I’ve been told I’m too honest. Not in the way of telling friends they do look fat in that or at job interviews, just in general and specifically when it comes to looking after myself first. But the thing is, I don’t see that as a failing. I’m sure I have lost on out some opportunities along the way, but I’m a firm believer in karma and being at peace with oneself, ad judging by how happy I am in life I reckon I’ve been proven right.
But I have a point for bringing this up.
My wife’s cousin and her boyfriend are visiting at the moment from overseas. Great people, and it’s their first time in Australia, so we’re showing them all the bells and whistles. Anyway, when I was chatting to the boyfriend he told me he was made over $200,000 last year, and in Macedonia; not the greatest economy in the world. Of course I asked at what he told me he runs blogs with millions of followers and it’s all ad revenue, and if I wanted he would show me how to do the same and also how to maximise the reach of my own work.
Of course I said I’d love to, so he did, and…. Look, I’m not judging. The job situation in Macedonia is hard (40% unemployment for under 25s), so you do what you have to, and that kind of environment promotes a certain entrepreneurial spirit. But what it basically is is viral clickbaiting. Rewriting popular articles from major newspapers, and pushing them across all social media with fake accounts as recommendations.
Look, it obviously works, and no one’s being hurt, so as I said I’m not judging, but when he offered to do the same for this humble blog I had to decline. This blog is me talking about my work, I’d even go as far and risk sounding pompous as to say my art. It’s a reflection of me, and if I had to trick people into buying my work, well…. You get the idea.
And then yesterday, this happened:
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) January 9, 2016
The TL;DR version is author who pushed his own work (successfully) through fake fan accounts takes it upon himself to cyber bully and harass other authors who say that’s not on, then comes across the implacable giant who is JK Rowling. There’s a link to Jeremy Duns’ blog there and it’s well worth the time to find out how not to act as a writer. I wouldn’t be surprised if the prick in question finds himself without a publisher soon.
But that’s what I mentioned before; karma. The world caught up to him.
I’d like to think I’m part of the world, not better or apart from it (as the stain above did). I’m also so humbly British the idea of presuming my work is worth pushing onto people I don’t know brings me out in a cold, tea-flavoured sweat. But both the two stories above have actually taught me a lot, and one of those lessons was I’m not giving my work the chance it deserves, and there’s enough info there for me to begin taking my work, and the Patreon account in particular out into the world without being underhand about it.
So, 2016 shall be the year of readership. This begins with you (*wave*). So, thank you for reading.