Monday, 7 November 2016

There's raising money online, and then there's online begging....


Today I was followed on Twitter by someone who described himself as a writer.  I almost always follow writers back, so I did with this one, too.

Later today I saw that I had some DMs; whenever I have a follow back session, I always get a rash of automated ones, as I presume you do, too.  You know:
  • Hey!  Thanks for following.  If you'd like to connect on Instagram, Facebook, and thirty-three other sites too, here are all my links (no, why would I?  I don't know you.  It's a Twitter follow back, not the beginning of a meaningful relationship).
  • Thanks for the follow.  Check out my blog/book at linklinklink (and my motivation for doing so is what, precisely?)
  • Hi!  I know automated messages are awful, but I so want you to see this! (Listen.  Acknowledging that auto messages are awful doesn't make it okay to send one.  If anything, it makes you even more of a twat for doing so).

I've also had my share of links to pleasesendmeyourmoneynow.com, or gofundme or whatever it's called, as I am sure you have.  But today I got an absolute peach.  It was a long message from this guy asking me (and no doubt everyone else who'd followed him back) for money to get his book edited and illustrated.  He claimed it was something he'd wanted to do all his life - so why hadn't he managed to save up the cash for it?  He sent the links telling me how great Kickstarter is, and how I could send him money.  He even very kindly said that if I would like to spread the word for him, I could include the link in my tweets.  

I hope you don't mind me using this, Agent-X comics, it's so perfect!
I couldn't resist - says it all :)

He didn't even send a genuine, non-automated hello, first.

I couldn't believe my eyes.  Are these people completely lacking in any social skills?  Would they go up to a complete stranger in the street and ask them for money to edit their book?  If you're raising money for a worthy cause, yeah, tweet away (but please don't shove it in my face), and I hope you reach your goals, but setting up one of these online begging (because that's what it is) projects because you're too stupid/tight/poxy to save up the money to pay for an editor - well, either start saving now, or learn to edit your book yourself.  

I got the feeling he thinks that the book will be such a joy that the money I 'invested' would be repaid tenfold by my delight when I then paid him some more money for the finished product.  I doubt it.  Anyone who is this lacking in sensitivity is hardly likely to produce something I will want to read.

To sum up:
  • Raising money online for a worthy cause ~ Good luck!
  • Automated tweets and DMs ~ if you learn nothing else this week, learn this: everybody hates them.
  • Online begging ~ I will now copy and paste the reply I sent to this guy today:
    Suggestion: save up your own money and cease online begging. If you've been wanting to do this your whole life, as you say, then maybe you could have saved up the cost of an editor and illustrator by now. Wouldn't even be so bad if you said a genuine, non-automated hello first. Oh, and I see you want me to help you share it, so that my followers can give you money, too. Hang on while I just mail you the shirt off my back. Unfollowed. Immediately.  



 

20 comments:

  1. Oh how I agree! And it makes life all the more difficult for anyone trying to raise money for 'worthy causes'.

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    1. Exactly - there's so much of this that it makes it like online begging. To be honest, I tend to presume it is, unless something in the tweet, or a picture, makes me see that it's for a worthy cause. (Tip... use pictures and stand out headlines!)

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  2. I hate, loathe and despise the gofundmes. I see them every day from people who have their dogs seized as pitbulls and they automatically set up fundraisers to pay for legal fees and so on, often when there's no need but when the money isn't used, explanations of what the money has bee used for or where it has been sent are never forthcoming.

    I saw one a couple of years ago from a girl in America whose parents had paid for her car and she was asking people for money for repairs for her car as she didn't think her parents should have to pay for them after buying her the car!!!

    Genuine people are losing out to the chancers

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    1. Yeah, that's the point Jo made, above! That's awful re the dog thing - I hope some people enquire? As for the car girl, she needs to be told to go and earn it. I hope someone said just that!

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  3. Replies
    1. I really hope he reads this. I think I will send it to everyone who asks me for money.

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  4. I get these (well, not THAT) ..the DMs with links. And I get the odd person promoting their stuff DIRECTLY to me ... as yu say, there is an etiquette ..Twitter is like a gigantic bus 9pensioner: I do bus analogies) you don't board, then verbally harass the person in the seat next to you to look at your lunch snaps, buy your merchandise etc. Also, a asad fact, I now think most of the 'promos' we do do not result in sales.Not all ..obviously, but those are linked to our online presence. I have more people saying: 'Oh, you write books..I must try one' than people clicking through to my Amazon page. Anyhoo, no excuse for being pushy. None whatsoever. Same applies to people you don't follow offering one 'free' ebooks on the basis that you will review them.OR read and advise them. We are having a good moan!!!

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    1. These morons who do this just don't realise that it's exactly like your bus analogy!

      A completely different subject, but I'll reply anyway!!
      I think most book sales come from repeat buys or Amazon browsing, to be honest. Here's why:
      1. When I put one of my older books on 99p Kindle Countdown but don't tweet it, or promote it anywhere, it still sells more that week.
      2. When I've had a few sales for, say, Best Seller, I always then get an increase in sales for The House of York, 4 pages of which is in the back of it. When I've sold a few THOY I then get an increase in Kings and Queens, which has a similar cover.
      3. When I bring a book out, it starts off with its 'also boughts' being one of mine, and lots by other writers in a similar genre. A few months down the line, the first five or six 'also boughts' are other books by me.

      I do find that if a book has gone stagnant and I do a couple of really good tweets for it, it sells again.

      I'm not quite sure what the last two sentences of your comment mean????

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    2. I meant I get people tweeting me links to their books & asking me for 'my opinion' ...when I don't follow them. I have still got flu. Not very coherent. Apologies

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    3. Oh I seeeeee! Yes... I usually say, have a look at my book blog. And see what it says about my reading choices. (ie, they're my own only, and I don't take submissions!).

      If you have flu you should be in bed sleeping, not tweeting, my dear!!! x

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  5. Yup, so annoying. I don’t even get to the followback stage of writers who only refer to their brilliant books in their bios. I do think some people actually don’t realise they’re one of millions vying for attention and I agree that you can get the sense of the quality of their writing from the manner in which they approach other people.

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    1. Absolutely, Anne. I don't follow back anyone who says anything like 'click here to buy' on their bio, or who calls themself a best selling or award winning author - I check it out first, if I can be bothered. But yes, if all they refer to in their bio is their books, that's all they're interested in. Usually happens with people who never looked at a social networking site until they published, and heard that you can use them to sell your books!!

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  6. This is a new one on me! It’s unbelievable. I get the automated DMs with links but just ignore them but this....!

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    1. I'm amazed Kickstarter allow it to be used for such things, Cathy!

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  7. I also ignore the automated DMs and delete them, but I've never, ever had one like this, TT. Sounds like something my ex would do though. Sorry, I shouldn't say that, but it really does. Some people really are that brazen and he was one of them! Excellent answer by the way!

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    1. I suppose some people will try anything....! And yes - I think these people need telling. I first saw one of these a few years ago, some girl who had her vampire book out when I first self-published was starting this campaign saying 'Let's get ***** professionally edited!!!' As if it was in anyone's interest except hers to do so. My answer was, why don't you just learn to write properly???!!

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  8. Oh my god - I can't believe people do that! Why would you even think that's acceptable on any level? Like everyone else I get the 'here's my book' and 'connect with me here, here and here' and the horrible, horrible 'want this' followed by a link (no, I really, really don't) which just have the opposite of the desired effect, but to ask for money like that is beyond the bounds.Mind you, I want to get one of those DMs now just so I can copy, paste and send your reply!

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    1. Yes, I look forward to getting more, so I can just give them the link to this article!!! Fear not, I am sure you will get one soon enough. I see them here and there from time to time.

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  9. Actually I ignore - but having only just seen this post have copied your wonderful reply and will use (if that's ok?) Cheers.

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  10. Of course, Judith - yes, I mostly ignore, but I do have a look at my DMs (I mostly don't even click on them), and become so insensed I have to say something. The other day I got a long one from some girl in the US asking me to followe her on God knows what and subscribe to her YouTube channel and donate money, or something. I replied "Crikey. Do you want a kidney, too?". She sent me a long lecture back about rethinking my approach, and how if I had a criticism I should give 'postive affirmation' first. Yes, she's 20-something.

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