Buckle up, cause I’m going in.
For all that is holy, PLEASE STOP SPAMMING MY BLOG AND FACEBOOK PAGE WITH YOUR BOOK PROMO. I apologize for the all caps here, but sweet baby santa, some people seem to believe this is effective promotion. It is not. It makes me hate you. And when I respond to your email (respond, meaning after they spammed my blog they wrote me to spam me via email too) by telling you it’s considered rude to spam other people’s blogs, do not reply with a faux apology that I read your blatant spam as blatant spam and not your attempt to support me. Also, do not give me some line about how in “your group of authors” such things are considered support.
1. I do not give one tiny little fuck what your group of authors considers support. Because you’re spamming my page.
2. The irony that you spammed a blog entry about my love of someone else’s book (ACTUAL SUPPORT OF ANOTHER AUTHOR) seems to have missed your notice. Support of another author is NOT “hey check out my book trailer, here’s the link.” Not ever. See how that is all about YOU?
3. Do not apologize if you’re not going to actually apologize. In my group of authors, and pretty much all of rational humanity, an apology is this: “I apologize” Not “I apologize that you feel xyz” No.
If you would like to guest at someone’s blog, try, you know, asking politely. Manners cost you absolutely nothing. And they get you a hell of a lot. It’s really not hard to do that math.
The fact is, there is a huge amount of author support. We fangirl about each others’ books all the time. Not because it’s on our checklist of things to do each day, but because we love reading and when we happen upon books we adore, we want to talk about them.
Word of mouth is hugely important. No doubt about it. But you can’t generate positive word of mouth by disrespecting people. That’s not how it works.
Next – Over the years, there seems to be a growing idea that “collecting” emails from your contact lists and website, etc is a great way to build a newsletter list. I can’t tell you how much I disagree with this. just because you emailed me two years ago, or I commented on a blog entry somewhere does not mean I want to be added to your mailing list. The only thing that means I want to be added to your mailing list is if I GO TO YOUR SITE AND ADD MYSELF. And if you make me jump through a bunch of hoops to unsubscribe, I’m going to hate you by the time I’m done. Also, if your newsletter shows up again? I will out you at twitter. I swear by all that is holy.
More – Look, I get that there’s sometimes a very fine line between being annoying and promotion, but PLEASE don’t RT an entire #FF at twitter just to say thank you. I don’t care what you do in your own tweet stream. I can follow or not so what you do is your own biz. But when you retweet an entire Follow Friday tweet it shows up in MY tweet stream twice. Once when it was originally tweeted and then again when you “thank” the poster. There’s no reason for this and it clutters up my stream with duplicates. Just reply to that person and thank them. I think most of the time this is just inadvertent and not like the stuff above that is done on purpose. But the only way to stop that sort of thing (some people do this EVERY SINGLE FRIDAY) is to block. I hate blocking people unless they’re total asshats.
How you act out there in the big media world is public and permanent. So right now as I type this, I do so knowing some people will read this and think I’m a cranky bitch (and I totally am). When YOU type things on the internet, that’s permanent and public too. So say, when you reply to a negative review with an insult of the reviewer’s intelligence or a not so clever retort about how your mom loved it or how many twitter followers you have, etc, you should do so realizing many will find that distasteful. I don’t give a monkey’s how hard promotion is so stop using that as an excuse. I don’t care how many twitter followers you have (and neither does anyone else). Just…good god, criticism comes with this gig so you have to find a way to deal with it and IMO, “I know you are but what am I” ain’t it.
On a related note, I’m always so disturbed to hear about how many writers reply to rejections from editors and agents with nastygrams. Really? What is this, sixth grade? I’m going to tell you a secret, NO ONE LIKES BEING REJECTED. It sucks. I get it. We all get it because we all get rejected. But the difference between us is that when I question someone’s intelligence for not seeing my brilliance, I bitch to my bestie. I don’t write a blog entry about it and I don’t write the industry professional back and call her a dumbass or a bitch or anything of the sort.
1. This is a small industry. So that editor you went all crazytown over, calling her a bitch? Yeah, she’s going to know other industry professionals. And so imagine what YOUR lunch would be like if someone sent you a nastygram. You’d TOTALLY tell your friends about that crazy person who sent you that note. So put it together. They have lunches, they talk to each other. And like anyone else, crazy stuff makes for a great story. Don’t be that story.
2. YOU ARE NOT A SPECIAL SNOWFLAKE. You aren’t. People get rejected. Sometimes they get rejected by an editor before the editor goes on to buy something else from you. I’ll tell you a story, shall I? I’ve had, gosh, 11 or 12 books out with Berkley, from two lines at this point. But my editor didn’t buy the first thing she read from me via my agent. And my agent? She rejected the first thing I sent her. So you see, what I’m trying to say is that a rejection isn’t the end of your possible future with any given editor or agent. But you can bet your ass a letter wherein you refer to that person as a bitch or stupid? That will be.
3. Publishing is a business. So if you mean to do it, do it right. Interact with people civilly and keep the insults private.
And the last thing is related to the last bullet point just above. I don’t quite know what people are trying to prove when they get on a blog and say things like all authors who publish with traditional publishers are stupid sheep who are being ripped off by all and sundry. It’s driven me from several loops and blogs (including chapter loops). I support your right to make different choices. I support self publishing and many are doing a fantastic job (Courtney Milan, for instance, who is an amazing writer and a smart businessperson too)
1. If you are happy with your own choices, it’s unnecessary to insult anyone else’s. It makes you look petty and insecure.
2. I don’t even know who you are so I can guarantee you don’t know what’s in my contract so stop acting as if you do.
3. I don’t know who you are so I can guarantee I’m not jealous of you. I don’t even care about you until you start saying I’m a victim or something else equally stupid.
4. Insulting other types of publishing is stupid (no matter if it’s traditional pubbed doing it or self pubbed). It proves nothing except your insecurities.
Own your choices. Some of them will be better than others. We all stumble every once in a while. But the assumption that choices that aren’t yours are somehow stupid or ill conceived simply because they’re different than yours is absurd. And offensive.
Publishing is changing so quickly. There are new factors every week. Discussion is absolutely important. But I’m not going to discuss anything with someone who proclaims me stupid when they don’t know a damned thing about my choices. I just write that person off as a jackwagon. I can’t see what the point of such behavior is. Sit down and calm down. Act like an adult or I’m going to assume you’re the 7th grader you’re acting like.
I guess really this entire rant boils down to this sage advice: Don’t Be A Dick. The end.