Sunday, March 17, 2013

Letter To The Hard Sellers

Recently, I posted this on my Facebook page.
Dear Author Twitter Followers: I don't know if this is the right relationship for us. I know you joined me as a follower two seconds ago, and for that I feel honored. And while we never actually met, I feel we do share a kinship since we are both writers.

I don't mind checking out your twitter feed. But when you ask me to like your author FB page or go check out your website and buy your book seconds after meeting you, I feel as if this relationship is moving too fast. We haven't even gone out to the movies or had a nice dinner at a fancy restaurant. We haven't taken long romantic walks in the park. One minute you are saying hello and the next minute you are trying to get me between the pages of your book. Take a moment to slow down. I don't get all frisky with just any book that comes my way. I need time to really consider where your book plot is going and if I want to commit to it. I can't do that if you are shoving your... ahem... words down my throat.

a mere twitter account bombarded by aggressive book marketing tactics

It's maddening. I understand authors are trying to sell their books. But, isn't there a better way to do it? On the most part, all the comments I received have been in agreement. I only read one comment where someone got upset because they feel that we need to support authors and their books more.

You know what? I have no problem with that. I have no problem supporting the authors I KNOW. I have no problem visiting their websites, buying their books and spreading the word about them. I do have a problem when an author I don't know becomes a follower and two seconds later is trying to sell me their book. 

You haven't given me time to check out your twitter feed. You haven't given me time to check out your link to your website/blog. You haven't given me time to read your writing there, see if your genre is something I'm interested in, and allow me to decide for myself if I want to purchase your book. Merchants whose sole purpose is to push the hard sell and get people to buy their products give me more time to browse around their website before sending me a direct email to buy their wares. 

Authors, please. Give your new twitter followers time to learn more about you before sending that direct message to buy-Buy-BUY your book. Give them time to read your twitter feed. Give them time to follow the links you have posted. Give them time to decide whether they like the writing you post on your website. Otherwise, your direct messages feel like spam, and that is how I plan to treat them.


  1. I know the feeling - sort of. Every so often, some young female would ask me to be friends on FB. I was pretty sure I didn't know these women, hadn't met them on some drunken bar excursion or whatever, but I thought, "Wow. I must be pretty charming here on FB. Young females want to be friends with me, a 56-year-old. OK, young female! I'll be your friend!"

    About five minutes after friending them, they would send me proposals to meet them for a drink. These proposals also included a veiled reference to sexual activity, although not clear enough to get them arrested for prostitution. Well, I don't need an anvil to fall on my head to clue me in to the fact that I'm being played. After the sixtieth time, I decided they were probably not really interested me in as human being.

    1. I get those too. I don't usually friend them. But I did once and got "invites" in Porteguese (sic). Never again.

  2. I just found your blog. I love the name. I too am a surly writer! Brilliant name. I enjoyed your entry about twitter etc. Please check out my blogs: athomewithocd and thespiritualhandmaiden both on blogspot. Be well, Mary aka Ninja Mom.


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