Stacy's Place on Earth
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Wednesday, January 13, 2010:
Recommendations? Yes! Pressure? NO!

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.....
Just curious:
do you read books recommended to you
by authors on Facebook & Goodreads?
Why or why not?



  1. I'll have to say it depends. If the book being recommended sounds like something I would like, then I probably would read it. Bonus, if on-line friends I trust have also recommended the book. If the person just keeps on and on about their book and I can't find anything else about it, probably not.

    BTW, I'm with you on the you are going to love this book more than any you have ever read, probably not.

  2. You're much more open-minded than I am Liza LOL. I have just reached my limit with the recommendations. Some of these books are sales books or other genres I wouldn't even be interested in, so that's why I decline the rec. But they still come back to haunt me :)

  3. I just don't seem to have the bother you seem to be having Stacey. I very rarely get book recs on Goodreads and I don't think I have ever had one of Facebook.

    I have to say I am kind of fussy about who I friend on Goodreads and have refused many, many authors, mainly because they don't write in the genre I read. There was one persistent author, who I friended when I first joined, and it was a constant bombardment, but I just blocked her. Is that unfriendly?? Pretty much don't care.

    My advice, just unfriend them, they probably won't even notice.

  4. Well, I'm a PITA anyway. LOL! But most of my recommendations come from three or four review sites and then a TON of bloggers. I particularly rely on bloggers who I know share my sort of taste (ehem...Stace).

    Then, books that are getting a ton of buzz get a look-see from me.

    But I'm with you Stacy, I'll unfriend an author who is shoving their books down my throat on Facebook. In fact, I just did this recently with one author, and then she found me on Twitter. SIGH.

    Then again, I'm not on GoodReads (too much work). So I don't have that.

    Like I said, I'm a PITA anyway. ;o)

  5. What a great post! I totally agree with you. No I don't read books recommended on Goodreads unless it is from my friends. Can't say why, I've just never seen anything worth reading from those recommendations. Like you I just ignore them. I have also deleted someone who repeatedly sent the same recommendation.

  6. Stacy, I don't like to get bombarded with book recommendataions from authors either. Of course they're gonna say the book is good; they wrote it. I've neve had an author send me a recommendation and say "it's a so so book; read it if you have nothing else better to do". lol If I have read the author before, then I might check out their book. If it is an author I've never heard of, I probably won't read it but might ask around to see if any one else has read it. Most of the book recommendataions I check out are from trusted friends and a couple of blogs I read.

    I don't blame you though, I'd unfriend them too. I just went through my facebook over the weekend and got rid of a bunch of "friends".

  7. Stacy, I totally agree with this. It's one thing to let people know something exists, but nobody wants to be marketed to aggressively. When it happens in real life, I say no thanks and close my door or walk away.

  8. I don't tend to read books recommended by authors, be it on Facebook, Goodreads or elsewhere. I've been online long enough to be cynical. When an author pimps a fellow writer's work, I always ask myself if they share the same publisher or agent, or have some other professional connection.

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