writers get that it’s worse to have our writing dismissed outright without even a glance than it is to have a friend actually read it and provide honest feedback.

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