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.
May 22nd, 2012 at 3:53 am · Link
May 22nd, 2012 at 4:29 am · Link
OMG!!! I LOVE this!!!
I’m not a writer but I’ve had a few issues because of blog post comments I’ve made where an author I don’t know emailed me that they added me to their mailing list, yahoo group and would like to be my facebook friend and the only way they got my info was from a comment somewhere online. WHAT??? I can just imagine how frustrating it is for authors and bloggers.
As a reader, when I hear or read where an author is trashing a blog review/reviewer of their book or a publisher, etc. I take them off my reading list. Why read someone who acts so immature?
On another note, do you mind if I use a version of this with my middle school students? This is exactly how they act when they don’t get what they want!
Thank you so much for this post!!!
May 22nd, 2012 at 5:58 am · Link
That’s a lot of heartfelt emotion and oh so true! Hope it also helps ❗ ❗ ❗
May 22nd, 2012 at 7:06 am · Link
Very well said and I do not think that it makes you sound grumpy or bitchy.
And your final piece of advice…don’t be a dick…really does apply across the board and people should stop and consider for minute before saying or blogging things (and honestly, I am sure that I have had my fair share of dick moments).
May 22nd, 2012 at 7:34 am · Link
Nodding my head and agreeing with all of it, Lauren. I’m pretty much sick of all you described. My newest pet peeve? The person who re-follows me on Twitter EVERY freaking Monday. I wonder if she believes she’s tricking me into thinking, “Oh, I should follow her!”
No. It’s making me want to block her @ss. Ugh. Had to get that off my chest.
May 22nd, 2012 at 7:51 am · Link
May 22nd, 2012 at 7:54 am · Link
“don’t be a dick”
Best advice ever!
(I’ve seen it used as the bottom line rule for an entire online forum. works great, too)
May 22nd, 2012 at 8:59 am · Link
You know I love when you rant. This one is STELLAR! *applauds*
There’s an undercurrent of desperation in some thats so off-putting, and I have to believe they’re clueless. Maybe your rant will be an eye-opener.
May 22nd, 2012 at 9:19 am · Link
You tell it like it is–that’s a rant I can agree with. All your points are sound and I agree 100%. Thanks for “ranting” about what I’m actually feeling every time somebody does one of these things. 🙂
May 22nd, 2012 at 9:50 am · Link
Well said, Lauren. Thank you for being so wonderfully articulate and RIGHT 🙂
May 22nd, 2012 at 10:10 am · Link
I feel sorta bad that I may have giggled while readign this. But then I remember thats people are really that dumb! Hope they dumbasses that do this to you finally stop!
May 22nd, 2012 at 10:52 am · Link
How sad is it that people need to be reminded to not be asshats?
May 22nd, 2012 at 11:14 am · Link
I heart you, LD <3
May 22nd, 2012 at 12:19 pm · Link
Well said Lauren!! Love the “don’t be a dick” line!!
May 22nd, 2012 at 12:52 pm · Link
Great post 🙂 I hope your advice is taken.
May 22nd, 2012 at 1:36 pm · Link
Yes. Simply, yes.
May 22nd, 2012 at 1:56 pm · Link
A million times yes! I hate when authors troll other blogs to poach email address left by commenters. I had an author do this to me and email me admitting she did it and suggested that I should check her website out. WTF? 😈
May 22nd, 2012 at 4:52 pm · Link
May 22nd, 2012 at 5:56 pm · Link
heehee so tell us how you really feel. 😉
May 22nd, 2012 at 7:30 pm · Link
You tell’em! 😛
May 22nd, 2012 at 7:38 pm · Link
I follow a lot of blogs. I receive a lot of author newsletters. I love it when one author suggests another author’s work. I find it maddening and a bit creppy when I suddenly receive a newsletter or friend request from an author when I did not reqest it. I add these to my blocked sender list or ignore the request. I cant imagine these tactics are successful. Aa far as being a precious snowflake, I am terrified about our youth. Many of them truly believe everyone should be equal whether or not you do the qork to earn it. Many of them feel entitled to great success. And many of them have never heard no before and dont what to do when someone says it. I loved your post tonight.. I think you were spot on.
May 22nd, 2012 at 10:31 pm · Link
Great post! Rant on, LD!
May 23rd, 2012 at 1:36 am · Link
Yay I have to say you’ve made my week (maybe even month…) I love when people other than myself have the courage to address offensive behaviour in an articulate (and polite!) manner. Honestly calling a spade a spade and not a *bleeping* shovel is refreshing. For a first time visitor to your site you managed to make me howl and do a fist pump in the first five minutes. Oh and I love your books.
May 23rd, 2012 at 7:20 am · Link
You put it all out there, Lauren, and I say “BRAVO!” I bet you said what many are thinking. I also learned a thing a two from this post. And with that, I say, Thank You.
May 26th, 2012 at 3:34 pm · Link
BTW I love your rants because you say what I’m thinking only nicer.
June 1st, 2012 at 3:49 pm · Link
Agree!! I’ve seen a TON of over-the-top self promotion lately that just leaves a sour taste in my mouth.
June 1st, 2012 at 4:04 pm · Link
Seriously. Well put. Ranting always makes me feel so much better.
I just hope that the person that offended you so much actually gets to read this. And realizes it’s about them… hmm..
June 3rd, 2012 at 5:28 pm · Link
This is the most polite and logical rant I’ve read in a long time. Well said. 🙂
June 3rd, 2012 at 5:30 pm · Link
Oh, fabulous, fabulous. A thousand times fabulous.
June 5th, 2012 at 1:28 pm · Link
GREAT post Lauren!
I have some of the same issues on my blog that you have on yours…people spamming…etc. We offer free guest spots on the blog for the asking. All they have to do is ask…so why they choose to spam, I’m not sure. 🙂 Fortunately I catch most of the spam before it is posted so it doesn’t usually show up for my readers.
The other thing I had to comment on was the folks who send nastygrams to editors. Really folks – you’re shooting yourselves in the feet when you do this. As editors we have more manuscripts than spots in the publishing schedule. If we’re taking the time to give you feedback on your manuscript we’re hoping you take the advice to heart…do the revisions we suggest and resubmit the manuscript. Sometimes we’re giving you the suggestions as a bit of a test to see how serious you are…how good you are at implementing feedback. It’s true we can’t publish the manuscript as it is…but if we’ve told you what to fix and that we welcome resubmission then we are interested. When you send us flaming emails insulting our intelligence the light goes on over our heads – that bright, neon, flashing one that says “I don’t want to work with that author – EVER!”