Somebody I do not know announced on a writers’ info loop that she was mentioned in a friend’s blog. I’m afraid I reacted with unbecoming cynicism. First, this is not news. This is the kind of thing you tell your mother, not a loop of other writers. Second, for a person who is an aspiring novelist, it’s a bit late in the day to see her name in “print” for the first time. What the heck has she been doing all her life? Doesn’t she know she’s supposed to be putting her name out years in advance of writing anything publishable? She’s supposed to be blogging and commenting and linking and twittering and making jokes on Facebook. She’s supposed to infiltrate and earn her bona fides in various tribes, so when she finally does get a book published, she can lean on them to help her sell a few more copies. Oh, and so she can ask them to vote for her book in various contests regardless of its quality.
Yep. Cynical. I forget that some people are mere beginners, and naive ones at that. But if this aspiring writer wants to sell more than the average 150 copies of whatever book she finally does get published by whatever methods she finally chooses, she’d better do a lot more to let the world know she exists. The info loop that she so naively burbled to is very sweet and would never put her down for her lack of polish. But the rest of the world is not so forgiving. It may not be time to hire a publicist, but once the decision is made to become a professional writer, be professional.
I think my sour reaction happened in part because my purpose in being on an info loop is to obtain information. And this loop is filled with information that I think is not valuable. People constantly keep announcing that they are guest blogging today on someone else’s blog, and would we all please head over there and make comments. Why? You are not going to sell even one more copy of your novel this way because you are preaching to the choir. It’s like having all your friends show up for your book signing. Why bother? Wait until the public is eager for your books and then have a signing.
Sorry, but big whoop. The Internet is filled with time-wasters. It’s sad when those time-wasters are your comrades in arms.