Before Christmas, I offered readers a thread to share their best reads, books and blog. The rules were simple. List no more than three of your favorite reads and tell others why you liked them. The thread is full of awesome recommendations, and I really enjoyed reading them until I came to this nugget of joy.
So something about this set off my radar. First, there is only one book, when most people listed three. Second, the note has a very practiced tone to it, one you learn to recognize when authors are talking about their books and trying to be cute about it. Third, she posted a cover.
So I checked a few things.
It’s been about 24 hours and we didn’t get an apology. Her comment was moved into pending queue and I’m following up on my promise.
The problem here isn’t that she recommended her own book. The business is hard and sometimes you can’t help yourself. The right way to do this, as the majority of authors I spoke to today pointed out, is to list two of your favorites and say something along the lines of “And I hope you forgive me the shameless self-promotion, but I wanted to mention my own book. It’s a story of so and so and I think you might really like it.”
It’s difficult to reach new readers, this blog provides a modest but not insignificant platform, and everyone here tends to be nice, so it’s tempting to advertise here. If you do it more than once, I might ask you to stop, but at the core it’s an honest attempt to engage with readers.
That’s not what Princess did. She pretended to be a reader. The primary purpose of it was to trick other readers into thinking they were reading a word-of-the-mouth recommendation.
First, it’s dishonest. Second, it’s incompetent, because the fraud was ridiculously easy to track via ISP and email. Third, it shows you what this person thinks of her audience. She thinks that all of us are idiots.
Because I am a bitch, I went and looked at the free sample of the book she linked on Amazon.
The book is not good.
The heroine is “simmering fruitlessly in unrequited lust.” There is no subtlety or finesse; it’s overkill in every single sentence. So I couldn’t recommend this even if I were inclined to do so, which I am not.
Because I don’t support punching down, her email, gravatar, cover, etc have been redacted.
Since Princess hasn’t graced us with an apology, I am going to apologize on her behalf. Sorry you were defrauded on this blog.