Well, this is a very vague and open topic… but of course I’m going to limit it to the romance community. I think we all know that what you do online can come back to haunt you- right or wrong.
Authors sometimes go a little… er, crazy? Over reviews. There are numerous examples. Authors have created socks (fake profiles) and reviewed their own books in glowing terms. Bloggers or readers have had comments they’ve made bite them in the ass. Or you know, other stuff you do.
Every so often I see an author post “what to do?” asking the question, because someone who doesn’t like his or her books keeps entering contests on the author’s blog or website. Either for, or not, the author’s books. I don’t know what the answer is. Maybe this is just a very cautionary post with open ended everything. In fact, I like that. (The open ended-ness.)
There are of course some authors whose books I enjoy more than others. I love to pimp out books. I love for people to read the same books I do, because then I can dish with them. We can discuss the book and squee and talk about what we loved and how wonderful it is. If I like the author based on his/her online presence, that’s just a bonus. I want good things for good people, so I might push harder.
If I don’t like a book, I won’t push it. I might like the author very much as a person, but I might think one of his or her books was… not that great. Possibly even sub par. Won’t push that. Or, maybe I like the books, but the author less. Unless the author has done something “bad” or to elicit a bad memory or reaction, I won’t mind pushing his or her books based on what someone is looking for. I’m always happy to give book recommendations.
I’m also honest – I’ll say a number of people like whatever book, but me? Not so much. Every so often I have people say “OMG UR SO RONG!” But… whatever. I didn’t like it. Said person can’t crawl into my brain and change my thoughts or what I think. Or fix grammatical errors, or misuse of words, or plot holes either. :X Yeah, I notice those things.
On the other hand… I won’t push the books of an author if she or he does something I term as “shitty” – or something that rubs me the wrong way. That’s a danger of social media.
I’ve talked books with a number of readers and authors… and have exchanged “shit lists” with some people. I’ve decided to avoid a few authors based on his or her actions. A friend had an author tell her off – when the author didn’t even read her comment on the blog. Diva behavior, embarrassing someone in a very public forum, is in bad taste. Worse when the author doesn’t even actually read the comment. I’ve decided to no longer buy that author’s books. Said author has never done anything to me… and likely won’t miss my, or my friend’s money… but neither of us see any reason to support him/her.
Authors that start ignoring a reader, or blogger after a less than glowing review. (Wake up call- a number of sites out there only post good reviews. Doesn’t mean your book is awesome. Maybe… but not necessarily.) Unfollowing someone. Be it on twitter, facebook, a blog, etc. There are ways for people to tell, and they do notice. I admit, I’m crazy and excessively sensitive and think-y, so that last one bothers me. A lot. I’m trying to get over it. But can I prevent it from affecting me? Not at this point. Subsequently, I don’t plan to buy X author’s books in the foreseeable future. I’m already drowning in books and other things to do anyway.
Something else I’ve noticed. Being subscribed to author’s newsletters. I visit a lot of random sites periodically, so I’m not 100% sure what I signed on for or not. I do save all the notification emails, but truly I’m too lazy to check. And too busy at this point. However, there are some authors I swear somehow got my email address from something or other – maybe a blog post? A comment? I don’t know – and subscribed me to his or her newsletter. This makes me unhappy.
Also, when newsletters don’t have a way for you to unsubscribe. I don’t know if it’s bad for an author’s newletter to be marked as spam, but I might do that. Some newsletters won’t die – and I know I’ve unsubscribed from them a number of times, yet they keep coming back.
Then there’s facebook. I don’t want to become a fan of you, dear author. If I did, I would do so proactively. I don’t do much with my facebook. I’m on twitter much more. Too much. I’ll cut back for a while, I think. Maybe.
This is also why I’m not on good reads. Not enough time, no interest, and all I hear about it is “WHY IS THIS ST00PID AUTHOR RECOMMENDING HIS/HER OWN BOOKS TO ME?!?!”
Does not want.
Anyway, those are just the negatives. Because I’ve been online blog hopping, on twitter etc, I discovered a number of great authors. Contests are also fantastic. In fact, I won one of Nalini Singh’s books, which led me to buy her entire Psy/Changeling series – and read her Silhouette Desire categories. The same with Kresley Cole. (Sans you know, the non-existent harlequin books.) JR Ward as well – though maybe I’m less grateful for that one. 😛 Jaci Burton, Lauren Dane, Megan Hart. Anya Bast. Sydney Croft – and thus Larissa Ione and Stephanie Tyler. Susan Lyons. Dee Tenorio. Elizabeth Hoyt. I’d never have discovered those authors if I hadn’t been online. And many more terrific authors as well. And they’ve written some of my favorite books.
(And I am not mentioning Lisa Kleypas, Erin McCarthy, HelenKay Dimon, Christina Dodd, Eloisa James, Deirdre Martin, Leanne Banks, Emilie Rose, Katherine Garbera, Nancy Warren, Jennifer Crusie, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Julia Quinn, Sarah Mayberry, Rachel Gibson, Nicole Jordan, etc, because I’d already read their books. Oh wait.) 😉
So there you go. Being online has good and bad things. Does this mean stay off line? No. Does this mean you should be a robot? No. Do you always have to be Mary Sue? I’d like to hope not. Civility and basic human courtesy would always be nice… but differences in opinion are also good too.
Just some thoughts.