When I play online, there are several forums I tend to participate in. I have a sadly neglected MySpace page, a Facebook page that is nearly as abandoned at times, Twitter, GoodReads, blogs, and a variety of other networking places. Some I visit on a regular basis, while others get periodic attention. Half the time I delete Facebook or GoodReads recommendations without much thought unless it's from someone I know or from a source I keep an eye out for. I do try to give new authors a chance as well as support long-time favorites. But lately however I've started to get really irritated because I noticed that some of the recommendations are from repeat offenders. As in constant, persistent recommendations.
Now I know that new writers are out there trying to capture an audience for their books. I cannot blame them for that. Not only are they following their dream, but the majority of them most likely depend on this income to support themselves and perhaps a family. I respect that. However few things aggravate me more than people trying to shove something down your throat (not a word outta you, Katiebabs! *g* ) ; be it politics, musical taste, or purchasing a book.
What some people need to realize is that they are not making friends or fans. Instead they run the risk of repelling people, instead of attracting them. Now I know some of my Facebook "friends" are there strictly for the networking, and I accept that. But please, please, PLEASE stop recommending your book to me every 5 minutes! If I ignore your recommendations more than once, it's because chances are, I'm not going to read it. If you keep sending me recommendations, I'm DEFINITELY not going to read it. And I might be tempted to unfriend you. Kinda defeats the purpose and the result is a lot of wasted effort, now isn't it?
This may sound harsh, but in light of some of the things we've been seeing online in recent months, not so much. I've been just as drawn to some of these trainwrecks as the next person, where an author verbally attacks someone from giving negative reviews, and my first and last reaction: back away from the author and stay far, far away from their books. People can say that an author's behavior shouldn't have anything to do with it, but let's face it, it does. I'm more apt to read the book of someone I like and respect than those of someone I don't. And I know I'm not the only one. Sure there are exceptions, but not many. I'm not always able to separate my emotions so easily, so I can't promise that I can objectively read a book by an author who's been an asshat. So if I don't like someone, or don't respect someone, there book will be end up in my hands.
But back to the topic at hand. Overzealous authors. I've also been hearing talk of these new authors dissing fan favorites and trying to draw readers to their books instead, even going as far as to pretend to be a fan of said author. Oh hell no, you totally lost me right there. Masquerading as a "fan" of yourself is not only silly and immature, but chances are, you will be found out. It's pretty difficult to remain anonymous anymore. And the fall-out is so not worth it. I don't see the notoriety being your path to fame and fortune, and certainly not to build a fan base.
So please, if you're a new author out there, take it from a reader who's been around awhile and who tries not to cause drama: think about how you'd like to build your audience. Show, don't tell. Let word of mouth speak for itself. One suggestion might be to ask if someone would mind reading your book instead of saying "here you go, you are going to LOVE this more than any book you've ever read!" Because that last thing? Well, that never happens. Cool people don't have to tell you're they're cool, they just are. That's what makes them cool.
Stepping off the soapbox now.....
do you read books recommended to you
by authors on Facebook & Goodreads?
Why or why not?