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Old 05-08-2013, 05:31 PM   #1
Dr. Drib
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Do authors cross the line when they recommend their own books?

To repeat: Do authors cross the line when they recommend their own books?

Is there a distinction to be made in promoting one's book and recommending one's book? What is that difference, if there is one?

I'm purposefully leaving the venue [originating source] open in order to see if a conversation on this issue is one that we may all wish to explore - in its many manifestations and permutations, and perhaps even in some that I am unaware of.

Personally, I consider this to be the low-mark of a narcissistic mind, an action akin to picking one's nose in public.

But...is such an action ever justified, within any context, do you think?

You know my thoughts on this issue.

What are your thoughts on this issue? (Or perhaps you see it as a non-issue.)




Don

Last edited by Dr. Drib; 05-08-2013 at 05:42 PM.
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Old 05-08-2013, 05:38 PM   #2
jgaiser
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Is the author recommending the book in his own name or using a pseudonym?

If he's using his own name, I ignore the recommendation. If he's using a pseudonym, I'll probably never buy another book from the same author.
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Old 05-08-2013, 05:40 PM   #3
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I can see some value to modesty, but as long as it's disclosed as such, why on Earth would one NOT recommend their own book? I'd much prefer that to an author who DIDN'T think their book was worth recommending.

In college, while I had an issue with the financial motive, I certainly understood if a professor wanted to teach from a textbook that he wrote. What would it say about his work if he didn't?

For myself, other than articles in periodicals, I've only published one little primer. If someone happens to ask me for recommendations on an introduction to the particular topic of my primer, I'd likely suggest, among other works, my primer...cuz that's why I wrote it.
Although, I'd also be likely to offer them a free copy.

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Old 05-08-2013, 05:48 PM   #4
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If he uses his own name and is clear that it is his own work I don't see any issues.

There is many comparable situations and it's really quite regular to recommend once own services or place of work. If not done so and oposite is stated it might be even good to avoid such works or places.
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Old 05-08-2013, 06:03 PM   #5
Catlady
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Originally Posted by Ekaros View Post
If he uses his own name and is clear that it is his own work I don't see any issues.

There is many comparable situations and it's really quite regular to recommend once own services or place of work. If not done so and oposite is stated it might be even good to avoid such works or places.
I agree completely. As long as there's no deception involved, why shouldn't an author recommend his or her own work? I would hope it would be done with some humility, though.
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Old 05-08-2013, 06:37 PM   #6
fjtorres
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Context matters.
(And how...aggressive... the recomendation is.)

A lot of the recommendation queries around here ask for stories in specific genres or topics.
I wouldn't be offended if an author offered up their own work in a reply to a query like that.
Not that I've seen anybody do it.
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Old 05-08-2013, 07:10 PM   #7
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Cross the line? No; I see nothing wrong with it.

As with anything else - caveat emptor.
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Old 05-08-2013, 07:15 PM   #8
BWinmill
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Context is everything. If you're asking an author to recommend a book on a particular topic, it should be perfectly acceptable for them to mention their own book. If you're asking an author to recommend the best book on a particular topic, they should suggest another author's book or decline due to a conflict of interest.

Of course not mentioning that they are the author, or concealing that they are the author are dishonest and I would see that as unacceptable.
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Old 05-08-2013, 07:27 PM   #9
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I see nothing wrong with an author recommending his own book. If one is proud of what they have accomplished, I see nothing wrong with getting the word out about that accomplishment. Taking a full-page ad out in the local newspaper is a little overboard, but in moderation I think it is good.
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Old 05-08-2013, 07:32 PM   #10
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I'd expect authors to recommend their own works, except possibly in the case of juvenilia that an author doesn't want to be associated with. I don't have a problem with that if the author is making the recommendation in his/her own name.

It's manipulative and dishonest for an author to do that under assumed names. I've read of authors creating pseudonym accounts online solely to praise their own works. That's just wrong.
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Old 05-08-2013, 08:09 PM   #11
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I have no hate for it as long as they disclose they are the author. If they pretend to be a reader? Whole different slimy behavior!

Context matters to me only in how narcissistic it looks. It isn't such a bad thing as a response to someone asking for a recommendation that their book does indeed match. If it is out of the blue then it isn't as valued and much more "hey, look at me!"
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Old 05-08-2013, 10:25 PM   #12
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I got a book and started reading. Pretty soon I was just skipping pages of reviews for other books by the author. The first 14% of the book was this nonsense. I deleted the book and made a note to ignore the author.
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Old 05-08-2013, 10:35 PM   #13
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I got a book and started reading. Pretty soon I was just skipping pages of reviews for other books by the author. The first 14% of the book was this nonsense. I deleted the book and made a note to ignore the author.
In that case I think it's bad editing and self promototion. At the least they should have decency to leave those to end...
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Old 05-08-2013, 10:49 PM   #14
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I figure that if the author is afraid to toot their own horn then who will do it for them? And if an author writes a book about writing it's almost certain that they will include clips from their own writing when showing a technique. That isn't part of the normal book promotion either. It does solve the problem of copyright though. I mean you have to prove fair use if you use clips of someone else's writings in your book on writing, but if you use clips from your own that isn't an issue. At least as long as both books are published by the same publisher anyway.
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Old 05-08-2013, 11:59 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Catlady View Post
I agree completely. As long as there's no deception involved, why shouldn't an author recommend his or her own work? I would hope it would be done with some humility, though.
I agreed. As long as it is above board, I don't have a problem with it.
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