Fear of being judged. I'd say that's a pretty common fear for many authors. We all go through it. But what about being judged on the social medias for all the world to see?
Let me tell you a story...
In the early days of submitting my book to publishers, I sent it to a fairly new 'digital first' type publisher. I'd never heard of them but did some research and felt that they'd be a great fit for the contemporary romance novel I'd decided I wanted to publish. So, I submitted it just as a test for myself to see if it would get a bite. I even followed the editor on Twitter.
After following this person, I started to notice that as they were reading manuscripts, they'd tweet out really harsh, snarky comments about the book. They'd pick apart scenes or make fun of word choices.
Now, I'm not an editor for a publisher so I'm not entirely sure what they say privately about submissions they're not crazy about but I would have assumed this type of behavior wasn't part of the process.
So, a couple of weeks pass by and I'm scrolling through my timeline.
And there it is. A familiar sounding scene from the book I'd written is being mocked, on social media, by this editor. Apparently, they'd received my submission and I was next on the chopping block of ridicule. My name wasn't mentioned, nor was the book's title or the characters' names. But as an author so deeply attached to my story, who knew it inside and out, I recognized immediately that it was my book.
I read snarky tweet after snarky tweet. I mean, hey, we're all entitled to our opinions. There are plenty of books that --while well-written-- I didn't like. I just never thought I'd see an actual editor from an actual publisher do this in such a public way.
Of course, there were comments on the tweets from other authors who were apparently signed with this publisher. And they were also having a field day with the snark and sarcasm.
The only good thing I can say is that nothing disparaging was mentioned about the quality of my writing. They just really, really disliked the story. Which is fine. I'm totally ok with someone not liking my story. I've received my share of bad reviews from readers who weren't really into my books and again, that's totally ok.
But an editor? From a publisher that I'd submitted to? As a new author back then (2013), I didn't know what to think. Was this the "new world" of publishing I'd been hearing about? Would all submissions go through this public trial?
I did some searching on the different social media platforms and couldn't find another editor who did this type of public submission massacre. That was comforting.
I'll admit, the experience shook my confidence. I'd already lined up my six dream publishers that I wanted to submit to, and seeing this display all over social media made me think twice. But I submitted my book anyway. The six publishers I sent it to all wanted it. The one I signed with offered me a three-book deal.
If you're wondering who the editor was or what publisher they worked for, I'll never say it publicly. That's not how I operate. I just wanted to share this story in case any of you are letting fear of judgement stop you from writing and publishing your book. Judgement is out there. It always will be. But don't let it stop you. There are also people out there who will love your book...and they'll find you.
Come hang out with me on the social medias!