Thursday, December 12, 2013

Personal Rant #4: Like for a Like.

Ugh. Some people.

So. Today, I got this message on my Facebook page. (Names are omitted).
Hi! I saw you on Goodreads and liked your page. Here's a link to my page:
The only other thing in the message was a link to her own page. I checked out her page, and her website. A new writer, who JUST started their page and already has 400 "Likes" even though she has yet to publish a single work. That, combined with the mention of Goodreads, made it clear to me that she was farming in a "Like for a Like" manner. I replied thusly.
  Thank you for your interest, but for the sake of fairness, I believe I should inform you I do not believe in the system of generic "like for a like" as promoted on some websites. I have looked at your page and your website, and I don't believe your interests and posts would align well with what I provide the people who visit my page (my focus being horror and sci-fi currently). Therefore, giving you a "Like" would be nothing more than a meaningless +1 as I doubt your posts would be things I would be likely to share on my page. Once again, I thank you for your interest, and I understand if you would like to withdraw your "like" of my page. Good luck.
I personally do not go for the whole "Like for a Like" trade-off. I will like people's pages because I enjoy what they post, support them, or support their works. Apparently, I am in the minority, because there a threads on Goodreads whose whole point is people listing their Facebook pages begging for "Likes". I would much rather prefer people to like my page because they like my work, like me, and/or they enjoy what I post. People who "Like" your page for those reasons are more likely to comment on and/or share your posts. People who "Like" your page simply because you "Liked" theirs are generally much less inclined to do so. About four months after I started my page, I was involved in a discussion on Goodreads which included one author asking how to get more interactivity on their page. He had around 200 "Likes" and said he was only getting between twenty to thirty people seeing his posts. At the time, I had around 45 "Likes", and I was commonly getting that much attention or more.

I then received this reply to my response.
 Thank you for the message. I looked at your page and read some of your blog. I loved the picture of Voldemort and Harry Potter from one of your November blog posts. Even though I wrote a memoir, and am writing in the genera of mystery/suspense doesn't mean I don't like other genres. I read every genre - yes EVERY genre. Steven King's "IT" is one of my favorite books of all time. Since I joined linkedin and Good Reads, I have ordered 23 books from authors I have never heard of and recommended them to my friends on FB and followers on Twitter. I believe in supporting other authors and the power to network. Maybe next time, you should remember the old adage, "Never judge a book by its cover" because you certainly were wrong when you judged me and now you have lost a customer and a recommendation.
 Ugh. Just...ugh. She did however take me up on the suggest that she un-like my page. Someone look at my above post again and point out where I was judging her? After all, nothing on her Facebook page or website indicated any interest in Horror or anything else and the best she could comment about my blog was that "I liked that one picture."

Ugh. Look. If you want to support other authors. Do it. Don't attach riders to it such as "Like for a Like". That's not supporting people. That is merely a high-school attitude where the number of friends you have is all that matters and not whether most of those friends honestly give a shit about you. To be perfectly honest, I couldn't care less if I never get more than 100 Likes on Facebook as long as those people who have Liked me actually enjoy my work, enjoy my posts, and support me. I don't want 1000 Likes of people who are just going to hide my posts and are only going to adhere to that as long as I also returned the favor and boosted their little people count by one.

Anyway, whether or not she saw it, I followed up her reply.
If I may make a suggestion. You may wish to learn to separate yourself from your author persona. My decision was based on posts on your page and your website and had nothing to do with you personally or your interests. It would be my advice that you not take such things so personally. It is simply a personal policy that I don't "Like" other pages just because they "Liked" mine, nor do I expect it of any page I choose to "Like". I personally feel that attaching such a rider to any show of support cheapens that support, however I am aware that many do not share that opinion. You may find this post helpful in your search though.

Good luck in your future endeavors.
Of course, she took to her page to copy/paste my initial reply to her page, sparking the expected rage and cries of "What an idiot! They need to stfu!"

* Rant begins now * 

Excuse me?! You came onto MY page and made a show of Liking it, then bitched about being judged when I replied that I would not be returning the favor? Not even in a private message but ON. MY. PAGE! In no way have I ever, at ANY point, invited people to come like my page for any reason beyond liking what I post. I'm sorry, I believe in actually earning my fans instead of splitting likes with a bunch of other random people who probably won't give a shit what I post, if they even look at any of it. 

Likes on Facebook aren't a contest. There are no prizes for reaching 100, 500, 1000 Likes. If you feel so insecure that you need some huge number to be proud of, fine. More power to you. I suppose it's healthier than stress eating. I don't need a huge number of fans to take pride in what I've done, and if I manage to build up a fan base into the hundreds or even higher, I'll take pride in THAT because I will have EARNED each one of those Likes, as opposed to simply going around begging and trading for them. 

She came unbidden and posted on MY page. She made a show out of Liking my page. Then, when I didn't return the favor and tried to politely explain my stance on the subject, she ran back to her page and had to immediately post about it. I'm sorry, how fucking immature are you? You want to be an author, grow the fuck up. If this is how she acts when someone denies to accept her "Like for a Like" attempt, I fear for the day she gets her first bad review. 

Now, let's be honest, I could have accepted the Like, said nothing, and just not Liked her back. I chose instead to respond to what was obviously her game in the interests of being honest and straight-forward. The fact that she promptly un-liked my page only further proves what the aim was. She is the one who viewed that as some kind of attack and personal judgement. If anyone wants to point out how any sane person could view my initial reply as a personal attack, feel free.

Seriously, some people...

~ Shaun 

Addendum #1: If you want to talk about networking, ok. If you go carpet-bombing, you might get lucky and hit a few targets, but with today's technology and search engines, it's not that hard to find like-minded people, blogs and websites. Who knows, even if it's a little extra work, it might even be a better use of your time. So shit like this doesn't happen. After all, there's a very good reason a rocket scientist doesn't go to a Peanut convention to network.

Addendum #2: Yes. Going off like this doesn't exactly paint me in a much better light than it does her. But after all this BS today, I just wanted to get it off my chest and it gave me the opportunity to publicly state my opinion on Like for a Like. Which is, I won't do it. Not here, not on Facebook, and not on Twitter.

Addendum #3: People want to talk about giving away "Likes" like it's the only way to show support. I'm sorry, I didn't know your giving away "Likes" to people ranks right up there with giving tips on how to format for Kindle, explanations on the importance of editing, and how you shouldn't let worries about originality get you down, with regards to how much you support your fellow authors.

So bite me.


  1. I'm thrilled to be the first to comment here because I agree with you completely. I recently started a FB page for my editing, and an author friend suggested that a bunch of her friends "like" it. That was great, but a small handful sent me messages that said, "OK, I liked you, now you like me!" Nope. I checked out the pages of those people, and none of them were authors I'd follow, mostly due to genre/content like erotica. It's the one thing I won't edit, so I'd be a hypocrite to follow the page. I check new people out and cheerfully follow those I find interesting and relevant to me. I don't know them, so there should be no insult inferred by my lack of "liking." They may end up unliking me, but if they're not going to read my posts, then I'd rather not have false followers.

    I think you handled it well. Polite and logical, which doesn't always go over well with some people.

    1. Exactly! And it's like, my main subjects are horror, sci-fi, and my blog commonly goes over the art of writing. Her subjects are memoirs and Legal thrillers. I won't say she would never have posted anything my audience would appreciate, but it wasn't likely. It's a matter of being aware of your audience and what they expect. People expect horror on my facebook page, not me sharing new releases of "I was an average teenage student."

      All this damn drama has given me a headache.

  2. "After all, there's a very good reason a rocket scientist doesn't go to a Peanut convention to network."

    Ha ha. I sense a new episode of The Big Bang Theory being penned...

  3. I see your point completely, dude, and I am totally guilty of trading FB likes and Twitter follows. If anything it's cluttered my newsfeed, and now I've had to set up lists to engage with people I want to talk with. The decision to reciprocate is not always good and I'm now getting more selective about who I follow. Great post.

    1. Well, like the example I gave shows, just because someone Likes you doesn't mean their going to help you and your posts. I've heard comments from a lot of people that "trade" Likes that they just Like the page, then block all posts. That isn't supporting each other. That's practically trying to scam people as far as I'm concerned.

  4. I know who you are talking about (because I am also on Goodreads) and my first thought was you are a hypocrite. She might have run to her page, but so did you. And from the looks of things, she is getting a lot more support than you. And from what the other people on Goodreads are saying, not too many people respect you and your ignorance.

    1. I don't know any of you personally (including Shaun), but I find it amusing that the only person to hide behind anonymity is the one calling someone else a hypocrite. I don't even know the GR author to whom he's referring, have never seen the page in question (and am sure to never find it due to the sheer size of GR), but have a hard time giving credibility to the opinions of anyone (on any blog, anywhere online) who doesn't post his/her name. If you have a strong opinion, then declare it and stand behind it proudly. I don't know that I'd want to bother commenting somewhere if I were not prepared to stand behind my words.

      I wouldn't call someone (Shaun in this case) "ignorant" for not wanting to cheapen the value of the "like" system by simply adding to a number but never actually supporting that person, though people do it all the time and apparently have no problem with it. That's fine for those people. I'm not sure how NOT doing that translates into ignorance. I would rather have three people genuinely interested in what I have to say than thirty people who skim past my posts. Wouldn't you? (Not being snarky; just asking in sincerity.)