The Dark Side of Social Media and the sad story of Stacey Jay and her Kickstarter Project – my 2Cents

Posted 9 January, 2015 by Danny in Blog, Bookworms, Danny, Discussion / 32 Comments

First of all, I usually NEVER comment on drama or post about it.  I always stayed out of it, at least on the blog. Sure, I talk to friends about what’s going on – but never ever did I wrote a post about this. Yet, this time I feel so strongly that I felt like I needed to put down my thoughts.

Even though I’m sure you all heard, here is a

Short recap about what happened

Stacey Jay – Author of many awesome YA Novels including the just recently released book of awesome “Princess of Thorns” started a Kickstarter to help fund writing the sequel to “Princess of Thorns”.

Stacey Jay Kickstarter

Sadly, sales weren’t as good as expected so her publisher didn’t want to continue working with her, so a sequel was not possible through classic publishing. This is when Stacey decided to start a Kickstarter so that her fans (!!) could decide if they wanted the see a sequel happen and help funding through a Kickstarter. She pledged for $10.500 and listed for what she’d need the money. Among the classics of editing, cover design etc she also listed groceries to keep her family going for the 3 month she’s need to write the sequel.

“The remaining 7 thousand will be enough to cover mortgage, groceries, and gas for my family during the three months it will take me to write the book.” – Source: Kickstarter

You can read the initial project here.

And now, here is the Shitstorm that came next….:

People apparently got upset over her including money for living, things exploded via Twitter and Social Media which finally led to Stacey taking the KS down and writing an Apology. Oh and this ended up with people complaining that she took it down.. uff!

But I have learned from this mistake and so I apologize to the people I’ve let down by opening the Kickstarter, the people I let down by doing the Kickstarter the wrong way, and the people I’ve let down by closing the Kickstarter. I didn’t want to fail any of you, but I have and I’m so sorry.

The only thing I don’t apologize for is believing a writer’s work has value and should be paid for. Pirating is wrong. So is expecting a writer to write for free because it is their “art.” Source: Stacey Jay Blog 

Seriously People! I am so upset about this. I’m upset that she’s upset and felt the need to defend herself.  She didn’t let anyone down in my opinion and she didn’t do it wrong, she just did it her way and included a level of honesty that apparently people got the wrong way!

I’m not going to repeat what’s all been said, you can read a summary here!


What I don’t get it Why, oh Why people got so upset and felt the need to openly judge her idea so loudly!

If you don’t like the idea – Sure, that is perfectly fine, then don’t back it up.

If you think authors shouldn’t ask for advances – then don’t back it up. Even though, advances are of course also paid in traditional publishing, so why not ask your fans for an advance? I mean they would all get the book.

I respect everyone thoughts on this, truly I do – even if you disagree with me! I just had a discussion with a friend about this who also has a little different thoughts about this, but all I’m saying and all I’m complaining is how fast and loud this discussion went out of hands.

My personal Thoughts:

Princess of Thorns (Stacey Jay)I think it was such a great idea! I’m a big fan of Princes of Thorns and I would have LOVED to back her up on this to see a sequel of a beloved book. And yes, I would have happily paid even more than what I’d get – meaning an eBook – and help support her and her family. She is a professional author after all and is not doing this part-time! So, yes please go and write an awesome book that will make me happy! And quite frankly, I would have been loved been part of a group who would have helped her to get this book done!

But of course, that’s just me and my opinion!

Yes, I also think authors need to be paid for their work – also in advance! And if traditional publishing is not believing in you anymore, why not ask your fans? There is nothing wrong with this! It’s not like every author has an income like JK Rowling, most authors struggle with making a living out of their work.

Also I don’t care if that might not be a “classic” Kickstarter Project, who’s the judge of this? Surely only those who decide to back it up .. or decide not to do this.

All she can do is ask and see where it leads her, if there are enough people who like the idea then what’s the harm?


Links to fantastic posts about this topic:

  • Tez Miller compiled some Tweets about all of this where you can also read some of the comments.
  • Marina Bartes : Stacey Jay, Veronica Mars, and The Kickstarter Controversy. (She made a very good point that other projects like the Veronica Mars Movie was also supported via KS – and I’m SURE some of this money went into groceries…)
  • Dawn Metcalf  : Stacey Jay, Kickstarter & Jayne Cobb from Firefly

Freedom of Speech – Sure! But let’s be careful and not hurtful!

Apart from this very special situation – it shines such a bad light on these people who openly and loudly complained in one way or the other. Of course, there is freedom of speech and there is freedom of thoughts, but why do people have to do this is in such a hurtful and horrible open way? We’ve all seen these kind of things happen way too often in these past years. Authors who got openly bombarded whenever they did something “wrong” in their eyes became quite common. Do I think that sometimes these authors could have done it differently? Sure – but still, I’m usually very quite with strong opinions like this.

What we  should never forget is that these are all real people, with real feelings who are just and plain humans. Humans do mistakes. Every Day. That’s just what humanity entails.

I would always be careful with speaking badly about others so loudly on social media. Once written it will stay in the internet and it’s hard to take it back. And… you might never know the whole story. 

It’s easy to judge on social media when you are not looking these people you are talking about directly in the eye. And it’s easy to misread and misinterpret situations online. I would never write something on social media what I would not say to this person directly in the face.


So let’s get all back to why we are here – to talk about books, to love books and to support authors we love and just forget about those we don’t love 🙂 





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32 Responses to “The Dark Side of Social Media and the sad story of Stacey Jay and her Kickstarter Project – my 2Cents”

  1. Yes to all this! I feel terrible for her in a matter of day she was shunned completely (or felt that way) I can’t get behind making another perso feel so bad about a choice they made that they drop out if social media all together. I don’t think it is right that there is a pack mentality when ganging up on people. Sure make your comment discuss it and move on. Don’t keep feeding Twitter with gossip and how outraged you are at someone’s choice that you didn’t agree with. I’m very let down by a lot of bloggers I respected. I also am terrified to even make a peep as I will become fish food. Just because you speak the most and loudest doesn’t make you right. Do unto other as they would unto you. Also karma is one hell of a bitch so what your outting out there you will get back be it negative or positive (another reason I don’t get inked with Twitter drama) the main reaso PN is still my blog is still new and can’t afford the back lash. Sad how so many people are so quick to jump. If you don’t like don’t pledge! Seems pretty cut and dry to me. I would have pledged money as well to help with a sequel. I’m just really tired of even seeing mentions if this on Twitter so I said my spice here and at one other blog and this is where I leave it. If I get unfollowed for my opionion ….DUECES!
    Very well written with EVIdENCE to back up your opinions not just hear say.
    ❤️Britt @ please feed the bookworm
    Twitter -@Kalebsmome
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    Danny 1/9/2015

    “I also am terrified to even make a peep as I will become fish food. Just because you speak the most and loudest doesn’t make you right.”

    Oh I so agree! Just because you are loud doesn#t mean you are right, but these people tempt to stir up such discussions so fast that they end up being even more heated than before.

    I usually never comment, but for some reason I had to do it this time no matter the consequences. And I completely stand with all I said, so if someone doesn’t like it, that’s fine with me!

    Thanks for your comment, you have such a cute Blog:)
    Danny recently posted..The Dark Side of Social Media and the sad story of Stacey Jay and her Kickstarter Project – my 2CentsMy Profile

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    BRITTANY T 1/9/2015

    Thank you so much!

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  2. This made me so sad when I heard about it the other day. While I haven’t really heard the negative side first-hand on twitter, I did read the posts. And it just makes me so sad for the author.

    If there wasn’t enough interest to pay her for her time to write it, then the campaign would have failed and life would have gone on and the author would have had to live with the rejection a second time. It is a risk to start a Kickstarter campaign, just as it is a risk to write a novel and self-publish it and market it without the backing of a publishing house.

    Like you said, people don’t have to back it. They don’t have to think it’s right that she asked for cost-of-living expenses. They are entitled to that opinion. And they don’t have to fund her project. But there are those that want to see the sequel come to life, or understand that a writer has to eat and have a place to live while they’re writing and if they undertake this endeavor vs. getting paid at doing something else, and they should have just as much right to support the author financially through their campaign if they choose to do so.

    I may have rolled my eyes at some of the KS campaigns I have come across since that idea came about. But I didn’t take to social media to mock those who asked for things I thought were a stretch. Not that I think the small amount the author was asking to fund her project was a stretch. Heck I couldn’t live on what she was asking for, in order to become a full-time writer and have money left over to use toward publishing and marketing costs.

    I just don’t understand the need people have to make someone feel bad in this way. To make them feel guilty for trying, taking a risk. Seriously, there was no greed or dangling of a carrot by this author. She just wanted to be able to do something nice for her fans and to have the means to do so.

    Ack, the whole thing makes me so ill. First the cheering of an author who stalks, and now the tear down of an author who wants to write. I’m now really wishing I never got online in the first place. The world was a lot less ugly a place when surrounded by only people who were respectful of people’s choices even when they didn’t agree with them and people who believe in being kind to other human beings, and people who had open minds and were less quick to destroy.

    Thank you for posting about this Danny and sharing your thoughts. So sorry for rambling my own for so long in your comments.
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    Danny 1/9/2015

    Rachel, that is why I also love you so much – you are also never part of any of these social media dramas and you truly respect other people for their opinion, even if its different from yours.

    I feel so bad for many authors – it’s not just this incident, you know that there are many more! And whenever something like this happens I can’t believe people go to such length to open discuss their “mistakes” in such an brutally open way.

    I think part of it has to do with the intent being faceless. you can write whatever you want, but you never have to look the people in the eye while saying it. That for me makes all the difference, it’s easy to write when you are not there seeing the reaction from the other person. Also, people never wait to hear the other side of the story before handing out their judgment. So who knows what the reasons were that lead to behaving a certain way!

    Thank you so much for your comment! *hugs*
    Danny recently posted..The Dark Side of Social Media and the sad story of Stacey Jay and her Kickstarter Project – my 2CentsMy Profile

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  3. Really great post & thanks for the link!

    One thing that made me very sad was the number of “Who says we’re being hurtful? I don’t see Stacey Jay saying anywhere that she felt picked-on/bullied/hurt!” because everyone knows that an author cannot respond to anything online. No, really, AN AUTHOR CANNOT RESPOND TO ANYTHING ONLINE because it never goes well. Stacey is a pro and she knows that her public response must be professional and positive and collected (like the apology she posted) and must respond like a human with feelings in private. Everyone with a public presence and a following knows this–even the readers and bloggers who demand evidence know this–and yet while an author must stay publicly silent, everyone else can be as loud as they wish. Chuck, Lana, Marni, and countless others posted great thoughts on this and I hope this makes it easier for the next female YA author to ask for crowdfunding in the future without being harassed. Thank you for underscoring that authors are *people with feelings* that must go unexpressed, unheard and unknown for professional reasons.

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    Danny 1/9/2015

    Dawn, I really loved your post and thanks for stopping by to comment here today.

    And your making such an important point here! Authors are so fast and easily judged for anything they are saying online, or how they are behaving. People feel like they have the right to judge authors even though they never had the chance to talk about a certain situation before handing out their judgement! And this all leads to authors feeling like they can’t say anything online without getting judged right away.
    Even though I am not an author, I feel so bad how often authors get picked on and how fast these things explode! Again, I think many many people forget that there are actually people ….

    And yes, Stacey reacted very professional and she never said anywhere she was hurt. But.. read between the lines of her post and of course she was hurt, and of course she felt the need to take it down immediately. It’s just her being professional by not saying it out loud and turning the attention to those who hur her in the first place. But that she’s not saying it – doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.

    Thanks again for your great post and great comment!
    Danny recently posted..The Dark Side of Social Media and the sad story of Stacey Jay and her Kickstarter Project – my 2CentsMy Profile

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  4. Well, I live under a rock because I didn’t have a clue that this was happening. However, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask for money for living expenses. It’s like a salary and yes she’d share in the profits of the sale, the reality is that sometimes sales don’t make enough to even be worth a salary!
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    Danny 1/12/2015

    Haha don’t worry Claire, usually I also never notice a drama until it’s nearly over. And as sad as it is, you are so right: Sales sometimes is not enough to be called a salary!
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  5. Maria

    So, is she publishing the sequel? The first book is on my reading list 🙂

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    Danny 1/12/2015

    I don’t think so… But you still should read the first one – it’s FANTASTIC and it ends without a cliffhanger so you won’t necessarily need the sequel…
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    Maria 1/12/2015

    Aw, that’s so sad. But I will definitely read the first one then, when I get to it 🙂

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  6. Fantastic post Danny! I totally agree with you. Even if people weren’t tweeting at Stacey directly saying, “This is stupid! You should never ask for money.” they were certainly tweeting generic things about it without mentioning her. And while they have every right to do that, Stacey probably still saw it and it’s still hurtful.

    I’m just a firm believer that if you don’t like the idea, that’s fine, then don’t back it. Nobody’s making you do anything. But to send out loads of tweets about how stupid, unprofessional, or “scammy” it is can certainly be hurtful even if you don’t @mention the author directly.

    I haven’t even read Princess of Thorns and I still backed the Kickstarter because I wanted to support the author and I thought maybe I would read it eventua.
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    Danny 1/12/2015

    I agree so much with you! Even if you not directly tweet to the author, the nature of social media lets you read anything anyway, so one should never forget this!!

    You NEED to read Princess of Thorns – it’s epic and amazing and I loved it so freaking much, one of the best books for me last year!
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  7. It’s really sad to see it all come down to this. I personally don’t feel like she did anything wrong. She stated her intentions clearly and if people didn’t want to support it, they can just not donate. Simple as that. It’s sad that some people are so quick to judge 🙁 I was just happy she wanted to write a sequel for us, the readers!

    Great post! I think everyone needs to read this!
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    Danny 1/12/2015

    I was super excited when I first heard about the sequel! I absolutely loved Princess of Thorns and I, personally would have loved to back her up! It’s sad that now, this is not going ti happen ;(
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  8. I also felt really bad for the author when I read about all of this. Sometimes people need financial help and nobody should be made feel terrible about asking. Nobody was forced to donate and I personally love KS! I am also one of those people who back the Veronica Mars movie, because I am a fan. And fans have the right to choose if they want a sequel or not. And I think the author had every right to make that KS!
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    Danny 1/12/2015

    Yes yes, I agree! This was for fans who wanted to support an author they love, to see a sequel happen that they wouldn’t have been able to get otherwise. And of course, everyone has the right to do whatever they like just as people have the right to back it up, or not!
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  9. Great post – thanks for letting me know this drama was happening. I have Princess of Thorns in my reading list. We have become such judgmental society, it is a shame we feel it is in our right to call off on people like that – the drama never ends.
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    Danny 1/12/2015

    That is what I hate the most, how fast people in our community are to judge others! If they would actually talk to the people they accuse of something they might see the reasoning behind their motivation and wouldn’t so easily and loud judge them.
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  10. This is so sad. That an author gets let down by its publisher, and number of books sold, is one thing. But to be then criticised badly for trying to raise funds in order to help their fans, to release a follow up book…that’s just awful. I mean, I give her full marks for effort. Some people are just so ungrateful. If she hadn’t tried, no doubt Stacey would have been send comments about how she’d just left fans behind. And because she DID try…they still judged her. I would – had I known about it before today – have donated what I could. I haven’t even read the first book ‘Princes of Thorns’ but I have read some of her other works.
    I don’t get why some people are so quick to throw insults/rude remarks at someone for doing their job. 🙁
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    Danny 1/12/2015

    Oh but you must read Princess of Thorns – especially now that Stacey needs to support from people that love her work!
    And yeah, of course people would have felt let down, if she would have decided to focus on her pen-names and forget about YA altogether. She tried to make her readers happy and this is what she gets for it! ;(
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  11. Your first paragraph is pretty much everything I thought/said/wrote about this topic. I had also never written a post about “drama,” but I also could not stay quiet in this case.

    There are too many people in this community who want to create controversy where none it exists. I initially didn’t have an opinion one way or the other about the merits of a KS for a book, but the more I think about it, the more I think that it is a fantastic idea. Underneath all of the (ridiculous) complaints is this, I think: “This is new. I don’t understand it. So I hate it.” People probably had a similar reaction the first time e-books came into existence. Or audiobooks. Or self-published books. Or fan fiction. Or books from a dual POV. Or a book that was part of a series. Are we so closed-mided that we can’t accept a new way of getting books into an eager reader’s hands? I hope not.
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    Danny 1/12/2015

    You make a valid point, It’s new and it’s a different method to ask the involvement of readers and why not juts give it a try? I’m sure there are some people who wouldn’t back up this idea, but I thought it was such a great idea and I really wanted to help and actually, I also would have been excited to make a book happen I so desperately wanted to read!
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  12. Kristin

    Agree 100% with everything you said. I saw the post about the Kickstarter campaign the day she started it and was actually livid about her publisher dropping her, not about the campaign. The next day, I decided to look up her publisher to see if they said anything about letting her go on their site and came across her blog talking about cancelling the campaign.

    I was completely shocked as I read about what had happened in such a short period of time. Why the hell shouldn’t someone get paid for what they do??!! Do these people complain about publishers paying authors or about those writers who sell the movie rights to their works so they can, gasp!, make money?! They must really hate J.K. Rowling! People seriously need to get down off their high horses and bring it down a few notches.

    I also agree with what a lot of the other commenters have said, particularly about those who are complaining the loudest simply hating something because it’s new and different.

    Stacey’s books, both adult and YA, are terrific and I’ll be extremely upset if she never writes another book again, not only because of the lack of income, but because of the vitriol she’s had to face for the unforgivable sin of trying to publish a sequel on her own.

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  13. I knew that she was doing a kickstarter but I never looked at it. Not that I don’t like her books I just don’t have the money to put into those types of things. I didn’t know that she was having such a hard time wit the kickstarter though. That is a real bummer, she is a great author and I can totally understand using some of the money for groceries, etc to feed her family as that is what she would do with a normal advance and royalties from her book anyway. I really don’t get people!! I haven’t read this particular book but it sounds great so I hope she can make a sequel to it some how.
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  14. Fran

    In all honesty I have to say this: these keyboard warriors that attacked SJ made this community look really rotten and spoiled.

    It was not until I came to this blog post -and a few others-that I was able to calm down.

    I am so grateful for the voices of reason and kindness and humanity in these responses & in this post.

    It seems to me that people have been spoiled by the instant gratification of free books and arcs for way too long.
    They seem to forget that it actually cost money- to not only put the book out on the shelves -but to actually write it too.

    “Thanks for your book but can’t you work full-time at McDonald’s and write the book and care for your family and take care of whatever else you do at the same time and then give it to me for free so I can review it on my blog?”

    Maybe that’s a bit of a silly and over dramatic example but it’s kind of close to what people were saying.

    I fully support the authors I love. and all authors. I realize that the creative process is not easy at all. Nor is it free -nor is it cheap.

    These people have a gift & their gift changes the world & changes people’s lives.
    They deserve not only recognition but compensation too.

    Of course there are always exceptions to the rule -but we’re not talking about those exceptions.
    we are talking about one person in specific right now.
    One person that has always been an integral part of this community, and has never been mean about handing out arcs, and review copies, or guest post for a blog, or whatever.

    And for this community to turn on her like rabid wolves has just hardened my heart and made me incredibly sad.

    Again all of the people who have posted here and in other places have re-enlightened me because I was feeling seriously sour and disgusted by this community as a whole. I had to seriously take a deep breath and step back for a little while. I knew that if I had spoken a day or two ago it would not have been pretty and I would have made a lot of general accusations. I am glad that I did not do that. Because I realized it’s not the entire community it’s a few rotten jerks. thank you.

    I realize this may not be as eloquent as other people’s words but that’s okay it’s the truth and it’s from my heart and that’s all that matters right now.

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  15. Hear, hear! I appreciate this post.

    How some of the blogging community (and let’s be honest, some of the writing community too) reacted to Stacey Jay’s Kickstarter campaign was downright disappointing. I can respect Stacey Jay’s honesty that X amount of money would be dedicated to living expenses, and it didn’t offend me (as a reader/book-buyer/blogger) that some of the money would be used for that. Regardless if I gave her money up front (essentially pre-ordering the book) or purchased the finished product after it was printed by the indie publisher, X amount of money would be dedicated to her living expenses. That doesn’t change.

    The rude comments that came out Twitter were bad enough, but then I read some posts that broke down the cost of book blogger, and that just left a bad taste in my mouth. It just made the community seem entitled when the dependency between bloggers and publishers/authors seems to benefit both parties.
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  16. Chrissa

    I guess I don’t really see anything wrong with what she did, but to be honest, it does kind of put a bad taste in my mouth. I have friends who are self-pubbed and have read up on self-publishing quite a bit, so I totally understand the costs that go into being an indie author. I also totally understand that the money you make on sales isn’t enough to make up for the expenses incurred with self-publishing and often don’t match the worth of the writing. But I’ve never seen anyone do a Kickstarter for their book, and I’ve seen good friends and critique partners struggle with the finances of being an indie author.

    It’s extremely sad that people were so rude to her, though. Whether you agree with it or not, it doesn’t give you the right to treat someone poorly. You don’t have to contribute to the Kickstarter. You can just turn and walk away, so to speak, from the Kickstarter and the author’s books.

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