What Stace had to say on Tuesday, September 20th, 2011
The Check-in

Sigh. This has happened to me a lot lately, so forgive me if I rant for a minute.

Anyone can email me. I love it when readers email me, frankly; it makes everything worthwhile and more. There’s a contact form here on the site that you can use, if you want. Or ask; I give my email address all the time, all over the place. It’s staciakane AT gmail. Go ahead. I love to hear from you. I am currently way behind on answering reader emails, yes, and for that I am horrendously sorry. But that doesn’t mean the emails themselves don’t fill me with squealy delight. They do.

Here’s what does NOT fill me with squealy delight: Emails from people who clearly have no idea who I am. Don’t get me wrong; I hardly think I’m a household name. Of course I’m not.

But at least a couple of times a week I get emails asking me if I’m interested in “developing an app,” “sponsoring a product,” “participating in” some sort of promotion or activity or whatever, or–these are my favorites–offering me their services for a guest post on the blog. See, they’re Real Professional Writers(ZOMG!1!!!), and presumably my blog is in great need of some Real Professional Writing and could really benefit from their personal flair and expertise and stuff. And in exchange, all this Real Professional Writer asks is that I link back to them/their site!

Sorry, but this is insulting. I myself happen to be a Real Professional Writer, one with more credits and experience than you, Ms. Give-me-your-blog-audience-to-publicize-myself. You’d know that if you’d bothered at all to even look at the blog you’re proposing to visit. And you, Mr. App Developer? Why exactly should I pay you to develop an “app” based on…what?

I get them on Goodreads, too; a new “friend” will send me, immediately upon my approving their request, an email with links to and info about their self-published books (sorry, but I haven’t had a single commercially published author do this) and a request that I review it. They never mention my own books; they never give any indication that they even know me as anything more than just another name on a list. Again, I don’t expect people to just know my name but I do expect them to at least, you know, look at my Goodreads page–the one they had to click on to send me the request to begin with? Their books often don’t fit into any of the types of books I’ve ever rated at Goodreads and don’t fit into UF either; it’s a form email they send to every person they can, the way spammers do (and that’s what they are, spammers). I generally reply and ask what about me specifically makes them think I’m the audience for their book, and they never respond (shocking, I know).

You contacted me. Yes, I know I’m just one email address out of many you’re spamming/just one Goodreads account out of many you’re spamming. I don’t care. Don’t contact me if you don’t have any idea what you can actually offer me. Don’t contact me if you have no idea who I am and can’t even be bothered to spend two minutes scanning my website. It’s not like information about me and/or my work is secret; I have a whole website devoted to it.

Don’t contact me if you do not have an answer to the question, “Okay, and why are you contacting me, specifically?” Because I’m going to ask. And if you don’t have an answer, we’re not doing business. Of any kind. (I will report you for spam, too. Goodreads is a place where readers can talk about books; that’s what it exists for. Those readers don’t want or deserve your contempt, and “contempt” is exactly what it is when you treat them like potential sales rather than individuals, and when you look at them and see only what they can do for you, and behave as though they have some obligation to do that. Like your desire for self-promotion is more important then their time/privacy/right to go about their business without being solicited by you. You don’t care about their actual interests or tastes, you don’t care about their likes or dislikes, you only care about getting them to buy your book. You may not realize it’s contemptuous, but it is.)

I love having my pals over here for guest posts. I’m happy to offer people guest spots if I think it’s something my readers would be interested in, and I don’t mind requests from people asking if I’d be willing to let them do a guest posts. It’s fine. Please feel free to ask. But I somehow don’t think my readers are that interested in Random Nonfic Writer’s Random Blog Posts. And I get pissed as hell when Random Writer treats me like some kind of idiot who’ll be so sparkly-diamond-eyes thrilled to have a Real Writer offer to do a guest post for me that I won’t even consider the truth of the matter, which is that they’re trying to use the years of hard work I’ve put in to build my own audience to give themselves a jump without any effort.

Having someone here on my blog to write a guest post is in essence me endorsing that person and/or their book. It’s me saying to my readers, “Hey guys, so-and-so is a pal and a good writer, and you might enjoy this.” I don’t generally do that for strangers (unless of course I was blown away by their book). No, my blog doesn’t get thousands of hits a day, but it’s a fairly solid audience; we hit the mid-four digits every week, at least (did I mention before about the weird dichotomy there? When I used to get maybe 100 hits a day, a lot more people commented. Now there are way more hits but hardly any comments. Just seems odd).

So, there you go. My little semi-rant about spam and self-promotion.

Anyway. On to other things.

Last night I got a look at the revised SACRIFICIAL MAGIC cover, and I’m really, really pleased. I’ll be showing that one off ASAP; the chick on it actually looks like she could be Chess! And it has a new sort of feel that I just…I really dig it, it’s a cool cover. Can’t wait to show it to you guys, so let’s hope I get the OK fast.

I also have the final playlist for the book, which I won’t be posting for a while yet–probably not until January or so–but I do have it all set up. Incidentally, although there was an extended exclusive excerpt of Chapter One up on Stellar Four, and although there will be an extended exclusive excerpt from Chapter Two up on Dark Faerie Tales for the Supernatural Smackdown event, I won’t be posting Chapter One in its entirety on the site until the end of February, and the first three chapters will go live the day of the book’s release.

And, there’s a new interview with me up at Novels on the Run, so go check it out!

6 comments to “The Check-in”

  1. Helen
    · September 20th, 2011 at 6:12 am · Link

    It sounds really annoying having those sorts of emails sent through. I am not yet worthy enough to receive spam of that calibre! My little blog usually only gets between 10-30 hits a day, however I don’t have any aspirations to be a writer other than my own little musings on my craft blog! However if you wanted to be a guest blogger on my site you would be more than welcome. But do you crochet?
    I am glad you love getting emails, I might just have to send you a particularly nosy question I have been dying to ask but am too polite to ask about!
    Looking forward to your future novels. I have read the Chess Putnam series and have just discovered that I can get Personal Demons on Kindle which I will be purchasing very soon – hopefully!
    xXx Helen

  2. MichelleKCanada (@AnotherLookBook)
    · September 20th, 2011 at 6:16 am · Link

    Your rant was perfect. You said everything that I agree with. I especially hate the Goodreads spam for some reason. I tolerate it on my blog email but Goodreads seems more personal and evasive. I completely hate when someone requests to be my “friend” under false pretense.

    I feel better reading your post. Like I ranted myself. LOL


  3. BernardL
    · September 20th, 2011 at 7:29 am · Link

    Yep, between the regular spammers, Princesses wanting to share their lives and millions, the Kipkalya family, Nigerian finance ministers, and the imaginary billions I’ve won in the UK/Microsoft/Irish/Yahoo/fill in the blank lotteries, I am one famous guy. Those Marketeers looking for some free publicity could at least start their e-mail with ‘hey, I really love your books and writing style’ before they launch into their spiel. :)

    • Hayley
      · September 21st, 2011 at 12:39 pm · Link

      Hey! I won the lottery not you, I had an email telling me so lol

  4. Chelsea / Vampire Book Club
    · September 20th, 2011 at 11:27 am · Link

    You’re not alone in your hatred of those spammers.

    I think the Goodreads ones bother me more, though. I really do try to use Goodreads to talk about books — what I’m reading, keeping up on what everyone else is reading — and I get spam links for review requests constantly. Nine times out of 10 they are for either Christian fiction or YA contemporary, always self-pubbed. I read dirty, gritty stuff always with a paranormal tone.

    There’s just something insulting about taking the time to make a friend request only to hit us with spam.

    On a non-rant note: Really excited for the cover reveal.

  5. bookster
    · September 21st, 2011 at 1:20 pm · Link

    So sorry you have to put up with that nonsense, of course as soon as you said your email I wanted to email you with nothing worth your time, so there you go!
    Loving the series, caught on too late but now I’m horrified I have to wait until March!!! I’m towards the end of City of Ghosts and I do not want it to end!!! Thank you so much for Terrible 😳

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