MARKETING: When does it cross the line into obnoxious?

Now, WHY does this kind of email push my button, coming from an acquaintance who blew me off several times? (Even if it had been from someone I knew slightly, it would’ve bugged me. Coming from someone I know well, it would’ve confused me.) I get these all the time, and they’re fairly interchangeable. Here’s the text of the thing, in general.

“My book/manuscript is up for such-and-such an Award or Contest and I’m sooo excited! Vote by going to blah-blah-webaddress and rating it ten stars and giving me a great review.” [OR “Click on my book cover icon and then send the e-mail that pops up in your e-mail program!”] This only takes you a minute. I hope I can count on your vote!”

The hubris here . . . or the presumption . . . or something about it bugs me. The assumption that we want to vote for someone just because we’ve heard of them, or have met them, is not an accurate one, but it’s a social-pressure thing. We haven’t even read the book or whatnot, but we are asked to vote positively. What happened to evaluating something for quality against the competition? Now, THAT would take a lot more than a minute or two, and that’s why they don’t ask us to do that (right).

I hated having to do this when I was in the Gather contests. I’m just as glad I didn’t make the Amazon contest, as I would have to be blasted obnoxious and pushy, and I can’t do it. I could tell people about my book being in stores, but I would do it differently, without being so in-yer-face. At least that’s what I tell myself.

The frequency with which I get these pleas is just appalling. It’s daunting. It bugs me that this is the way society runs. Or am I just behind the times? Is it in the New World Order that everyone has to just be marketing and begging for votes and purchases all the time? We must see others as nothing more than something that can buy our book. We must assume that we can guilt people into “voting for us” without really letting them evaluate the options and decide on the basis of what they really believe is best. Wait–that’s what the political candidates are thinking, too, on the whole. You can’t get what they REALLY believe out of most of them–they’re telling you what they think you want to hear so you’ll vote for them. What happened to integrity? Too hard to spell?

What the hell does it matter, anyway, as in a year or three years or five years these awards and contests and so forth will be forgotten, and the winners will have their names on some list or another of winners for that year, and that’s all. The work will live on if it has the “legs,” not because it got awards or had its fifteen minutes of fame. People stress over and fight over awards that ultimately don’t mean anything at all, or are soon forgotten when the next big hoo-ha comes on the scene. Let’s get over awards and just let things rise to the top like cream, if they will.

But I’m a weirdo. Raised in part by a grandmother who still wore little white gloves to church through the end of 1968 (when you could no longer get them at Penneys.) When we teased her by accusing her of having attended the one-room log cabin schoolhouse with Abraham Lincoln, she merely scoffed and said, “Ridiculous notion–of course not. Mr. Lincoln was in Illinois!”
# # #
I love ‘s Error Messages In Haiku.

The web site you seek
Cannot be located, but
Countless more exist.

Having been erased,
The document you’re seeking
Must now be retyped.

And my fave:
You step in the stream,
But the water has moved on.
This page is not here.

“You can never step in the same river twice.”
“I just don’t want to drown.”
–an exchange between two characters in one of my early novels
# # #
Hubby has a rash and could possibly be having a mild allergic reaction to Plaavix. This would be disastrous, as they said, “You will take a Plaavix and an aspirin every morning from now on, or that stent will fill up and you will die.” I suppose there are older meds they could give if they had to, but they told us they wanted him to take this as long as he could, even if there is a problem. So please pray that he isn’t having an allergic reaction to Plaavix. I am a scheissekopf, but he really isn’t, and he’s scared. We appreciate all prayers. They help a lot.


Author: shalanna

Shalanna: rhymes with "Madonna" and "I wanna," and is not a soundalike with "Hosanna" or "Sha-Na-Na." Aging hippie with long hair, husband, elderly mother, and yappy Pomeranian. I've been writing since I could hold a crayon. I started with fiction, which Mama said was "lying." “Don’t tell stories,” she would admonish, in Southern vernacular. “That's all in your imagination!” When grownups said this, they were not approving. So, shamed, I stopped telling stories for a few years--rather, I stopped letting anyone read them. I'm married to a fellow computer nerd who doesn't really like hearing about writing, but who reads sf/fantasy and understands the creative drive. I'm actually a nonconformist/hippie still wearing bluejeans and drop earrings and the Alice-in-Wonderland hair with headbands and sandals. Favorite flavor is chocolate/orange, favorite color is either Dreamsicle orange (cantaloupe) or bubble-gum pink, favorite musical is either Bye Bye Birdie, Rocky Horror, or The Producers . . . wait, I also love The Music Man. Is this getting way too specific and irrelevant yet? Obvious why I don't sell a ton of flash fiction, isn't it? To define oneself, I always say, it is good to make a list. How about a booklist? Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird Frank and Ernestine Gilbreth, Cheaper by the Dozen C.S.Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (all the Narnia books) J.R.R.Tolkien,The Hobbit/LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy Gail Godwin, The Odd Woman F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby J. D. Salinger, Catcher in the Rye (before dismissing it, actually read it) George Orwell, 1984 Kurt Vonnegut, Cat's Cradle Donna Tartt, The Secret History Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn James Allen, As A Man Thinketh Mark Winegardner, Elvis Presley Boulevard James Thurber, My Life and Hard Times The Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum Winnie-the-Pooh/House at Pooh Corner, A. A. Milne Peter Pan, J. M. Barrie The KJV and NIV Bible (each translation has its glories)

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