Facebook Messenger is not a Bookstore

by J.C. Hannigan

I am both an author and an avid reader. I am also the mother of two small children. Naturally family comes first to me. As an author, I don’t have a whole lot of time that isn’t dedicated to my work after my family’s needs are met. When I do get a slice of extra time, of course I love to read.

However, I’m a finicky reader. I get turned off when someone tries to shove their work down my throat. It reminds me of the uncomfortable sensation of being at the mall, and accidentally catching the eye of a mall kiosk worker who immediately wants to give me a makeover or make my hair straight with some kind of magical flat iron.

As a reader, I find books to read through – you guessed it, other readers. As authors, we are all pretty biased about our work – and that’s okay, confidence in our ability to weave a story is good. However, your focus shouldn’t be other authors. Your focus should be that vast community of readers. If you do need the opinion of a fellow author, there is an etiquette that seems to be vanishing among the omni-presence of social media.

When I get a Facebook message, no matter the time, from another author demanding that I read their book and promote it, I seriously just want to slap a bitch. It’s frustrating because again, I’m reminded of pushy sales people, and pushy sales people kind of turn people off the product they are trying to sell.

What’s more, when I don’t immediately respond or voice my opinion, the other author takes it personally and gets mad. Then I feel guilty and anxious because I don’t want to come across as arrogant or self-righteous. I love to read people’s work, but I can’t do it instantaneously.

With the advent of Facebook Messenger there is a culture of instant gratification amongst the literary community. People expect you to read their work immediately and get back to them with feedback, not taking into account that other people have jobs and lives outside of writing.

Think back before the time of Facebook Messenger. In order to receive adequate feedback, we had to wait weeks for a response email or call, allotting them the time they needed to properly digest the material and come back with an appropriate, constructive response.

This goes out to all the authors out there: when seeking feedback on your work from a peer, send an email and give the person time to read it and come back with a response. Be professional and patient. The quality of your feedback will be exponentially improved by using this strategy. You’re welcome.

jchanniganJ.C. Hannigan
Staff Blogger

J.C. Hannigan is a married mother of two in her mid-twenties. J.C. is addicted to coffee, Instagram selfies, Cadbury Mini Eggs, and Dill Pickle chips (only not together, because that would be gross). She has been blogging for nearly 10 years, and won a Bloggie award some time ago. She writes new adult romance novels and currently has two books published, Collide and Consumed. You can find J.C. pretty much everywhere; except, it would seem…in the laundry room.

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