I recently discovered my dislike for a small indie publishing press that someone from school had told me about. I’ll keep all names out of this, and firmly state that I am in no way bashing this press, or any people associated with it.
My reason? A serious lack of professionalism and focus. I “liked” the press on Facebook, and never saw much of any literary postings on their blog. It was mostly a lot of the owner’s personal achievements and activities, and that is fine. That certainly doesn’t make them bad, or even unprofessional. However, as a publishing press, I would have liked to see more posting about the future for the press, seeing as how the only book they published was the creator’s first book. That is more of a critique than anything else.
However, when it comes to professionalism, the owner was professional when I contacted them. And, I imagine whenever they have personal contact with someone, they maintain their professional persona. However, how you act when you are interacting with the rest of the world/friends/fans as a whole is a different story.
When one decides to put their work out there for their friends, family, and potential fans to see, one should most certainly create a new standard at which they speak and interact. Me? I’m careful with what I post and like on my own personal Facebook, Twitter, my author fan page, and any other social media. I mean, these are all potential customers! I’d rather not scare them away with anything inappropriate that I may find funny.
But when someone who is trying to sell their work of fiction is screaming on Facebook “F*** this politician,” and “F*** this religious person,” that definitely doesn’t make me want to buy their book, or even really associate with them. It would be much different if this person was a political or religious writer. If that’s what you do, more power to you. Express yourself however you wish. But, nothing attracts internet trolls like discussing politics and religion; and if you’re trying to sell your literary work, the last thing you want to worry about is trolls bashing your work, and spreading the word around of how “terrible” you are. Whether it’s false or not, someone who has no idea who you are is hearing it, and is believing them.
Perhaps it’s just me? I don’t particularly believe it is, though. I mean, I certainly don’t mind cussing up a storm in every day life. I can be quite vulgar. I’m not particularly proud of it, and I don’t when I’m in certain environments, but it’s who I am. But we all need to act as professionals–to some degree–if we are to survive as writers. Sure, if we hit it big we can relax at home in our pajamas writing novels all day long. But, the second you start spewing vulgarities and things you hate, you’re putting yourself at risk.