Just A Writerly Word?

This may sound harsh, but well, here goes: Authors, it is not cute or effective when you recommend your books to me at goodreads. It isn’t. It’s also really not cute or effective when you rate your own books five stars.

Promotion is a lot of work and it takes a fine hand. You pelting hundreds of people at once with your own recommendation of your book is not subtle, nor is it effective. It’s annoying and it makes me remove you from my friends list, and not ever want to buy anything you wrote and I’m not alone.

I’m sure you believe your book is the BEST THING EVAR and it might be. But really, come on, let READERS decide that. Goodreads is very public, so in my feed I can see who is reviewing books and when you review your own. I can see when your publisher reviews its own books and that says “desperation” to me. I’m sorry, again with the harsh, but it happens EVERY DAY now so clearly some authors aren’t getting the memo.

Some things aren’t done. Sometimes this is based on stupid, antequated reasons. Other times it’s because of basic behavioral standards that serve the entire community. In this case, vulgar, in your face promotion is out of control and it is not good for anyone.

Can you talk about your books? Sure! Do you have to ram them up random, total stranger’s um, craws, at goodreads to be successful and get the word out? No. In fact, it’s a negative thing when you do it.

While I’m at it, unless I sign up for your newsletter, why on earth would you assume I want it? This happens all the time! It’s not impossible to have a thriving newsletter and send it to people who enjoy such things. I have a newsletter and it only goes to people who SIGN UP FOR IT. There’s even a positive check in place, a double check to be sure people aren’t subscribed without their knowledge. It’s not quantum physics, it’s basic manners. Sadly, authors aren’t the only ones who do this. I’ve unsubscribed to a certain publisher’s mailing list several times and yet, I keep finding emails from them in my inbox. This makes me very grumpy.

I’m not the world’s foremost expert on promotion, but I do know a few things. One is that if you’re ANNOYING and RUDE, people aren’t enamored of you. As an author, you sort of want readers to like you instead of thinking, “GAH! Her with the freaking recommendations again! Has the book not been reviewed by anyone else?”

4 comments to “Just A Writerly Word?”

  1. azteclady
    April 9th, 2009 at 3:49 pm · Link

    Not harsh.

    At all.

  2. Mad
    April 9th, 2009 at 4:07 pm · Link

    Heh, I’ve done some eye-rolling when I get a recommended read only to discover it’s the author recommending her own book. Not gonna make me read it.

  3. Melissa
    April 9th, 2009 at 11:32 pm · Link

    Nope, not harsh, very true. Heard about this over at Goodreads………

  4. Nancy
    April 10th, 2009 at 4:54 pm · Link

    Eek. I wouldn’t have the nerve to review my books myself that way. I too self conscious to even vote for myself for stuff. I’ll always feel like it’s not a real win if I my own vote is counted in there.

    And ditto on the newsletters. It’s one thing for me to go to your site and find out you have a newsletter and sign up for it or to be told that you have one available but to constantly send me requests to join up for it just irks me.