Wednesday, April 29, 2015
The Golden Age, social media and a Pre-order button
Well, it's sort of about the Golden Age of Detective Fiction. Recently on Facebook I commented on a post by another author. This developed, as they so often do, into a conversation, where the poor lady suddenly realised she'd been not only preaching to the converted, but teaching her grannie to suck eggs into the bargain. This had been about the Golden Age, about which I know Quite A Lot, and an American commentator on the subject of whom I'd never heard.
This is one of the problems of social media of all kinds. If one is not mega famous, most people will not have heard of you. But with the easy familiarity of "Friendship" on Facebook and "Followers" on Twitter they can be lulled into thinking that they know you inside out. (Blogger changed that to ionised. Interesting.)
This was amply demonstrated only the other day, when another friend of mine (a proper friend, this time) was complaining about the rejection of a novel which had actually been commissioned. I happen to know all about it, because, not only have I followed its progress over the last year, but I was immensely privileged to read it before it set out on its journey.
The flurry of comments was astonishing. Many were from brand new authors, aspiring authors, only self-published authors and even some established ones. All giving my friend advice. Now, this was all meant in a spirit of friendship and support, I don't deny that, and authors, in the main, are very good at that, but had any of these people actually looked at my friend's profile? Had any of them realised that she is actually a published novelist (by the Big Six) , a published poet and a successful self-publisher, she has written in several genres (including erotica under a false name, of course!) and is the daughter of one of the most successful romantic novelists of the last century.
Eventually, becoming quite angry with some of the commenters (commentators?) I took it upon myself to explain. The one which finally tipped the balance was someone who advised my friend to give up worrying about the money and just write for enjoyment. As my friend, like me, writes for a living and has a large family to support (I only support mine part time, thank goodness) this infuriated me. So I explained. You could almost hear the humiliated silence over the airwaves. Or the ether. Or whatever it is.
So my advice is, before offering advice to someone on social media, please actually look at their profile. If there's a link to a website or a blog, look at it. Do not assume that you are in a position to offer advice unless you are sure you are.
And, in other news, here are the pre-order links for Murder In The Blood on Amazon UK and US. Release date is now June 18th
Murder In The Blood
And the lovely picture at the top is by artist Susan Alison, who also created my map of Steeple Martin.