Saturday, March 7, 2015

Why You Shouldn't Spam Your Book At Us

Maybe, I'm incredibly naïve. Maybe, if I'm ever lucky enough to end up finishing my book and getting it published, I'll want to repeatedly wave it into everyone else's Twitter-faces. Maybe. I like to think I'll do it a little, but that I'll also have enough perspective-taking skills (and modesty) to temper it a bit. I like to think that I'll be self-aware enough not to do that, but then again... who knows?

You know what I'm talking about though, right? You'll be clicking on the #amwriting thread and expecting to "run into" other fledgling authors out there, share in the misery of struggling author-hood, maybe even get some recommendations/ads for new books out there. Some. Yet, so often, when I'm cruising through that hashtag (and others), I see so many authors out there spamming their books, their services, whatever to us all. Not advertising... spamming. And, honestly, I don't get it. Occasional advertising, is one thing. Spamming (in some instances I've seen the same person post every few minutes or so the same ad for their book, over and over) is a totally different thing, altogether. I feel it's important to differentiate.

Advertising = okay. Spamming = bad.

When I walk into the mall, I don't expect vendors to chase me around, follow me from store to store,  repeatedly blasting their wares into my line-of-sight. That's not to say that they won't (or shouldn't) advertise or try to sell me their stuff, but they're not going to do it so much so that I choose to avoid the mall entirely on my next day off. That would be counterproductive as they'd likely lose my business entirely.

Now, on twitter, particularly on the #amwriting feed, I am not expecting to buy anything. My purpose scanning that hashtag is generally to hear from other authors sharing advice on their writing processes, tips about the publishing industry, success stories, etc. Even still, I expect to see some advertisements for new works. It's awesome, in a community of writers, to see that some of us are actually reaching that goal, getting published. It's great that we have the ability and the technology to be able to dance around in front of a community of fellow writers, shouting, "Look at me, look what I did!" I, personally, love to support new authors and if there's a book out there that sounds interesting, or up my alley, I'm in. Sign me up. That's totally cool. Please tell me about your book.

Just please, don't do it that much. And you all know how much I mean. We've all seen it.

Ok, so what do I do when I see the same ad, repeatedly, within a short amount of time? I get annoyed. Sometimes I get angry, 'cause I'm trying to relax and read new posts. And then? I block you. I don't buy your book. I don't follow you. I just block you. And then the next time you try to talk about your book, I'm not going to see it. Sale lost, follower lost, and any chance at making a future connection or sale... lost.

And that's the beautiful thing about twitter. Unlike the mall, you don't have to leave the building to avoid that maniacal salesperson. You can just block 'em. For-ev-ah.

I might be in the minority, and if that's true then this post is just me complaining about a pet-peeve of mine that others can't relate to. But I think, I really do, that when I finally finish my novel I will be more conscious of how my posts might be taken by others. Sure, I'll advertise. I'll shout to the world about my triumph, even. Just not at the expense of annoying followers/potential buyers of my book until they block me.

Love, Tom

p.s. I'm tweeting and blogging about my journey writing my first book. Check me out @RimerTom


  1. Hi, Tom! I'm a relatively new follower on Twitter, and saw the link to this post on there. This is so true. You're not in the minority – at least, I don't think so! I find this really annoying, too. Not only is it tacky, but it makes authors look like they're trying too hard, which tells me their book is doing so well and maybe they're desperate, which tells me I shouldn't buy it... The result is the opposite of what they want! ;) Glad to hear you won't be doing this when your book is finished!!

    Good luck with your book, and I look forward to hearing about its progress!

    Keep writing,

    1. thanks, Brianna! good to know that I'm not in the minority. Just one of those pet peeves of mine. Been seeing it for a while and decided to say something. Thanks for your support! Good luck with your novel, as well!

    2. It's a well-deserved pet peeve! Thanks, Tom!

  2. I get annoyed about this, too. One ad for someone's book, or even two or three in the same day, I can deal with. But when people post the same ad OVER and OVER and OVER again, I get annoyed, and I start to seriously consider unfollowing the offending accounts. I know that applications such as Tweetdeck have made it really easy to repeatedly post a tweet, but just because you can, it doesn't mean you should.