Lately, there has been a lot of worry and wonder about the reception that Indie Authors receive whenever they attempt to join in on the various forums around the web. To say that Indies are met with a less than friendly attitude by fellow posters, would be a gross understatement. I have personally watched some of the forums for these vicious attacks and have witnessed some that were totally IMHO unprovoked on the part of the author. In these instances, the author had made no attempt to promote his/her own work, but had been simply making relevant comments in pertinent threads about topics of interest to both readers and authors and yet, the 'reader' portion of the thread immediately decimated the author and sent them packing. When I first witnessed this, I was appalled and like many of the authors who post on the Kindleboard forums (the only safe place on the web for Indie authors) I wondered why.
After much discussion wherein the probable causes were debated endlessly, several conclusions were reached. Spammers, it was decided, were definitely worthy of scandalous attack and deserving of the ire of the readers. Then there was great gnashing of teeth and many discussions as to what constituted spam. Again, it was decided, that spamming the forums referred to an Indie Author who promoted his work with cookie cutter posts in every thread in every forum, regardless of the topic and without adding anything significant to the thread. Most Indie Authors do not do this.... it was also decided.
But we could not assume that the Indie Authors who were spamming would cause readers to indiscriminately attack any Indie Author who dared pop into a forum. There had to be more to it.
Suddenly, I thought of something while looking over my page on Facebook. I discovered that at least three people had 'liked' my page in order that they could post their own ads on my page's wall. This infuriated me. The ads alongside the Facebook wall infuriates me daily. The ads in the middle of the wall postings infuriate me. They are ugly, big, nasty, yucky, redundant and totally inappropriate at times, not to mention aggravating and downright insulting to anyone with an iota of intelligence. Of course this is the price we pay for having free and frequent access to Facebook. This is where the money comes from. This is a necessary evil of free enterprise and capitalism. I am quite sure that I am not the only person on Facebook who abhors these ads and shudders in disgust every time I see a set of false teeth or a fat belly or I accidentally run my cursor over an ad and have it pop up without having actually clicked on it and NOW THEY HAVE ADDED VOICES!!! Suddenly, a voice just pops up on your computer and you have no idea where it's coming from. Egad!!!!
This anger, this irritation, this frustration I felt must be the same thing that these readers feel when Indie Author Spammers hi-jack their threads and forums and act like used car salesmen. The thing is that unlike that used car salesman on late night television, screaming at you three times as loud as the program you are watching, the reader has direct access to the Indie Authors on these threads and forums. It must be this combined angst and frustration that drives them to attack the nearest thing they can, Indie Authors in general.
I know that there is a great deal of trash generated by persons who want to be authors, but just can't quite make it, but when the material is published for Kindle, the sample option almost guarantees that the reader will not make a mistake and purchase trash and then there is the return option as well, so it cannot be the fact that the market is overrun with junk, it has to be that Indie Authors like myself, who crave nothing more than meaningful dialog with readers and would love nothing more than communicating with the people that read their work, make ourselves sitting ducks for posters with axes to grind. Maybe this ire will eventually die out sometime in the future... maybe...