Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Drive-By Promos (Bit of a rant)

As most of you know, I'm the co-founder of a delicious site called Romance Divas. Our forum is close to 2100 members, so to say we're a large site seems fair.

Like any forum, there is a core group of members who participate, are active in discussions, take the time to answer new member questions, help moderate...all the things that make them more than just a screen name and a true "member" of the site.

And then there are those who register only so their first (and many times, last) post is a promotion for their latest release. (This is kind of a moot point now, as we've basically decided these posts will be deleted until the member has 50 posts total.)

What are these authors thinking? Posting once - at least on a forum like RD that is basically a family (don't believe me? ask any Diva what RD means to them.) won't get you anywhere. No one knows you. You've made zero effort to introduce yourself and become part of the board. And these are the people you supposedly believe to be your target audience! So why can't you spend five minutes a day saying hi, wishing a Happy Birthday here or there, or a congratulations on a full request. Laughing at a joke. Encouraging someone. Is it that hard?

Imagine how many books you'd sell if people actually knew you.

Many authors say they don't have the time for forums and loops, it's too hard to keep up. RD is the premier forum outside of RWA online chapters (and even then, I'm not so sure...). For a place with that kind of potential, I'd think you could make the time.

Rant over.


  1. I often recommend that my authors (and sometimes authors who I have to write a rejection letter to) visit Romance Divas for help in learning their craft. It's a wonderful starting point to get tips and advice, I think. And everyone there seems to be so happy to share their knowledge.

    Kristen, what you're frustrated about is something that happens on many, many message boards. Just take comfort in the fact that, on message boards like yours, the promo really doesn't mean anything to anyone without the personality behind it. Even if you didn't ignore it, people generally ignore posts from people who are "promo only". They don't like being on the receiving end any more than you like seeing it posted!

  2. Anonymous7:37 AM

    Romance Divas is an excellent site, Kristen :)

  3. Romance Divas is an awesome site. I've lurked all over the place and made lots of friends there.
    I was thrilled to pieces to meet them at RT and RWA this year. The sense of belonging I get from this fabulous group is addicting for me.

    After tangling with a nasty computer virus a few weeks ago, I haven't visited 'any' place as much as I used to. My Fort Knox security system makes it harder now.
    I'm starting again slowly...but I don't think I even announced my last book release on Divas because I didn't think I'd earned it. :)
    I certainly didn't want people to think that was the only reason I was here.

  4. I have people who only stop by when its time to promote. I understand their reasons, but occasionally it bothers me when I know them well.

    I think this is my first post here and I promise I have nothing to promote. Dang it.

    Sounds like I've been missing out on a Diva experience. Will check out the site. I do hear about it all the time. :)

  5. You knkow, I've always had a hard time getting into boards. Maybe it's because I'm lazy and find it easier to reply to an email:)

  6. Yeah, totally agree. Everyone welcome in the family, but those who just want to nick in and eat our food without even a howdy do can take a hike.

  7. You're right-RD is like a family.

  8. You're right-RD is like a family.

  9. Your post convicted me--I am addicted to RD, and read almost all the posts, but sometimes I am just too lazy to type in a reply. I'm going to try and do better, because you're right--RD is like a family, and is a great support group, and good friends.

    I wanna do better, I really do!

  10. Good rant. It's important - especially given that you helped create RD. You have every right to determine how things like that should go, and I agree with the 50 post minimum. If someone sees it as fluff posting and doesn't wish to do that, it's obvious she might be better off purchasing an ad, where she doesn't have to interact with anyone at all. LOL

  11. Rant on, girlfriend. Rant on.

    RD is a community. A great one at that. It's not merely a promo whore opp. (Sure, we all love to promo our stuff, who doesn't? But those who love RD treat it as so much mroe than that)

    I know that I'm much more inclined to plunk down my cold hard cash for a book when it's one of my friends. I'm sure others are the same way.

  12. I've never belonged to a forum with such a large member base who are (just about) all willing to give their time and the pulling power of their blogs and websites to help promote other members books and what not.

    I absolutely 100% agree with you on the people who post once and that's it.

  13. I've been RD for a long time, but I don't frequent the boards that often anymore. I loved the site and must go back to it.

    We have the very same issue you're ranting about in our chapter. RWA Online is a pretty large chapter (200+ members). We're very active. Of course, there is a core group that is more active than the others.

    It is so frustrating when someone joins, never says hello, but post about their new release. And then we don't see them again until their next good news.

    Participation is key to a successful online group.

  14. I love that it's gotten so big but I can't keep up. Oh well, who needs to do house work when you can go to RD and read.