Monday, January 16, 2012
DON’T MENTION YOUR NOVEL, BECAUSE SOMEONE MIGHT GET OFFENDED
by Dr Annabelle R Charbit
What happens when the anti spam police go too far? In a fashion not unlike the effect of the PC police, we end up unable to say anything without offending someone. This article highlights the frustrations of authors struggling to be heard on the internet, yet having to do so under impossibly restrictive conditions.
Ok we get it, spam is bad. No one wants their newsfeed clogged with thousands of irrelevant adverts, or even relevant advertising, but a thousand times a day. We get it!
But I also think many people are taking their loathing of spam too far....
Let's say you're a writer with a new book about to come out. You may join writer's forums. And let’s say your book has a heavy rock-climbing theme, so you'll probably also join rock-climbing forums. And in all these forums you'll talk to hundreds of like-minded people who'll be happy to learn all about you… all that is except for the fact that you've written a book!
The moment you so much as hint at your achievement, bam the petty police (we all know who they are, every forum has at least one) send you hostile and bitter emails that this forum is not the place for self promotion.
Well if you're a writer in a writer's forum, then, one should be surprised if you DIDN'T have a book up your sleeve.
As mentioned before (this needs to be repeated, lest some self-righteous petty Betty, who didn’t read the first paragraph, says something asinine about spam) there is a difference between alerting relevant parties of your new product and bashing them over the head with it in the form of spam. A huge difference!
My editor put out a press release in which she explained that thanks to her fabulous editing, my book has found a publisher. Well, of course, I shared it to all my social media. It appeared on my Facebook wall (once) in relevant Facebook groups (once), on Twitter, Stumbleupon and LinkedIn (all once), among others. For the most part people were receptive and offered congratulations. But then there was the bitter mafia, who accused me of everything, from spamming to even faking the press release. One group member said that my publisher wasn't sufficiently well-known for me to claim that I had found a publisher, whilst another said that the press release contained “too much extraneous capitalization,” which made her suspicious.
The best was the sour puss who wrote "is this self promotion or are you advertising the services of your editor? If it’s the latter then fine, but if it's the former then it has NO place in this forum!" Then what exactly is this ‘writer's forum’ for, you sad, miserable witch?!
By the end of a day that had started upbeat and full of hope, due to the arrival of the press release, I was totally deflated and broken by so much hostility and plain nastiness. I must add that my book exists purely for entertainment purposes. I am not trying to sell anyone on a concept or a product, so I don't see the harm in letting people know that it's out there.
So what promotes this apparent aversion to other people's attempts to make something of themselves? Is it envy, the desire to see someone fail, or the fear that someone might succeed? And if that is the case, then don't worry petty police, by the time your done muzzling and breaking the spirits of people you've never even met before, many I'm sure will have given up hope and abandoned the project.
As for me, I'm still fighting the good fight, trying to navigate the increasingly strict rules of social media and the oversensitivity of petty people.
Because I may or may not have a novel coming out. I'd love to tell you more about it, but can't in case it offends someone. So I'll just say this, the title begins with A. Also I have a website, but you can't have the link because giving someone a link is a major spam crime.
So if you want me, you can find me on Facebook and LinkedIn, talking about everything and anything, and always diligently avoiding mentioning that I may or may not soon be a published author.
Oh, and if another person tells me to join google+, I'll throttle them - I get abused on enough social sites as it is.
P.S., in case anyone is wondering, the most vicious petty Betties live on LinkedIn, so beware.…♥