Sorry this is a long one but it is very important indeed. How many pages of advice are out on the internet about self-publishing and self-promotion? No, that is a rhetorical question. Enough, right? So much that even the newest of newbies should know why the following is WRONG on so many levels.
I received a friend request on FB from some woman and checked out any mutual friends. She appeared to have some so I accepted and within a minute this arrived in my Private Message in-box:
THANKS for becoming my friend here on FaceBook. I’d love for you to check out my first YA Paranormal romance novel for your daughter or any other young girl in your family
Pause to let the more experienced / professional amongst you get back on your chairs or lift your chins off the desk…………Deep breath and yes, thank you, I have stopped shaking now.
Please remind me, folks, what is the Number One rule on Social Media advertising? Yes, it’s social media. Get to know people, interact, make friends and drop some advertising on your own page or time-line. never spam your contacts by DM or on their personal time lines unless they have invited you to.
Two – I wouldn’t imagine this was even necessary because you wouldn’t dream of doing it face to face. Never make assumptions about people you don’t know. Suppose I were one of those tragic cases of “childless and despairing” following any number of miscarriages, failed IVF, suicide attempts and divorce? Some stranger casually assuming I had a daughter would ruin my day.
Possibly worse case – supposing I did have a daughter but for some reason she was unable to read? I would be enraged. My good friend has a profoundly deaf son and would react badly to spam advertising saying “your son will love our music”.
When I replied to this woman that she was being offensive and pointed out why, she gave me a written shrug and replied that she had created a “generic” post that she sent to everyone including males.
I’ll make some coffee while you all get back on your chairs again and stop swearing.
That’s right, gal, tell your potential readers that they are just numbers to you and that everyone you “befriend” gets the same message. That will make them feel really special. No it won’t you gormless git, it will just ensure that they block you, put your name on their “never to be read” list and tell all their friends. I know this because when I shared the experience on FB, all my real friends, including some pretty influential writers, said they had received the same treatment and blocked her.
Well I haven’t. I want her to see this post. I’d like her to know that I’ve reported her to FB for spam and that someone else is reporting her for using a pen-name as her ID when it should be a page. No I do not name and shame, that is as bad as her behaviour but most of you know who she is, so kindly drop her a copy of this, would you?