My contribution to World Book Day.
There are two types of Spam. As in this much-loved Monty Python clip there is a luncheon-meat which comes in tins, original name coming from spiced ham. That isn’t bad, useful on camping trips or if one is ravenous at 3 am and dead lazy.
The other one is unwanted advertising.
Why am I telling you this? It seems necessary because the internet is flooded with the damn stuff, some of it thrust up our noses by people who don’t even know what spam is. Here is a reduced version of a conversation I had on FB after posting a link in a “book group” to this blog which another member of the group had “liked” and then added an advertising link to her own book as a comment.
ME What is the connection with your book and what is in my post?
HER Nothing. I am trying to sell my books.
ME So are we all, but that is blatant spamming, rude and unprofessional. Please remove it.
She genuinely seemed perplexed as to why I shouldn’t want her advertising her book under my post. She was of the opinion that “nobody reads the posts” so we might as well “piggy-back our ads – you can do the same on mine!”
OK – excuse me while I take a few deep breaths and allow my blood pressure to come down.
This is a microcosm of what is wrong with social media. I have likened it to a drinks party where, instead of mingling with interesting conversation, guests are all shoving copies of their books up each other’s noses with the result that nobody has any idea of who writes what and in the end, everyone gets fed up and leaves. Rather than discussion-sites, they become souks with the stall-holders trying to out-shout each other.
It is ultimately, totally self-defeating as we end up with a huge number of authors who are flaunting their titles to a number of other authors with nobody taking any notice, which is why I am pulling out of many groups. Yes, we all have to advertise but there must be a way of doing it without metaphorically shoving bamboo slivers under the nails of all and sundry in the hope of some cracking.