What Stace had to say on Wednesday, July 25th, 2012
The Internet is a War That Must Be Won

NOTE: For the next few days I am turning my blog over to my dear friend Auntie Specialsnowflake,* who will teach new authors everything they need to know about Promoting Their Books, Making Themselves Famous, and WINNING THE INTERNETS.** I urge you all to follow these tips to the letter. I think we’ve all seen recently how well this works. Fame and money will soon be yours!

Well! I apologize that it took me so long to get today’s post up. I’ve had to talk my children–yes, Auntie also has children–down from the ledge after I mentioned “reader bloggers” to them. I cannot tell you what a mistake it is to even let young children know such beings exist in the world. In fact, my children, after they came out from under the bed, asked me if they could draw a picture of these “reader bloggers” as a way of working through their terror. I think I should share that image with you, so that you understand this is not a joke. Reader bloggers are out there, and they are hideous:

My seven-year-old sobbed as she drew this.

Reader bloggers are a special kind of evil, you see. Not only do they insist on sharing their opinions of books with other readers, they actually seem to think they have no responsibility to authors in doing so, even though–again, as we all know–due to the nature of readersheep, a single poor review from a book blogger will destroy a book’s publishing chances forever, whereas a positive one automatically rockets that book right to the top of the New York Times Bestseller list. This is documented fact, you guys. Auntie wouldn’t lie to you. EVERY book ANY review blogger out there likes is a shoo-in to hit every list there is, and most likely made into a movie, and every single book ANY review blogger does not like automatically goes nowhere and does nothing. Thus ending that author’s career forever.

And yet these “bloggers” still refuse to accept that it is their job to only give good reviews, and that we Published Authors are better than them in every way. I mean, come on. We may be self-published, or published with some tiny micropress run out of a feed store by intellectually challenged fools who cannot properly use punctuation, or published with a small respectable epress, or commercially published; it doesn’t matter. Once a book is out there we are automatically on a par, in both talent and the level of recognition we deserve, with Pulitzer Prize winners. Somebody out there wanted to read your book. That means you are royalty.

And royalty must behave like royalty. This is where our Advanced Promo Tips begin.

First, remember that just like the headline says, the internet is a war. One you can–and should, and will!–win. Nothing in the world is more important than this victory. You MUST NEVER GIVE UP. Second, remember that just by participating, you ARE winning, because–and for some reason readersheep never understand this, but that’s only what we’d expect, isn’t it? Like we can expect the likes of them to “understand” things–every single click on your blog or Goodreads account, or reply to you, or mention of your name, equals ONE SOLD BOOK! Maybe even a dozen! Or a hundred! The readersheep, you see, cannot stop themselves from buying every book whose title they hear, unless of course they hear about it through a single bad review in which case forget it, your career is over.

You see:

This is the 100% truth and everyone knows it

“Okay, Auntie Specialsnowflake,” I hear you saying, “This is all well and good, and you of course are a genius, but when do we get to the nitty-gritty? Tell me how to defeat the readersheep, win the internets, and become famous!”

Okay. I will. First we’ll discuss the Importance of Replying to Reviews, and the proper way to do it.

First, as I mentioned yesterday, of course you should reply to your reviews. All of them. Every single one. Readersheep have to know you’re watching them. This will intimidate them and Make Them Do Your Bidding, which is the whole point of writing a book in the first place. You must get them to change their reviews, or at the very least let them know that you are on to them. They don’t fool you; how could they, when they are so dumb and you are so smart?

So, again much like those Conquistadors in my last post, you may at first encounter resistance to your superiority and an unwillingness to see the light. Don’t worry. The Conquistadors had smallpox, and you too have a strong arsenal of weapons:

1. Your comment itself. Yesterday I mentioned a little bit about what you should say, but let’s get into specifics, shall we? I personally think the best tack to take is the “You’re MEAN!” method. This consists of, well, telling the reader how mean she is. She will definitely see the error of her filthy, filthy ways, especially if you point out any of the following:

*Her review made you cry

*You have a family to support and she has just snatched food from the mouths of your starving children by publicly saying what she didn’t like about your book

*You have health problems and she has just exacerbated them. You will probably have a stroke or something and die and it will be all her fault. It’s good if you mention what a struggle life is for you and what a personal triumph it is for you just to type words on a page because of the constant pain you suffer from living in a van next to the nuclear power plant, and how your only comfort is the soft glow of your cat at night as you lay your head on the burlap sack you are forced to use as a pillow.

*She obviously doesn’t understand what it’s like to be an author, because, of course, she doesn’t. Readersheep understand nothing of what life is like for Artists and Other Sensitive And Special People; they have all the empathy and imagination of a dentist’s drill. She doesn’t realize how important your book is to you. It’s beneficial here to discuss how your characters talk to you, how they are more real than anything else in the world, how you can’t help writing because those people in your head claw and scratch to get out and if you don’t write you’ll wind up covered in blood in an alley somewhere from being attacked by them because you have zero control over anything you do, think, or feel. If they realize your characters are real people to you, they will feel even worse about being so cruel and cavalier in their petty judgment. They will realize that not only are YOUR feelings hurt, but YOUR CHARACTERS’s feelings are hurt.

*As a subsuggestion, it’s always good to use the phrase “the book of my heart.” Once readers see that it is not a book being reviewed, but YOUR VERY SOUL AND THE REASON YOU EXIST ON THIS EARTH, they will back down. (At least they better, but that’s for tomorrow’s post.)

*She is obviously jealous because she isn’t published. I promise you it’s true. ALL READERS WANT TO BE WRITERS, AND ALL READERS HATE YOU. This is axiomatic. They see us authors, floating on clouds of Writerly Success, and the tumult of wicked jealous sickness that festers inside them simply cannot handle it. They explode, and what flies out of them is like the filth in Pandora’s box. This is the only way they can get revenge on us for achieving successes they themselves will never have. It doesn’t matter how well-educated or successful or fulfilled they are in whatever they do, the simple truth is that because they have no written a book their souls are shriveled and black with rage and pain, they cry into their pillows every night, and they know, deep in their hearts, that they are Failures.

So don’t feel bad about anything you say to them. Contrary to the lies those lying liars tell, their reviews are NOT just ways to share their opinions with other readers. They are letters written directly to you (remember, everything is about you), and the text of that letter—if you look beneath the superficial blah-blah-blah of their stupid uninformed opinions—is always:

AUTHOR I HATE YOU FOR BEING SO MUCH BETTER THAN ME.

Don’t be afraid to call them on it. It’s for their own good.

*It is a good idea to make sure you let typos and punctuation errors slip into your comments. This will prove that you are Just Like Them, and also that you are emotionally attached to what you’re saying–everyone knows that emotions and good writing are mutually exclusive and, indeed, that spelling correctly etc. only makes you look like a snob. One or two Readersheep may point out your errors to you. That’s a good thing, because it gives you a chance to say once again how mean they are and how they’re making it personal and that you’re only writing a comment, not a book. That underscores the contempt you have for book blogs in a subtle way, one that will be much appreciated by all.

2. Your author friends. I’m sure you know a couple of people who like you. Well, of course you do! And I bet not only are they authors too, but they are also interested in Making Themselves Rich and Famous! So they will want to help you. You must contact them immediately, and share with them the incredibly shocking and important fact that Someone Has Said Something You Don’t Like On The Internet. This will inspire them all to come along and comment, and here are some helpful tips for those comments:

*It is often good to have at least one or two of these people pretend not to know you and claim they are Just Another Readersheep, but one who–of course–loved your book. Readersheep are like zombies, you see; they are easily fooled. A few shambling steps, a blank expression, and a dull moan or two is all one needs to con them into thinking someone is one of their herd.

I asked my kids to draw a picture of "readers." This is what they did.

(Readersheep also attack in gangs–worldwide gangs very carefully organized with military precision, which is odd given their innate stupidity, but ours is not to reason why, right?–but we’ll get to that.)

Your Readersheep Decoy friend should claim not to understand why the other Readersheep are being so MEAN, or how they could not love your book, which is of course the greatest book ever written and only dumbass readersheep wouldn’t see that. It is good if they say things like, “What did Author ever do to YOU?” or “I’ve been reading this blog for years but this is GOING TOO FAR!” or, conversely, “I just found this blog and I WILL NEVER BE BACK AGAIN.” The last two are especially good because readersheep are constantly terrified that someone out there might not read their blogs, so this is bound to make them rethink their evil ways.

*Another possibility is to go ahead and have a few people admit they know you. “You don’t understand how awesome My Friend Author is and how much she deserves better” always works to make the Readersheep see that, indeed, they are not taking The Author’s feelings into account, and how very wrong that is.

Both of the above should feel free, as we discussed previously, to call the readersheep names. Names like bitch, whore, and cunt always impress the Readersheep. (It’s a good idea to keep one or two friends in reserve; they can disavow this behavior with a “Author would never tell people to say things like that!” This will make it appear as though you are indeed a good person and a great writer, but have so many fans you’ve attracted crazies. Everyone knows only famous authors have crazy fans. The Readersheep will be highly impressed by this, even if they pretend not to be.

3. Sockpuppets. Sockpuppets are EXTREMELY important. They are a valuable tool in your professional arsenal. What is a sockpuppet? A sockpuppet is…well, it’s just another highly legitimate way for you to put those dipshit readers in their places! It’s a way for you to interact with the Readersheep from behind the sweet, sweet veil of anonymity. Don’t worry; they will never see through this, ever.

What you do is create a brand-new account on whatever site it is, disavow any relationship to yourself, and post away! It’s fun, it’s free, and it’s highly effective. Any of the methods outlined above will work for you and your sockpuppet accounts–and believe you me, you can never have too many sockpuppet accounts.

4. Your own blog/Twitter feed/Facebook account. Of course. Where else would you go to indignantly point out to the world how badly you’re being treated? Your blog, Twitter, and Facebook pages are your very own little worlds, where you are the Queen. This is where you can speak directly to readers–and it has the added benefit of being not only All About You, but of giving you access to up-to-the-moment details about how many people are reading what you say–which as we all know is just another way of saying “How many people are rushing to buy your books with EVERY PASSING SECOND.” Because they totally are.

Once you get to your own blog…well, the sky’s the limit! This is what Auntie will cover tomorrow, and it’s where you start making The Big Money! Just one more day and fame, wealth, and accolades will be yours!

ANOTHER NOTE: Auntie Specialsnowflake is happy to answer questions and give advice on any sort of publishing subject. Just use the contact form on the website here. I’ll pass your questions along and post answers as we go or in a separate post or whatever, depending. Auntie already has a question or two in the queue, so keep ’em coming!

*Do I really have to explain that this is satire? Please tell me I don’t.
**This does not work. Ever. This is for entertainment purposes only.

16 comments to “The Internet is a War That Must Be Won”

  1. Expy
    Comment
    1
    · July 25th, 2012 at 12:51 pm · Link

    Hurray! Auntie SpecialSnowflake is back! I am a readersheep and I will take these sage advices to heart.



  2. Shiloh Walker
    Comment
    2
    · July 25th, 2012 at 2:22 pm · Link

    Sad, sad sigh. I’ve been going about this all wrong, haven’t I?

    Damn it! I didn’t make any typos, either…



    • Stace
      Comment
      2.1
      · July 25th, 2012 at 7:22 pm · Link

      You FAIL, Shiloh. You just plain fail.



  3. Laura
    Comment
    3
    · July 25th, 2012 at 4:29 pm · Link

    I think I finally understand why I started blogging. Auntie SpecialSnowflake, can you help me write better 5 star reviews? I want to make sure all the amazing and talented authors out there become rich and famous.



    • Stace
      Comment
      3.1
      · July 25th, 2012 at 7:24 pm · Link

      I can, Laura! Auntie will be happy to help. She is, after all, a Real Writer, which means by definition that any shit she tosses onto a page is far, far better than anything losery readersheep like you can ever hope to produce.

      Also, as an Author she is qualified to think independently, which you are not.

      So have no fear! Help is on the way.



  4. Jo
    Comment
    4
    · July 25th, 2012 at 4:45 pm · Link

    I absolutely love Auntie Specialsnowflake! she is just far too awesome! I am so looking forward to reading more of her posts, so I can learn how to be a better readership!



  5. Sirius
    Comment
    5
    · July 25th, 2012 at 6:03 pm · Link

    MAHAHAHAH, I never commented here before, but had been reading your blog for a while. Auntie thank you, I promise that I put your advise to a good use, even not being a writer :)

    Sirius



  6. Morgan Blackthorne
    Comment
    6
    · July 25th, 2012 at 8:30 pm · Link

    I <3 you so much right now, Stacia :)



  7. Rebecca
    Comment
    7
    · July 25th, 2012 at 9:23 pm · Link

    This is awesome. BAAAAAA!!!



  8. Barbara
    Comment
    8
    · July 25th, 2012 at 10:59 pm · Link

    This is brilliant. I laughed so hard I spilled tea all over my softly glowing cat.



    • Stace
      Comment
      8.1
      · July 26th, 2012 at 6:50 am · Link

      Typical readersheep, abusing animals like that. Sheesh, you are SCUM.



  9. bettielee
    Comment
    9
    · July 25th, 2012 at 11:56 pm · Link

    I do not see this ending well……



  10. Shells
    Comment
    10
    · July 26th, 2012 at 5:49 am · Link

    I have to say, this is the first time I have commented on a blog. This entire reviewer war appears to be escalating,spiraling out of control. I never thought adults would act in such a petulant manner! You rock Stacia. The satire is amusing yet exposes the complete absurdity behind the rationale to target individuals for having the temerity to express their opinions. Lol, how dare they! As a reader, I will always purchase a book by an author that exhibits some rationality, rather than someone acting like a complete asshat. That being said, I Love your books. Anticipating the rest of the fantastic journey with chess and crew.



  11. Jim Macdonald
    Comment
    11
    · July 26th, 2012 at 9:22 am · Link

    Hi, Auntie. I’m your number one fan! All of your books are so great that I erase them off my Kindle just so I can buy them again!

    I hope that tomorrow’s thrilling episode includes advice on using “Publishing Insider” lingo so the readersheep will know that you’re clued in, like saying “sells” where other people might say “sales.” As in “Since your meanie poopy-pants review my sells have gone through the roof, So ha ha ha on you LOL LOL LOL!!!!!”

    (It’s important, when mentioning sells, to multiply the actual number by 100. Readersheep love to know you’re doing well in spite of the haters.)

    I must disagree with Auntie about one tiny detail (and I’ll understand if she features me on her anonymous Stop The Haters webpage with my photo, home address, and phone number, in the section labeled “Worthless Drunks Who Should Be Shot In The Head” because I totally deserve it for being such a hater), but really, who cares about the New York Times Bestseller List? That’s for legacy dinosaur sell-out snooty nose-in-the-air deadtree authors. It’s far cooler to be in the top 100 at kindle store > kindle ebooks > romance > ya > contemporary > emo > whiny > .

    One more thing: Where can I buy a Readersheep tee-shirt with artwork by Auntie’s kids? That would rock so much.



  12. BernardL
    Comment
    12
    · July 26th, 2012 at 9:36 am · Link

    Hilarious! This is pure gold, Stace. When you finish, you need to start practicing the voice you want to use in the audio book. :)



  13. Amanda the Book Slayer
    Comment
    13
    · July 27th, 2012 at 7:12 pm · Link

    I think these posts are Brilliant! Honestly everyone knows we are sheep. We obviously blindly follow the ring leaders and will add the same books to the same shelves without asking about why it is shelved that way. Yes, of course we readersheep will be awed by your personal comments about our reviews and change our ways. Why wouldn’t we? Authors know it all!

    No, but really it was perfect. I actually had an author tell me how horrible my 2 star review was and how my opinion was rude and wrong. Like an opinion is right or wrong. Ugh. But the bright side, which these authors don’t think about, is that we meet other readers who have gone through the same thing and our friendship circle grows.

    Well this author did not like that and so “apologized” by saying she was sorry it hurt her feelings and it’s all b/c her dad has cancer. WTF? Why should that matter? Yeah, she and Auntie Snowflake must be tight. LOL She did however remove her comments. The apology came after I said I had a screenshot and would post it if people were interested. Saving Face? I think so….



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