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Rant! Why I don't go to the HF forums at Amazon anymore

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Miss Moppet
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Post by Miss Moppet » Sun November 14th, 2010, 12:04 am

[quote=""Ash""]

Gaslight Journal

That brings to mind images that I suspect the author did not have in mind.[/quote]

Yes, reminds me of a certain old movie with a dodgy title! :D

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N. Gemini Sasson
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Post by N. Gemini Sasson » Sun November 14th, 2010, 5:58 pm

Misfit, even though I am a self-published author, I have to wholeheartedly agree with your reaction. I meandered over to Amazon's HF forums last week and noticed the same thing. There was a particular thread asking for recommendations for HF. The OP may even have stated some books they'd read and liked before. It started off fine, but eventually eroded into the "You might be interested in my book . . ." And from that point on every other post was like that.

I believe if indie authors want to be taken seriously, they need to respect readers and refrain from using such threads as advertising space. There are occasional threads where readers come out and ask indie authors to list their titles. That's where they should stay - so those readers interested in sifting through them can check them out. And for those who don't want to bother, they shouldn't have to be exposed to them in other threads.

I suspect many of the SP authors do that because they lack patience and it seems like the easiest way to get the word out. It's free, immediate and convenient. Plus, as soon as one does it, everyone else thinks it must be okay. The problem is that they aren't thinking of it from the reader's perspective. Pretty soon it's like walking into a room full of telemarketers. People (like you, me and I'm sure many others) won't even bother going there again if they're going to get barraged with sales pitches.

SP authors need to stick to more professional and less annoying ways of getting the word out if they want to be respected in return: submit their books to reviewers that accept SP books or places like HNR Online Reviews, buy ads, list only in designated threads (and then only intermittently), set up a web site or blog, and participate in forums without their sales hat on.

Unfortunately, these more aggressive tactics give indie authors as a whole a bad name and such incidents are many readers' first encounters with them. Sigh . . . I'm not sure what the solution is, because Amazon seems to be fairly hands off on moderating their forums. Sadly, if they persist, it will be to the detriment of not only indie authors, but the Amazon forums.

Anywho, just giving you a little perspective from someone on the other side of the fence who actually agrees with you.

Best,
Gemi

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Misfit
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Post by Misfit » Sun November 14th, 2010, 6:14 pm

Thanks for that. It is so funny why they just don't get it that they're losing more readers than they could possibly gain. Makes you feel like you've walked onto a car lot or the appliance department at Sears.

The best way is for authors to participate in forums with readers as readers like you and many other authors do here and elsewhere like Goodreads. Have a blog, and participate on blogs devoted to your genre. I know I've mentioned it on another thread, but our own BB is a prime example of how to get your work out there the right way, without ticking off the reader trying to cram the book down their throat. Honestly, I didn't realize The Traitor's Wife was self published until long after I'd purchased and read it. Good sign that.
At home with a good book and the cat...
...is the only place I want to be

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Miss Moppet
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Post by Miss Moppet » Sun November 14th, 2010, 6:36 pm

[quote=""N. Gemini Sasson""] I believe if indie authors want to be taken seriously, they need to respect readers and refrain from using such threads as advertising space. There are occasional threads where readers come out and ask indie authors to list their titles. That's where they should stay - so those readers interested in sifting through them can check them out. And for those who don't want to bother, they shouldn't have to be exposed to them in other threads.[/quote]

I don't think it is just the SP authors doing it. One of the authors on the thread Misfit linked to was published by Knopf.
Misfit wrote:It is so funny why they just don't get it that they're losing more readers than they could possibly gain. Makes you feel like you've walked onto a car lot or the appliance department at Sears.
I think they are applying marketing techniques that may work for cars and white goods but don't for books.

When you go to buy a car or a washing machine you put up with the annoying aggressive sales talk because there isn't any choice and you don't have to do it that often. Books are different. People choose them in stores through relaxed browsing and I think they want the same experience online.

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Telynor
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Post by Telynor » Sun November 14th, 2010, 6:49 pm

I think you all have twigged on why I like this board so much -- we're friendly, polite, curious and have a lot of fun. Compared to some of the outlandish things that I've encountered on-line, this is so refreshing and something I eagerly look forward to reading every day when I can.

Russ Whitfield
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Post by Russ Whitfield » Tue November 16th, 2010, 11:16 am

I'd just like to add that my new novel, Roma Victrix, is out in March 2011... :p

I'll get my coat.

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Misfit
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Post by Misfit » Tue November 16th, 2010, 3:21 pm

[quote=""Russ Whitfield""]I'd just like to add that my new novel, Roma Victrix, is out in March 2011... :p

I'll get my coat.[/quote]

Loooooooooooooooooooooooool. You can stay ;)
At home with a good book and the cat...
...is the only place I want to be

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Michy
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Post by Michy » Wed November 17th, 2010, 1:12 am

I don't participate in Amazon forums -- the few times I've ventured to look at some of them, they seemed to be comprised largely of adolescent-like arguing. I hate arguing, anyway, it's so pointless. At least here, when we do disagree we're civilized and adult about it. Which is why I like it here -- we're much nicer. :)

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EC2
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Post by EC2 » Wed November 17th, 2010, 9:58 am

[quote=""Michy""]I don't participate in Amazon forums -- the few times I've ventured to look at some of them, they seemed to be comprised largely of adolescent-like arguing. I hate arguing, anyway, it's so pointless. At least here, when we do disagree we're civilized and adult about it. Which is why I like it here -- we're much nicer. :) [/quote]

Oh yes, the bitching over there is something else - on the comments too under reviews. Some of them are unbelievable. And yes again, that's another reason why I like this forum. We can agree to disagree and no one takes umbrage.
Les proz e les vassals
Souvent entre piez de chevals
Kar ja li coard n’I chasront

'The Brave and the valiant
Are always to be found between the hooves of horses
For never will cowards fall down there.'

Histoire de Guillaume le Mareschal

www.elizabethchadwick.com

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sweetpotatoboy
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Post by sweetpotatoboy » Wed November 17th, 2010, 11:19 am

If you want an alternative historical fiction messsage board (though why would you as this one's so perfect?), the one at LibraryThing is quite active and much less affected by the self-promotional activity than Amazon's from what I've seen.

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