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Don't Mention Your Novel, Because Someone Might Get Offended

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OK we get it, spam is bad.
No one wants their news feed clogged with thousands of irrelevant
adverts, or even relevant advertising, but a thousand times a day. We
get it!

But I also think many people are taking their loathing of spam too far...

Let's say you're a writer with a new book about to come out. You may
join writer's forums. And let's say your book has a heavy rock-climbing
theme, so you'll probably also join rock-climbing forums. And in all
these forums you'll talk to hundreds of like-minded people who'll be
happy to learn all about you" all that is except for the fact that
you've written a book!

The moment you so much as hint at your
achievement, bam the petty police (we all know who they are, every
forum has at least one) send you hostile and bitter emails that this
forum is not the place for self promotion.

Well if you're a writer in a writer's forum, then, one should be surprised if you DIDN'T have a book up your sleeve.

As mentioned before (this needs to be repeated, lest some
self-righteous petty betty who didn't read the first paragraph, says
something asinine about spam) there is a difference between alerting
relevant parties of your new product and bashing them over the head with
it in the form of spam. A huge difference!

My editor put out a press release in which she explained that thanks to
her fabulous editing, my book has found a publisher. Well of course I
shared it to all my social media. It appeared on my Facebook wall (once)
in relevant Facebook groups (once), on Twitter, Stumbleupon and
LinkedIn (all once), among others. For the most part people were
receptive and offered congratulations. But then there was the bitter
mafia, who accused me of everything, from spamming to even faking the
press release. One group member said that my publisher wasn't
sufficiently well known for me to claim that I had found a publisher,
whilst another said that the press release contained "too much
extraneous capitalization," which made her suspicious.

The best was the sour puss who wrote "is this self promotion or are you
advertising the services of your editor? If it's the latter then fine,
but if it's the former then it has NO place in this forum!" Then what
exactly is this "writer's forum' for, you sad, bitter witch ???!!!

By the end of a day that had started upbeat and full of hope, due to
the arrival of the press release, I was totally deflated and broken by
so much hostility and plain nastiness. I must add that my book exists
purely for entertainment purposes. I am not trying to sell anyone on a
concept or a product, so I don't see the harm in letting people know
that it's out there.

So what promotes this apparent aversion to other people's attempts to
make something of themselves? Is it envy, the desire to see someone
fail, or the fear that someone might succeed? And if that is the case,
then don't worry petty police, by the time your done muzzling and
breaking the spirits of people you've never even met before, many I'm
sure will have given up hope and abandoned the project.

As for me, I'm still fighting the good fight, trying to navigate the
increasingly strict rules of social media and the oversensitivity of
petty people.

Because I may or may not have a have a novel coming out. I'd love to
tell you more about it, but can't in case it offends someone. So I'll
just say this, the title begins with A. Also I have a website, but you
can't have the link because giving someone a link is a major spam crime.

So if you want me you can find me on Facebook and LinkedIn, talking
about everything and anything, and always diligently avoiding mentioning
that I may or may not soon be a published author.

Oh, and if another person tells me to join google+, I'll throttle them - I get abused on enough social sites as it is.

(PS, in case anyone is wondering, the most vicious petty betties live on LinkedIn, so beware")



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I am a research scientist and a writer, with a PhD in neuroscience from University College London. I recently published the novel, A Life Lived Ridiculously, about a girl with obsessive compulsive disorder who makes the horrible mistake of (more...)

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