Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Author Etiquette: Fortune favors the bold...and the polite

For the fifth time today I received an automatic message after accepting a friend. Immediately following was the author's newsletter. 
Even my love for writers can't stop the involuntary cringe. 

Authors, whether we like it or not, we are self employed. The surge in direct sales and multilevel marketing (think LuLaRoe, Amway, Nuskin...) has emboldened otherwise relaxed entrepreneurs. Sadly, this is chasing would be readers, including agents and editors, underground.

Temptation is ever present. 
We spent years honing our craft and are eager to share it with the world. 
Fortune favors the bold, right?

Yes. And no.

Bold is asking a newly minted friend if he would like to be added to your newsletter/email chain. 
It's taking a risk and extending an offer. 
But more important, it's polite. 

An automatic message to a friend/acquaintance is less polite and typically, the message is a not-so-subtle solicitation for their book or service. 
It's tacky and leaves bad taste in our mouths. First impressions once given, are hard to overcome.

Adding your new friend to a Facebook group or newsletter without asking, isn't bold. 
It's downright rude.

The breach of etiquette in social media has been the driving force behind Instagram's success. 
No one can add you to a group, post links in comments or take over your feed with their self promotion.

Writers, 
Be bold, but be wise as well. 

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