Thursday, January 14, 2016

Questioning Karma

This week I have been thinking about Karma. (As we sow, so shall we reap.)

Jami Gold has an excellent post which generated lots of comments on Writer Sanity and Recognising Takers. This follows on from last weeks excellent post on what do you do for others in the writing community. 

Jami always has really interesting articles about all things writing. Her name comes up a lot in my blog along with Anne R Allen, K M Weiland, Janice Hardy, Jane Friedman, E S Craig, Angela Ackerman and Kris Rusch. Along with many others they GIVE an enormous amount to the writing community. But some people don't understand that this takes time away from their own writing. Takers expect answers to their specific questions and feel entitled to get an answer right away- They can be pushy, and demanding of your time. They usually don’t bother with thanks either. I have experienced many of the situations Jami’s commenter’s have. I shrug it off and wish Karma back on that person in such a way that they learn. My Karma is to teach and remain positive, (tho in this game it is sometimes harrrrrd- pours wine.)

All of us Paying It Forward to the writing community would just like to say... before you ask your question...
1. Can you Google your question and then read at least the top two pages of links first. (We all did- that is how we learned!)
2. Find an expert in the field and then read everything they write on the subject. (Again, it’s a learning thing.) A lot of blogs have search functions. Read the comments as well. There is usually a ton more information in the discussions
3. Check out a curated blog (like this one) for links to lots of experts. Read them for a while, chances are your question will be answered somewhere.

I always have to laugh when someone asks me a question- about 90% of the time the answer was in one of my roundups within the previous month.

David Gaughran (an all round stellar person) has had his Karma moments on Twitter.
David has a great book, Let’s Get Visible, on author digital visibility. He posted a chapter quite a while back as a promo on the Alli blog. This was ripped off along with other peoples work and posted in an elaborate software scam. As David and Writer Bewares’ Victoria Strauss work through the implications... it gets murkier and murkier. Other writers have been taken in. There are arrest warrants out there.

Julie Hyzy has an interesting tale to tell about a work forhire situation. This is a glimpse into the world of book packaging, which can be lucrative for writers but perils await when the editors move on.

Roz Morris has taken a good hard look at what it means for Ingram Spark to own And it means that she is about to change her marketing strategy. This is Ingram expanding their book distribution service into storefronts for authors. (In the battle for P.O.D. Ingram may have scored a coup over Createspace.)

In the Craft Section,

Dictating a Book – tips for editing- The Book Designer

How to write loglines- Becca Puglisi- Bookmark!

In the Marketing Section, (Bookmark All of Them)
Molly Greene has a great post on low cost ebook givaway hosting.

Jane Friedman has two excellent posts - Optimizing Amazon descriptions and an interview with Patrick Walsh, a book publicist.

Carolyn Howard Johnson has a post on altering a published book – Do you need a new ISBN

Website of The Week,
Anne R Allen has a very informative blog. There are great articles on writing and publishing and guest posts from industry insiders. This week she has a great guest post, looking into the future, from Laurie McLean, a Fuse Literary Agent.  Recently she had a post on what to do with social media accounts in the event of your death. Very interesting stuff and a must read.

To Finish,
Often signing up for webinars is problematic because of our Time Zone but I try to attend various ones that have content available after the event. Joel Friedman and Joanna Penn have put together a great one on Self Publishing in 2016 this week and added some cool extras. Find a quiet space to meditate on Karma and thank these two for a great 90 min video.



Anne R. Allen said...

Maureen--Thanks much for making our blog your "website of the week"! It's good to get a reminder that people appreciate the blog.

The blog has been a huge burden for me since we got hacked and pirated and had to move to WordPress from Blogger in order to get more security. Unfortunately, formatting doesn't move well, so all 500+ posts have to be reformatted, and each takes 2+ hours to be stripped of formatting and rewritten. This means 10+ hour days for me, doing tedious and uncreative work with no time left for writing (or taking care of myself or having a real life).

And all I get are snarky comments calling me a moron because I missed repairing one paragraph-spacing glitch.

Your post is especially timely for me. People who email me to ask me do do Google searches for them are making me furious. Or they ask a question that is answered in my book HOW TO BE A WRITER IN THE E-AGE, but they say they're too poor to spend the $4 to buy a copy. But they think they deserve hours of my time for free?

Another peeve I have right now is people who ask to guest blog. We get as many as 4 requests a day. We have guidelines on the blog that clearly state we have only 12 spots per year and we book 6 months in advance. But everybody demands that I give them a guest post spot tomorrow for something that is totally wrong for our audience. Or they've never written a blogpost in their lives, but they think they can start with us. I have been taking time to write kind, thoughtful responses, but I never even get a thank you. They take several hours of every day. Time I could spend doing better things, like maybe getting some sleep.

Oh, dear this turned into a rant. But I am stretched to the breaking point. There are days when I just want to change my name and walk away from the whole mess.

Thanks for this much-needed post!!

Maureen said...

I absolutely feel for you. Only another blogger knows what it is like behind the scenes! You are loved around the world! And we do appreciate you very much!

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