Monday, January 19, 2009

Cross posting!

I am piggybacking on Gayle's post of how to promote ourselves by cross-posting something I put up at Make Mine Mystery about how NOT to promote ourselves! I'm doing this because I'm still just terminally annoyed at a few fellow authors' behavior/posts/attitudes and feel it's worth posting here as well. I am eating a lovely salmon burger with fresh bruschetta and queso fresco, accompanied by broccoli popcorn (covered in an earlier post) and a glass of a truly wonderful red wine from Witch Creek Winery, their Due Pastore. There. I've covered the food portion of my post!

I've read a lot of blogs over the last year, gotten to know many fellow authors, attended and sat on panels and other events. I realize it's necessary to indulge in self-promotion and have done a fair bit of it myself. But nothing turns me off to an author more than one who talks about nothing but his/her own work, rarely has anything positive to say about another writer, and NEVER asks other authors about their work.

If I go to a panel, I want to hear about the subject, be it 'what makes a cozy mystery cozy' or 'sexed up thrillers' or whatever. I do NOT want to to hear an author answer every question by turning it into a reference to his/her book. Once in a while, sure. But every question? Jeez Louise, just shoot me! No, just shoot the author in question. With a tranquilizer dart, of course. An elephant tranquilizer 'cause some of these people have all the subtlety of elephants.

And if you're writing post on a publishers author blog, don't make every post an advertisement for your latest work. Or upcoming or past work, for that matter. Don't tell your readers to 'get those sales going.' Make sure your post will still hold together if you take the words 'I' and 'me' out of it.

Don't get me wrong, the majority of writers I've met are delightful people with genuine interest in other people, supportive and helpful to aspiring writers. Sisters in Crime Nor Cal alone has some of the nicest people I've ever met. Hailey Lind (current president of our chapter) is worth the price of membership alone. She is personally responsible for kick-starting my social life at last year's Left Coast Crime. Without her, I'd probably still be wandering the hotel halls, too shy to talk to anyone. Actually, if you're in SinC NorCal, just assume you're always welcome in my house. Unless you're allergic to cats. If so, you're still welcome, but bring Benadryl.

And so many of the writers I've met through Make Mine Mystery and Fatal Foodies...well, I've enjoyed both getting to know you and (slowly) making my way through all of your books. You offer good, solid advice and what promotion you do for yourself makes me want to read what you write.

Now I want to know, what drives YOU crazy in terms of bad promotion? What makes you turn and run the other way, vowing never to read a word a particular author has written..and if you do, it's only out of a morbid curiosity to see if their work can possibly live up to their own hype? Inquiring minds want to know...

6 comments:

Lisa Hall said...

Luckily, I have yet to come across the uber-competitive author, who won't share things that have/have not worked for them. Other people I know have met these types. That kind of attitude really gets on my nerves!

Dana Fredsti said...

Lisa, I'm participating on an authors blog for an e-website and the posts that catch my attention are the ones giving a glimpse into the authors as people, not just talking about their titles and how marvy they are. And it says a lot those who will a: respond to comments or take the time to comment on the other authors' posts. One author actually said 'keep those sales coming!' in a post. I was, quite frankly, amazed and not in a good way.

Gayle said...

I've found that some of the most successful authors I've met (Dorothy Cannell, Harley Jane Kozak, Teresa Medeiros, JoAnn Ross) have been some of the sweetest. Others think they are more successful than they are and get really arrogant. I enjoy meeting writers and keeping books they've autographed for me. Two exceptions were writers who, after I'd chatted with them a few minutes, were so arrogant they made me sick. I gave their books away without even reading them.

And that Lisa Hall...mean as a SNAKE! LOL! Just kidding! I finally got to meet Lisa in person in October. I want to meet the rest of you, too.

Dana Fredsti said...

Lisa would be as mean as...as... a muppet snake with big eyes and a cuddly disposition! LOL!! Lisa, you come cross like a sweetheart in your posts - I can only imagine how nice you (and Gayle and everyone else on this blog) are in person!

Gayle said...

Lisa really is precious, Dana. I want to come visit you and go see the big cats. :-)

Lisa Hall said...

Awwww! You guys are so nice!