We authors are an insecure bunch–we want you to like us and love our books. Maybe some of us felt we were never praised enough as a child and seek our affirmation we’re any good via our books. Reviews from Amazon, Goodreads, magazines, websites, Facebook comments, we’ll take them as an endorsement that our books are any good, that they’re worth something, anything at all.
Most authors doubt themselves at some time or another during their writing careers, whether it’s if their book is good enough for publication to whether they can hold an audience’s attention at their next book launch.
One thing though that’s come through to me loud and clear recently, is the very people we think will be interested and supportive towards our works, are not. I’ve noticed this on Facebook–friends I’ve had for years whose weddings, children’s christenings, I’ve attended, still send the odd Christmas card to even though we no longer see one another, just don’t respond to any mention of my books at all, nor to the fact that I’m even an author. Personally, I don’t get it. If Milly Molly Mandy from Merthyr, who I’ve known for years, posted about her new cake business showing pics of the most mouth watering eclairs, jam sponges and celebration cakes, I’d have to comment and probably share her posts so others could see what I was seeing, even if I hadn’t tasted one of those delectable concoctions, but you can bet your bottom dollar, I’d get around to eventually trying one! Just to be supportive and friendly and to taste of course!
Yet, those old friends never comment on my latest book, my book launches [even when they’ve been for charity] or anything novel or book related. I wondered once if they’d taken me out of their Facebook newsfeeds, though evidently not, as they still comment on my family pics, music posts or something newsworthy I’ve posted.
One New York Times best selling novelist, once told me she’d given one of her books to an old friend. I thought this a kind gesture. She got upset when the ‘friend’ turned around and said to her, “I doubt if I’ll ever get around to reading it!” A slap in the face for the author!
Now whether that remark smacked of jealousy, I don’t know. Maybe the woman secretly read the book after all, but wouldn’t have given the author the satisfaction of knowing she’d done so, or maybe it was the plain truth, she just would never be interested in anything her author friend had written. You can bet that author never gifted her another book ever again!
Am I wrong? And it’s not that us authors are insecure but we’re full on narcissists? We think anything we produce is that good that even our friends should love it? On a personal level, I also have friends who read my books and are very supportive, sharing book posts on their walls, telling other people about my books, leaving reviews. I’m so grateful for all their support and I’ve gained new readers as their friends have read my books following on from their kind comments.
So, could it be the people I thought were friends weren’t really anyway to begin with? The sad thing about it is, I know if the shoe were on the other foot and it were them, my old friends, who were the authors, even if I didn’t read their books [and I’m sure I’d have tried at least one], I would be supportive towards them and their work.
Whether it’s a jealousy issue I can’t say for certain, maybe they just don’t identify ‘Lynette my old mate’ with ‘Lynette the author’, or maybe they just never cared to begin with and I never saw it at the time…