This is going to be a shorter post, because I don’t need to do a full rant on such an unworthy topic. But I’ve had a couple people recently tell me “I’m not going to buy your books because ___.” Well, that’s…special. Mostly, these statements come across as “Listen, you better talk more nicely online, or else you won’t make any friends.” Uh-huh. Well I got lots of friends online, and most of my real friends don’t read my books. It’s nothing personal. I’m just not their cuppa. But my real friends don’t need to say that, or tell me that I’d better watch my mouth around them.
Look, I don’t care whether people decide not to read my books for whatever reason they come up with. But as I said to Scott Colbert on Twitter, this isn’t about your choice to engage in a boycott of my work. It’s about you deciding to contact me about it. I seriously doubt anyone who decides not to read King writes to him to say “I’m not buying your books because of that comment about the connection between illiteracy and Iraq.” And if you do, why? What point is there to you telling someone you’re not buying their work over an opinion they hold? You’re not likely to change the author’s mind. It’s the equivalent of stomping out of a room and slamming a door because you don’t like the direction a conversation is going. It’s seriously childish shit, man.
And the other thing is, you people who are doing this probably wouldn’t be buying my books anyway. You don’t know me. You don’t know anything about my writing or my stories. You’re just judging me based off of something I said in the comments of a blog somewhere. Again, let me use King as an example. King can’t stand Meyer’s vampires? Well hot damn, I’m never reading King again… Oh wait, yes I am. I’ve got a copy of The Dark Half on my TBR pile, and I may reread Cell later this year because I loved the slow burn of that story. King is a master of his craft, and even if I think he’s wrong about Meyer, I’m not going to boycott him over a difference of opinion. His opinions have got nothing to do with the art he produces, and that I enjoy.
Most of you who engage in this behavior only do it to indies, and I think that’s because you feel we’re more approachable. We have to make ourselves available online, and that accessibility empowers you to say whatever you like. But if all you have to say to me is “I’m not buying your books ever,” I don’t care. I don’t because you weren’t going to buy my books either way. What you’re doing is little more than a petty smack at my digital person because I’ve wounded your delicate sensibilities. So what? Grow the fuck up, m’kay?
Let me be clear: I write about queers and perverts. I write about the abused and the tormented. You want books about heroes saving the world, grand fiction that feeds your need for escapism. I don’t do that. It’s not that I dislike those books, or that I think my stories are superior. I read those books and support the writers of said stories. But there’s so many artists covering that shtick that I prefer to do something different. I write off the beaten path, and I don’t expect to be fitting for a lot of readers. But the vast majority of the mainstream readers feel no need to write to me to tell me in unfriendly terms that they aren’t buying my stuff. So if you feel the need to do that, you’re a shallow person. And if you’re that shallow, so shallow that you have to smack me to feed your ego, I don’t want you buying my books anyway. It would only lead to a one-star review because you’re not deep enough to understand how to read between the lines.
Did that piss you off? Well, there’s the door. Slam it on the way out if you like. I still don’t care.