This is indirectly inspired by the forums where readers complain that authors go on their forums and plug their books for the sake of plugging them. As in the authors don’t participate in the discussions and/or take up thread space by promoting their work when their work obviously does not apply to the discussion. While I agree this is annoying (I have a low threshold of tolerance for spammers in all shapes and sizes), I’m here to educate people (whether they be authors or readers or both) that authors get their fair share of spam too.
Ever since I became an author and started promoting my work via free reads and my blogs (I rarely go on discussion boards), I’ve been slammed with all kinds of emails. They are largely from other authors. They are friend requests on social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and GoodReads where authors send a message like this: “I am the author of such and such book. It was really groovy writing the blasted novel, and I’m here to annoy the piss out of you by asking you to take time you could be spending doing something more productive (like writing your own novel) so you can read my precious baby book. I am soooo in love with my work. *giggles* I know if you read it, you’ll love it. Be sure to leave a glowing review. PS. In return, I will do absolutely nothing for you. This is all about me.”
Okay. I exaggerate. The message usually goes something like this (for real this time): “Hi! I’m so and so, and I wrote X. I hope you’ll stop by my website, blog, or whatever to check it out.”
I don’t get these friendship requests so much any more, thank goodness. It turns out complaining in your blogs and on your website in regards to this really does keep those type of spammers at bay. Yay! So when you get tired of being spammed like this, just pitch a fit everywhere and de-friend all spamming authors from your lists pronto to send a message.
Authors I don’t know make it a habit of pitching me their book to review. As if I’m a book reviewer by habit! I am not a book reviewer. If I want to read a book, I’ll buy it, and if I want to review it, I will. I’ve learned to say no to these requests and posted a message on my website saying I don’t review books but recommended a couple of book reviewers I know.
So yeah, you’re an author, and guess what? You’ll get spammed by other authors. It’s not just readers who get spammed. We just don’t get spammed on forums. We get spammed in our emails and in the comments section of our blogs. I delete those blog comments immediately, by the way. My blog is my platform. It is not another author’s platform. This is why I rarely ever do any promotion for another author. If I did, other authors would jump on board like flies on honey, and I don’t need that kind of headache. Sorry to my author friends, but I’ve reached my limit on this crap.
Another author source of spam…
Newsletter overload. I’ve been put on newsletters without knowing it, and then I’ve gotten newslettered to death. This is why people have to tell me they want to be on my newsletter list. Otherwise, I don’t put anyone on it. I find it rude to randomly put people on a newsletter list because this is another version of junk mail. One author was so bad that she sent me an announcement every week or two. I finally had to tell her to stop.
Another big spammer…
The proofreaders and editors of the world will come knocking on your door (via email) and offer their services. You didn’t ask them to come by. They just do. They plop their butts right in your inbox and give you a sales’ pitch, while subtly clowning you for your lame-o ability to produce good quality work. That’s really what they’re saying. It’s not a compliment to hear from these people.
It’s an insult. Why? Because this is the message they are sending, “I checked out your website, blog, whatever and think you can benefit from my services because you need serious help. I’m picking on you specifically because you’re an indie author, and we all know that indie authors suck. Therefore, you suck. You don’t know the basics of grammar, and reading you makes elementary children weep. So pay me and we’ll talk. ‘Kay?”
No, it’s not ‘Kay! I already have proofreaders. I don’t need you. Despite what you think, I do put my work through editing and proofreading before it goes public. I am a professional writer, not a hack throwing words together.
And yet another spammer….
Marketing people pretty much bang down your door to “promote” your work, but it’s really a waste of money. I’ve done my research and I have yet to come across a solid study that says book trailers, being set high on a google search engine, doing up bookmarks or having those press releases made up, or doing interviews on radio shows and podcasts proved beneficial.
All marketing can be done at the grassroots level, esp. when you’re starting out and don’t have the budget. I keep saying one free story can help give you that exposure. There’s nothing that will better prove you are worth reading than showing your own work. You can tell the world all day long your work is good, but unless you can back it up with a book people will tell their friends about, what’s the point? Other people praising your book goes a lot farther than you praising it.
This takes time. You don’t reach out to people the first months you have a book public, so if you buy into these services, who’s going to recognize your name and want to give you a shot? You are one of many, many, many authors out there vying for people’s attention. It’s a bunch of static noise, and someone posting an ad for you or google prioritizing you, etc isn’t going to help a whole lot. Get your name out there yourself first.
And when you do and can back off and do ads or whatever, go to sites and pay for this stuff yourself instead of paying someone else to do it for you. Why? Because if you do it yourself, you’ll save a lot of money. Look, you want to make significant money in writing, right? Well, you’re not going to do it by giving this money to other people. You need to be in the black and be comfortable there.
So there you go. We authors get spammed way more than readers. You readers complain because you get spammed on the forums? I should be so lucky to only be spammed there!