Friday, May 20, 2011

Have some cheese with that whine

Ever since Amazon moved all its author promotion to a single forum, there has been a massive amount of whining and complaining from authors (even on Kindleboards, which is supposed to have a "what happens on Amazon stays on Amazon" rule). While I understand this impulse, at some point it needs to stop. I made a post or two on Amazon stating that I thought it was a bad idea, and that I'd have preferred a single promo thread per genre forum-- but then I quit complaining. There is no point in going on and on and on about it; all that does is drive readers away from the forum and make it an unpleasant place for anyone to hang out.

It's especially bad to blame readers. Sure, some of them have been anti-promo, or at least anti-spam, but that's entirely understandable in a lot of cases. If you ever visited the Erotica or the Kindle Books forum, you could see the effects of unrestrained self-promotion. Also, quite a few authors got out of hand, and made really obnoxious asses of themselves all over Amazon. Thus it's easy to understand why some readers disliked author promos. The problem was the authors who didn't behave, not the readers.

Just as annoying to me are the few writers who keep insisting that this is some sort of Evil Conspiracy on the part of Amazon. They feel that Amazon is pushing indie authors to the side so that they can promote their own publishing imprints. This seems illogical to me (these authors are ignoring the fact that Amazon already had an imprint, AmazonEncore), and in any event, even if it were true, complaining isn't going to change it.

And that's my basic point-- whining here, there and everywhere isn't going to change this. It's Amazon's board, and we have to play by their rules. So quit complaining, put on your friendly, professional face, and do your best to make the Meet the Authors board a place readers want to visit.

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