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'Writer's Groups'

I’m posting this partly for fun but also to emphasise why we developed ASPA. I’m sure you have all seen something like this before. Below is a fraction of a real discussion that is still taking place within an author’s FB group. To me it seems completely counterproductive not to say a little creepy in places 🤡.

(I have removed names to protect the guilty!)

And let’s face it, we all make grammatical errors sometimes but for a group of writers, this does not read well.

Thank you to all our ASPA Members for all your kind and considered comments in the forum and blogs. 👏🏼 👏🏼

Take a deep breath first...

'Every time I read the phrase “It is my debut novel” I cringe. It Reminds me of all those newbie tennis players in their tennis whites who can’t hit the ball worth a dam. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the sight of those pretty short-skirted ladies but, I think I would stick to cut-off jeans and a tee shirt until I can carry on a proper volley. In this case when that first novel is published or completed.

Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate completing that first book is in itself def......' (it went on - Rob)


'Why oh why use ‘pretty short-skirted ladies’ to describe budding sportswomen. Sigh. We have not come very far….

Plus your argument in itself smacks of arrogance.'


'if you find ‘pretty short-skirted ladies’ offensive we will never be in agreement.

"A beautiful woman delights the eye; a wise woman, the understanding; a pure one, the soul."


'don’t find the phrase offensive at all. Just its reference to describe athletes 🤷‍♀️'

'I suppose you dont market your book then. You want to sell, you need to market, and marketing is tooting your own horn. If you dont believe in your book, why should anyone else? And a debute book is an amazing achievement, people should brag about it if they want.'

'I’m just gonna sit back and watch the comments roll in…'


'I won't comment on the premise, but I'll point out that you used the phrase "begging the question" incorrectly.

With my 4th horror novel coming out since covid, I am all you said and there is room for self doubt. Balancing the entertainment for readers while running my business isn't arrogant. Its a goal, ten novels, a reboot of my faves. So far a DF, lamia debut, YA zombies on skateboards, a vampire HR and Witches Any day. Depression from loss is often the reason to start something new. It is for me'


'I don't agree with you... Publishing that first book should be celebrated and bragged about.... Because writing that first novel (in my case it was a memoir) is huge! When you see that book in your hands, after possibly years of hard work is pure bliss! And I don't see how when people say "it's my debut novel" makes you cringe... Why does it? Shouldn't people celebrate that moment in their life? Sure getting the money may be tough but if you're in it for the money, I suggest you look into other options especially these days because very few people are buying books... (Granted there are people who still buy them... But, technology took over now and we have to deal with that)

Oh and also, that comment about the skirt was creepy...'


'You lost me at “I enjoy the sight of those pretty short-skirted ladies” 🙄🤢🤮'


'This is a whole lot of spouting off about what you’re going to do in an effort to make it clear that what other people are doing is ridiculous. This feels really judgmental for no reason. You literally said you were going to help us appreciate the Everest before us and remain humble. 🤣 I’ve never heard anything more condescending, especially from someone who admittedly hasn’t published a book yet.'


"Every time I read the phrase “It is my debut novel” I cringe. It Reminds me of all those newbie tennis players in their tennis whites who can’t hit the ball worth a dam"

Wholeheartedly no. Completely wrong analogy.

A debut novel would be akin to a tennis player saying "it's my debut competition" - they are debuting as a professional player, hoping to win a competition and receive prize money (hence being a professional player) in doing so.

A "newbie tennis player [...] who can't hit the ball [...]" is akin to someone learning to write in school or equivalent.

Please don't dissuade people from referring to their debut novel. They are not at the beginning of their journey, but at a transition, far into a journey, where they are seeking to elevate their writing to the next level - sharing a book with the wider world.

Given that you began your post casting aspersions on writing talent, your subsequent paragraph with the statistics implies that the failure of the vast majority of self-published books is due to the talent of the writer. I would contend that not a small percentage of those self-published books are not successful simply because the market is saturated and they don't get noticed to begin with.'



'You do realize, don't you, that a debut novel means the first novel the author has published, not the first novel the author has written? The term, "debut novel," comes from traditional publishing, and the idea was to introduce the reading world to a new, exciting voice. But that newly traditionally-published author could also six unpublished novels in their files, books where they worked hard and learned the craft for the one that finally gets accepted by a traditional publisher.'


'This post really seems extremely unnecessary... seems like a h€ll of a lot of writing but all I'm hearing from you is....'

to be continued.....(not really)😆 



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Rob Jones
Rob Jones
May 04

I truly believe some people join them to cause a sensation and upset others. As you suggest Karen a little of the content (including what is in their books) is questionable. Better to avoid I think 😊


I have become really frustrated with the groups in question. The most ridiculous posts seem to get the biggest responses whilst my carefully constructed posts go largely unnoticed. And much of the content allowed seems irrelevant. As for the excerpts from graphic erotica, my stomach just can't take it. There is too broad a spectrum and it is hard to feel a sense of belonging.

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