171 days ago
I'm new, so I'm not sure I totally get the subtle issues surrounding campaigning for the desk. Is it SOP for authors who are high in the rankings to ask someone to campaign for them amongst friends, ask friends to back and then campaign amongst THEIR friends and further for me to read the full book to the end and comment on the subsequent chapters?
It seems a bit cheeky - I backed the book early on, commented kindly and starred it - but I've only been on the site a week, I'm assuming there's a 0% this person will back my book (you have to figure those spots are reserved as part of complex negotiations, regardless of the relative merits of the books on the shelf or mine) and there is no other connection to this person. It also seems as though I am expected to keep it on my shelf for the rest of the month.
It just feels like A LOT is alll I'm saying. Is this typical or some sort of high level spam?
Since I'm new and have a 100% lock to NOT make the desk anytime soon, I'm thrilled beyond belief when someone pops me on their shelf - so from my point of view that support really MEANS something to me. But maybe things change when you can almost taste it and in this community it's accepted and understood as a necessary evil.
So what's the scoop from those who've been around? Posted: 14/05/2012 03:27:15Last Edit: 14/05/2012 03:30:42 by janiemw
Everyone has their preferences.
One book on your shelf has done very well here because it's very good--and also because the author brought along a boatload of friends and relatives to support it. The FAQ's say this is perfectly acceptable, but some on Authonomy think it indicates a faint lack of confidence and prefer to garner support from among members.
Another on your shelf is much admired for both its writing and its kind and friendly author.
People ask for favors as they approach the desk. The types of favors and the extent of them vary. I'd trust them based on my perception of the person asking. There's one fella here who asks everyone on the site to read his work, but he himself is "too busy" to make comments on books in return. Others work diligently to return every single read.
I back only the books I truly like. I never back anything hoping for a future backing in return. Yet my book is currently supported by a number of authors whose works I supported as they made their way to the desk, so the return backings do materialize.
Some people send spam messages. Others wouldn't spam a fellow member for all the tea in China. Some people write long, helpful messages in the forums, hoping members will like them (cough, cough). Others write provocative messages in the forums, hoping members will notice them.
We've got it all.
You do what works for you and do it with pride.
Clearly I'm a little high on Mother's Day good will and pie.
Edited to remove (horrors!) a spelling error!! Posted: 14/05/2012 04:01:47Last Edit: 14/05/2012 23:15:26 by AudreyB
It just occurs to me that I might be a bit of an idiot since comments are out there for anyone to see. (Learning curve!) And it's not at all my intention to point a finger directly at an individual since I honestly don't know the personalities or politics here yet. Also with so many people and so many threads, maybe it's ridiculous to think anyone would notice or care.
Your thoughts were very helpful Audrey - but now I need to know if I shoud take this thread down asap? Posted: 14/05/2012 04:22:06
I don't think anyone would be offended that you asked a question. You can delete messages sent to your profile as well, if you want to.
The only things we can't delete are comments left on our book. Those we're stuck with :'( Posted: 14/05/2012 04:24:22
Thank you - I've deleted the comment. What a nice person you are!
Posted: 14/05/2012 04:31:02
3 hours ago
I've been here a month, I've had spam left right and centre. Some is fine, general self promotion, some is rubbish, along the lines of 'read my book and back it, or back my book and I'll back yours'.
I ignore the rubbish stuff and generally check everything else out, even if I don't actually read it as its not my thing! I never expect return reads on comments I've made because I decide to read a book at random, but I think its the height of rudeness to spam, asking for comments, and not return reads! Posted: 14/05/2012 07:04:25
Provocative avi's have always done well, here. Stating that you know everything and insulting those who disagree with you will get you curiosity reads and Stockholm Syndrome type backings. Posting thread after thread and bumping them ad nauseam will attract newbies who will read your book thinking you're popular.
The best and surest way to the desk is to maintain a good presence in the forums, make friends, stay out of arguments, say nothing too controversial (that just means think before you type), and spend a reasonable amount of time spamming. When I say spamming, I don't mean it as the dirty word, I mean sending other members messages politely asking it they would like to trade reads and comments (without mentioning backings or shelves). State that you will gladly go first. Only spam people whose books you think you want to read. You don't have to read the whole book unless you want to. Most people only read enough to give them an idea of how the story progresses and how competent the author is in presenting it.
When you leave comments, keep in mind that you're probably no more competent than the author, but your fresh eyes will see many things the author doesn't. Your comments should be opinions and suggestions only. Don't come off as superior.
You can count on a small percentage of those you interact with backing your book. Posted: 14/05/2012 07:30:48
Wise words, Groaner.
Posted: 14/05/2012 08:34:24
7 hours ago
I'm fairly new to comment but I think that's a perfect list of suggestions, Groaner.
I try and back for a week, except a coule of permanent ones but always have a huge list of ones I want to back or reback. Posted: 14/05/2012 20:19:00Last Edit: 14/05/2012 20:26:37 by rikasworld
Thanks so much for the helpful advice - I'd just like to clarify what I said about backing. By no means would I ever ask for, or expect any reciprocal backing (or any kind of quid pro quo for that matter) for putting a book on my shelf. And for me, well, I think I may be in too small a niche within the children's genre (given that authonomy isn't primarily focused on the younger end of the children's book spectrum) to entertain even the faintest hope of ever reaching the desk. My hope is to receive comments so honest and helpful that my book will be polished and tweaked into as good a book as my book can be. I'm grateful people aren't telling me to go peddle my papers elsewhere and are treating my work in a serious, thoughtful way that so far has included some really terrific suggestions.
I suppose I was just taken aback at the level of campaigning and the size of the ask whike I'm still stumbling around trying to figure out the basic functions of the site.
And I appreciate the patience of those who've replied - thank you!
Posted: 14/05/2012 21:15:43
To leave comments on this message board please Register or Login