You can't please everyone. No matter what you do, or say, or write, some people are going to think you're an asshole. You don't get anywhere trying to please everyone, especially with comedy writing. The best you can do is be true to the asshole you are, and own that shit.
Between promotions, advertising, and word of mouth, I try to cast as wide a net as I can, hoping to pull in new readers who will enjoy my books and spread the word even further. And though I occasionally pull in a brainless, disease-ridden sea cucumber, I can chop it up and use it to chum the waters.
Most of the people who read my shit, be it blogs or books, are decent folks who enjoy my work and go on with their lives. Especially awesome people will leave a nice review, make a friendly comment, or share a link.
And that's wonderful. But the ocean is vast, and there be big fish lurking beneath the choppy surface. Koreans have a term for this: 큰 손, which translates to "big hands". These are influential people who, if you get their attention, can put your ass on the map. Maybe they're a popular blogger. Maybe they're a famous author in the genre you write in. Whoever they are, I like to think that there are only but so many degrees of separation between me and them. That's why I look forward to my Kindle Countdown promotions as much as I do. A sudden burst of a few hundred new readers every three months, in theory, evaporates some of those degrees. Part of my job as a self-published author is constantly trying to reel one of those big bastards in. Earlier this week, I reeled in two.
I received a notification on my Facebook page the other day, saying that I'd been mentioned. I always like to check out news about me, so I discovered the two gentlemen pictured above had recommended my books on their Facebook page, and they had nearly four times the amount of followers that I did.
Naturally, my first thought was, "Who the fuck are these guys?"
A preliminary investigation revealed only that they're a couple of guys who dress like fairies and hug people. Surely that's more likely to get you assault charges and knees to the nuts than it is to get you 11k Facebook likes. I dug deeper.
Scouring their website, their Facebook page, and even chatting with one of them for a while, I discovered the truth. They're a couple of guys who dress like fairies and hug people. That's it.
That a simple hug could inspire such love and loyalty got me thinking about my own attitude toward life and business.
Dim N Wit, as they're known, are apparently just the nicest motherfuckers on the Earth. Why they enjoy my books, written about assholes by an asshole, is beyond me.
It can be frustrating when I get a bad review calling me a racist or homophobe by someone who just didn't get it. On the other hand, it can be very satisfying when I get a bad review by a racist or homophobe who suddenly realized that I've been making fun of their kind over the course of four novels and twenty-something short stories, and I already have all their money.
But there's a different kind of satisfaction I feel when genuinely nice people enjoy my work. And it's especially satisfying when there's a nice practical effect as well.
Thank you, Dim N Wit. Now that I'm back in the States and about to start dipping my toes into the convention waters, I'm looking forward to witnessing the power of your magical hugs firsthand.
To all of you fellow indie writers, keep putting out books, making sure they don't suck, and throwing those nets.