The Insecure Writers Support Group is the brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh, who incidentally has his CassaFire for 99 cents this week. It's the second book in the trilogy.
Anyway, believe it or not, but I hate shilling for fellow bloggers. I hate a lot of things. Hopefully I like more. But in some circles, hating things can be bad. It's bad among bloggers. It's especially bad among bloggers who are also writers. Because those bloggers want to sell books. And to be a part of the blogging community, you have to play nice. And to play nice, you have to shill.
And I hate shilling. If I am being completely honest, I would probably very likely never in a million years actively want to read a book written by a blogger. (The obvious exception is MOV.) This is not to say bloggers can't write good books. But I find it unlikely that there will ever be a lot of great writers among bloggers. And not to sound elitist, but I kind of like great writers.
I like great writers because I want the stories I read to be about more than the act of reading. I'm not saying that bloggers are only capable of doing that, but when you're not a great writer, what else are you? You're just some person writing a story.
I actually read Cavanaugh's third book of the trilogy, CassaStorm, and gave it a pretty good review. I was probably the only one to have a lot of negative comments (or as we sometimes call them, pieces of constructive criticism) in my review. Bloggers are seldom very critical in their reviews of fellow bloggers. They somehow love every book by their fellow bloggers. Just as if they are reading great writers.
Maybe their point is that not every book has to be a great book in order to be enjoyed. And that is a valid point. Last year, though, I read more blogger books than I would have otherwise, thanks to those darn Goodreads giveaway entries that of course do not at all disclose that some of them (a lot of them?) are blogger books. Not all books actually by bloggers, but blogger books all the same.
As in, not great writers.
And I like to read books that are clearly not by great writers, too. Sometimes it's good to do that. These books are also enjoyable. But there is a clear difference.
I hate shilling, basically, because when I write a review, I can't help but make that difference. And bloggers hate that difference being pointed out. They are either convinced that they are great writers, or they simply don't care. And I do.
So the point of this insecurity is that I can't help but alienate myself, which is bad when you are trying to have a public forum where most of the readers end up being fellow bloggers. Who want you to shill their books. I can't stand it. I don't want to feel so frustrated, that I must chuck the whole concept, just because I have a tendency to alienate myself, go against the grain. People hate people who go against the grain. Even the nonconformists. Either play by the rules or fake the smile and play nice. Even when there are things that are so glaringly wrong going on.
So I did the thing that must be done at the start of this post. And sabotaged it all to Helena, MT. Because that's what I do. I'm sorry.