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Posted on 28 Oct 2012 20:33:56 GMT
Paul Ekert says:
Some of this self-generated reviews is a problem of the industry at large. I went to a Radio 4 conference and there the management said they would prefer that any talented writers got themselves an audience before they approached the BBC. I think this translates to some people as 'use any available means to generate publicity' which of course has negative side effects. It doesn't help that nearly all writing workshops repeat the mantra that 'twitter' is the only way to get your book sold. Personally I think writing a good book is a better way of getting your book sold, although of course there is something to a pre-sale buzz. How many copies of 50 shades of grey remain unfinished?

Oh and I am nearly 50 and if my vote counts I prefer the kindle to a paperback simply because I read rather large fantasy books which in print tend to have a very small point size and remain impossible for me to read. The Kindle pretty much got me back to reading at night again.

Slightly off topic there....

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Nov 2012 10:19:13 GMT
Dear Amazon. Your system is awful. To many jealous and spiteful people out there who will review authors negatively just to promote their own books are family members books. Reviews don't do anyone any good if someone is deliberately putting a book down.

Posted on 3 Nov 2012 02:36:32 GMT
Glencairn says:
I think Amazon need to make it clear what they mean about "shameless self-promotion", because there are a lot of vigilantes on the forums who seem to set themselves up as the moderators in this respect.

How far does "self promotion" stretch? I am not an author but am related to one. The word "self" suggests the individual who wrote the piece, but some would say that if I mention my wife's book on a forum, I am indulging in self-promotion. Is that the case? If so how far away from the author does a person need to be before it stops being "shameless self-promotion"? My friends on Facebook or Twitter, where does it end?

I will continue to promote the work of my family and friends until Amazon says that it is wrong to do so, and then I will ask the question "who is that makes you money, the authors or the readers?"

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Nov 2012 02:45:48 GMT
Glencairn says:
If only writing a great piece of work was all that was necessary to ensure the success of a book. Just try getting past the clerk in a Lit Agents office - they just don't want to know if you are a new author.
Even when you go the Indie route, you are still faced with bias and prejudice. "How dare you mention your wife's book in this forum" is what I have had to face.
I will turn this around. It may take me some time but it will happen.

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Nov 2012 02:56:07 GMT
Glencairn says:
Ms Morgan is absolutely correct. There are people on these forums that seem to set out to deliberately dismiss books by new authors simply because a friend or relative brought the book to their attention.

Posted on 3 Nov 2012 09:25:46 GMT
Sou'Wester says:
Several points in these last three posts. First - the obvious reply to "who is (it) that makes you money?" is the readers - they're the ones that cough up! To be less flippant, the publishing world obviously relies on the work of authors, but I doubt very much that Amazon profits would nose-dive if overall author output fell.
The position regarding self promotion is ambiguous; technically speaking endorsement by a family member/friend is not against the rules, but it does raise an ethical question. Most people want unbiased reviews and - with the best will in the world - it's almost impossible to do this with someone you know. However, as long as a reviewer (or poster) is honest about their association with an author I don't have a problem. It's where the association isn't revealed, or worse, where the post/review is deliberately written in a way that tries to kid readers it's a disinterested comment, that the hackles start rising. It's the same where authors promote their own work; the writer who posts "try the new book I've written" may be mildly irritating but there's no deceit involved (though, of course, they are breaking Amazon rules). What is thoroughly contemptible, however, are posts/reviews where the writers themselves are applauding their own work under a pseudonym. These people are con artists and if they get exposed and castigated in these threads I've absolutely no sympathy for them.

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Nov 2012 12:15:29 GMT
Glencairn says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Nov 2012 15:57:03 GMT
Bookmark says:
I would consider that self promotion would "stretch" as far as the publisher of the book as they have a financial stake in its success. As you Glencairn are joint publisher of your wife's book it makes it self promotion.

If you haven't yet worked out that it is the book buyers who make Amazon's money you are in a minority of one. Amazon added over 57,000 new kindle titles in the last 30 days. What impact do you think one book from an unknown author is going to have on their profits?

Unfortunately the process of self promotion is self defeating as people in general hate the idea of being conned. This is precisely the feeling I get when a book supposedly "recommended" by a third party turns out to be recommended by a spouse etc..

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Nov 2012 04:12:23 GMT
Glencairn says:
Bookmark, if people don't promote themselves, who do you think does? You are so naïve. If you think that the reviews on mainstream books are totally unsolicited and unbiased, well sorry to have to burst your bubble but they are not. Generally they bought in some way.

As Indie Publishing is on the increase you are going to see a lot more of this "self promotion". It is the only way new writers can get noticed as they don't have the funds to buy reviews from newspapers and magazines.

Posted on 4 Nov 2012 04:18:08 GMT
Glencairn says:
There's a real nice cosy feel to this discussion forum. If you disagree with the "gang" they join forces and give you a NO vote, and they call you a "spammer". Nice one.

Posted on 4 Nov 2012 08:37:40 GMT
Sou'Wester says:
Glencairn is absolutely right about the shady side of "traditional" publishing, and recently there have been some high-profile cases of established authors indulging in really despicable behaviour. However, two wrongs don't make a right; the antics of some writers and their associates in these forums hardly amounts to the crime of the century but, curiously, the very feebleness of some of this activity seems to make it even more annoying!
We need to clear up what we mean by self promotion. There's nothing wrong with appropriate promotion or marketing; you're not going to get very far without it. For writers it's not going to be easy - trying to get a book noticed in an already over-saturated market will be a herculean task - but anyone who who enters the "fray" without realising this must be incredibly foolish or naive. A good starting pointing may be identifying a local angle, either in the book itself or in the author's own background. If one can turn the release of a book into a news story (and anyone claiming to be a writer should have sufficient imagination to do this), you'll often find local newspapers, radio stations - sometimes even regional TV channels - can be very receptive. Our local rag regularly features stories on local writers. I'm not suggesting these are the only avenues worth exploring, but it's an example I would call appropriate (and quite probably more effective) promotion.
I have absolutely no idea how a "free ad" on an Amazon thread might boost sales, but it's hard to imagine it having any real impact unless it is constantly repeated, in which case you'll really annoy many readers and almost certainly incur the wrath of Amazon itself! I can only speak for myself but my reaction to most self promotion is: "This suggests a real lack of originality or imagination on the part of the poster"; somewhat fatal flaws in someone claiming to be a writer! So, regardless of the rights and wrongs of the matter, I just find self-promotion actually discourages rather than encourages. Where deceit comes into the equation, none of us like people trying to pull the wool over our eyes, so even if you disagree with my views on self promotion, I'd implore writers and their associates not to resort to subterfuge.
One or two other points. If you are going into the public domain with a book, be prepared to take criticism on the chin; don't react to it even if it seems unjustified. Go through all the well-known bestsellers, even the classics, and you'll see they've all got a smattering of adverse comments. If your book is up to scratch, the odd negative comment won't harm it. And - please - don't be self-pitying: if there's one thing guaranteed to one's blood boil it's the remark you do see on these posts from time to time: "Readers don't appreciate how hard the life of a writer is etc. etc.", the usual reaction to that sort of whinging is rude and in the plural!

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Nov 2012 09:04:33 GMT
Anita says:
A spammer is the one who spams multiple threads with more of the same. Like you.

The gang is Amazon, it's them who have banned self-promotion outside MOA forum.You disagree with the owners of the forums, don't use Amazon then. Or buy it ant set your own rules.

Now go report me for some truth you do not like

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Nov 2012 17:18:47 GMT
Bookmark says:
Glencairn you unfortunately remind me of a man who has deliberately got on the wrong bus then complains when the other passengers want it to stick to its original route and not go where he wants. At the risk of sounding boring the place to promote books is on the Authors forum. If your book can't take the competition of being with the other books; that is something which you have to remedy. Continually spamming here, there, and everywhere makes you look increasingly desperate.

Your reaction of calling anyone who has the temerity to question your actions a "troll" is offensive and laughable. When you grow up and realise that insulting your customer base is counterproductive it will be too late and your fledgling publishing empire will be no more. Keep up your insults and the authors you are trying to attract by your macho behaviour will be long gone to a safer haven.

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Nov 2012 19:33:21 GMT
Last edited by the author on 5 Nov 2012 21:11:18 GMT
Glencairn says:
I have one last comment to make Bookmark, then let's let this debacle rest. I called one person a Troll, and she seems quite happy with the title (not sure she understands what it means mind you). The abuse given to people who you regard as "self publicising" on this forum is abominable, even to the extent of making one recipient ill. You may be a reader but that does not give you the right to abuse authors and publishers.

I have no intention of furthering this discussion thread, but if I do make a book recommendation I trust you will have the courtesy NOT to regard me as a spammer.

Correction: I called Little Frog a Troll too.

Posted on 5 Nov 2012 20:00:40 GMT
Sou'Wester says:
Perhaps some personal definitions may be of interest (or debate!)
Self Promoter: Quite obviously an author who promotes their own book - nothing wrong with that in the appropriate place, but Amazon forums are not the appropriate place (except for the Meet Our Authors forum).
Associate Promoter: I've devised this term to describe a family member/friend/associate who promotes a book. Strictly speaking this doesn't breach Amazon rules but it's debatable whether it honours the spirit of the rules.
These examples can be split into two categories: In one the connection between author, associate and book is plainly revealed and there is no intent to deceive. In the other any connection between author, associate and book is not revealed and there is an element of deceit. Those who fall into this last category probably cause the most aggravation amongst readers.
Spammer: My understanding here is of someone who bombards the forums with plugs. I wouldn't call someone who posts just one or two plugs a spammer, but those who plaster their ads across multiple threads or keep repeating the plugs are.
Troll: Never quite understood the exact meaning of this. Seems to be used when someone persistently expresses an opinion at total variance to one's own!
Recommendation: Possibly the most debatable definition. My own personal view: a book recommendation is when somebody totally unconnected with the author recommends their work. Where the author or associates endorse a book that, in my view, is advertising. (There's nothing actually wrong with advertising, as long as its done in the proper place and in an appropriate fashion).

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Nov 2012 20:37:09 GMT
Anita says:
Thank you for a laugh, Glencairn.

I don't think anyone but you needs an explanation, but: I don't care you calling me a Troll. That does not change anything. I can be insulted by a friend or someone I love, definitely not by you. You can call me leprechaun if you want. If you know what it is. You can call me whatever you like. Still you can't *make* me whatever you like.

You still haven't made any genuine recommendation. If you do, I believe you will get a different response from most people here

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Nov 2012 21:06:11 GMT
Last edited by the author on 5 Nov 2012 21:11:28 GMT
Little frog says:
Glencairn - this is not a true statement either is it? You say you called "one person a Troll, and she seems quite happy with the title ........" well, that certainly was not me was it?

In your post of 3 Nov 2012 03:35:21 GMT on "Suggestions for a new thriller reader" Glencairn says:

"Little Frog, what are you all about? I've looked through your posts and they are all derogatory. You are another Troll on this forum. A Flamer and Cyber Bully ....."

This was the post where you first decided to involve me in your rants and at this point in time, I had not been on this forum for a while.

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Nov 2012 21:21:12 GMT
Glencairn says:
Once again wise words from Sou'Wester. I don't mind criticism myself and my wife has always asked for people to honest about her work, and to comment whether good or bad. Most so far have been good, but she fully expects to get some bad reviews as well.

What I object to is some of the unwarranted comments on this and other forums from people who have not even read the book (not just my wife's but also other authors who have posted). I fully appreciate their feelings at someone having the audacity to mention there own work, or that of a friend or relative, but the anger and venom that has poured out has been totally out of all proportion.

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Nov 2012 21:26:37 GMT
Glencairn says:
Troll: someone who posts inflammatory messages in an online community, such as a forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response.

Posted on 5 Nov 2012 21:32:05 GMT
Glencairn says:
Spam:the use of electronic messaging systems to send unsolicited bulk messages, especially advertising, indiscriminately.

Now can someone explain why my comments are regarded as Spam, whereas the comments of those described as "Trolls" are considered as "adding to the discussion"?

Just saying.

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Nov 2012 22:45:05 GMT
Bookmark says:
Glencairn by your own definition I believe that makes you a troll.

Posted on 5 Nov 2012 23:12:33 GMT
Anita says:
Glencairn - in all Troll's honesty, a couple of points to make.

First - you think that violating Amazon's rules and self-promoting outside Meet Our Authors is all right. Still you find it perfectly okay to report me to the very same Amazon. I'll better skip any comment on baffling logic here. Just seems to me that you want to use Amazon as it fits you, not as it is. Honestly. What if *I* reported *you* for breaking the rules? And, honestly again, I think it would be a right thing to do. So that makes me an even bigger cyber bully in *your* book (and yes, pun half intended), doesn't it?

Second - you are so sorry for someone who allegedly fell ill because of trolls like me. I know who you have in mind. Someone who spammed - yes, spammed - ten or twelve threads with self-promotion. In addition to that, she was never abused. If you call a bit of truth abuse, it's your problem, not the world's. That's honestly too.

Third - the thriller forum has been a normal forum about a couple of years ago. Now it is totally hijacked by self-promoters. Yes, I know, you defend them as much, as you can. Just, please, forget your wife's book for a second and tell me something. How many of these self-promotions you have actually used as a reader? How many self-pushed books you have bought and read? And yes, it is an honest question.

And last - unluckily for you, when your posts appeared for the first time, they were under your real name - not Glencairn. Otherwise, I suspect, you would have never admitted that you promoted your wife's book published by you. This one is not a question, neither it is a statement. Just a suspicion.

I hope some of this answer your question why trolls' comments add to the discussion, and yours don't. I'm pretty sure you won't like my post, but then, the world is not for you (or me) to like

Posted on 6 Nov 2012 08:52:37 GMT
Last edited by the author on 6 Nov 2012 08:53:26 GMT
Bookmark says:
For those of us who love a good read by a world renowned author, Len Deighton's book "Close Up" is free at present. I quote from the book description which makes it very topical.

"Dazzled by flattery and numbed by threats, the biographer is caught up in the big-daddy world where books are properties, films are investments, ratings are rigged, and stars and directors are bought and sold like slaves at an auction."

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.


In reply to an earlier post on 6 Nov 2012 21:38:54 GMT
Glencairn says:
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Posted on 3 Dec 2012 13:05:42 GMT
Gee says:
I looked at these threads before and was disappointed at the childish behaviour and carping that went on. I thought I would have another look. Nothing has changed. How very sad and what a waste of an opportunity. I don't think anyone has noticed that the idea is to "discuss" not score points and be spiteful.
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