Book Blogging 101: Viral or Spam?
What I learned from Marcus Finch. When good ideas go awry.
This is a rather hard piece for me to write, considering I’m a big proponent of original blog tours and promotional pieces. But, I was a part of a very big publisher spam event. I keep on thinking how could I have avoided it?
Frankly, I’m embarrassed by the whole event. The grumpy tweets that went out, an even more aggressive comment that was made. People obviously were very annoyed with the mass amount of posts that were made by a handful of bloggers. I tried to get angry as people tweeted they were being spammed by our blogs. But, hell if I wasn’t the one doing the posting, would I be reacting just as negatively? Probably. Especially when I saw some of my Finch compatriots that I hadn’t realized were a part of the tour. I shouldn’t have been surprised…it was a YA book. And if there is a promo blitz this chick is always involved so here I was spamming the crap out of people with a blogger that people think shouldn’t be involved in any publisher promotions because of her past actions. So, yeah…if I was on the outside of the tour, I would have been pretty annoyed too.
But, looking back, unless I would have told the publisher I wasn’t doing it, after I committed…that was the only way I would have gotten out of things knowingly.
And I’ve never intentionally backed out of a blog tour after I’ve said yes. (there was a time when the assets went into junk and I had forgotten to write down the date on my calendar — big oops, I’m still embarrassed about that one)
Yet, that is probably what I should have done. I was expecting that I would be in a blog tour with clues posted on my blog about a major character. I believed, from the initial email that the clues would be different each blog. In fact, since the emails had no other correspondence I didn’t even know how many, or who else was participating. I didn’t think that everyday a group of blogs would be posting the same clue — everyday — for weeks. Until I got the assets email and was like — “Um…what is this?”
There was a lot of clues. For everyday. But, again I believed that I might be the only blog that was doing it. I was the only one on the email. I believed that the character was maybe a fun character that people would be interested in finding out more about. But, as the first day went live — and it was too late to back out, realization hit. I now had two weeks of spam posts that were going to be broadcast from my blog. And there was a lot more then just me, participating in this event.
I did it though. I had made my commitment. I set the times for early in the morning and made sure that I always had other posts going live for each day. There was a giveaway attached for a very hyped book, so I figured the people interested in Richelle Mead’s series would be the one to pay attention to the posts. And they did. Thousands of entries into the contest. But, I increasingly became uncomfortable. There were also a lot of tweets. Not directed at me, just generally broadcasted, about how the campaign was overkill.
It was overkill. And I apologize for my spam from the last two weeks. But, like all #fails, I did learn a few things:
1. I should have asked more questions. I was overwhelmed by a name, Richelle Mead.
2. I should have paid attention to the other participants of the tour
3. When I got the assets I should have asked more questions, or told the tour organizer that I was backing out. I would probably have lost the contact. But, what can you do? There are other contacts and publishers, right? ((sob))
The final outcome of the situation was that I did end up emailing the Marketing Assistant in charge of correspondence and told her about the negative feedback I received. Hopefully in the next brainstorming meeting, she’ll bring this up if this type of campaign is implemented again. That, and I’ll know to stop and “think” before I get blinded by a hyped up book and a big named author.
Have any of you been “hooked” into an event that you didn’t realize the scope until it was too late?
I literally stared slack-jawed at the screen when I saw Wendy Darling of the Midnight Garden tweet this particular gem out:
From what I can tell, nothing is resolved and my heart again goes out to Wendy Darling and her fellow bloggers. This is the second time they have been plagiarized in the last couple of months. In fact – the plagiarized post went LIVE the day they posted about being plagiarized by another blogger. This puts a lot of question marks around the post – because – *gasp* could this be an intentional FU to them? A retaliatory attack to their earlier stance against plagiarism? Either way, both suck. Good luck, ladies. And good job on catching it…again.
There was also another case of plagiarism that didn’t go that viral, mainly because the person plagiarizing was doing so on an Amazon review. There was no contact information made viable for this Amazon Reviewer, so the review was reported to Amazon and very quickly Amazon responded by taking down the review. So, just know that there are ways around things and companies like Amazon and Google will quickly respond to cases of plagiarism. The desired outcome is that the piece is taken down. They aren’t flogged, or ruined. Their content is just taken down.
Book Blogger Question of the Day
Posting a cover, or small quote from a book is considered FAIR USE. Read about it here. You are critiquing something, so it falls within the terms of FAIR USE. The blurb is also in the FAIR USE category. The only time you step over the line is when posting long excerpts, then it is not FAIR USE. Or if you post a cover and claim it belongs to you…when it doesn’t.
Happy Thursday. Talk Less. Read More. Blog with Integrity.