No more blatant promotion on blogs–let’s start a movement

I don’t know about you and your friendslist, but mine has become a big turnoff lately. Many, MANY of my cohorts are published authors. They have come to believe that a blog or journal is naught but a marketing tool. They have come to see nothing out here but big old wallets, entities that they humor with a few content-containing posts and then blast with the ol’ BUY MY BOOK and HERE’S MY COVER entries. Man, it’s getting old.

Please . . . I know you have a book coming out. It’s fine for you to tell me briefly. Remind me when you have appearances and when you’ve sold a book. But seriously, posting the cover of the book all the time and the cover of this or that anthology you were in and all this rot gets really old. It makes me feel as if I am at an Amway distributors’ convention and that they have been pretending to be talking to me and listening to what I was saying when all along they were simply waiting for the opportunity to start the sales pitch. Is this evil of me? Is it just envy, green-eyed monster, etc.? If it is, I don’t even care–“make the most of it,” as Patrick Henry or someone said. (“If this be treason, make the most of it!”)

Maybe it’s just me. Maybe it’s because I have so many different authors on my list, and I’ve overdosed. But heck, I come here for discussions and interesting exchanges, not to see all this promo material. Let’s look at some GOOD examples. Shanna Swendson doesn’t do this (at least not often). Judith Tarr never does it (she talks about her horses and her life, mostly). Jim Butcher mostly doesn’t do this. Very seldom will you see book covers and lists of appearances and so forth . . . most of the time, they talk about how to write, their processes in writing, the markets, what they’ve done in the industry (conventions), or actual PERSONAL LIFE STUFF. It’s actually interesting, and it makes me far more likely to want to read their books and see them in person. Does this make any sense?

Perhaps not. Could be that the moment one of my books goes under contract, I will become the most obnoxious git on the ‘net. Go ahead, try me–throw me into that briar patch, Br’er Bear. (Meaning “If only I could have THAT problem/dilemma instead of these other cruddy ones.”)

If I’m the only person that this bothers, then I am wrong. I’m weird. I’m just being a pain.

But today, I am weary of seeing contests to win ARCs, pictures of people’s book covers, those “interviews” that all the friends of a particular author will run on their blogs because a new book has come out (and it’s all so Spontaneous and Exciting! This book is so Amazing!), and all that. I tire of seeing the same promo material on six different journals (because there’s a handshaking agreement going on, and everyone posts each other’s promo material in turn.) Let us see something more original. Isn’t there something interesting you want to talk about?

(Not YOU . . . THEM.)


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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