This may come as a shock, but there’s a whole-ass human being behind this screen. A human with messy thoughts, ideas, beliefs, ideologies, ethics, and a whole bunch of flaws. This human also has wisely or unwisely decided that story telling is their method of making sense of the world and this life. That means putting waaaaay too much stuff in writing and then lobbing it out into the world. The open question this week is whether we as authors believe we should tone down our individual thoughts and opinions in pursuit of offending fewer potential readers and thus securing more robust book sales.
For my part, Imma talk. I’m going to talk about everything and anything that crosses my mind or that matters to me. Politics. Cats. Religion. Cats. Beliefs. More cats. Thoughts. Feelings. Holy cats, ALL the emo. Will I lose sales over this? Probably. Do I care? Not in the least. Because I AM a whole-ass human being with that long list of stuff packed inside. AND IT ALL ENDS UP IN MY BOOKS, ANYWAY. I’m going to talk about all the things on socials because it’s truth in advertising. If you hate what I say on social media, you are not my audience. If I can’t be a sterling example, I aim to be a terrible, stern warning. I am perfectly okay with waving people off.
Every single one of my books is political. Every single one. Social justice is a major theme throughout every story I tell. If those things chap your hide, I am not your author. Straight up. I do no one any favors by staying silent to hide these facts. So, I leave money on the table. I’m foolishly comfortable with that because I do not want someone to buy one of my books and be subsequently enraged by the viewpoints and content. Those sales would lead to poor reviews. Poor reviews drag an author’s store.
Maybe I’m too enmeshed in the romance community because I’m all in for enthusiastic consent. I want readers who ache to read about all kinds and shapes of humans, aliens, love, adventure, danger, and good triumphing in the end. Mostly. I’d rather have ten people grinning over my socially awkward humor and occasionally macabre posts rushing out to buy my books than have 100 people blindly picking me up. Those 10 people are going to be much, much happier readers and that will leave me a much happier author.