I can count on my bra for support. When it comes to my books and my business, my friends (and the majority of my family) are elastic that’s been through the wash too many times. No support. None. And it’s not just me. This seems to be endemic among authors, artists, musicians, small business owners, and anyone who isn’t a celebrity. That sucks.
I haven’t felt well today, or I’d probably not write this post. But I think it’s something that needs to be said, and since I’m in a place to do it right now I will. Will my friends see it? Who knows? I don’t think more than four of them bother to read my blog. But at least other creatives will know they’re not alone in that field where nothing chirps but crickets, those whose newsfeeds show more support for Kim Kardashian than for them.
I don’t have one of those Facebook friends lists that’s overflowing with names, one that reaches the maximum number of friends allowed. No, it’s mainly people I actually know, and members of my family. In other words, people I tend to look to for support. It’s a good thing I’m not dependent on that support, though, because I can count on one hand the number of these people who will support my work as an author. And only one of them is a member of my family. That hurts. No, I mean, that freakin’ hurts. I can’t begin to even describe the way I feel when my posts/tweets/instagrams about my books or newsletter or blog aren’t shared by anyone other than those four or five faithful friends. But you can be sure my newsfeed will explode with shared posts about Adele’s new album, or Kylie Jenner’s new lip kit, or which team won the World Series, or that everyone cried while watching This Is Us.
I can’t count the number of times over the years that I’ve liked Facebook Pages created by friends for Jamberry, Pampered Chef, Younique, Monat, those icky pearls from the oysters, etc., or Pages for their businesses like boutiques, photography, radio stations, candles & soaps, and other things they’ve started. I’ve attended parties, shared posts, been a cheerleader, bought products, written reviews, and genuinely done what I could to help them succeed. But when it comes to them sharing my posts, buying my books (or recommending them to their romance fan friends), or even passing out my business cards? Nada. Nothing. Crickets. It’s like my business and I are covered in toxic slime, like they’re embarrassed by the fact that I write books. And that makes me feel like
Not only do they not share with their other friends, they don’t bother to even click “like” on my Facebook Page and follow it, or follow me on Instagram or Pinterest or Twitter, or subscribe to my newsletter. Since Facebook severely restricts the reach of posts made by Pages, I’ll usually share those posts on my profile as well. If ten of my friends like those posts I call it a banner day. Shoot, I already know they’re not gonna share it. Again, that sucks. And it really, really hurts. Like bad hurts.
I don’t expect all my friends to read my books. I don’t expect all my friends to like my books. Romance isn’t everyone’s jam, and I get that. But to not support me, their friend the author, is…well, it’s low, you know? I mean, you couldn’t hold me down and make me read “literary fiction,” but if I had a friend that writes it? I would support that friend! There are times like now that I want to confront all of them face to face and ask “Why?” I want to know if it would literally kill them to click share and add, “I know some of you love romance novels. You really should read this one!” I’d like to know why they can’t accept one newsletter email per month from me.
It especially hurts when they’re busy sharing posts from local grocery stores and chain restaurants, or scam posts that say a bunch of RVs or trips to Disney are up for grabs but are really just posts that download malware onto the devices of anyone who clicks on them. When it pops up that such-and-such friend “likes” Charmin (yes, the toilet paper), or Toyota, or Baskin-Robbins, or Target, or…well, you get the picture, but they won’t like my author page? It’s like a slap in my face. It’s even worse when it pops up in my feed that they like Amazon, or Barnes and Noble, or iBooks. Or John Grisham, or Stephen King, or Danielle Steele. But they won’t like my author page!
But you know what? You who are reading this make it so much better. You, my readers. All y’all who follow my social media accounts, and click like, or leave comments, or share the posts. All y’all who subscribe to my newsletter and read my books. You make it good.
So to all the creatives out there, the authors and jewelry makers and painters and indie musicians: You aren’t alone. If your friends and family are the supportive kind, go and thank them right now, because you’re part of the lucky few. If you’re in the same boat as I am, then let’s row on together and support each other with everything we have in us.
And once again, to those who support me
Oh, and thanks for letting me rant a bit today. ☺