Thursday, February 04, 2010

Damning with Diluted Praise

Or, Lessons in Humility, Part XXIII

As part of my recent procrastination binge, I decided to put up some promo posts at a large Yahoo group. I don't know if you realize how these "theme days" go, but they mainly consist of authors slinging excerpts left and right, with nary a reader in sight. I don't mind; I figure if I throw enough out there, one of 'em will stick. Besides, I like perusing other people's offerings.

So anyway, I put up one of the scenes I'm most proud of from InDescent. BOOM . . . it got a hit. "I loved this book!" gushed a reader, who seemed to be the only nonwriter there. I was insanely flattered, as I always am when somebody says s/he likes something I've written, and I sincerely thanked her.

A few entries down, the same reader said of To Be Where You Are: "Also an excellent read!" Well, hot damn, I was just all aglow!

I periodically returned to the loop, read other people's excerpts, and wondered if I should bother posting more. The place wasn't very active. Then I noticed a strange pattern. My "fan" had responded with exuberant hyperbole to every excerpt every author had put up.

"I must have this!"

"You know I love this book!"

"Simply awesome!"

"I can't wait for this to come out!"

"Awesome book!"


By the end of the day, I realized I wasn't quite the star I'd thought. The exclamatory poster was either damned easy to please or doing some stroking in hopes of a contest win.

Ah, human nature. I got a good chuckle out of it. :-)


Mem said...

Great story, K.Z. I truly do not understand the purpose of yahoo groups because I think you described them exactly when you said, "...authors slinging excerpts left and right, with nary a reader in sight." At least that's been my very limited experience with them back for about a month two years ago when I was the only reader in this huge mob of authors madly posting to each other. I didn't stay in the group long enough even to get the idea to try to ingratiate myself with the authors in the hopes of free fiction, ha, ha!

LVLM(Leah) said...

Well at least she actually "read" your books as opposed to

"I must have this!"

"I can't wait for this to come out!"

I don't go to yahoo groups. I hate the format and I have to sign in and blah, blah...PITA.

I find authors through blogs and by reading what they post on others' blogs. :D

Word veri- hoolorti- my hoolorti is muy hottie. What? TMI? :D

Chris said...

I have extremely limited experience with the yahoo groups and found it to be very awkward and confusing - I was there for an author visit, and it just seemed the oddest way to try to hold a semi-synchronous event.

K. Z. Snow said...

Those groups are strange, Val, aren't they? There are times when they're absolutely crawling with authors, all high-fiving and complimenting one another and pimping their books and hoping beyond hope the members who are on "digest" will bother slogging through all the excerpts.

But we do it on the off chance we'll actually get to connect with readers. When that does happen, it's very gratifying.

Oy, what a business! :-)

K. Z. Snow said...

Actually, Leah, I doubt she did read my books. Her comments were always vague one-liners. It was as if she had one set of generic exclamations for books already available, and another for books that hadn't yet been released. It was really kind of amusing.

I, too, vastly prefer blogs. They're much more personal (or at least as personal as online interaction can get).

Looks like Word Veri is infesting your brain too. :-D

K. Z. Snow said...

Yeah, Chris, it can be confusing. The messages just appear when they're posted rather than being grouped together by thread.

I find live chats and Twitter way more annoying, though. I've yet to figure out how to follow a discussion on Twitter. It drives me batty within minutes! Where do people find the time to follow and piece together all these 140-word snippets?

K. Z. Snow said...

Oh, and what was funny too was that after a number of hours went by and no contests were posted, the reader just disappeared. I can't help but wonder if she went in search of a more fertile hunting ground!

Tam said...

I was in one Yahoo group started by JenB I think and there were a fair number of readers and authors. I tried to ask questions like "How do you pick the character names" "How do you come up with your titles" just to get some discussion beyond "Here's my new book" because while that's interesting to a point, it wasn't what I joined for. I haven't been back there in months so not sure what it's up to now or if it died a natural death as groups do.

I like to be nice and say nice things to posts but some people seem compelled to be nice to EVERYONE, saying you can't wait for it to come out or you want to read everything. Yeah right. I won't lie to someone, if I'm not interested in their book I'll just not reply.

K. Z. Snow said...

You went about it the right way, Tam. It would be cool if readers showed up and asked questions or started discussions about books they'd recently read or asked for recommendations -- anything but this author clusterf*** and one or two people sniffing after contests.

Jeanne said...

*sigh* I've tried these groups and after feeling completely ignored (or almost) I tend to be very selective.
I do the yahoo groups only online where you can get an idea of a thread if folks are careful with their subject lines and you can also skip posts.
I do treasure the occasional specific response

Word veri:
filispu: female horse shapeshifter com