On Why I am abandoning the Amazon Forums:

I recently took the decision to stop following and participating in several Amazon threads. Why? Because I feel completely out of place. Everyone who posts there is advancing in their writing careers while I’m just limping along, like if I were some crippled member of the herd. Well, screw that… I’m leaving….

Every one, every day is posting updates on the great reviews they’re getting for their books… while I just get two or three reviews each year or so. This makes me feel completely inadequate and powerles…  Sayonara threads, then.

Every one is posting what they did on Thanksgiving and Christmas… what they did with their sons and daughters during the weekend… while I look around I only see my bare, empty and cold house that’s missing all the love these people are enjoying so openly. It’s too much for a guy who still single at 47 to take… For a guy who, due to terrible circumstances in his life, never had a chance of having a girlfriend… this creates horrible feelings of despair and loneliness…

And the last drop was when someone (whom I’ll just call Mr. T) posted that he had so and so sales on Smashwords or Amazon or Barnes and Noble. That floored me, making me feel a sharp stab in my guts and it plunged me into a deep depression. It goes without saying that I only sell a couple e-books each month… most of them when I dropped their prices to just 99 cents. It’s enough to make one guy feel not wanted at all… as if my work wasn’t good enough to pay $2.99 for.

And the other reason are a couple of individuals who resurfaced on the threads I frequented. Curiously, the two of them are hard-as-nail women, who had managed somehow to overcome the hardships in life… and who believe that anyone who complains are just whiners that don’t want to improve their station in life. I can’t deal with these narrow-minded people. They’re missing the hub of the whole question, which is marvelously condensed in something I read the other day: “It’s hard to start when there’s nothing from where to start from.” I don’t recall in which book I read it… but it describes my position quite well. Living in the jungle is like that… And the funny thing is, that these two women would just keel over and start bawling like babies if they were forced to live in the conditions I currently live in. Well, let them have their way… I’m splitting that particular scene.

The best solution? I’ll stop visiting these threads. Going through all those posts is just a reminder of everything I lack in my life. The pain will be lesser… I’m gonna miss a few of the people I met there, though.

But I suspect they won’t be missing me at all…

Edwin Stark
Signing Off

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3 thoughts on “On Why I am abandoning the Amazon Forums:

  1. Actually most of the “authors” hawking those forums are peddlers themselves. I wouldn’t be so hard on yourself. If you see people online all the time they probably aren’t doing book signings… 😉
    -OM

  2. Oh Edwin, I know the feeling – I left the threads a long time ago and mostly delete posts from authors who just squeal with delight every time their book is number so and so on the list. I only sell one or two a month – some of my writing is not that great, but some is good – people just don’t like what I write. I have been discouraged enough not to write much this last year and I don’t think I have read anything for over a year (mostly because I am too busy to sit and read).

    Your writing is excellent, so don’t be discouraged from putting things on “paper” – your average reader is just too stupid to scroll down and look for books that are not in the top hundred – “hello, we cannot get in the top 100 unless people buy them and write reviews!” I found that joining the e-book author groups does nothing to promote books, but it is just a sound-off place for people to brag. I dearly love some of the Indie writers, these few have been very supportive and I do support them in return, but this does not help our own book sales.

    I am so sorry that you cannot get out of the jungle, I could never live that way (even when I was younger – I did not even like camping); it must be really hard to live like you do. Sometimes having family is not all it’s cracked up to be – most of us are very dysfunctional and also hate the holidays and weekends because that means we have to see our family who we don’t really like. I mostly love my family, but they fight and argue and I would rather not to be around them if they are together – one at a time is fine – and the grandkids are what keep me young, but still, it is not always what it is cracked up to be. Of course I am no shining light either, and mostly they don’t want to be around me – I tend to preach.

    I am blathering on, but all I wanted to say is that you can’t believe what is written on those threads (they may sound good, but they also may be lying). I pray that you will have more book sales, you definitely are a wonderful and dedicated author and deserve to be on the top.
    Margaret

  3. Blogs are probably a better place to hang out. I also am limping along with sales and even a few bad reviews. It is hard when some authors taut their ten five star reviews (written by friends, of course). The reality hits home when you understand that the vast majority of books on Amazon will only accrue 100 sales in the LIFETIME of the book. Yes, a few do better but most of us are largely unsuccessful. Not cheery, but you’re not alone.

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