I’ve posted on my site several times why I don’t do review swaps with other indie authors and expressed my disdain for being added to groups on Facebook without my permission, invited to like business pages with people who’ve never once discussed their business with me or engaged in any conversation or human interaction.
But sometimes I’m just surprised with the human race.
Today, I want to talk about internet shaming. I’m including screenshots because I also believe in second chances and I’m sure this author is already incredibly embarrassed (one would assume) and upon seeing his private conversation become so public, will think again about this kind of behavior online, whether publicly or in private conversations.
Last night I saw a fellow Canadian author post in one of the author groups I’m in screenshots from a conversation with a fellow author she wanted to warn everybody about. On the surface, I resonated with it because I have people pitch me whatever they’re selling immediately after accepting their friend request, so I was curious how this one played out.
It appears this author, whose name I haven’t blurred out since it’s just his first name that’s visible, immediately went in for the leg hump and asked this complete stranger to promote his book. When she called him out on his spamminess, he cussed her out (if the offensive language will bother you, you were warned):
As usual on social media, I saw it, was appalled, and kept scrolling and forgot about it.
I saw it getting shared in other writers’ groups I’m also in (at the time of writing this, the original post has been shared over 1900 times, and one person mentioned how people were going and leaving negative reviews for his book as a reaction against his harassment of the female author he was talking to in this post.
So I went and searched his name on Amazon, found his author page and looked up the book in question he was asking her to spread the word about:
I personally have mixed feelings about people going and leaving negative reviews of works they’ve never read on Amazon just because they don’t like the subject matter or something like that. But something like this I have to admit turning a blind eye to and seeing what comes of it as a cautionary tale for being a twat on the internet to others.
Without contributing more wrath and ire to the original offender, there are a number of lessons to be learned. I don’t know if the author was having a particularly bad day when he wrote this and reacted from a bad place or if this the kind of way he behaves when he doesn’t get his way. Who knows? But it’s safe to say you can undo in a moment what you may have spent years building online as far as your platform and reputation goes.
Also, and it should go without saying, but this is NOT how you go about promoting your books on social media.
Heck, it isn’t even how you properly leg hump!