Monday, February 1, 2010

Bizarro Network

Most of you know that a week ago I submitted CONFLUENCE to Amazon, so even in the midst of my chaos, I’ve been looking at the discussion forums they have both at Amazon and Createaspace. And you know what? I can’t make heads or tails of a lot of it.

Rude In Jokes

First off, there are a few discussion heads that made me think WTF? And further investigation leads me to believe they are in-jokes from last year… and while in-jokes are well and good, ha ha, whatever, I find they are exclusionary. I am in on A LOT of in-jokes, but I try, as well as I can, to explain them so new –people can enjoy them too.

I’m not an uptight person. I’m certainly no stickler for manners. But this just feels like some posturing pissing contest to me when people act that way. Makes me want to slap them upside the head with a wobbly sausage (that would be an in-joke reference, but I figure EVERYBODY can appreciate wobbly sausage, even if you weren’t originally in on it).

Then, to make matters worse… some people are trying out their pitches or asking questions that seem sincere and they are getting similarly snarky comments… Do these people think they’re funny? ARE they funny and I am too dim to catch it? I guess in all my discussion forums there has been a level of self-imposed courtesy and I’ve come to expect it.

Don’t get me wrong, there are also HELPFUL people making comments, but it is really just throwing me off… I’ve been afraid to post much.

Non-BTNA Noise

And then there are these forums about sharing ‘previews’—I tried for the longest time to figure out where my pitch preview was, only to decide the previews are for books people are self-publishing on CreateaSpace… all very nice and all, but I am not yet considering self-publishing. I’m not saying never, but it would be an absolute last resort, as I don’t think it is very effective with mainstream fiction… genre readers seek out their stuff… mainstream readers hear reviews, see books on shelves, and frankly, just need the book to have been marketed in a more traditional way.

But it makes me wonder what portion of these discussions are at all relevant.

Anyway… I created one, if anyone wants to see… it just has my pitch…

My CreateaSpace Preview

Lack of Helpful Information

So when I was trying to sort out what this preview thing was… nothing… CreateaSpace was ultimately unhelpful for figuring out what tools are ABNA and what is not. Amazon is also not sharing. I feel like I am flying blind here. I also can’t get in to edit my thingamabob… not that I want to, but I’ve tried to get in a few times just to see…

A Coupla Gems

On the other hand, I have stumbled on a couple discussions where I’ve met a person or two, and I’ve started a Facebook Group where I’ve met (sort of… had an exchange or two) a couple nice people, so maybe it is just a matter of choosing the sandbox where the nice kids play.


TreeX said...

Netiquette is a great idea that's a couple of years old now... Unfortunately way too few people actually live by the idea "don't say anything you wouldn't say in person", among other rules... It's the main reason I'm hesitant to jump into new environments online.

Like you said though, a large part of it seems to be just finding the oasis of common sense amongst all the bullshit; I still count myself lucky for the years the War lasted :)

Tina-Sue said...

I think it is a matter of choosing where the nice kids play :)
Though snarky-ness and rudeness can be found all over, I think its a little more prevalent on the contest scene--when it comes to writing, anyways (I am learning that the world of graphic novels is quite different!).

Do whatever you can to highlight the work you have entered and let us know when its time to vote ! :)

M.J. Nicholls said...

I was looking at some research on forum behaviour the other week and trends show the longer a forum lasts, the more insular and cliquey it becomes.

There was also a statistic stating that an online argument tends to end the minute someone makes a comparison to the Nazis. Which is also true.

Myself and Chris Allen (imustbeoff.blogspot) are entering this Amazon contest. We'll post our progress (if any) on the FB page. Good luck. :)

Watery Tart said...

Joris-I can't tell whether these people are doing this 'joking because they know each other' or really being rude--I think maybe the former leads to the latter because people who don't know follow the example...

Tina-Sue--I will definitely yell and shout when that time comes!!! Thanks! (and I have found a few nice kids, though the nicest seem to also be on FB, so that may be where I mostly play)

Mark--EXCELLENT! Glad to have you and Chris both joining ranks! Don't forget the FB group! Luck to you, too!

Jan Morrison said...

tartlette - is this part of it a must? I mean - the hanging out on forums etc...? I wouldn't like it - I don't do well with bullies in the sandbox or even self-important twirplets. I'd just keep my head down and do what I have to to stay in the game.

Watery Tart said...

I don't think it is at all. I just felt a little clueless and hoped I might find some enlightenment, but I'm finding this whole blog circuit both more helpful and friendlier, so I may just let it fall to the wayside... I'm not one to not taste though... had to see...

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

I like your pitch!

I use Amazon a LOT while looking for YA books for my son to read. But the forums scare me a little...mean girls. :)

I'm on a Yahoo group of cozy authors and they get SO upset by the comments and reviews they get from Amazon. I try to ignore it. I think it's a slightly different culture over there. I put my author page up there, but I try to ignore anything ugly that comes up.


Watery Tart said...

Thank you, Elizabeth!

I haven't spent much time on Amazon, so I wasn't aware of the mean girls thing... I do most of my searching for juvy lit from a couple library lists and a bookstore friend who is an avid reader (eh, Leanne?) That is probably wise advice though, to remember sort of the spirit in which a lot of that stuff is done. If it tends to be nastier than necessary, then I will just not take it so much to heart.

Crystal Clear Proofing said...

I'm not familiar with the whole forum thing...but I can say that I really, REALLY like your pitch!!!

And whatever you decide to do, definitely stay in the sandbox with the nice kids!

Watery Tart said...

Thank you, Crystal! The nice kids it is! Nobody throwing sand in my eye or putting it into my peanut butter sandwich for me! (though if someone wants to flash now and then, it will just keep things interesting.)