Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Indies, listen up: how not to behave on a public forum:

I'm making this week a bit of a Rage against the Indie week, because, well ... because. 
This is what happened on my promo thread on the Amazon forum. I'm promoting my book, and have one thread on each side of the pond. I'm addressing writers, after all. All I can say is, had she read my book, this wouldn't have happened. We had a fun and friendly exchange, until she felt it necessary to post a link to her book. That doesn't sit well with me.
Her, after putting the link first: hey there, Stella! my turn to hang my head in shame, I guess: it took me four years to produce my historical novel. it took so much research, being set in the 1650s. tough to dig up information on that era, I think. but...I guess I'm really slow. now I want/need to tackle the sequel. am hoping to be a lot faster this time around. but like you said, quality is a big deal to me. so, I guess it will take what it will take. sigh...I admire you guys, your productivity!

Guy: xxxx, do you also bring your own household cast-offs to someone else's yard sale?

Her: EXCUSE ME?????

Her: Stella, if I've offended you, I hope you'll let me know. this PB person apparently thinks I have? scratching my head...I thought we were just discussing

Me, sublty letting her know that I'm not happy: I think xxx refers to your book link since this is a thread for my book. He has a point, but I let it slip through because you didn't ask me to buy your book.

Her: he has a point, really? I think he was rude. I put the link there so you would know what I was referring to...sheesh

Me: Yes, he has. It's one of the reasons I wrote this book. I know it's the MOA forum, but it's my thread, where I'm plugging my book. I don't read HF, and we had a friendly and funny exchange, which would have been absolutely okay without the link like:

I hang my head in shame because I write historical fiction and it took me ages for I needed to research a lot. See? I already had a look at your profile and noted that you're an author and editor. If I had wanted to, I could have bought the book. But I didn't, for it's not my genre.

Inserting a link takes a little effort, so everyone who inserts a link does it with a purpose: advertising. :-) 

Her: if I was advertising, I would have put the summary on there, etc. whatever! adios...

Me: Farewell, xxxx.

Her (by the way, she'd been on the thread since yesterday): you just cost yourself a book sale, and lots of likes and shares. all righty much for, "lovely to meet you"

Her: all that guy had to do was say something constructive, like pointing out the etiquette of the situation, which a newbie like me is often not aware of...but instead he chose to be rude and hurtful and smart-ass. go figure...

Me: Ah, xxxx. Why can't you just say, sorry, yes, I made a mistake and all would be good? You're proving the point of my book, though.

Never mind. I wish you good luck with your book.

Me answering another post: He was funny, xxxx. It was just a tongue in cheek comment. I assure you it was.

Her: ok, I am sorry, but I think that rude guy should say he's sorry, too. why such bitchiness? why not just point out an error, without that cutting edge? perhaps you two are proving the very point of your book, yourselves. good luck yourself.

Her: it was not funny to me, Stella. it hurt my feelings. I was only trying to share in the discussion. I don't see the humor in it, I really don't.

Me: Well, he was merely pointing out that you violated the etiquette. That was all. Not trying to be mean, but if you found that hurtful, you better brace yourself for the negative reviews that'll come. Every author gets them, and readers are tough. It needs a thick skin to take that all. ;-)

Her: I've already weathered several negative reviews, and have more than 25 years of newspaper and magazine experience. not a newbie in that arena, believe me. I just thought his comment was unnecessarily cutting. talk about picky!

Guy: xxxx, this thread was begun by this author to discuss her book. She might not care that you've used it to promote your own - but for what it's worth, I find it bad manners. I might be completely alone in this, but I doubt it.

Stella keeps a pet iguana, so very little phases her.

Her: ok, this is the last post on this from me, I promise. PB, I do understand NOW why you and/or Stella may interpret my original post and the Dreaded Product Link, OH MY, as "bad manners." however: I think both of you do everyone a disservice when you assume it's bad manners, rather than give the poster the benefit of the doubt. these little etiquette systems are quite mysterious at first...
iguana schmiguana
never piss into a strong Montana wind.

Then she said something else in a snidy manner. And I decided to leave it at that. 


  1. You still haven't learned have you Stella. Stay away from forums... :)

    1. If it weren't for the fora, I wouldn't have that book. I also don't know what I have to learn here. I didn't do anything wrong, unless you call it wrong to go there and announce the release of a book. It got me many sales. So there. That's the reason. The book is aimed at writers after all. :-)
      It doesn't faze me one bit. They can attack me, gang up on me, make themselves look stupid as much as they like. It's the Internet, and if I've played enough, I close that window and leave. But it's always fodder for my blog.