Here are a list of things I just get confused about, that I don’t have answers to, and that I thought I would just toss out into the air.
— I am confused at why a writer gets happy when they give their book away for free and a lot of people take it. They make the same amount of money as when one person takes it, and less than if one person buys it.
— I get very confused when a free book hits a “bestseller” list. When a book is given away free, it isn’t sold, thus can’t be on a “bestseller” list. Maybe a “bestfree” list or “bestgift” list, but not a “bestseller” list.
— I get very confused when a beginning writer (after finishing and publishing just one book) is upset they are not making any money from that one book. The key word is “beginning.” I believe the writer should be happy if the writer’s family and friends buy it and pretend to have read it. But over and over I hear of writers with one book published being upset that they are not making a million bucks. I have a hundred novels published and I don’t make a million bucks.
— I get very confused when a writer with one book indie published is upset that no one is finding their one solo book among the millions published.
— I get very confused when a writer with a few hundred friends on Facebook and Twitter thinks that repeating the publication of their book over and over and over and over will make them more than a handful of sales. And fewer friends.
— I get very confused when a writer swears they want to make a living from their craft, yet never mail anything, never finish anything, and never publish anything. And just can’t find the time that often to write as well.
— I get very confused when someone gets mad at me for suggesting they value their book above the bargain bin pricing. I don’t care about their book, I honestly don’t. It was just a suggestion, but clearly suggesting that their novel has worth above a candy bar is something that makes some writers very angry. (I get this one a great deal, actually and it never makes sense.)
— And finally, I get very confused when new writers think that I didn’t have to work day jobs when I started and didn’t have to learn craft and didn’t have to fail over and over and over for years and years before I sold something.
I don’t expect answers. I don’t believe there really are answers. But I just thought I’d get out what I get confused over and over about.
And yes, I am getting older so I get confused very easy these days.
From the comments I got some more things I now remember being confused about.
Sarah Stegall added three:
I get confused by writers who have been rewriting the same novel for ten years, who still seek advice. What could possibly be left to say?
I get confused by people who hear that you’ve published *a* book and wonder why you’re not on tour.
I get confused by agents and editors who say they’re looking for something “unique” and then ask you to rewrite your novel to read more like Janet Evanovich.
Yup, those confuse me as well.
And J.A. Konrath added even more places I am confused and forgot about.
I’ll add I get very confused when people dismiss self-pubbing or legacy pubbing without any research or experience to back-up their opinions.
I get very confused by the outpouring of hostility when I share information, ideas, and personal experience about publishing, esp. when these angry people offer no counter arguments.
I get very confused why legacy publishing keeps making mistake after mistake in regard to ebooks, yet somehow believes it will survive.
I also get very confused why the majority of people would rather defend their beliefs to the death rather than change their mind.
Thanks for the great comments and discussions… And Sarah and Joe, thanks for adding to my confusion. (grin)