Shock and disbelief are the two verbs that resonate related to the “angry mob mentality” that has characterized the recent LendInk debacle. It illustrates how the exponential power on the internet placed into the hands of a crazed set can be turned spiteful. Two bloggers, one an Indie author herself, recently blamed the dismanting of LendInk, a questionable book lending agency, on Indie Authors. Soley, on Indie Authors. Yet, many of the authors who complained about the fact that they were not informed of about their books being lent on this site were in fact published in the traditional fashion.
Myths and mayhem ensued; including libelous comments and infantile name calling. The community of authors, whether self published, Indie published (and there is a difference) or traditionally published should ignore this blatant, angry rant. Unfortunately, when the livlihood of their sales is threatened, as is in the recent blog post by A.B.DADA that is hard to do.
Any author knows the painstaking work they applied to their material. Their book is their baby. Cherished and held in a hopeful regard that a reader will find it interesting. How cruel, for a few bloggers to slam and threaten Indie authors as a whole by posting on their blogs how they intend to post bad reviews on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, put pictures of writers books on their blogs and recommend not to buy them. There have already been such postings.
Here is my attempt to take the high road. All the facts need to be on the table. Authors were crying out to the owner and manager of LendInk and other such sites to come clean about their business practices, inform authors how they were able to obtain the books. Some bloggers quoted the FAQ section of Amazon Kindle (KDP) Select and Amazon Prime. These electronic sections give very little explanation to exactly what is considered a “lend.” Is a “lend” from one KDP user to the next? A one time thing?
It appears for many authors, me included, that was our understanding. If misinformed, we quickly got the facts. When royalties are so scant on ebook formats, sure the hair is raised on any author’s back when hearing about a site possibly lending books without permission. Most were horrified. Despite the valiant efforts of some bloggers to explain the “lend” phenomenon, it is still not clear.
What is clear, is that higher road must be taken. I sincerely apologize if I was misinformed. What I sought was answers. Concrete explanations from the owners of these sites. If I was wrong, I am the first to admit it. Do Indie authors as a group deserve to labeled an angry mob? “Ax wielding, #ssholes?” A resounding “NO!” Just FYI, slander is of the spoken word in a public forum, libel is degradation in a written domain. Blogs that have slammed and childishly called Indie authors by name degrading adjectives are committing libel.
Stop. Just stop. Let’s work together as a cohesive and worthy force. For none other reason than to bring together delight in a reader’s eyes at your written word. Take a deep breath. Pause. Hug a fellow writer. Let’s better understand copyright, and lending policies. There are some good people and great writer’s out there.