The Secret Dreamworld of an Aspiring Author by Anna Bell - How Not to Behave Online
We all know how to behave on the internet, don’t we? We all use Twitter and Facebook and sign our emails cordially. I’m sure we don't do anything to get people’s backs up, or do we?
There have been loads of blogs lately that havediscussed social networking behaviour and it got me thinking. How do you know what you’re doing is acceptable or not? And what author and aspiring author online bad habits drive you crazy?
This is my little list of pet peeves and they mainly relate to indie authors. Are you guilty of any of them? Or do you want to defend them as acceptable behaviour?
Authors that CONSTANTLY self promote
Unless you are Lady Gaga and you have thousands of new followers a day, don’t retweet every link to your book. If your followers are going to buy your book, annoying them by retweeting every single compliment is not going to help. Surely it's much better to use social networking to build genuine relationships and friendships with your followers? Maybe they will like you enough to buy your book.
Use DM’s with caution
DMs are a sacred space on twitter. I personally unfollow anyone who has an automatic DM set up which tells me to buy their book - get to know me first! If you really want to contact someone you don’t know well, then why not go to their website and email them instead.
Don't be a spammy author
I know it is lovely when people retweet your links, but don’t ask people (unless you know them well) to retweet your links! Definitely don’t DM people (unless you know them and have that kind of relationship) and ask them to retweet you. There is an author on the interwebs, he who shall not be named, who DM’d and tweeted me to try and get me to retweet his links. His tweets had a link to his book and some tenuous link to a famous person that related to chick lit. I've heard tales from other authors about this guy (who is quite famous!) and all of us have unfollowed him for spamming. I unfollowed him and I unfollow anyone who retweets him, so that the author never appears in my timeline.
Don’t tag your book on someone else’s book on Amazon
We all know you want to sell your book, but setting up a tag with your book title and tagging other similar books to yours is just wrong. The spammy author, he who shall not be named, does this too (yet another reason for the unfollow). If your books are in the same genre then tag both books with a linking term e.g ‘chick lit’. That way you’re not stepping on anyone else’s toes.
Don’t link to your book in Amazon reviews
Yes, people actually do this. Rude! Do you think readers who have clicked to read the reviews of a book are going to magically read your review and then navigate to your page to buy your book instead? I don’t think so. It makes you look desperate. Would you see an established author like Marian Keyes or Sophie Kinsella doing that? I don’t think so.
And so concludes my top five ‘how not to behave on the internet’ gripes. What are yours?