Findaway has fixed the various issues with the files, and as such, I have reenabled distribution on Vampire of Montana, even at the vendors where the shitstorm started. (Once again, I do not know if people changed their reviews or ratings upon learning it’s a valid dialect/form of speaking, nor do I care. I don’t even want to hear about it at this stage.) It’ll take however long it will take to go back on sale with the changes to foal’s pronunciation.
This is not changing my stance on putting the Royal States series on hiatus, nor is it going to realistically change my mind about the Agents of the Royal States series.
I’m bitter over this whole situation, and until that changes, I’m simply not going to be dedicating 350+ hours of my life per book to a series (or its spinoff) where people (who are fans of this series, supposedly), are incapable of handling something they dislike or is different from them.
This is harsh, but it’s appropriate: “Don’t be the reason your favorite author quits.”
Don’t like something? Put that phrase on your monitor and think long and hard about it before deciding it’s worth making a fuss over. Don’t like a pronunciation? Stop listening to audiobooks with that narrator. That’s the only “punishment” you need to do. Don’t like an author’s way of storytelling? Stop reading that author. That’s the only “punishment” you need to do.
Wish the author would write something a different way? Write your own book and do it better. And if you’re not willing or able to write your own book and do so better, you’re certainly not in a position to judge someone who is sitting down and doing the job you can’t do.
No, I am not asking you to change your reviews, post reviews, or leave ratings. The damage has already been done. It will do what it does from this point. And honestly, I’m not even going to look or care about it anymore. That bridge was completely and totally burned.
Ultimately, I will probably keep continuing making audiobooks, although at a much slower rate, as they’ll have to pay for themselves AND their fair share of the household bills. I do that for accessibility.
Unless you are blind, dyslexic, or have some other form of issue that makes audiobooks necessary… you’re listening purely for entertainment purposes, and you’re just benefiting from what I’m doing for others.
This is where the second reminder comes up: if you can’t say anything nice, perhaps don’t say anything at all.
Someone brought it to my attention that an author pair I highly admire (Ilona Andrews) had similar issues with audiobooks and listener entitlement.
I’m not going to repeat what they’ve said, but they’re on the ball about it. Go check out their website and read their posts. They say good stuff about the realities of this business.
Readers, unfortunately, can be nasty, seem to be afflicted with an overabundance of entitlement, and shit in the pool for other readers.
But, as this entire fiasco did make me have a very long discussion about changing my field of work with my spouse, I think it’s important that readers remember the only thing that they are entitled to is the product they purchased.
Accessibility (in form of accessing the author) is nice, but no author owes you that. Your opinion is yours, and if you have one and want to share it, do so in reviews. (I’m avoiding them beyond checking the ratings to see if a world or series is worth expanding. Unless it’s a project I truly absolutely adore, if it’s below 4.3*, it’s going to be a wrap moving forward; I will find the first reasonable place to end the series, and that is that. That may be one or two books instead of the 6+ planned, but that’s life. I have a list, which I will not be sharing, of the series/books that are exempt from my 4.3* rating rule.
Yes, the Vigilante Magical Librarian series will be continued through all five books only because there’s no place to end it sooner. But, I have already scrapped any thoughts of continuations in this world. The world is done due to the ratings/sell-through of the series. (Y’all voted through your ratings, and that’s that.)
This is what it boils down to. This job is hard enough without readers making it harder, and if you actually like books, then… don’t treat the people who write them or narrate them like garbage.
Because some of y’all said some pretty awful things about Keira Grace (and some of my narrators as well), as though you’re entitled to an opinion on who I use for narration. I’m used to people saying shit about me. That’s par for this course. I just block and kick them from my page when they show up, because I certainly don’t want people like that reading my books if at all possible. (And I remove them from my blog’s mailing list/block from the blog as I can.)
Spoiler alert: readers aren’t entitled to anything other than receiving a book they pay for.
“Don’t be the reason your favorite author quits.”
Or, as I also like to say… “Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.”
And I know way too many talented and skilled authors who no longer write because of readers treating them like garbage. It’s equally common with the money not working out.
Being more stubborn than them doesn’t make me a winner. It just makes me more willing to take the hits. (And boy am I tired of taking the hits.)
And no, I’m not asking anyone to do anything about this situation. I am asking those noisy, negative so-and-sos to sit down and shut their mouths.
That behavior is not welcome here.
And it’s certainly not welcome in my private messages.
And, much like lancing out an infected wound, I’ve said my peace on this matter. I expect nothing from readers regarding this. I don’t want apologies from those who were in the ‘treat the author like garbage’ camp. I don’t want changed reviews or new ratings or people to buy it for support. (Buy only what you want to read, folks… series fail all the time because people don’t want to read them, and that is fine. The ratings are what I go by, especially now that I’ve changed my method of book production.)
If I do decide to return to the Royal States for fun, I may reserve those projects for Cinder+ on Patreon and skip full production. As I’d already started Iron Unicorn, (Agents of the Royal States #2), the Cinder+ crew will be reading along while I draft it, unedited drivel style, I’ll be doing that starting in September probably. I don’t expect to do more than one scene a month. (Even before this stuff happened, I was very, very slow at working on Iron Unicorn, and I’m pissed off I even started it in the first place.)
be warned: you’re going to see an even more raw version than what my editor gets, as I go back and correct things when I write. I will not be doing this with Iron Unicorn. What gets written first try is IT. Typos, inconsistencies, errors, and all. It will be in an utterly unpublishable state.
I’m doing it to just purge out the book so it isn’t sitting in my brain space partially finished. I hate leaving things unfinished. I will not be leaving the scenes in the archive, removing the posts shortly (within a week) after they’re uploaded, as Patreon emails everyone in the tiers with the content so it’s accessible to those who are subscribed.
I’m doing it for me, and I figure the Cinder+ crew can benefit from it, as they’re my biggest supporters. (And seriously, thank you. You are appreciated.)
With luck, the bitterness will end sooner than later, but this is one of the downsides to being a Taurus water pig.
And this is the end of that. Just don’t ask me about the Royal States series moving forward. If I change my mind about publication hiatus on the series, you’ll find out via my blog… or if a book mystically appears.
And no, sharing the draft with the Cinder+ crew is not any indication that I will actually invest the remaining time or money into publishing the book. I have zero desire to spend the $3,000+ on editorial, nor the hundred+ extra hours on editing it. Writing it to get it out of my fucking brain will be time-consuming enough.
I’m just doing this for my peace of mind.
May your day go better than mine.