Facts of Life,  Mini Rants,  Writing World


Okie dokie: Rare Extra Post

I don’t know if anyone saw this circulating on Twitter around the end of May. I only found out about it on YouTube over the weekend. I’m not plugged into AuthorTube “Tea” so I had no idea this was going on. If you hadn’t heard about it, I’ll summarize:

There is an author who is only offering ARCs to Patrons who are subscribed to her $50 tier on Patreon for at least 3 months – essentially “charging” $150 for ARCs and guaranteeing any early reviews she gets on any book will be biased as hell.

My personal opinion on this is: I don’t give a f*ck. If someone wants to pay that much for an early copy of her book, that’s on them. People have to be smart enough to know when they’re dealing with a snake oil salesman. Do I think it’s a shady business practice? Absolutely. It is shady. But she can do this if she wants. People don’t have to pay $150 for a damn book if they don’t want to, and this author has been doing this for over a year. The masses are just now finding out. Her head is too big at this point. She’s not going to change.

The point of speaking out isn’t to get her to change. Or attack her. Or even try to talk some sense into her. I know people who tried to talk to her a year and a half ago, but this author has a long history of blocking people who don’t agree with her. She’s not hearing it. She doesn’t want to hear it. And that’s her choice, as sad as it is.

The point of speaking out about it is to tell other people that it’s shady to “charge” for early copies of books. The entire point of an ARC or early copy is get an unbiased review. No, they’re not all going to be good. I’ve used NetGalley twice, and I’m going to use it again, because a range of reviews looks a lot better than a bunch of smoke being blown up someone’s butt.

I don’t mind name dropping, because again, I don’t care. The author everyone got mad at is Kristen Martin. I interviewed her on my blog two years ago. I’ve thought about taking it down last year. It’s still here. I also thanked her in the Acknowledgements of my first book. That is also still there. The only thing I’ve taken down is her channel from my resources page, because while I think it’s on people to know when someone is shady, I don’t want to be responsible for sending anyone to her.

But the thing is: she did help me navigate the indie publishing waters, her and three other people (Michelle Athy, Jodi Perkins, and Emma Adams), and I appreciate EVERYONE, because there was a steep curve to get over, and I appreciate all the help I got.

That said, I’m not following her online anywhere anymore, because I found out that she book she published Fall 2017 wasn’t edited. It’s hard enough to get respect as an indie author. When someone presents herself as being super professional, and then they skimp on editing like that. It’s deplorable, and it was just sad watching her head blow up so big. NO ONE IS ABOVE HAVING A DAMN EDITOR. And I just lost respect for her.

Also last year, she decided to release a writing course and charge $2,000 for information that is literally free everywhere, including on her own damn channel. Plus, she was making promises like, “I can teach you to be a full time author” when she herself was not a full not author. It’s just dishonest, and honestly, greedy.

Like I said, she has a right to be greedy and shady. She can charge two grand for courses. People don’t have to pay for them. MasterClass is $180 a year and freaking NEIL GAIMAN is on there. Along with RL Freaking Stine, and a bunch of other successful people. Natalie Portman is on there! Acting section, of course. ^_^

But Kristen 100% has a right to have a giant head – I myself have a giant head – that said, I’m also allowed to think she has one. I don’t think I have a right to go to her Twitter or wherever and attack her, nor do I want to, but I do have a right to come on my own blog and say what I think, because she doesn’t have to read this, just like I don’t have to read anything she puts out.

In any case, the only thing this drama does is let me know that it was okay for me to unfollow her. I felt bad about it after she helped me, I really did. I just couldn’t anymore. I can respect the role she played in my journey without kissing her ass. I’m not mad at her, and I don’t hate her. I want her to care. I want her to do better. I want her to be a positive source of inspiration for people. I just don’t want to follow her, because she’s not the kind of person I want to follow.

But what do you guys think about someone charging $150 for an early copy of a book? Or $2,000 for a writing course?


  • Jodi

    Hey, my name is on this post! Yay for shout-outs! 😛

    $150 for an ARC is sheer insanity. Honestly I have mixed feelings about the whole Patreon-thing anyway. The concept behind it is great–a way for starving artists to generate income. But like anything else, it’s become flooded by too many people with overblown heads when it comes to their ‘talent’, looking for an excuse to not get a real job.

    Sorry, that was harsh and I’m digressing. Back to the main topic. In your (former) friend’s case, based on what you described above, she’s playing upon the naivete of some non-writers, which is incredibly sad. She’s manipulating potential patrons into thinking that they’re winning some kind of special prize by committing $150, when in reality there are thousands of indie authors out there who would give them an ARC for free.

    And $2000 for a writing course? *smh*

    • Krystal Jane

      Lol! Shout-outs! 😀

      It really is sad, and her response to the whole thing has been unsurprisingly condescending, which is more sad. The whole thing is just icky. You kind of want to shake people sometimes (her and people buying the glitter), but you can’t.

      The level of entitlement online is so bad lately. There are YouTubers who act like they can’t make time to make a video unless they’re getting sponsored. There are GoFundMe pages asking strangers to fund their vacation. Why?? Like, it’s fine, I guess, people don’t have to donate, but why??

  • Tonja Drecker

    I honestly can’t condemn people like her for trying, although my conscious would have clocked in at the very thought of something like that. I don’t see how they live with themselves. I have no clue why anyone would actually pay her that much for any of those things, but she has the right to charge whatever she wants for her ‘services’. The arrogance is amazing, but it will come back and bite her. Usually does.

    • Krystal Jane

      I know it’s hard to stay humble in that position, but she’s in her 30s. At some point we have to realize the world doesn’t revolve around us, or we turn into monsters. I hope she takes some time to reflect.

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