Wednesday, October 30, 2013

I. Hate. Spam.

As many of you know, I have an extremely low tolerance of spam. How low? For starters, I stopped allowing anonymous comments because I got tired of having coup counted on my blog as well as the namby-pamby comments left while those smarties were counting coup on my blog (yeah, I realize that this probably isn't the right way to use the word "coup", but garbage learned from Hollywood westerns dies very hard).

For seconds, I have nuked spammy comments that have gotten by Blogger's spam filters. For thirds, I have a low tolerance of people with profiles spamming my blogs (yes, someone with a Google+ profile spammed my post about turntables a couple of weeks ago, with an ad about turntables).

Today's rant has to do with spam on Facebook.

While you may think it's impossible to get spam on your Facebook wall (for those of you who have Facebook), think again. All those suggested pages that you get in your newsfeed and/or page feed and/or wall (what you see as you're cycling through your newsfeed) is to a small degree spam. This is the only spam I tolerate on Facebook.

What I do not tolerate is a fellow writer sending me an unsolicited private message that contains a link to their e-book. To me, that is the 2nd most severest form of privacy invasion that someone can do (number one is pasting the link to the same unsolicited book on either of my pages). While I can understand the need to advertise/pimp one's book, sending a spammy e-mail/private message is the fastest way to 1} alienate a potential reader and 2} have that potential reader bad mouth you to everyone else.

Fortunately, while I am alienated (because I'm damn sure I won't read anything from that author if I should remember their name), I will not badmouth their book nor am I badmouthing them to others. And before you get on my case about it, the previous sentence clearly implies that I don't remember their name, so this is a general rant about spamming potential readers about your book.

For those of you who write and decide to self-publish, one key thing to remember is that you don't send out unsolicited e-mails, Twitter postings, Facebook messages or Facebook postings. If anyone is telling you to do that, then they're DEAD WRONG! Alienating readers is the fastest way to make sure that no one ever pays attention to what you got. Period.

So please, before you decide to something that not only might get you blocked from that person's wall, but get you reported as well, ask the people in question that you want to contact. You have a 50/50 chance of getting the answer you want to hear. If not, at least you'll leave the impression that common courtesy is something that you possess.

And believe it or not, applying little common courtesy will reap you benefits in the long run.


  1. I post on my own page about my work but would never send out unsolicited notices. Not cool.

  2. We don't allow anonymous comments anymore either. We figure if someone really wants to leave us a comment, they'll find a way. As for unsolicited e-mail/FB messages, that's just pathetic. If we come out with a new book, we post it on our blog. Our fans will definitely know about it; no need to shove it down their throats. Our Facebook, meanwhile, is just to share posts and funny pictures. I can't imagine a single person wanting to follow us on Facebook if it was nothing but 'buy our books buy our books hey did you buy our books yet!'

  3. Charles: I pretty much do the same thing, and since I belong to a writer's group, I'll post there as well, but only where the rules allow (they severely frown on spam like that).

    I will say that the person in question responded to my reply and apologized for doing it.

    ABfTS: I did get an unsolicited e-mail from a writer asking if I would review a book of theirs, but they were nice enough to 1) ask and 2) mention that they liked a review I left for a similar type of book. I politely declined, and I thanked them for the offer.

    And I 100% agree with you about not shoving it down the throats of your readers/fans. If they want it, they'll get it.

  4. That anonymous spam drives me mad - apart from the fact that half of it is unintelligible rubbish, do they really think that with comment approval on that I'm going to approve the sycophantic drivel they come out with. GRRRRR!

  5. Jane: My tipping point came around Memorial Day weekend when, I kid you not, got nailed with roughly 100 spam comments on one post.

    So not I don't. Spam is down to about zero, and I've restored a couple of posts that were spam magnets.

  6. Pathetic is right! That would make me go out of my way NOT TO go read that book.

  7. M: It's exceptionally so. The person did apologize, but the damage was already done, as I care not thing one about her book or her writing.


Go on, give me your best shot. I can take it. If I couldn't, I wouldn't have created this wonderful little blog that you decided to grace with your presence today.

About that comment moderation thingy: While yes, it does say up above I can take it, I only use it to prevent the occasional miscreant from leaving thoughtless and/or clueless comments.

So remember, all of your comments are greatly appreciated and all answers will be given that personal touch that you come to expect and enjoy.

G. B. Miller

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