Thursday, September 01, 2011

Behaving yourself on forums: a guide for self-published authors

The other day I was browsing Kindleboards and I came across a discussion about BMBs. (Buy My Book posts, the scourge of internet discussion forums.)

Someone asked why BMBs were so annoying to forum regulars, and I posted the following:


A forum is like a semi-private party. You can wander in and pick up the threads of various conversations before joining in with your own intelligent observations, or

YOU CAN MARCH IN WEARING SANDWICH BOARDS WITH A MEGAPHONE IN ONE HAND AND A COPY OF YOUR BOOK IN THE OTHER.

Now guess why the other people at the party get annoyed.

 


Because of this behaviour many forums now have separate 'author threads', and regulars flag any BMBs outside this area. It's like ants in the kitchen: when you see one of the little blighters nosing around you know a thousand more are on the way. Every ant must go! Outside in the garden they can do what they like, but inside the house they're a pest to be exterminated.

If you take one thing from this post let it be this: don't be an ant in the kitchen. Don't carry your megaphone and sandwich board into private parties. Don't lose your message under ludicrous metaphors.


Simon Haynes is the author of the Hal Spacejock and Hal Junior series (Amazon / Smashwords / other formats)

2 comments:

Mary Paddock said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mary Paddock said...

I moderate on a (very quiet) online short fiction workshop. Posts advertising people's books are deleted (I didn't write the rules, I just enforce 'em). It is very poor form and it amazes me when I see people doing this--especially as it's stated in the rules you have to agree to before joining.