Authors, we should all stop writing now...

.. and yes that headline is probably the most click baity thing I have ever used (apart from that article I wrote entitled *SEX*). But, I have so much I need to get off my chest. Stop writing? Me? Yeah right, I couldn't give up writing any more than I could give up breathing.

All Romance has gone tits up (official headline). And now, there is a paralysis that I see time and time again and I want to urge everyone to do one thing.

Write through it.

We can do this. Together we can keep going.

Seriously. Fuck 'em all, and keep writing, because otherwise *they* win.

This year we've had catfishing. Middle aged women pretending to be young gay men, or married gay men, or men, or, pretending to be 14 year old kids, or *insert whatever here*. These people have screwed authors over, hurt people, finagled money from fans. This isn't new, but too often the people who highlight their suspicions are shouted down. We all need to listen to each other more.

This year we've had authors setting up funding streams to enable them to write, or begging for free editing, cover art etc. (See the catfishing thing in reference). Also, what the fuck, a go fund me for medical help, yes, to support your writing? Nope.

This year we've had accusations of bi-erasure, and other letters that are being erased. In which a lot of authors, myself included, were pigeon holed as anti-bi, anti-ace, anti-everything. We're just writing as responsibly as we can for the readers who read us. And yes, god dammit, I am an ally.

This year we've had vile people on twitter starting wars against us. Idiots who love to posture and preen and tell everyone what we should think and what we should be writing. Like we care.

This year we've had anti-women-writing-MM-posts. Yep, this doesn't need any more explanation. Girls can't write MM. We see this raise it's ugly head every few months or so. Whatever, get over yourselves, I have girly bits, I write MM. Yep.

This year we've had plagiarism. I was way too close to one plagiarist this year who got all the way up to having her book taken on, edited, and cover-arted by DSP. Stealing is wrong, CL, and you bloody know it, cowbag-who-lied-to-my-face.

This year we've had publishers going tits up and taking all our money. EC, Torquere, and now ARe, not to mention everyone else who likes to screw authors over all the time. I'm down around $2000 to ARe, meh, it's nothing compared to the 60k Silver screwed me out of. But, I'm still here, so take that unscrupulous assholes, you won't destroy me!

This year we've had contracts auto-renewing and tying us in to publishers for two more years. Well, technically this happened in 2016 but it still annoys me to the point where I want to stab someone with a spoon, so I had to mention it. LOL.

This year we've had Sierra Riley. Or as I like to call them, the *Riley's*. A group of authors all writing under the pseudonym of Sierra Riley to game the KU bonus system and to lie every day to readers. Not to mention the latest thing where apparently Sierra Riley is eligible to be in the Goodreads MM author of the year award... kill me now.

This year we've had unscrupulous writers putting shit in KU and calling it writing. No wonder the rest of us are getting a bad rap.

Edited to add ** This year we've had stealing a popular author's name for their own crap writing. Thanks Chris Quinton for reminding me of this latest shitfest. 

Do you see a pattern?

Seems to me that other authors are fighting every day to keep their heads above water, creatively, financially, emotionally.

So, should we stop writing now? Should we get mired in losing money to ARe? Should we allow it to take away what we love doing best?

Fuck no. Keep writing.

Are you reading this when you should be writing?

(Yes, I wrote this when I should be writing, but the anger is strong in this one).

Peace, and hugs, and all kinds of kisses.

RJ X

*not edited *written while angry *sad *emotional *Send Chocolate *And Wine

30 comments

  1. Yes! So much this - oh, and you forgot the recent thefts-of-an-author's-name ploy - But yes, this writer is writing! {{{Hugs}}}

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I so added it after you said... LOL XXXX

      Delete
  2. Yes, I am reading this when I should be writing. In my defence I have actually opened a WIP for the first time in two months, got a few hundred words down, and am breaking for lunch since I just remembered I didn't eat breakfast this morning.

    Looks like I missed a lot this year. Can't say I am sorry.

    No idea how much I am out of pocket from ARe. Three new releases in the last quarter though, so there will be something owing, but only my publishers will know for sure how much. Probably not more than $50, but it's the principle of the matter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. well done on the words hun... seriously it's all about the words :) XXXXX

      Delete
    2. Thanks to a needy cat those words came to a grinding halt. :-)

      Delete
  3. Yes am reading this while I should be reading. I really am sorry all the authors are going through this its bs. Fight them fers who cares that it gets tied up in court ARe stole your money not just a little but alot and they should fing pay back what they stole. Now ive seen alot of the stuff RJ is talking about and I will put my 2 cents in when I know right is right and wrong is wrong I love this community of m/m autors so please dont give up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would NEVER give up xxxx

      HUGS XXXXXXX

      Delete
  4. Hi guys, I tend not to comment on Fb, though I do talk a lot in reviews on amazon. I may be critical in them, but I hope that at the same time, I am honest and constructive. Re the Sierra Riley thing - that, I did speak up about. I said that I felt cheated and that I wouldn't buy another book, because I couldn't depend on the quality. I've stuck to this, and in doing so, have discovered other decent authors. Have you seen that now at least one of the SRs are writing under Own Name w/a SR? Aubrey Cullens is one. I've challenged a couple who've sent me ARCs, refusing to read them because of the deception, and not one has said yes or no, but have simply slunk away quietly. So much for the, 'we're writing under SR as we fear for our lives, our jobs, reactions from anti-LBTG people, etc.' This has made me so, so angry. It's not hard to spot an 'SR by any other name' book - look for the similar cover images, look for the prologue-that-isn't-really-a-prologue, look for the 99p/c pricing on release. Apols if this is off-topic, but people need to know that that stuff about Why We Are SR is utter crap. Like RJS says, it's manipulation of the system and of readers. At the same time, I'm also seeing a lot of dross that passes for books in indie-publishing, stuff that makes me, the reader, cringe, and yet it's stuff that's getting tons of sales because readers are fangirls/guys who'd buy anything their idols on social media put out. Makes me SO angry, when so many decent authors can't get a break. Rant over. Happy 2017 to all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So much this... I don't know who you are Anon, but I love you ;)

      Delete
    2. I'm confused. I knew Sierra Riley was a group of authors writing under one pen name. How does that game the system? I wrote with a co-author under Sue Holston (her first name was Sue, my last name is Holston). I know we weren't gaming anything and Sue has since left the business. Call me dumb, but how did this Sierra Riley thing work?

      Delete
  5. I'm gutted for the people who have lost money, and infuriated about at the shitty things that have happened and the shitty or silly or desperate or criminal people who did them. But they aren't US - those sorry examples aren't the ones I know and love, who write their own books with love, care and pride. *smooches* keep on keeping on, my lovely. You are appreciated!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As are you my friend... kisses hugs and love xxx

      Delete
  6. Replies
    1. I see you Rick... I see you! LOLS xxxx

      Delete
  7. RJ, I just got an email from Grammarly telling me i wrote 1,005,010 words this year, so i figured I could take a moment from writing to read your post. :-)

    There really has been so much fuckery this year and just as we righted ourselves from one wave another came to bash us. The fact THE Sierra's have been gaming the system and deceiving readers is sickening, as is the fact that they are eligible for the GoodReads MM Author of the year. Ugh!
    As you know I was the prey of a catfisher (A mother of 2 pretending to be a mentally ill gay man in need of help to self pub) I hear she is doing well, but I'm sure karma will bite her in the ass eventually. And now ARe shafting authors every which way. M/M authors are a pretty feisty bunch, and so I know I'm a fighter and none of this will get me down for long.
    Your post mirrored a great deal of what I've been thinking this year but not said because i was just SO sick of social media drama. I wish you a good new year and hope in 2017 the M/M community can be a bit more supportive to each other. We need to choose our battles wisely, there are bigger ogres to face. Winter is coming!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have kept my mouth shut so many times and then all of a sudden I snapped... hence the post... LOLs xxxxx

      Delete
  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  9. This was a great post. I'm not a writer but I love to read. Authors have taken hit after hit after hit this year. My sincere hope is 2017 will be a kinder year to this community. Semper Fi!!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I am appalled at the treatment of authors by ARe. Sorry you and many others are losing out.
    Can I ask re Sierra Riley? What happened here? I just bought and read one of their books. Does this mean it wasn't written by them? I have several from them on my kindle.
    Anyway I hope karma bites these people on the ass.
    And thank you for not stopping! 😀

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Because the system is based on sales. The 3 or more writers in this group churned out probably a book every two weeks the prices were low to encourage sales. The system monitors sales not sales within a price range. The group based on sales then became "best selling" authors. This in turn encour aged further sales as readers see best selling author and think oh this person must be good.

      Delete
  11. Can someone explain the Sierra Riley thing to me? I know it is a group of authors but how do they ""ame the system"?

    ReplyDelete
  12. Well said!! I had heard about that SR debacle but never heard the name they were using so thanks for mentioning it. So much despicable behavior out there but you're right, the best way to prove these asshats that they haven't won is to keep moving forward, one foot at a time and one word at a time. :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. The ARE thing has sickened me, to only give three days notice for closure... I knew something was off with that, I can only be grateful for those authors strong enough to stick a middle finger up to the people and companies constantly trying to screw them over, I didn't know Sierra Riley was a group of people, I am kind of glad I never bought any of *their* works.

    Though thanks to the nearly $500 ebucks balance I am going to lose, I won't have the chance to buy as much for some time, since I have no way to replace it *shrugs* I can only hope Smashwords doesn't go anywhere, I don't get the amazing covers on books from there, but at least I can get Miss R.J.'s books there

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thanks for the awesome article - yes, I am going to write now, but I wasn't going to let anyone, girly bits or freaking pirates stop me any way. Have a wonderful New Year :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. I haven't bought any books from ARE and now I'm profoundly grateful I never did. Sorry for all the authors and customers who have lost money to this debacle. May 2017 be a blessed year. P.S. Great article RJ. 😀

    ReplyDelete
  16. I'd like to say the general atmosphere stopped my writing but it was my own mind stopping me. That's over with, and I'm lifting that finger Carrie Fisher was so fond of. As long as there are readers, there will be writers...if nothing else we'll be reading each other!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Nailed it. And rip-off publishers is the reason I so self-publishing. Nazca Plains published 4 titles of mine and I never got a dime from them, even though they sold well. I got back the rights and republished them, and I don't make much but I do get something...including tax breaks.

    ReplyDelete
  18. What a year 2016 was. I didn't know a lot of that stuff. (I've resisted getting Facebook so I'm not always up to date on community news, I guess.)

    Many of us in KU experienced a kick in the pants where page reads weren't counting properly anymore and Amazon turned a blind eye, meaning one whole book might count for one "page" (aka 1/2 cent). I think that was pretty unjust as well.

    Really hoping this year is better all around.

    ReplyDelete