I wanted to reblog Amelia’s post about this, found HERE, but WordPress made that look a jumble mess, so I’m going to post about it with a link instead. So, please read Amelia’s post before reading mine.
As an incredibly new author and one who didn’t necessarily know if she was going to even attempt to attend GRL (and still isn’t sure), I saw one comment that made a lot of sense to me. An author named Daniel (sorry, I’ve forgotten the last name!) suggested that if they’d wanted to give those 30 authors the readers requested a heads-up, they could have sent them all personal messages saying, “We’ve been alerted that readers very much want you at this con. This is the day and time registration opens, it’s first come, first serve, but we and your readers would really love to see you there!” I thought that was a decent comment on a possible solution to this situation.
From the outside looking in, the main problem seemed to be the communication of the changes. The newsletter was so poorly worded that it’s kind of amazing. The clarification was worded much, much better and it probably would have gone over better as an initial communication about the topic. It is kind of a shame that they didn’t release that the wording of the first was so…problematic. (Although, the bit in the clarification post about how important it is to keep the stress levels of the better known authors–who have most likely attended plenty of cons–at a low level is kind of hilariously off-putting, too. I mean, newbie authors are super busy people as well, probably holding down a day job still, running a family, and trying to write/market; not to mention they are also probably a whole lot more stressed about attending a con situation for the first time–much more stressed than a well-known author who has been to many.)
I think they knew quite well that a kerfuffle was going to come of it, otherwise their original newsletter probably wouldn’t have needed a multi-paragraph reminder that they are all volunteers and do this for the love of it and please, for the love of God, don’t crucify us.
I, for one, am not upset or angry. I feel like I’m watching it from a bird’s eye view because I didn’t have a dog in the fight, so to speak. From the outside looking in, they just really bungled the communication side of things, imho. This could have been avoided by seriously thinking through how to present this whole thing. I wonder if the person who penned the “must-have author” line spent the day in bed with covers over their heads yesterday, because I’m quite sure the hurt feelings that came out of that were something he/she never intended.
Anyway, it’s an interesting mess. I’m curious how it will play out. I haven’t decided if I will attempt to attend or not. It’s in driving distance for me which makes it appealing, but as a newbie author who is already a socially anxious person, this kerfuffle has made it look like a pretty scary thing to attempt. Maybe since I’m so stressed about it they could give me a pre-registration time and hold my hand through all the steps of the process? Just kidding.
After their clarification, which can be found here, I have to admit that while some logical part of me understands what they are attempting, I’m still not sure I agree with what they’ve chosen to do. Regardless, being a Libra with social anxiety issues, I very much want to give them the benefit of the doubt and be fair to them, but, like Amelia, my triggers were pushed hard here. Like her, there were tears. Not because I won’t be a special invited person, I already knew that, but because I was able to imagine the grueling, exhausting, emotional let-down of it all so clearly. Like her, I’m anxious about attending now. I had been moderately excited and now I just feel dread–and certainty that if I even try to register I won’t ‘make it’ because there are only 30 spots I qualify for anyway.
It’s pretty disappointing. I’m…at an emotional loss with it all. Though, as I said, I’m still waiting to see how it all shakes out.