Writing How-To: What NOT to do for promotions.

Friday, April 5, 2013
Today's post is prompted by the fact that on one of the email loops I'm on, a writer has apparently gone on vacation to the South Pacific with her handsome hubby to do book research.

How do I know this?

Because before Clueless Writer left on vacation, she set up an auto-responder to her email account.

Meaning EVERY FRICKING PERSON who posts to the loop now gets an auto-response from her telling us about her.

She is now going to my spam filter.

She's also managed to piss off quite a few writers, because it's a fairly active loop that a lot of us post to on a frequent basis.

I can only imagine how many readers she's currently blissfully unaware she's pissing off on other email loops.

She might need to enter the witness protection program for her pen name when she finally returns.

Rule One: DO NOT USE AN AUTO-RESPONDER! I don't give a crap about your arguments that oh, you use it for work. Whatever. It's one thing if it's for a critical account, like you work software support and have managers and programmers who have to contact you, and you don't have email loops that will be REBROADCASTING the message to members.

The author will be lucky if she can get herself off half the spam lists she's now flagged on.

Rule Two: DO NOT ADD PEOPLE TO FACEBOOK GROUPS WITHOUT ASKING THEM FIRST! No, the invite feature does NOT invite them. It ADDS them. And it royally pisses people off.

Rule Three: DO NOT ADVERTISE YOUR BOOK/WEBSITE/ETC ON SOMEONE'S FACEBOOK WALL WITHOUT PERMISSION. Don't post it as a link in your, "Thanks for the add!" message. Do not private message them the information. Do not post it as a link in someone else's promo thread without asking privately first. DO. NOT. DO. IT. It's the same as if someone came up and plastered bumper stickers all over your car or house without asking you first. Would that piss you off? I know it would piss off a majority of people. Treat virtual real estate just like real real estate.

There are more rules, but those are the three biggies I see right now that hit my mind.

What things, as a reader or a writer, piss you off? Vent your spleen here and let's educate newbie authors so they can quit shooting themselves in the foot. Don't name offenders, please, just spleen vent about the offenses. :)

16 reader comments:

  1. Tracey Steinbach said...:

    I saw some of the affects of rule 1 this morning in the loop. Rules 2 and 3 should be common courtesy.

  1. If your cover or quote has anything that will trigger the nanny software, please either don't post it or link to it WITH A WARNING.

  1. Dollie B said...:

    I think my biggest Ugh with an Author is when they write a series and just stop and move on to something else and never close it up. The least they could do is write a quick epilogue... I need closure! lol

  1. Not only is it annoying but just creepy and rude for an author to friend request every friend on your page. I have had friends contact me and complain. That will get you the quick boot to the a$$ off my friends list. I don't hand out warnings.

    I have even seen an author admit to not only doing this but think it is perfectly fine. His words "I don't friend them useless we have at lease one friend in common."
    This author got the boot!!

  1. @Shanean - I actually have my friends lists on both my public and private profiles set so only I can see them. A lot of people don't know they can do that. That seriously cuts down on the trollage.

  1. Tara Rose said...:

    This is all great advice and should be common sense... but that's another blog post. ;) A shame it even has to be said, but I'm glad you did, Tymber. :)

  1. LucyLit said...:

    Great post! Helpful for techno dinosaurs (like me) who are 'attempting' to get established. I've had experiences on Twitter that make me scratch my head and go "What? Why would you do that?"

  1. Haha... You're going to kill me for this one, Tymber, but remember I wub you. :)

    I can't stand snarkiness (no, not as in Tales from the Snarkside LOL), but as in those people who offer you a complement but with an underlying insult. This holds true in all aspects of life, but lately I've seen some authors who have done this publicly. Most recently, a new author boasting about her 4 star review, and then a Veteran Author posting the comment which was something like... Not bad for your first book. Don't worry, I'm sure you're writing will improve and get you up to that 5 star status.

    Clearly, a simple congratulations would have been much nicer. But you know me, kindness ALWAYS wins. :)

  1. I really hate it when I follow someone on Twitter and immediately get a PM saying "Thanks for the follow, now please go review my book and give it five stars." That seriously happened. Also along the same lines is the same TY message followed with a buy link to their book.

  1. Great post! I wondered about the FB groups thing when all of a sudden I found myself in all these groups, and couldn't remember responding to the invite.

  1. Totally agree with all three, not only for promotions but for ANYTHING. I don't even use out of office at work, it annoys my boss but it's just a pain in the butt for everyone. Also I wouldn't advertise that I'm overseas, it's internet 101 to not tell people you're not at home as that's how word spreads and you end up getting burgled. It's a safety thing too.

  1. Tina D said...:

    I am glad that someone else has found that some authors are inconsiderate asses. I have tried to write a blog about this subject but was told it was too dead on and that I would never get another author to join my group. Anyway here are a couple of my peeves.
    1. Don't join a group then take the members list and start your own group.
    2. Don't assume that just because you are an author that you get a pass on a participation requirement in a group.
    3. DO NOT BRAG !!! This one has become and issue just recently. I get that you are excited about hitting the charts but I don't need updates constantly.
    4. Don't start a street team then forget all the people who were with you from the beginning just because they don't want to join your street team.
    Okay I will stop there but my list seems to be endless lately. Maybe I need a drink before I get on fb from now on.
    Sorry it is so long.

  1. Raylene McVeigh said...:

    Don't work a deal with a third party --- weight-loss scam, continuing education spam, etc. --- so that the third party splats their pitch all over my FB wall!

  1. Anonymous said...:

    I'm just going to say that if an author signs up for an event on a blog that he/she PLEASE fulfill their end of the obligation.

    If we advertise an event and the author doesn't come through with the materials then we (the bloggers) look like a bunch of dummies.

    (And when I say fulfill, I mean send the stuff more than a day before the event)

  1. Great post! Glad someone wrote about this stuff :)

  1. Thanks for all the great comments!!