Bully Romance is a popular genre in romance although I haven’t written one myself, well I don’t think I have?
Why is it popular though if we all are, and rightly too, against bullying?
I’m okay reading all sorts of dubious scenarios because, for me, it’s fiction, escapism and I can distinguish between reality and fantasy.
For example, some of my dominant alphas are not only super hot but unreasonably demanding too, ‘hell yes’ they are I hear you say. Even so and equally from an alternate perspective, they could be considered stalker-ish and damn right arse-holes. And you know what? That’s fine too because it’s fiction.
I’m not going into the well-argued topic of ‘does *insert current media vehicle* lead to violence in society, because I don’t believe it does, we don’t live in a vacuum and as such context and environment equally impact a persons behaviour, just my opinion.
But I digress, this wasn’t supposed to be a lecture, just some ramblings because I got to thinking, when is behaviour considered bullying? When everything is subject to misinterpretation and especially not the internet it seems you can not have a rational discussion without being labelled as anti-this or an -ist.
There have been many mutterings about authors bullying other authors. I’ve seen the screenshots and I don’t doubt it happens. I don’t doubt the devastating effects on the victim and I personally think it’s disgusting. I wouldn’t knowingly support a Bully. But what if I didn’t know, what if I kept my head down, didn’t trawl the internet for gossip and fact check to make sure there was truth in the allegations. What if, blissfully unaware I saw a post from a fellow author I may have met, or just knew in passing for that matter, and I shared their new release post on my page, thinking I was supporting a fellow author and by doing that I was labelled a pro-bully bitch?
The fringe of this and not entirely unrelated is the accusation of some authors not supporting new authors, being perceived as elitist or ‘all-that’ because they might not follow-back, or share a post, or let someone post in their reader group. I honestly don’t think, this is the case with me, but it’s how my brain works. Always worrying what someone else is thinking.
The thing is, it’s hard to get visibility I get that. I’m by no means killing it, but I make a living. If someone reaches out and wants to post in my group, I’d let them. I really don’t have a problem. I won’t lie though, I only recommend books I’ve actually read, just because I owe it to my readers, to be honest. I don’t think that’s being elitist, I also don’t think that’s bullying a new author.
The same goes for newsletters. I sometimes feature sales form other authors, mostly ones I’v read or know but usually because I like to offer a bargain to my readers. I also think it’s a huge leap to assume my readers will love someone else work, which is why I don’t do newsletter swaps as a rule. Why on earth would someone that signed up to Author X’s newsletter want to read about me and my books? I learned this from a recent takeover on a well known authors Instagram. It’s a great experience but essentially, the followers on that page are there to see her posts…simple.
I’m not saying I wouldn’t share and I don’t post about other books, I do, it’s just, if I don’t it’s not for some ulterior mu-ha-ha evil plan to take over the romance world all on my own.
And the assumption that I know everything that’s going on, is a big one. I don’t, I barely know what day it is.
If you see me supporting a bully or a plagerist, let me know. It will be a mistake.