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Bring the E-Books Home
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A Directory of Wonderful Things
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Saturday, January 10, 2004
 
Anne's Last Nerve

Note: This was also posted on FM, in slightly different form. (Translation: I remembered something else I wanted to say when I blogged it.)

It happened again today. Another author joined my romance reader list, AARlist, just to promote her book, a title published by 1stBooks. Yup, a known vanity publisher.

AARlist allows authors to post promos on the list. (Not all lists do.) All authors have to do is follow a few basic rules, such as labeling the post as "PROMO"; not posting too many promos; and actually trying to participate in the list. (gasp!)

These rules really aren't that hard to follow! So of course, there are some people who don't follow them. Almost all of them are vanity-published authors. Do these people really think that readers will run out and buy their book just because they joined a list and spammed it without consideration of the membership or rules? Even if they were among the few such authors with good books, they would have pissed off potential customers with their bad list manners. (Not to mention the fact that the books are usually very expensive. Readers don't like paying $25 for an author they love, why should they pay $25 or more for an author they never heard of?)

Note to authors who don't know better but should: Remember, the readers on those lists are your potential customers. Don't piss them off. This should be so !@#$ obvious that it's sad I have to point it out here.

I have been a the epitome of patience while moderating AARlist. How have the vanity authors rewarded me? Most, if not all, have rewarded me by being maroons (in the words of Bugs Bunny).

The typical vanity promo goes like this...

1) The author joins the list.
2) Five minutes later, they send a post to the list -- without a PROMO tag, of course. (Some have even sent lengthy excerpts to the list.)
3) Then I send them a gentle reminder of the guidelines and a link to my article (www.writing-world.com/romance/promote.shtml) on how to promote your book without pissing off potential customers.
4) They ignore me and send another PROMO to the list.
5) Then I put them on Moderated status.
6) Then, their next post to the list is a promo post, so I remove and ban them.

We've had some variations, including the guy who joined the list and told people about this great new book he'd read, which just happened to be a vanity press title. (I wrote about some of the variations in an ATBF column segment at All About Romance.)

Today, I was writing yet another "reminder" to the latest vanity author who joined the list to promote her !@#$ book. Before I could add her to moderated status, I realized her address was no longer listed in the member list! (This is mysterious as I still haven't received the notice that she unsubbed.) Anyway, that annoyed me so much that I decided to stop being Ms. Nice List Mommie.

Today, I gave up on them ALL and created a new guideline:

Harken! New Rule


Promotions for titles published by vanity publishers, such as 1stBooks, or by PublishAmerica, are now banned because most of their authors couldn't follow a few basic rules of courtesy and common sense. Authors who break this rule and post these messages will be banned from the list. Forever. Phhhhbbbt :-D


Well I hope that's not too over the top. ;)
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