Sunday, 8 May 2011
Desperate writers with cunning plans...
Unpublished authors are a pretty desperate lot. This became clear to me in the later stages of Authonomy, Harper Collins' site for writers, where some members would do anything, it seemed, to scrabble their way to the Desk and win a review by an HC editor. Swap backing, creating sock puppets, grovelling flattery, backing hundreds of books a day, and spamming the entire site all became common. It was a refreshing change to move on to Amazon, where the stakes are real and paying customers don't have an axe to grind; if they like the look of your book they will buy it, simple as that.
So I do a bit of eye-rolling when I see people attempting to game the system. It makes them look sad, and it doesn't work except in the very short term. Today on Kindleboards, a writer started a thread offering to buy the books of the first twenty posters, as long as they bought her book in return. She's had plenty of takers, all, in Mark Twain's phrase, trying to make a precarious living by taking in each other's washing.
Another author a couple of months ago offered to repay the cost of her ebook, if buyers emailed her with proof of purchase, thus effectively buying her own book in an attempt to get it high in the charts (it's now around the 33,000 mark).
And among the tags on my books I've found other writers' names or book titles, presumably put there in the hope of gaining exposure. Hey ho. Have these people no shame?*
*Er, no, they don't, in case you are in any doubt about the answer to my rhetorical question.
Posted by Lexi at Sunday, May 08, 2011