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Old 06-02-2010, 01:29 AM   #1
Worldwalker
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Authors pushing books

This is starting to get a little out of hand (maybe beyond starting).

We have the "plug your novel" thread which was supposed to contain them. Except now most of the "deals" board is full of authors announcing their books (with or without actual deals attached), and they're creeping into "Writer's Corner" too. Yes, I have a particular offender in mind, but it's really a more generalized thing, and unless the problem is fixed while it's small, it's going to grow until it's not easily fixable.

Perhaps we need to have a "New Books & Discounted Books" board to bring all of them together for the benefit of book shoppers, leaving "Deals" for bookstore-wide sales, device sales, etc,. and "Writers' Corner" for discussion of writing, not announcements of books?

There are obviously a lot of people with books to sell (naturally, since this is a readers' forum, people are going to want to market books here) so give them a place to do it. There's certainly enough traffic for a "New Books & Discounted Books (authors announce your new ebooks, sales and promotions for your ebooks, etc., here)" section to stand on its own, and it would benefit the people looking to buy ebooks, the people looking to buy other things, and the people looking to discuss writing.

Any support for this?
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Old 06-02-2010, 09:09 AM   #2
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I agree with you that there is a problem. Several months back, I started a thread here regarding a similar concern. I noticed a handful of authors bumping their own threads. I was told to report bumping or to ignore the threads. In the last few months, I have seen the problem grow worse.

I’m not sure creating a new board is going to fix the problem. Certain authors here have already shown an inclination to over promote their books. Giving them another board may create an additional area and another excuse for them to make one more post about their book. This is just going to add to the spam.

Now I understand the desire to promote one’s work, but I also believe there has to be some level of respect for other writers and for the readers seeking deals. In defense of some of the authors, I don’t think the rules are very clear as to what is acceptable. I would hope some would simply use common sense and show some courtesy, but they may view things in a different light.

Personally, I would limit authors to one thread regarding the promotion of each book they have written. If they create another thread involving the same book, it should be deleted or merged with the first thread. This would also limit the thread bumping they could do because if they are the only ones posting to the thread, it would soon become obvious.

Last edited by jinlo; 06-02-2010 at 09:13 AM.
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Old 06-02-2010, 09:45 AM   #3
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I definitely agree there is a problem. I think there should be a "self-promotion" sub-forum, so that things are clear and other forums are not polluted. That probably wouldn't solve everything though, I agree more rules may be necessary on what is allowed and not.

What worries me most is people posting in "reading recommendations" to plug their own works, especially (but not only) if they don't make it clear that it's self-promotion. That forum is meant for people who have read a book and liked it (or not) to give their honest opinion about it. Of course I'm sure a writer is honest when they tell us their book is the best, but I'm not interested in their opinion in this case...
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Old 06-02-2010, 09:47 AM   #4
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By the way, did you notice a thread called "Are there any readers here?" I could scarcely believe my eyes. Did this person even take five minutes to browse the forum before asking that question? Self-promotion is fine, but only if it is done with a measure of respect for other users
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Old 06-02-2010, 02:00 PM   #5
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The number of people who just jump in and post something without reading the forums (or, all too often lately, even reading the forum names) is just staggering.

We're starting to get something of a broken window effect: People marketing books see other people marketing books and posting, well, everywhere, so they do the same. So more of them do it, etc.

One of the things I learned a long time ago as a forum mod and admin: telling forum users not to post something is like telling cats not to claw the furniture. Users, like cats, have certain instinctive drives, and they will obey them. So for cats one needs to provide scratching posts, and for forum users one needs to provide appropriate boards.

Hence the need for a "Promote your ebook" board (and a rule of no more than one topic per book or series on that board). Otherwise, every other board, at least on the top half of the page, is going to gradually fill up with people selling books. And, while the book announcements are certainly useful -- we are, after all, by definition avid readers, and I think most of us are always looking for books worth reading -- the purpose of MobileRead is discussion of ebooks, readers, and reading, not to provide a captive audience for everyone with a book to sell.

So how about it, admins? Is a "Promote your ebook here" board a possibility? It looks to me like a win all around.
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Old 06-02-2010, 02:28 PM   #6
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I mostly agree, except that I need to see the ads often ... Because I forget. I'll see a writer with a book that looks good, but by the time I get ready to download books, I can't remember what I wanted. But that's no reason to flood the forums with multiple threads. Just bump it back up front to remind me.

... Which reminds me that I need to review Steve Anderson's book, "The Losing Role". It surprised me how much I enjoyed a book about WWII.
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Old 06-02-2010, 05:03 PM   #7
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The advantage of a "Promote your ebook here" board, in your case, is that you could go straight to it and find the book ads (and check for new ones) instead of having to dig through posts about sales on ebook readers (it looks like you have plenty!) and extreme editing.

WWII is actually one of my major interests, and I'd probably have bought the book (DRM permitting) if it had been advertised on a "Promote your ebook here" board instead of on the writing discussion board. Which is one reason why we need one.
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Old 06-02-2010, 10:50 PM   #8
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If I were an author (And thank your lucky stares that I'm not.) I would look at the categories in E-Book General and say to myself -

News - Yes. My new book is news.
or
General Discussions - This would be a good place to discuss my new book.
or
Deals, Freebies, and Resources - I'll tell everyone that my new book is free. TODAY ONLY.
or

But you get the point. Yes, we do need a "Promote Your Own Book" category. And the mods need to remove the entire post including the title of the post. Most people don't read rules so post it at the top of each forum in bold letters. If the poster makes a plea that the mod wants to accept then the mod can move it back.


"By the way, did you notice a thread called "Are there any readers here?"

Perhaps -Do readers frequent the forums?

Not to worry. If any thread is longer than 2 pages it will mutate faster than spit in an X-Ray machine. People had fun making it in to what they wanted. And that's the point. Enjoy.
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Old 06-03-2010, 06:11 PM   #9
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We try to keep up with the bumping promos. They get a warning, a stern warning and a sharply worded memo. We try not to ban anyone unless the offenses are truly egregious. I like the idea of a promote your e-book section, since we could then herd the lovable little buggers there.

As to the book pix in the signature, we have been allowing them as long as they are a) thumbnail sized, b) not graphically pornographic, and c) hosted here or at least don't take forever to load up.

As with many things, if it is something that is getting out of hand, the moderators will discuss it and move to change the policy if it seems to be abused. There is a "Don't Bump" guideline, so please let us know if you feel that someone is doing it.

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Old 06-04-2010, 12:59 AM   #10
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I would strongly suggest if this is to be done, that it be done soon. In addition to writers who follow SoS's logic -- their books are news, of general interest, and good deals -- we also have them appearing in the Writer's Corner, because they're writers, and besides, there isn't as much competition with other writers plugging their books as there is in Deals. From a quick glance, 6 of the first 10 threads in Writer's Corner are book advertising, as are nearly all of the recent posts in Deals, and they turn up just about everywhere else, too.

So the sooner the better, before this idea that MobileRead and all of its sections exist mostly as a venue for authors to market their books takes any stronger hold than it already has.
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Old 06-04-2010, 04:45 AM   #11
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Quote:
Worldwalker: Hence the need for a "Promote your ebook" board (and a rule of no more than one topic per book or series on that board). Otherwise, every other board, at least on the top half of the page, is going to gradually fill up with people selling books. And, while the book announcements are certainly useful -- we are, after all, by definition avid readers, and I think most of us are always looking for books worth reading -- the purpose of MobileRead is discussion of ebooks, readers, and reading, not to provide a captive audience for everyone with a book to sell.
Well said and agreed!


Quote:
Originally Posted by pshrynk View Post
We try to keep up with the bumping promos. They get a warning, a stern warning and a sharply worded memo. We try not to ban anyone unless the offenses are truly egregious. I like the idea of a promote your e-book section, since we could then herd the lovable little buggers there. pshrynk (moderator)
I do believe you moderators have your eyes open (and that you have lots to do here nowadays, thanks for your work).

It's seems not neccessarily a question of banning members but of channeling their activities. As worldwalker said in his positings, authors plugging their works are not unwelcome if they do it in the right place and don't overdo it. Undermining the structure of the forum by ignorance or intention is another thing.

So I would like to see a dedicated "promote your e-book" section too.
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Old 06-04-2010, 04:47 AM   #12
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Granted guys that some members more than "Over-Do" pushing thier books, and you all know I'm a fan of MR authors!

But if I was one of MR's great authors, I'd be offended by the comments in this thread, I think it will put many off of supporting MR,

This is a Hobby / Interest site, we all love books, do wee need to set up THEM and US camps and alienate groups of valuable members?

I'm sorry, I just feel strongly about this!
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Old 06-04-2010, 04:57 AM   #13
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Kevin, I don't see any offending comment in this thread, except mine. It annoys me when people jump in and start posting on a forum without taking the time to read the forum threads and get acquainted with it. I'm sorry if you find my comment offensive, and I can understand it, but I really don't think it's bad enough to drive authors from MR

As to the other comments, I can't see anything offensive in them. We all said that authors are welcome to promote their works here, but that we'd like it to be done in an orderly manner and without messing up sub-forums that are not meant for this kind of content. I'm sure the authors who post here are responsible people and will be able to understand our viewpoint. But if we don't say anything, the situation will get worse and parts of the forum will become unusable for some of us. This would not be a good thing for the authors, would it?
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Old 06-04-2010, 05:02 AM   #14
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I find it rather narrow minded and shortsighted that some members seem to want to ban any input from Authors, thats all, I do agree some over do it, but so do other "Groups" too,

I did read all posts in the thread, that was just my own thoughts and opinions, sorry If I have offended anyone,
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Old 06-04-2010, 05:13 AM   #15
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I'm sorry you see it that way. Nobody wants to ban anything, except repeatedly bumping up a thread, that's the only thing that was mentioned. Input from authors is welcome here, I haven't seen anyone say differently.

My personal view is that authors and other interested parties (we also have publishers here) should always make it clear that they are pushing their own stuff. Most of them do, so that's fine. But creating a forum specifically for this purpose will make things much clearer. Lately I have found myself sometimes clicking on a thread thinking it's a discussion I could be interested in, only to find it's a promotional thread. I tend to feel cheated and annoyed by this. I might even be interested in promotional threads sometimes, but I have to know what it is before I click on it, otherwise it makes me angry.
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