|(Moved here 11/14/13 from 180 Degrees True South blog)
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
The Desire to Denigrate
Before addressing the flogger persecution of Susan Frise Hathaway (I'll
do that on Backsass) I want to touch on Brooks Simpson's gratuitous put-downs
of my fiction writing and novels.
Although it has absolutely nothing to do with the Walker/Vandalism incident
in Richmond, Simpson saw fit, in a series of posts about that incident,
to denigrate Sweet Southern
Boys, and a current marketing campaign for it, free downloads in
honor of Mothers Day running until May 18. What has one got to do with
the other? Nothing, except that he sees the incident as an opportunity
to do what he loves best -- maligning Southern heritage folks.
This isn't the first time he has written nasty commentary about my novels
on his blog, although he freely admits he hasn't read them. But as you
might imagine, he sure doesn't like it when somebody does the same thing
He puts down my writing, claims no editor would accept anything I wrote
(which is not true, since one of my novels, Storm
Surge, was published by a royalty-paying ebook publisher in California),
claims my novels are trashy and racist. I've blogged about that here:
Against White Southerners On Display
Is Reviewing an Unread Book Okay
"Anti-Racist" Smear Mentality
He'll grasp at any straw that he thinks he can use derisively
-- for example, the fact that Southern Man has had several covers. I guess
he doesn't realize that is extremely common even in traditional publishing,
so it isn't the scathing put-down he apparently thinks it is. Click the
links below to see multiple cover designs for these classics:
Kill A Mockingbird
I can only assume he thought he'd stick it to me where it hurts -- my
writing -- because I pissed him off, I mean REALLY pissed him off, by pointing
out breathtaking level of sheer meanness in the flogger persecution of
Susan Frise Hathaway over the Richmond Vandalism incident.
The thing is, it doesn't hurt. His claim that I "can't give away" my
novels shows his ignorance of the new face of publishing. Making ebooks
free on occasion is a widely used marketing method.
You Should Give Away Free Copies of Your Ebook
Anatomy of a Successful Ebook Giveaway
Reasons to Consider Giving Away a Free Ebook
Pros and cons are frequently discussed on the popular Kindle
Boards "Writers Cafe" forum.
This is the first time I've tried this method, though at various times,
my sister has temporarily made one or more of her novels free downloads,
which created an increase in sales when the free period was over.
In fact, giving ebooks away is such a successful marketing strategy,
Amazon.com created something called "KDP Select". KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing)
Select allows authors to promote their ebooks by -- wait for it --
giving away free copies if they give Amazon exclusive sales rights. If
enough people download an ebook for free, Amazon will promote the book
when the free period ends because of its popularity. Amazon, of course,
does not make money on a free book, so if this did not make money for them
(and thus for the author), they would not do it.
Temporarily offering ebooks for free is simply part of the evolving
face of book marketing as a result of the digital revolution.
Certainly I would have sold more units of my titles by now if I had
a huge budget for marketing and promotion expenses, but I don't. I don't
even have a small budget for it. I lost my job (and both my parents) in
2009, the year I published Southern
Man. Not long after that, my husband was laid off. Our unemployment
benefits were much smaller than our salaries had been, and living expenses
took all of that income, leaving none for book promotion.
My husband obtained work eventually, but my city's unemployment rate
(9.8%) is higher than both the state (8.9%) and the nation (7.9%) average
and I have been unable to find even part time work. A small pension
and retirement payment I receive, along with my husband's salary, meet
our living expenses and additional expenses due to health issues I've experienced
in recent years. But there is nothing extra for book promotion (or anything
else), so I must use less effective but more affordable (i.e., free) promotional
I bring this up this not to whine (I've never mentioned it online before,
except for indirect references to my health issues) but to explain that
my book sales are small not because my novels are trashy, racist,
poorly written or badly packaged -- they're not. None of them has ever
received a bad review (at least, not from people who've actually read them).
I've just had no funds for promoting them and thus readers simply don't
know about them.
You know what P.T. Barnum said. Without promotion, something terrible
That Brooks D. Simpson used my Mothers Day Free Book promotion -- which
has absolutely nothing to do with the Richmond incident -- to take a cheap
shot at me says a lot about his need to humiliate and injure others. (It
isn't always successful, depending on who he's targeting. Some people might
be able to humiliate me. But not him.). It's not surprising because he
has certainly demonstrated his love for belittling and vilifying people
he doesn't like numerous times on his blog. He claims it's because people
get "history" wrong -- or substitute heritage for history. But what is
the rationale for exhibiting such contempt for people over that?
No, it has nothing to do with history. Just try to find any history
in the invective from him and the odious comments from his followers that
make up the recent attack on Susan Frise Hathaway.
It's not about history for them; it really is about hate, as I have
I Right or Am I Right
I cannot help but wonder how somebody who exhibits this kind of behavior
could land such a responsible position at a major state university.