What If Authors Behaved In Real Life Like They Behaved Online?

What If Authors Behaved In Real Life Like They Behaved Online?

So listen, kid. We’ve each written a book, see. Now you have to read all of them and tell us why we’re brilliant.

Come with me now on a journey to explore a side of the Internet which is still driving me batty. I know you don’t want to be driven batty, but let’s face it, if you wanted peace, or even sense, you wouldn’t be reading this blog in the first place.

Picture the scene. You’re at a party. You know nobody there, but you’ve been assured that it’s a friendly bunch. There will be no question of you flowering the walls all night on your tod. You get yourself a frothy pink drink, and are soon approached by a middle-aged man with childishly pink cheeks.

Middle-Aged Ruddy Man: Are you a writer?
You: Well, I suppose you could say that. I’ve–
MARM: I’m a writer. I’ve written 3 books about cats on drugs. I have many, many 5-star reviews on Amazon.
You: Erm, congratulations.
MARM: “This book was nice.”
You: Excuse me?
MARM: That was one of my 5-star reviews. Another one said, “LOL, so funny! Cats on drugs! LOL.”
You: Why are you speaking in italics?
MARM: Because it’s important to emphasise things, in case people are too stupid to realise my achievements by themselves. I use italics for my award-winning stuff too, especially awards nobody’s ever heard of. So, have you read books about cats on drugs?
You: I can’t say I have, no. I did once read a book about –
MARM: You should buy my book. It’s LOL. Here’s my card. Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, GoodReads, and my blog, which is all about my fascinating writing process. Make sure you leave a 5-star review. Excuse me, I have to go.
You: —

Embed from Getty Images


You swallow. It appears you’re not sure of the etiquette. You put down your frothy pink drink and get a nuclear-green one instead. A placid-looking woman approaches, wearing a cardigan the same colour as your drink. Her voice seeps into your ear before growing in volume.


She moves on before you can timidly ask her to stop shouting. An unshaven young man wearing a ridiculous fedora bumps into you.

Indoor Hat Man: Hello. I have been published in the Remote East-Southwestern Weekly Literary Review Paragraph and had a movie treatment optioned by Small and Broke Student Productions, LLC. My flash fiction has been published on several unknown blogs and last year, I started my novel, which I aim to get published before I’m 30 because it’s been my dream to be a writer ever since I was 6 months old. Props. Have you heard of genre fiction?
You: Em, yes. I read a lot of books.
IHM: Well, I write that and several short stories which I hope to finish one day, and will publish shortly after. H/T my Mom.
You: That’s nice. I write myself, actually. I–
IHM: Gotta go. Bye.

There is a brackish taste in your mouth. The green drink isn’t helping. You move to another table, in search of water, behind a lady with extremely pale skin and a remarkably short neck. She turns.

What If Authors Behaved In Real Life Like They Behaved Online?Pale Skinned Lady: Good to see you here!
You: Thank you! Do you know where I could get some water?
PSL: You can read about water in my book, Tortured Texan Tornado. It’s about men who just can’t get enough of pale-skinned ladies with short necks. Smiley face.
You: Um, okay. How is that relevant to drinking water?
PSL: What’s your point? You followed me.
You: Not intentionally. And not to hear sloppy segues into even poorer marketing techniques.
PSL: But you’d love my book. It’s award-winning 5-star reviewed.
PSL: How dare you threaten me! Soooo defensive. And soooo anti-author. I’m sick of trolls like you.
You: How was that trolling?
PSL: Help! Bully! Buy my book!

You flinch, but she leaves without further instructions. You decide to find a bathroom. On the way, you see a small crowd gathered around a stoop-backed man, speaking from a podium. You recognise him. He is an author whose first book, The Doomed Wild, was an international bestseller.

What If Authors Behaved In Real Life Like They Behaved Online?Bestselling Author: So I dressed as an endangered snow leopard, and hand-delivered my manuscript to an agent I just happened to hear was looking for a book with a strong snow leopard lead character. He rang me back the following morning with a 6-figure book deal, and the rest, as you know, is history.
[The crowd feverishly scribbles notes. One or two are drooling.]
Bestselling Author: Any questions?
Crowd Person 1: Yes. How do I get published?
Bestselling Author: Well, I’m not sure I can answer that. I can only tell you how I got published.
Crowd Person 2: But what does that mean for me? Like, if I do the same as you, and dress as a snow leopard, will I get published?
Bestselling Author: I couldn’t possibly tell you. But my difficult second novel, The Doomed Author, explores the theory that –
[The crowd sighs. They pocket their notebooks and move away. The Bestselling Author looks resigned, like this is nothing new.]

It is at this point that you decide to leave the party because you hear there’s a self-congratulatory shindig for bankers and politicians down the hall. You’ll feel safer there. At the very least, you’ll know where you stand.

(And before you go berserk, I know not all authors behave like this. But so many do, hence the rash of online articles on this subject lately. Now comment away.)

  136 comments for “What If Authors Behaved In Real Life Like They Behaved Online?

  1. Ali Isaac
    April 15, 2015 at 9:08 am

    Oh no! I always get paranoid reading this kind of stuff… do I behave like that? Do I do any of these things? Rhetorical questions, please do NOT answer! 😁 I am a self promoting author, so I suppose I must, but I hope I do it nicely. Actually, I dont do that much promoting, so people probably dont notice! NOW GO BUY MY BOOK! #allaboutme!

    Liked by 1 person

    • April 15, 2015 at 9:20 am

      I’m going to answer anyway and say no, you don’t behave like that, Ali. I can say that with confidence because if you did, I’d never bother to read your blog. I think good self-promotion is all about offering something good to the reader, which you do several times over in your blog themes, especially mythology, which I gobble up like a starving urchin.

      Besides, none of the people I’m giving out about ever read this blog. Or anyone else’s, properly. That’s why I can write about them.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ali Isaac
        April 15, 2015 at 9:29 am

        Well then they dont know what they’re missing, but actually, they probably wouldnt care since its not promoting their book. What I hate most is the Dreaded DM on Twitter, and how they immediately unfollow you after you just followed them!

        Liked by 1 person

        • April 15, 2015 at 9:40 am

          Oh God, yeah. That also drives me batty. I’ve started unfollowing everyone who sends me an unsolicited or automated DM. A lot of social media commentators advise you should do that and I absolutely agree. Nothing good will come of a relationship where someone is brain-dead enough to send you an automated message telling you to do something!

          Liked by 1 person

          • Ali Isaac
            April 15, 2015 at 10:51 am

            Absolutely right! Why do they carry on doing it though? Enough people have commented on it. Oh yeah… they dont read other peoples blogs, do they…

            Liked by 1 person

  2. April 15, 2015 at 9:39 am

    Thanks be to goodness I haven’t signed that book deal. “It’s about an ageing bald man who makes a mess in the kitchen.” might not get me much further than a pale skinned short necked approach.
    Love as always!

    Liked by 1 person

    • April 15, 2015 at 9:44 am

      Conor, if you refuse to sign a book deal which involves anything other than signing over the rights to your children or giving 137% of all royalties to a hardline publishing cult, I will have to give up writing in despair! I’ll do your bloody promotion if it means you getting that book out! Now be careful, or I’ll write all of this in ITALICISED CAPITALS.

      PS I’ve thought about it, and I think your tagline is perfect. Self-deprecation? Tick! Humour? Tick! Specified location? Tick! It’s a bestseller.


  3. April 15, 2015 at 9:58 am

    There’s also the author stood in the corner wearing a day-glo tee-shirt that reads ‘I wrote this book,(insert title here)’ but he says little about it, just stands there talking to himself about nothing in particular and last night’s telly.

    It’s a fine line to walk when you have to be your own promoter, but some people are so unsubtle about it and some, admittedly rare, have no idea they’re even being unsubtle. I read a blog post recently in which the writer used a similar party analogy. Someone comes along, befriends, you, talks all night about you and your interests and then bam, tries to sell you their book. The irony was, at the end of a very long and wandering ‘I want to be your friend’ article it finished with their own author services plug so blatant you could have seen it from outer space.

    Would love to stay and leave a longer comment, but I have to go. Have a book signing event at the local pigeon fancier’s club. If they bring their pigeons it should be quite a big turnout.


    Liked by 2 people

    • April 15, 2015 at 10:15 am

      It sounds a bit like a bad one-night stand, doesn’t it! It’s all about you until they get what they want and then they dump you! And only then do you realise how shallow it was… but like all bad relationships, we live and we learn. Good luck with the pigeons, Chris. Would it be rude to ask for photographs?!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. April 15, 2015 at 10:06 am

    Great material for a sit-com here. Lots of articles about this lately, some with clever and effective marketing strategies embedded.

    Liked by 1 person

    • April 15, 2015 at 10:34 am

      There have been some excellent articles on this lately, Anne, haven’t there? I really enjoyed 2 in particular from Anne R. Allen and Delilah S. Dawson (middle initial rules in this case obviously) which prompted this post in the first place… along with visits to a few author pages which shall remain nameless.


  5. April 15, 2015 at 10:17 am

    This is all so true. What springs to mind is a bestselling author I followed for a while on Twitter. I was honestly excited to see what she was recommending, what tips she was giving to newbies, what she was up to in terms of writing. After a week of ‘here’s a 5 star review of my first book, here’s a five star review of my fifth book, here’s a promo for my new book,’ she finally, FINALLY tweeted ‘ I can’t stop looking at this beautiful cover’ and I clicked in, very excited. Her new book cover. Le sigh … Unfollow … 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • April 15, 2015 at 10:20 am

      Oh and I might add I stopped in a few months later and it was the same deal, possibly she has someone tweet for her who doesn’t give a fig about giving readers what they come to Twitter for!


      • April 15, 2015 at 10:41 am

        Yep! Unfollow, unfollow, unfollow. There’s far too many people using Twitter who don’t understand Twitter. Unless you’re between the ages of 18-25 and take 43 selfies a day, Twitter is not for shouting about yourself! Even people I don’t unfollow on Twitter get muted for various infringements like tweeting too often or never tweeting anything I want to read. I wrote a long post about this once but never published it because I thought it was too angry, even for me. But you never know, I might release it in the near future, seeing as the perpetrators of these Twitter crimes AREN’T BLOODY LISTENING. (ahem… smiley face.)

        Liked by 3 people

        • April 15, 2015 at 11:13 am

          Release it . . . Anger can be therapeutic.

          Liked by 1 person

          • April 15, 2015 at 11:32 am

            Oooh, you are terrible! Okay, I’ll think about it 😉


            • April 15, 2015 at 1:06 pm

              Hee, hee, we’re all thinking the same thing, dying to see it!!!!

              Liked by 1 person

        • April 15, 2015 at 11:37 am

          Whenever the voice inside your head is telling you “No, don’t write this” you should always write it. 😉

          Liked by 4 people

          • April 15, 2015 at 12:03 pm

            You guys are very bad for me. I love it.


          • April 15, 2015 at 1:08 pm

            Karen, You have just given me my new favourite quote!!! 😉 My, I’m doing the winky face a lot today …

            Liked by 1 person

  6. April 15, 2015 at 10:43 am

    I don’t even know how to send an automated message so this is coming to you live…GREAT POST!!! I’d love to go to a party like this..not to meet authors mind you, I just love mad looking cocktails 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • April 15, 2015 at 11:32 am

      This sort of party happens online every 30 seconds, Bernie Rose Violet. I’m not sure how that’ll play out in terms of cocktails, unfortunately…


  7. tbrpiledotcom
    April 15, 2015 at 11:24 am

    A brilliant post, Tara. I follow a lot of authors and have unfollowed quite a few that I would hate to meet at a party. There is so much advice about how to behave and how not to behave on social media that it baffles me how so many authors still get it wrong. And if they are clever enough to write and publish a book, how can they be so dim as to think that the hard and annoying sell actually works?
    I followed someone recently who is VERY well known in indie circles and was amazed to get a DM from them thanking me for the follow. Then there are the DMs after following saying that I should also follow them on Facebook, along with a handy link – if I really wanted to do that, I have enough brain cells to find my own way there.
    Occasionally I write a general tweet saying I have unfollowed people recently because … – but I wonder whether I should let individuals know why they have been unfollowed, although their robots are so busy tweeting their “buy my book” tweets, they probably wouldn’t even notice (or their robot would retweet it to all their followers – now wouldn’t that be fun?).


    • April 15, 2015 at 12:00 pm

      That’s exactly what I can’t understand, and what drives me to drink the most (there are several factors, to be fair) – there are _so_ many people giving out about this sort of awful behaviour and yet there are still thousands of authors who keep on doing it. But that’s just the thing – they never read anything other people write. They only care about themselves. And most of them don’t even understand social media, in my book. It’s about interaction. Not self.

      I would LOVE to see if one of your unfollow tweets got retweeted. We can set up an “Ironic Author” Tumblr, and break the internet with the circularity of it all 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  8. April 15, 2015 at 11:26 am

    Tara. You know those emails you get from people who have the keys to half a billion dollars and are just itching to release some of it to you? Well, I have a variety of replies to those; the one I’m currently happy with says, “I’m so pleased you got in touch. I need someone to lick the s**t out of my a**e. How soon can you get here?” If you believe you’re likely to be at a party of the kind you describe, I suggest you get this warm and affectionate response printed on some business cards and hand them out. Without saying a word. (You might want to pucker your lips, but no more than that).


    • April 15, 2015 at 12:02 pm

      Better still, John, do you know anywhere I could get a transmittable hologram made of myself making obscene gestures as I give out aforementioned responses? I could then go all Princess Leia on their asses, scare the living daylights out of small children, and become a YouTube sensation.

      Liked by 1 person

      • April 15, 2015 at 1:42 pm

        You already are a sensation, Tara — but the transmittable hologram is a great idea.

        Liked by 2 people

        • April 15, 2015 at 2:04 pm

          You’re very kind, John, but just recently I’ve been thinking of becoming a sensation for the right reasons instead.


          • April 15, 2015 at 2:18 pm

            That would be a shame. Think of the loss 😦

            Liked by 1 person

            • April 15, 2015 at 2:37 pm

              I know, I know. But both the Church and the Truck Drivers Against Panda Baiting Society will just have to cope with it.

              Liked by 1 person

  9. April 15, 2015 at 11:46 am

    I don’t know. I don’t have the answers. I’m just as cynical toward authors who try to be subtle about this, but don’t seem to realize their goal is just as transparent. It leaves me feeling icky and dirty (like I’m being manipulated, conned, used). It’s easy to spot the non-stop “Buy my book!” blatherers, but it often takes awhile to recognize the “By the way, buy my book” folks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • April 15, 2015 at 12:09 pm

      I have to say, I think the “By the way, buy my book” folks are inevitable, and I don’t especially mind them. Indie authors have to promote their books somehow, and I’d much rather someone gave me something I wanted (such as meaningful interaction; useful information, or a laugh) before asking me politely if I might be interested in their book (which should be interesting anyway for a particular reason other than the fact that they wrote it), than telling me to buy entirely valueless rubbish for no reason whatsoever. The question of their work should also be brought up in a way which allows graceful decline or a change of subject. Anything else is just plain annoying.

      I’ve bought many a book because I liked what else an author was doing online. I’ve blacklisted 666 times more, though.

      Liked by 1 person

      • April 15, 2015 at 12:15 pm

        Like I said, I don’t have the answers. I don’t know what self-pub’d authors should do. There’s a blogger I follow who apologizes every time she mentions the books she’s written (she’s traditionally published), and it’s not often that she mentions the fact. You would not know she’s an author of fiction, other than these once-in-a-blue-moon references that pop up in her posts.

        Liked by 1 person

        • April 15, 2015 at 12:24 pm

          She might be missing out on a trick, but at the same time, I think we should always behave as we’d want others to behave with us, so there’s a lot to be said for it.

          PS I know you really do have the answers. You’re hiding them, aren’t you?


      • April 15, 2015 at 1:03 pm

        666 exactly? That’s a bit creepy, isn’t it?;)

        Liked by 1 person

  10. April 15, 2015 at 12:36 pm

    Your post made me go and have a look at my timeline. Turns out I’m the sort of writer that goes ‘ooh, cake’ a lot and quotes Terry Pratchett.
    Buggrit. I’m not sure I’d buy my books.
    Wanders off to make another cup of tea and…ooh, cake.

    Liked by 3 people

    • April 15, 2015 at 1:53 pm

      I don’t see any infringements there, Rhoda, and I’ve checked the entire 48 volumes of Stuff I Hate On The Internet. There is precisely nothing wrong with Pratchett, cakes, or Pratchett Cakes. I reckon your indirect sales are better than you think.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Alex Hurst
    April 15, 2015 at 1:06 pm

    We get a lot of the loud-mouthed advertising in our writers group. Thankfully, everyone just sort of tags us (the admins) and leaves them be… though more recently, I had the pleasure of permanently banning a woman who needed to say everything in FULL CAPS BECAUSE THERE WAS NO BETTER WAY TO MAKE THE BOOK SEEM MORE EXCITING. BEST-SELLING! (MAYBE) HOT NEW SERIES! (UNLIKELY)… and I can’t continue, because it’s making my fingers cry, haha.

    I think the real takeaway here is that authors need to be real toward other authors as well. Don’t follow unless you’re genuinely interested in them, don’t comment if you’re expecting a return back scratch, etc. You know, that stuff we learned in grade school. 😛

    Liked by 3 people

    • April 15, 2015 at 1:55 pm

      + 1,000, Alex. Well said. Now, if only these reprehensible people were reading this blog, or indeed, anyone’s.

      What did Caps Woman say about her banning, btw? Did she try to appeal?!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Alex Hurst
        April 15, 2015 at 1:59 pm

        Haha, no, of course not. We ban about 15 people a week, and about 50% of those are blacklisted.

        Sometimes we have people who appeal, and for the most part, we let them back in.

        The one that is frustrating me lately is HootSuite/Buffer/YouNameIt schedulers posting in the group, which means the author SAW our pinned post “NO SELF-PROMOTION ZONE,” and still loaded us into their program.

        Liked by 1 person

        • April 15, 2015 at 2:17 pm

          Good grief. It sounds like a nightmare. I don’t understand why, if there are so many spambot programs available, why there aren’t similar anti-bot programs available to moderators which would just veto any and all automated or scheduled group postings. Unless anyone can tell me why automated posts to groups would be desirable to anyone other than spammers themselves? Anyone?


          • Alex Hurst
            April 15, 2015 at 2:41 pm

            Well, the group is on Facebook. Facebook can’t even figure out how to kick bot accounts (accounts that miraculously can not be banned, and their posts can’t be deleted,) so I’m not holding my breath for your suggestion. 😛

            As far as the second question, I’m not sure… maybe they would like to be able to share something without copying the link and going to the group page, but… forget?

            Liked by 1 person

            • April 15, 2015 at 3:13 pm

              Don’t even get me STARTED on Facebook. I have repetitive strain injury from clicking “unfollow” there too.

              I suppose my question was really, can anyone give me 1 valid reason why automated posts should ever be welcome? If not, ban them all.

              Liked by 1 person

  12. April 15, 2015 at 2:36 pm

    I love this post. You had me laughing out loud with the lady shouting “BUY MY BOOK” along with the person steering every question back to their book.
    I once had an author review one of my books* where the review spent the first third talking about his knowledge of the genre and the next two thirds talking about his own book. He allowed a couple of sentences at the end to mention the book he was reviewing. To be fair, he gave it 5 stars, but i get the feeling it was only so I would do the same. Needless to say I don’t do reciprocal reviews.

    *Yes, I realise from my comment above mentioning my book is a little hypocritical but it’s for a good reason, honest!

    Liked by 2 people

    • April 15, 2015 at 3:12 pm

      Ironically, Dylan, you showed too much self-awareness in your comment to be deemed self-aggrandising, so instead of a reprimand, you get a gold star and a year’s subscription to “Stuff I Hate On the Internet” Volume 46. Congratulations!

      On a more serious note, I am a full supporter of the anti-reciprocal review movement. But as outlined in [self-promotion alert] a previous post, I think you can spot these fake reviews a mile off.

      Liked by 2 people

      • April 15, 2015 at 4:06 pm

        Thank you! I’ll wear the gold star with pride while I tell you all about my new *is yanked from the blog by a shepherds crook*

        Liked by 1 person

        • April 15, 2015 at 4:20 pm

          Who’s wielding this crook? I wish to speak to them immediately!


  13. April 15, 2015 at 2:37 pm

    Reblogged this on Suffolk Scribblings and commented:
    I love this post. It made me laugh out loud, even though at the back of my head I wonder if I can be accused of any of these behaviours.
    It’s worth reading the comments too. Great stuff!

    Liked by 1 person

    • April 15, 2015 at 3:42 pm

      Thanks, Dylan! And don’t worry. None of the people truly guilty of these crimes ever read this blog.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. April 15, 2015 at 3:01 pm

    Reblogged this on bhalsop and commented:
    Good Lord! I hope I’m not like this. Of course, it’s easier when you haven’t even published yet.


  15. SD Gates
    April 15, 2015 at 3:03 pm

    Love this post!! Your cocktail party reminds me of all the writer’s conferences I have been to and all the ‘want to be published’ authors run around, chasing after the famous published authors, scribbling notes and asking obsequious questions. Writers are an interesting species to observe. Thanks for the morning chuckle!!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • April 15, 2015 at 3:14 pm

      Oh, I’m a sucker for compliments, so I am. Only because, obviously, you are so incredibly wise. 😀


      • SD Gates
        April 15, 2015 at 6:05 pm

        Ha-ha! But not as wise as you!!!!

        Liked by 1 person

    • April 15, 2015 at 6:46 pm

      My favorite observations at the one writers’ conference I attended were: the agent who complained about all the manuscripts she had to read (uh, like that’s your bread and butter?), the way wannabe writers schmoozed agents at lunch, and the very jaded agent who, at the end of the day, didn’t want to hear about the novel I’d paid $35 for the chance to pitch for 10 minutes, but, instead, wanted to tell me about the problems she was having with her teenage son. It was a pretty hilarious event over all.

      Liked by 2 people

      • April 15, 2015 at 8:18 pm

        Definitely avoid that conference in the future then. There’s a lot of scamming of authors out there too – David Gaughran does great work on his blog exposing the biggest fraudsters.

        Liked by 1 person

      • SD Gates
        April 15, 2015 at 8:35 pm

        I went to a conference, paid for a pitch session, sat down in front of this agent who was flanked on each side by really young men (I guess his henchman?!), I don’t think I got more than 1/2 a sentence out before he raised his hand up in the air (like he was going to bless me or something) and said Stop! That was it. I thought to myself, you pompous, awful person – I wanted to demand my money’s worth, but decided to save what was left of my self-esteem. Haven’t been to a writer’s conference since.

        Liked by 1 person

        • April 15, 2015 at 8:58 pm

          Surely that’s fraud, SD? I don’t get the value of paying for a pitch session but I ESPECIALLY don’t get how having paid for one, an agent can refuse to listen to you. I think this sort of lark is definitely worth some online investigation. There are so many frauds perpetuated on self-pubbed authors these days… I might give out about the behaviour of some, but I don’t want to see the exploitation of any.

          Liked by 1 person

  16. April 15, 2015 at 3:05 pm

    I reblogged this, praying that I wouldn’t turn into this when I finally publish. But it reminds me of the time last week when an acquaintance asked me what my book (soon to be self-pubbed) was about. After I had uttered about a half a sentence, she turned away and started talking to someone else. I suppose I should be happy that she said “Good luck with your book!” as she sashayed out of the room. I’m doomed.

    Liked by 2 people

    • April 15, 2015 at 3:16 pm

      Ouch! Oh, well. Square the shoulders, and sally forth. Earnest interaction with earnest listeners will happen… eventually. And in the meantime, we can always think “at least they bothered to ask”!


    • April 15, 2015 at 6:19 pm

      Self-publishing is a kind of a joke. Even I (with two self-published novels) don’t think it’s real until there are unsolicited reviews or legitimate reviews for the books and people buy them. I’m not impressed by self-published authors (including myself), even though I know why (and the reasons are legitimate) I published my books myself. It’s not what I wanted. While I don’t view it as failure, exactly, I don’t consider myself “published” in any real sense. Why not? Because so many people who end up self-publishing have said stupid stuff like, “I know I have a book inside; I just need to write it” and “My dream is to write a book” — bullshit. A legitimate writer has something to SAY, not a “book inside.” And, I honestly don’t think that, most of the time, writer A is interested in anything writer B has done. What writer A and writer B actually FEEL toward each other is envy and resentment. Marketing ones book to other writers is absurd. The egocentrism needed to sit there and write the book implies a more pervasive egocentrism. This is an amusing post, but it also proves my point. The first person character here is MOSTLY resentful that no one has listened to her talk about HER book. It’s how it is, I’m afraid.


      • April 15, 2015 at 6:35 pm

        The pills, Martha. TAKE THE PILLS.

        Liked by 2 people

      • April 15, 2015 at 8:28 pm

        What I meant when I wrote that piece, Martha, was that the various authors aren’t interested in anything the second person character – the “you” figure – has to say, whether it’s about books they’ve read, or what they do – anything. It’s nothing to do with the You character wanting to talk about their own writing. It’s about meaningful, two-sided communication. But I agree that the online marketing side of the writing life can be very dispiriting, which is why it’s not for everyone, whether they’re doing it badly or not.


        • April 15, 2015 at 8:33 pm

          I got your meaning, Tara. 🙂 But I think part of it is, for self-published authors, the desire to legitimize themselves. I enjoyed the conceit of having these writers interact with real people the way they act online — it’s something that actually happens now and it’s funny/weird.

          Liked by 1 person

  17. April 15, 2015 at 3:45 pm

    I suspect it’s a sign of how desperate us self-published authors can feel when the reviews are not forthcoming (never mind five star ones) and other writers you know won’t read your book because it’s ‘not their thing’ — though they’re more than happy to badger you for votes for their book when a competition looms. Life’s tough for us strivers.

    Liked by 2 people

    • April 15, 2015 at 4:18 pm

      It can be tough, this is true. But if an author comes across as desperate, they might be doomed before they even begin. I suppose this question boils down to goals; what’s possible, and what’s likely – and of course, the hook or logline being used to sell the book in the first place. Not every author is good at marketing, and self-publishing might not be a suitable route for everyone for this reason.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. April 15, 2015 at 3:50 pm

    I am terrible. Even I wouldn’t want to meet me at the party. I forget where I am, hog the petits fours, chat up people’s husbands and then yell ‘I wrote this book’, forget the title, and run off with the wine waiter.

    I like to think of myself as a charmingly inept self-publicist, when really I am only at any given party for the wine waiters.

    Liked by 3 people

    • April 15, 2015 at 4:15 pm

      Oh, I don’t know, Jane. I think you sound like an absolute hoot. Invite me along to your next party, and I’ll give you honest critique just before I get embarrassingly drunk and stand on the table to sing Rihanna/Teletubbies mashups. I think you might be a bit too witty for my party, though. Are you really sure you have the required irritant capacity for application?

      Liked by 1 person

  19. April 15, 2015 at 4:52 pm

    This is so accurate for authors, artists, and filmmakers alike. Desperation is the worst thing a writer, or any artist, can have. It’s the worst thing a person in a job interview can have. People like to see passion, not desperation. No one wants to see an author beg to be noticed – they want to see an author’s ideas demand to be noticed via fantastically crafted, original stories. Be cool and let your art speak for you. (and that’s not to say that social media marketing isn’t required, but there’s a way to be authentic about it instead of having both your “following” and “followers” count on twitter be 30,000 people).

    Liked by 2 people

    • April 15, 2015 at 8:05 pm

      Wholeheartedly agree – great points. And unless you’re a proper celebrity, I can’t see how there is any authenticity in having 30,000 of followers on anything.


    • April 19, 2015 at 1:02 pm

      You really hit the point, aetherhouse. I suppose that’s why most of the time I don’t bother reading that kind of feed. If an author is engaging, I’ll follow them and it’s likely sooner or later I’ll buy their stories. How likely am I to buy the books of people who just shout, buy my book?

      Liked by 1 person

  20. annerallen
    April 15, 2015 at 6:47 pm

    Alas, this is what my Twitter stream looks like most of the time. Lots of people describe Twitter as a “cocktail party.” Here you take us to that party in real life. Pretty grim. Thanks for the laugh!

    I agree about the DMs. Automatic unfollow.

    Liked by 2 people

    • April 15, 2015 at 8:07 pm

      Oh dear, Anne, I hadn’t meant to take people right into this sorry mess. I’d rather hoped to help people avoid it. Of course, some people only followed me for the cocktails, but I know you’d never do that.


  21. April 15, 2015 at 6:59 pm

    I think it’s part and parcel of our modern, shallow, capitolist society, one where our worth is no longer dependant on our qualities as human beings but is reduced to our value as “consumers” (which means buy, buy, buy). As a rule, I loath salespeople, whenever I see someone in a suit and tie I wonder what he’s selling. It might be a product, or perhaps a dogma. Yet today we are all supposed to sell ourselves. A couple of situations come to mind – the job interview and dating. Somehow we have to convince people that we are the cat’s meow. Introversion is out. Aggression is in. It all makes for a lot of fakery.

    My feeling about selling one’s book is, first, love and believe in your ” product “, do the best you can to write/edit and put it out there (within reason of course) then leave it and trust that if you’ve written a good story it will be discovered. Finally, move on.

    Liked by 2 people

    • April 15, 2015 at 8:13 pm

      Good points. We have become dispiritingly consumerist, but aren’t we doing it to ourselves, too? We not only accept it, but we often expect it. And then, when we go to sell, we employ the same tactics, like there’s no alternative. There’s no creativity in the way we’re selling ourselves, and that’s precisely the problem.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. April 15, 2015 at 8:46 pm

    Reblogged this on Insomnia, Nightmares and General Madness and commented:
    And this sums up why I tend to despise Twitter.

    Liked by 1 person

    • April 15, 2015 at 10:54 pm

      Thank you for the re-blog, Kaine. But I would hope you’re not limiting yourself too much with just Twitter. I find lots of room in my heart to hate Facebook and Instagram too, not to mention various book review sites, some tabloid newspapers, and, at least 7 times a day, YouTube.

      Liked by 2 people

      • April 15, 2015 at 11:43 pm

        Oh, all those things have their moments, too… but Twitter really takes the cake for me. 9/10ths of the time, the feed looks like “Buy my stuff!” “No, buy MY stuff!” “Have you bought my stuff!” for hours at a stretch. I liken it to having a dozen salesmen all trapped in a room, each trying to sell the others on their product, with none having the intention of buying anything.

        Liked by 2 people

        • April 15, 2015 at 11:51 pm

          A perfect analogy, Kaine, and one I may just quote mercilessly for some time to come.

          Liked by 1 person

        • April 19, 2015 at 12:57 pm

          That’s exactly true, eh? I like Twitter, actually, but I never check my general feed for that exact reason. I only follow people on my lists, because I know they’ll say SOMETHING.

          Liked by 2 people

          • April 19, 2015 at 2:44 pm

            I should get around to actually organizing my feed into lists and such… might alleviate some of it. Hmm. My project for the day, perhaps.

            Liked by 1 person

  23. April 15, 2015 at 8:59 pm

    Well said. Funny and sad all at once. This mentality is a large part of the reason I avoid places that cater to self-published authors – these communities seem to be lacking in community and devolve into nothing more than half-hearted advertisements.

    Liked by 1 person

    • April 15, 2015 at 9:37 pm

      Thanks, Trey. It’s a fairly depressing affair, all right. I think this sort of poor attack-marketing will blow itself out eventually, but could someone please exert some control in the meantime?

      Liked by 1 person

      • April 16, 2015 at 1:10 am

        I may be overly misanthropic here (and I usually am), but I wouldn’t count on it. From what I’ve seen, there are tons of authors, old and new, that expect their book to bring them fame and fortune. Unless that mindset changes, the marketing won’t either.

        Having said that, and sufficiently bummed myself out, I sincerely hope you are right.

        Liked by 2 people

  24. April 15, 2015 at 9:42 pm

    Brilliant! I can’t wait to enter this world! I am going to be amazing at singing my own praises and ranting on about how many 5 star reviews my book has had….mainly from family and neighbours 🙂


    • April 15, 2015 at 10:42 pm

      I’m sorry, but I have to tell you that’s not allowed. Honesty regarding fake reviews immediately disqualifies you. It’s tough out there, but you need renegades like me to tell you the brutal truth.

      Liked by 1 person

      • April 15, 2015 at 10:44 pm

        I would rather have renegades tell me the brutal truth than have to bully my family and neighbours into writing reviews for me. A few of the authors I have come across lately seem to be adopting the above approach and it makes me very cross.


        • April 15, 2015 at 10:50 pm

          Of course it does! Again, why do none of the guilty realise this? You, me and a thousand others are giving out about this daily and yet nobody listens. Mind you, nobody listens to me in real life either, so I’m surprised I’m surprised…

          Liked by 1 person

  25. April 15, 2015 at 10:45 pm

    *wearing cut-out-and-keep fantasy book jacket photo of myself* Ah nice to see you Tara. Ah nice to see to you Tara. A quick re-tweet there ho ho (awkward laugh that turns weirdly Barbara Windsor-ish)

    Liked by 1 person

    • April 15, 2015 at 10:51 pm

      You can’t fool me, Tenderness. I know what you’re at. And no, I won’t babysit. No matter how much you beg.


  26. April 16, 2015 at 10:01 am

    Reblogged this on graemecummingdotnet and commented:
    Please, please, please… If anyone ever spots me doing this, tell me. Or punch me. Or something else that will grab my attention!

    Liked by 2 people

    • April 19, 2015 at 2:41 pm

      Thank you for the re-blog, Graeme. And don’t worry. Most people will be only too glad to tell you what they think you’re doing wrong on the Internet. I wonder who’d be first… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  27. April 16, 2015 at 8:17 pm

    My day isn’t complete if I can’t sift through twitter shouts by authors in fedoras who bought themselves 35K followers. If I’m lucky, I might even see a tweet from the fedora author. And people ask me why, oh why, do I not follow twitter feed on my Smart Phone. Nicely done, Tara. Thanks for the LOL.

    Liked by 1 person

    • April 16, 2015 at 10:27 pm

      You’re most welcome! I admire your resilience re Twitter on your smart phone. I get my revenge on Twitter by liberal use of the Mute button. Not that they care, but I like to dream!


  28. April 22, 2015 at 9:14 pm

    I have spent hours each night trying to figure out who these people are in these groups who claim to be best selling- 5 star reviewed authors when they can’t put together a cohesive sentence of social media. It saddens and discourages me, but then it entertains me to see people falling all over themselves to say how talented they and how great their books are but my writing is pedestrian and when I say anything in my own defense I’m a bully or elitist.


    • April 22, 2015 at 10:21 pm

      I think you should be commended for trying to figure out who these people are at all! They don’t seem to be affording you the same courtesy. I always try to judge my criticism by its source. I get a lot of it so admittedly I have the luxury of picking and choosing, but I highly recommend it all the same. Thank you for your comment, keep up your good work and as they say in Ireland, feck the begrudgers 🙂


  29. April 23, 2015 at 6:56 pm

    I started trying to follow the rule that if I can’t post OTHER things (like random ideas, silly notes, and shout outs) then I shouldn’t be posting at all! I link to my blog and then do said silly notes and random ideas. If they follow the trail they can find me…if not then someone still likes my silly note and gets a shout out!

    I would love to think that I’m not THAT kind of author but, let’s face it, I have been at some point or another. Loved the post! funny and hits where it hurts…just the right kind of shove.

    Liked by 1 person

    • April 23, 2015 at 8:40 pm

      Well, you’re preaching to the converted, here. Silly notes and random ideas are my most favourite on social media, bar none. And I do like a treasure hunt, too! I’ll be over shortly for a look, just as soon as the angry hordes die down outside my window 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • April 23, 2015 at 11:49 pm

        Today’s blog is about free books on kindle so maybe check different posts….Most of my twitter is, admittedly, blog linked.


  30. May 4, 2015 at 11:13 am

    Hey Tara, I only just read this. I don’t know what it is about your posts, but your picture of the author in snow leopard suit inspired me to write another story. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  31. May 7, 2015 at 11:43 am

    Ha ha excellent, Tara – this is just what Twitter feels like at times. I’m tempted to quit, to be honest, but every so often something interesting pops up and I’m sucked in again. I have been making good use of the mute button though LOL. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • May 7, 2015 at 12:13 pm

      I think you’re doing well, Helen, in that Twitter only feels like this at times! The blessings of blog be on that mute button…

      Liked by 1 person

  32. August 12, 2015 at 11:38 pm

    I joined Google Plus about five minutes after it opened, as did apparently every self-published author on the internet. And ALL of them acted like this. Although most of them started with an innocuous “Hi, how are you, I added you to my circle, add me back?” and then began the Buy-My-Book deluge.
    In the first week I was on there, I must have friended and then unfriended more people than I ever have on all other platforms combined. I have now learned better.

    Liked by 1 person

    • August 13, 2015 at 12:01 am

      You might have learned better, I bet most of them haven’t though! Still, small steps and all that. Hope your party turns out a lot more enjoyable. Stay away from the politicians and the bankers though.


      • August 13, 2015 at 12:13 am

        Oh, I’m not worried about those. You have to have a lot more money before they’re concerned with you.

        Liked by 1 person

  33. December 16, 2015 at 1:46 am

    Tara, I must be one lucky person, since I’ve only met one of these types. Hard to handle,being bullied. It reminded me not to become one!

    Liked by 1 person

    • December 16, 2015 at 7:32 am

      I’m meeting it less and less myself… Either it’s getting better, and this is happening less, or authors who do this are avoiding me like the plague!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: