Today I made a decision
April 21, 2014 by Thomas Wictor
It hit me today: The Ghosts Trilogy is dead. I won’t be able to find another publicist. That’s why I made the decision to give away books in exchange for reviews.
For those of you who aren’t writers, let me explain something: Writing is a life of groveling. You grovel to agents, you grovel to publishers, you grovel to distributors, you grovel to reviewers, and you grovel to readers. Today I ended my groveling.
Not only do you have to grovel, you have to eat giant platters of dung, spoonful by spoonful. Amazon has reviewers who’ve become stars, and they grind your face between their buttocks. Well, guess what? It’s not worth it to me.
Anne Rice recently had an extended fight with Amazon reviewers. What did it accomplish? Nothing. I look at these reviewers’ profiles, and I have to laugh. For the most part they’ve accomplished nothing in their lives, so to make up for their sense of inferiority, they became…Amazon reviewers. Who hate writers. God almighty. Think about that for a second.
And I get to (gasp!) judge them, because I’ve accomplished nothing in my life. You know how the different races can make fun of themselves? Well, I’m a loser too, so I can point and jeer, “LOSER!” I’m part of the race of losers.
Though a loser myself, I did an end run around these even bigger losers and handed my books directly to readers who don’t have an axe to grind. Not a single person who accepted a copy of my books in the past few days is a jerk. Not one.
Apparently I’m supposed to be flattered out of my mind if one of the Amazon Star Reviewers deigns to spare me a few days of their priceless time. Sorry, not impressed. One of them is a retiree who obviously doesn’t have a tooth in his head. Is he going to appreciate even a single word I write?
Reviewing is a lost art. Two women reviewed me instead of my novel Chasing the Last Whale. They liked the book but not me. Another review said that Hallucinabulia wouldn’t sell because I’m not famous. I’ve never—in fifty-one years—seen a review that said the book is great but it won’t sell. Reviewers are now hurling all their personal baggage at books, films, music, and other art. They’re wallowing in their hangups.
One of my favorite films is Monster-in-Law, starring Jennifer Lopez and Jane Fonda.
It’s a hugely funny film with exceptional performances by Lopez and Fonda. I perfectly understand some people not wanting to see a Jane Fonda movie because of her politics. On the other hand, there are those who refuse to see anything with Charleton Heston in it because of his politics.
Well, I like both Fonda and Heston. As entertainers. Heston is criminally underrated. He’s unique among his generation in that he was very macho but expressed emotion without shame. He wept and suffered like nobody else in his peer group. The only other male actor who came close was John Wayne. Characterizing Wayne as a violent, brainless goober is pure stupidity.
The reason I came to my decision today is that I’m tired of stupidity. Most publishing-related Websites are a giant waste of time. They’ve become a way for everybody to broadcast their mental illnesses. My life has been an endless parade of lunatics, so I’m not interested in catering to them. The way I view writing is very simple: I publish a book, and if you like it, you tell others about it so they can enjoy it too. The end.
Without readers I’m nothing. I’m therefore profoundly grateful to everyone who takes the time to go through my scribblings. In the past few days, the non-Superstar reviewers have begun coming through for me in a beautifully generous, unselfish way. Nobody made me jump through any hoops, and I haven’t had to degrade myself. The consistent response is, “Sure. My pleasure.”
These are all very nice people. I like them. They don’t have agendas. In the publishing world, everybody has agendas. I recently had a discussion with someone who said that it’s fair to hate the entire male gender because men are responsible for war. The same sort of people are now in charge of the publishing industry. They’re angry, man-hating harpies. I have no time for them. All those men responsible for war are raised by women. Does that make me hate the entire female gender? No. Because I’m not a simpleminded slogan-screecher.
Though I had high hopes for the Ghosts Trilogy, I’ve had to accept that it’s a failure. So what? It’s just books. My next project is a novel that I think will finally provide my breakthrough. I’ll self-publish it, but before I do, I’ll line up a real publicist and work out a detailed marketing strategy. I’ve learned a lot from failing. The past two years were extremely worthwhile.
Tomorrow I’m going to shave my head and trim my beard way back. This afternoon I used an entire can of hairspray to see if I could create an image that’s been in my mind for months. After thirty attempts at selfies, I finally asked Tim to do the honors, and he got it on the second try.
I don’t know what it means, but it’s exactly what I wanted. Maybe I’ll put it on the back of my next book.
Thanks to everybody who’s given me a review. Each one helps diminish both the disasters of 2013 and the pain of being forced to let go of another dream.
The good thing about dreams is that if they don’t come true, you can always have others.
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