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 them. If you know, why are you doing it? If anything, this makes it worse).
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.