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My New Dilemma As An Indie Author!

I was not only a proud but also a true believer in self-publishing and have been championing the Indie authors since my 1st day as an author. I have become an Indie author by choice, did learn the trade somehow, and despite all the odds, I did actually pretty well on my own.

Needless to say, the sailing wasn’t as smooth as I would have liked at the beginning and I had to go through pretty rough stages during my early years as an author. Just to name a few, I was berated by a fellow author with a one-star rating without even touching my book, another one humiliated me by saying my only motive of offering a review was to pirate his book after obtaining a free copy, and the third one insulted my intelligence by calling me a student who was pretending to be a professor in the international literary world. In addition, snubbing by so-called elitists was a norm, resentment was nothing new, and many fellow authors have written me off on many occasions.

However, I didn’t pay much attention to them at all, did my utmost best on what was in my hands, and persevered. And I have come a very long way since then and I should be really proud of myself as an Indie author.

That was, of course, before that unfortunate event of last two weeks and everything has changed in a great deal since then.

What happened was this – I was accused of using paid ads in order to push up my sales rank by a gadfly through his regular blog post, haters and zealots zeroed in with vengeance and my Amazon page was littered with nasty reviews and comments. Before long, my book was killed off and I was declared guilty without a trial.

The subsequent events were pretty nasty and ornery, I was declared a scammer, and hanged and left out to dry on my own. The remarks were pretty mean and scathing, many so-called friends have distanced themselves from me, and some fellow authors have unfriended and blocked me on Twitter.

Unsurprisingly, just a few of my fellow authors did openly support and defended me, and I will always remain grateful to them in life.

I intentionally didn’t comment on the accusation for some reasons. First of all, I don’t comment on negative views for two reasons: one, it will only make the situation worse as fuel to the fire, and two, I have a self-disciplined policy of using social media – if I have nothing nice to say, I rather say nothing at all. Secondly, I genuinely thought that people have already made up their mind, nobody was in the mood for listening and my explanation would have no use at all. Thirdly, I thought that it would just go away in a few days’ time, people would forget about it, and we could just move on.

But it took a turn for worse, my whole Amazon account was put under review and I had to write a statement why and how am I going to avoid that in the future before my account was reopened again. It was undoubtedly one of the horrible and gravest periods of my career as an author, it has dented a scar on my soul and it will probably remain there for the rest of my life.

I don’t see any points of explanation, the damages have already been done and I have no intention whatsoever of seeking out for a redemption for myself as well. But I still want to say some words to you all and here is the reason why.

Yes, I have bought many ads, who doesn’t? If you are a new and Indie author, we all know that without ads we are going nowhere, and each and every author buys ads for exposure. We also know the fact that most of the paid ads don’t work for many reasons and we must keep on trying. I was no different.

After many ads have failed, I took a master class from a popular author and learned many new things from him. I spent the next six months reworking on my books, not to mention the thousands of dollars I spent on them, and when I had a new book launch, I did almost everything that I could possibly do and made the bestselling list in one category for the very first time in my writing career. In order to keep up the buzz, I had bought almost 20 more ads (Big or small) for the next few weeks and had no tap on when they were running.

All I wanted was to make the top 100 list and when it went to the top of the pile, I was totally shocked, and as the saying goes, the rest is the history.

The 1st mistake I made was buying the ads without knowing how exactly they work and my 2nd mistake was to share my success on the social media. All the ads that I bought were the most common ones and used and recommended by fellow authors. What’s more, it’s almost impossible for us, authors, to know precisely how they work and the service providers won’t tell even if we had inquired beforehand. On the second one, if I were not to share it with my fellow authors, why would I work for so hard at the first place? Making the bestseller list is a dream of every author and what’s the point of achieving it if we cannot share it with the world?

I just have two grievances with this sorry episode, first to the fellow authors who have started it, and second to those fellow authors who have reacted upon this call. You might be doing the right thing, at least from your own point of view, but you should have at least wrote to me a short email before shooting it from the hip like a cowboy, and I would have done my utmost best to clear your doubts if there were any. You could have still proceeded with your plan if my explanation was not good enough. Besides, who gave you the right of declaring yourself the judge and do you know how dangerous it can be when one exercises power without responsibility? To those who have called names and left a nasty, one-word review on my Amazon page, I have nothing nice to say. It was one of the lowly, childish and irresponsible acts only losers like you can do and you called yourself a writer and acted like a high school teenager? Well, I am utterly gutted and ashamed of myself for being in the same group as you. I have always thought writers as a group of intelligent, compassionate and honorable, the lowly act from you have utterly shocked me, and it was nothing less than a disgrace for us all.

For God’s sake, I was a proud indie author, I was supposed to be on your side and did tearing apart the flesh and blood of your own type make any sense to you? I still want to ask you all is this – Did I murder anyone from your family? Did I steal anything from your home? Or did I do anything wrong to you personally?

One person left a 1* review because I didn’t mention about African atrocity and my answer to this person is I am not writing a history here my friend. Another author labeled my book as a children book, well, if you think the Israeli-Palestinian issue like a child-play, then, I have nothing more to say. More importantly, if you read a book with a pre-determined set of mind, of course, you will find problems with that book. If you ask me to read a book by any famous authors out there and find my dislikes, I can easily do that to any given books out there and so can you.

I do admit that my books are not for everyone out there, if you don’t have the slightest interest on global and social issues, you won’t like my books and I will be the first one to tell you that. My books make you think and I know many of you out there don’t want to do that. My earlier books were also criticized for being too long and difficult reading and that was the reason why my new books are written in the simplest way possible so they can be read by all. And they are way shorter than my previous books too.

By doing so, you have not only ruined my bestselling book but also destroyed the future of a dozen of poor children back in Nepal and gave a bad name to my project for which I have been devoting my life. I am a self-made man, took writing only after I turned fifty and I have been writing only for my charity. The charity helps provide financial support to the poor children back in Nepal and we have been supporting 27 children since 2015. And I have a dream of expanding the project throughout the nation, so, one day every one can go to school.

No wonder people look down at us as indie authors, it’s this sort of disgraceful act that justifies the treatment, and we have no others but ourselves to blame for our downfall. If indie authors keep on fighting each other, you will never get the respect from outside world and the sooner you understand it the better for indie authors.

The unfortunate incident has certainly caused great pain and indignity to me but I am not among the one who will run away from challenges and I will continue my journey until my goal is achieved.

Please just keep in mind that I will never stop writing, I don’t have to pull other writers’ leg to move forward, and you weren’t and you will never be my competitor.

Yet, one thing is pretty certain. My trust, respect, and support for the indie authors have changed once and for all and it will never be the same again. Thanks to you, I have become a rather skeptic person now on almost everything including this indie thing, restraining myself from social media, and I have already stopped all the promotions.

I even hate the word ‘Bestseller’ now and it will probably be a very long time before I can make myself ready to embrace it again. Until then, I wish you all the best and God bless you all.

I just wish that you had spent time on improving your own writing, that way you could have at least improved as a writer, and never had to belittle fellow writers to make yourself feel better.

Please read and share it with your friends and fellow authors so it won’t repeat again. It’s such a sorry and pathetic event that no soul deserves to go through that pain again.

Writers without a heart and compassion will never understand it. They don’t have to, because, without it, they can never become a good writer anyway.

Last but not least, I am not going to pull my book off the market. I want to keep it live on Amazon as a reminder to myself, so, I will never be able to forget about the unfortunate event for the rest of my life.

And ha, I am definitely going to look for a new agent as well.

TIM I GURUNG/AUTHOR AT ISSLCARE – http://www.timigurung.com

I am a writer of conscience and righteousness. I write for good of people, society and humanity. Most importantly, I write for my own self.

18 thoughts on “My New Dilemma As An Indie Author!

  1. Melisa

    I’m glad you’re staying strong Tim and keeping your book on Amazon. They’re the minority the rest of the world is the majority and loves your writing.

  2. Melisa

    Good luck finding an agent Tim. I wish you all the best. Stay strong. The rest of the world is the majority and they like what you write.

  3. Steve Bremner

    I’m so sorry you went through this. I just saw this in a writer’s group on Facebook we’re both a part of, and clicked in case it was something I was familiar with, as there are many blog posts and articles about scamming KDP Select going around.

    I truly deeply regret that you went through this and hope it can serve as a cautionary tale to the mobs of people who need to rush and give one star reviews to books without looking further into it.

    Blessings

  4. Han Gibson

    So sorry for your experience, Tim. Jealousy is terrible, especially with a mob mentality in some people. I have seen many an author/artist friend’s courage crushed by the system, peers, labeling, name calling and blatant theft.
    This is one of the reasons my books are only available directly from me.
    Word of mouth is still the best method to sell and concentrating on your charity project, finding alternative ways/platforms/venues to sell from might assist this even better.

  5. LYNETTE REES

    Tim, I am so glad you haven’t removed your book from Amazon. What happened at that Facebook group was despicable in my book [pardon the pun!] I have since left it as I realised a lot of what went on there was fuelled by petty jealousy. I had some nasty comments myself from a few. You have done well to rise above it all. Congratulations on your well deserved success and please, keep on writing and publishing!! 🙂

  6. C. D. Samuda - Author

    Hi Tim. We are not really friends, but I have seen you in a few groups that I am a member of. I remember the God book cover when you asked for suggestions. I also remember when you shared your good news about hitting best seller.

    It’s unfortunate that fellow authors can be so cruel. I remember someone using my work to build their own then turning around and accusing me of plagiarism. Some people were born to be cruel. Some people hate to see others succeed. We just have t hold the faith. You will get over it. Those friends you lost were filtered for a reason. They don’t belong with you.

    Keep strong.

  7. Tim Gurung

    Thank you so much to you all, very kind of you and really grateful. It seems like we cannot avoid evil in public, they just wait for the chances, and never fail to show their ugly faces whenever there is opportunity. I just wish people were nicer but sadly the reality is the opposite. On the bright side, I have already moved on, seen much worse than this one in life, and I am more determined now than I was before. Thank you so much again, god bless you all and yes, please keep on writing. Don’t let the doubters feast on your failure.

  8. Jan

    Keep up your fabulous work and stay strong, jealousy is such an ugly thing and you have risen above it. Much respect to you Tim x

  9. Giggling Star

    Dear Tim
    I was so very sorry to hear this terrible news today. I cannot begin to imagine how this has affected you but you must be absolutely devastated. There are so many really cruel people in our World today that it really causes me to be fearful. These people are uneducated, jealous, and evil individuals.

    The work you do is amazing. Having been disabled myself and funding supplied by a Trust/Charity for my Daughter to be educated at a Boarding School not only saved my life but saved her life too. I shall be forever grateful to the various Trust/Charities who paid all the fees which were enormously high in the UK. She did win Scholarships for most of the schools but these covered only a proportion of the fees and without the assistance received my Daughter would have had to be taken into care. I know the circumstances are very different in Nepal and these children you help are children who would never benefit from any type of education if it wasn’t for all the brilliant hard work you do.

    I have reported all the posts as they are clearly abusive, evil people who have ganged up against you to bully you. This seems to be the trend on Facebook too! It’s a very sad world.

    I wish you all the best and hope that we can get these abusive comments removed.
    Kind Regards
    from your good friend
    Giggling Star

  10. Tim Gurung

    Some people left nasty comments here as well, I felt like, dude, you come to my house, sit on table, eat my food, and have the audacity of criticizing me and yet, expect me to stay mum – No way! I will kick you ungrateful asses out of my house and will never let you in again. There I said it, I don’t give a monkey about your thought and you can take a hike for good!

  11. Tim Gurung

    Giggling Star, thank you so much, you are a real friend and I owed you one. Take care my friend, be happy and god bless you. You will always be in my mind and prayers, and always remain grateful. I wish you for all the best luck of this world!

  12. Regina Puckett

    I’m sorry to hear that you had to go through this, Tim. I had no idea people could be so cruel but I have discovered that other authors can be very vindictive when they should have be supportive. After all, we are all going through the same struggles, so you would think they would understand just how hard it is to reach the number one spot. As an indie authors we try a little of this and a little of that, hoping to find the magic portion. It’s a minefield out there. I think someone should have warned us upfront that we needed to watch where we step (like on other author’s toes).

    Regina

  13. Diana Becker Mullins

    So sorry to hear of the atrocious statements made about you and your books. Definitely rise above these infantile wannabes. Best wishes on your hopes and dreams of sharing your researched writing.

  14. J. Hale Turner

    Heartbreaking… but on the other hand, trials can make us strong and ever more determined to fulfill our passions and dreams. Writing is a freedom of expression, however controversial, inspirational, enlightening , etc. Brutal criticism (vs. constructive critique) depicts blatant ignorance and cruelty. Indies or non…write, write, write. There are open hearts and minds waiting.

  15. Jodie Zammit

    Dear Me,
    I’m sorry you went through this Tim. It’s disgraceful. Stay true to yourself; no one else is going to LET you be who and where you want to be, you have to make that happen yourself. So ignore the detractors and keep going. One of my favourite sayings; when you’re going through hell, keep going. xx

  16. Cate Baum

    Hi Tim, you were completely in the right to promote your book however you want. It was not against any kind of guidelines, and I am baffled where this nonsense about a “clickfarm” came from, considering that would never factor into the Amazon algorithm, nor would it help you get sales. I know who started this, and we regularly warn people off his so-called outdated and amateur author advice. He is a cyberbully, nothing more, and I think he should be ashamed, and make a donation to your orphanage for the damage he has caused. You have the full support of our community and team at Self-Publishing Review.

  17. B. Groves

    Hi, Tim,

    I know I’m late to the party, but I wanted to tell you how sorry I am this situation happened to you. I was reading the person who “exposed” you and that person’s advice is nothing to write home about. Unfortunately, he has a cult following and the mob mentality took effect when this happened. A friend of mine and I were arguing about this very topic at the time, and I couldn’t convince her that this person is nothing more than a cyberbully. What happens if one of my books ever breaks the Top 100 or the Top 10? Will this person come after me? It actually scares me, but like you, I won’t back down. I wish you nothing but success in the future.

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