The Impatience of Readers: When a Book Fandom Turns Ugly

Waiting for books to be published, sequels most especially, is a test of patience. The more rabid fans are, the more loved an author will be. It can backfire though when said fans become very impatient, for they could be very harsh and will spout vitriolic words without regard for courtesy or decorum.

I had this realization in the last two weeks or so. It all started when I read through the FB network vine that Sylvia Day is releasing teasers for Crossfire book 4. I'm a huge fan of BARED TO YOU. Even though I haven't read the next two books, the paperbacks are still in a place of honor in my book stash. Naturally, I was so excited and immediately headed over to her fanpage to check out the teasers.

What got my attention though were the comments of the "ex-fans" who are loudly complaining about the huge time lapse between book 3's publication and the upcoming book. It's not just one, two, or three comments. There is a ton of them, and they're all littering practically every post Sylvia Day makes on her page. As a fan and a book lover in general, reading those messages and seeing fans and ex-fans get into fights makes me really, really sad.

To the impatient ones: Goodness... people, don't be so rude. I get it. Everyone gets it. You love Gideon and Eva so much, you were left hanging on that cliff, you want the next installments like now. I truly get you because I felt the same way as soon as I finished Lover Unleashed by JR Ward. Actually it was after the book before that, Lover Mine. That one was my favorite (John Matthew!!!!) and it immediately opened up lots of possibilities for other characters (Tohrment! No'One!). I was so freaking itching for the next books, I'd daydream about them even while at work! Now many of you probably felt the same--or worse--after ENTWINED WITH YOU, but that doesn't mean you get to trash talk the author and bully her or her publisher into speeding things up.

Some are actually pretty funny. 
Then there are those who already lost interest. :( 
(not mad at others like this reader, just sad at this whole thing.)

Guilt tripping. 
In fairness, us readers do spend money.. but you can always choose NOT to spend money.

All the negativity has me thinking: what are the impatient and vitriolic ones going to do when book 4 is out? Will they suddenly become good and loyal fans again, gushing about how awesome the book is and tagging the author so that she can read their, "this is the best book ever!" messages...? Clamoring for the much-coveted Like and *gasp!* reply from the author herself....?

Or maybe not. Yeah, I can sense the hackles raising =P "Of course not! I'm no longer a fan! I feel so used and milked out of my money. I was made to wait soooo long when in fact other authors can work twice as fast as her. I won't bother anymore with Gideon or Eva!"

Sorry if the previous paragraph offends. But honestly....

Readers can choose to read a book or not. They can choose to spend money for a paperback or not. There are so many other great books available for them to read. If you think a book surpasses the series you are currently hung up on, that's okay. So what's all the fuss about...?

The author speaks back. If this was the goal of all the negativity, I hope they're now happy.

My understanding is that the impatient readers are making a lot of noise on Sylvia Day's page so that she and her publisher will be aware of the fact that it's taking too damn long for Crossfire 4. Don't know if there was some kind of campaign and massive private messaging because they really were successful. Yep impatient and rude ones, the NA world knows: You want Crossfire 4 freakin' NOW!

Or maybe some of you just want to let the whole world know you're done with the series. But again, you have a choice. Read it or don't read it. No one's forcing you to do anything you don't want to do. If you choose not to buy the books, then okay. Be happy, you'll get to save money. I don't think many people will really care that you didn't finish reading the series anyway...

I have two things about this issue...

(1). Non-writers just don't get this: sometimes you just can't force something out. I was a technical writer for three years. I may not be writing creatively, but I believe it's the same for creative writers. There are times when you just can't find the words and you can't tell exactly what's missing, but you just know that a sentence doesn't feel right, a paragraph is not finished, and a story is not over yet. There are times when you just have to let the words come to you. Sometimes it will take time, sometimes it arrives in a snap. If you force it out, the text you come up with will feel so foreign, you don't want to have anything to do with it once you're done. It doesn't feel like you wrote it. No author will want to publish something like that, I'm sure.

(2). Authors may love writing, but they are still regular people who get tired. As much as writing gives them satisfaction, sometimes it can also cause burnout. I daresay that for authors, emotional stress (especially when directed towards their writing) is one cause of major burnouts. In short, a discouraged author might write even slower.

An angry author on the other hand can react in two ways, in my opinion: lash out and channel the anger towards writing, or channel the anger towards punishing the unforgiving audience. After all, why would anyone subject herself to more insults, ridicule and judgment? If the cause of all that is writing a series of books so well that fans crave badly for it, then the author has every right to cut off the source of her stress. Not that I think Sylvia Day will do it because she obviously loves this series and her loyal fans, but I'm just putting that probability on the table.

Just please, be patient people! If you can't, then at least be civil and remember the lessons on good manners and respect your mothers taught you. It's funny how some think that throwing insults and all sorts of negativity to a person will make him/her do their bidding. That's so high school!

Some people need to stop whining.

I hope publishers will be more considerate of the fans. Hope they will lower the prices of the books... **cheek** ok wait, sorry, that's not the issue here... =P

I hope next time authors and publishers will make it clear if a book is the final one in a series or not.

Then it'll go back in full circle: I hope whiners will just stop whining and chill. Surely they have a life outside their books.

Peace out!



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