Psst! Hey, you. Yeah, you.
Are you a writer?
Do you spend countless hours and days and weeks and months on your story/novel/whatever? Have you gone over the thing so many times you practically have it memorized? Have you had your closest writing friends read it over so they can tear it apart? When the book is ready to go, have you worked hard on your query, getting every word right? Have you sent that query to over a hundred agents? If an agent signs you, do you work nonstop to get the MS in the very best shape it can be so that agent can send it off to publishers? If a publisher wants to buy the book, do you do a happy dance? Do you spend the next year or two closely working with the editor and copy editor and marketing department so that when your book is finally released, it's going to be a big hit? Does the big day finally arrive and then nobody buys your book?
Well, guess what -- nobody has to buy your book.
Why? I don't know. Maybe readers never got the memo. But all that hard work you put into your book? Yeah, in the end, it doesn't really mean much to readers. They don't owe you anything. I hate to break it to you, but you aren't entitled to be read. You are especially not entitled to sell a bunch of copies.
On the flip side, those readers who don't owe you anything? You better believe they're owed a damn good story. You better believe they're owed getting their money's work from your book.
In fact, speaking of your book, that's what's owed the most: the story itself. I mean, why are you writing that story in the first place? For yourself, sure, okay, but also for the story. You have to do right by the story, and maybe, just maybe, the story will do right by you. And then all that other stuff? It might fall into place. Then again, maybe it won't. Again, you as the writer are not owed anything by anyone.
Cheerful thought, isn't it?
The reason I mention this is because it seems more and more writers feel like they're owed stuff. The biggest offenders I've seen recently are a certain select self-published camp. They feel because they self-publish, places like Amazon and Barnes & Noble should be bending over backwards to sell their books. And so if their books aren't sell, well, IT'S NOT FAIR!
Guess what -- nobody ever said it would be.
And say if you do sell a copy of your book, what then? Well, regardless if it's traditionally published or self-published, you should thank your lucky stars. There are hundreds of thousands of books out there. The fact someone other than your family or friends decides to spend their hard-earned money on something you wrote, well, that's pretty amazing if you think about it. Then, say, a reader emails you telling you how much they enjoyed the book. Even better.
But wait -- the reader doesn't leave a review on Amazon! *gasp!*
Guess what -- you're not entitled to a review. You actually aren't even entitled to that reader emailing you in the first place, so be thankful for what you get.
In the end, in case you haven't picked up on it yet, you as a writer aren't owed anything. If you're a reader, well, my friends, you are owed very much indeed. You are owed a great book, plain and simple, and any writer who can't deliver that is a writer you probably shouldn't waste your time with in the first place.