I am not famous, I never intended nor expected to have fans, but when people write to tell me to keep up the good work or tell me they have read my stuff and find it helpful or amusing it rocks. I like having people benefit from what I am doing, as it combines the two things I like most in a job: creating and helping others. If I could, I would write something special for every person that reads this blog…something that would touch you, speak to you, and give you that personal breakthrough in your writing or whatever is hindering you in life. I know I can’t, but it is a little wish of mine. Thus, when I write these blogs I often (when I’m not bogged down in how bad my wordcount is) try to write things that I hope might help if by no other way than to tell you that you do not suffer alone. I’m not saying this blog was designed to generate fans, I’m not saying this blog was intended for you more than me…Actually, this blog was intended as my own personal writing diary, something I could look back on later in my writing career to see how I have developed as an author. It is an attempt to record my fledgling steps into the wide world of publishing and the triumphs and defeats found there.
Having said all this…
It hurts my feelings when I get “fan spam” (these are people that come to your site and say “I found your site on google blog search/yahoo search/MY BUTT and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. Just added your RSS feed to my feed reader/news reader/BUTT READER. Look forward to reading more from you.”). The first time I got fan spammed, I thought it was legit…I was pleased and a little freaked out that people were finding and reading me. The second time it happened, the text was so similar to the first one that my spirits drooped. Here I was pouring my writers heart out onto this public forum and you’re trying to use me to boost your sales…or get better ratings for your site…or WHATEVER it is you butt-head spammers are doing this for. It makes me angry that these people will lie without a second thought, that they will cheat (and that IS what they are doing) without care, and worse yet will do this on such a grand scale as to forget that it is wrong.
I know we all want fans, but along with fans…and in most cases even BEFORE fans are generated, we will have to deal with the spammers in life. The people out there waiting to make a buck off our good nature. The time to guard against them is now, take a few moments and come to terms with the fact that they are out there and educate yourself on them.
For writers I cannot recommend enough: www.writersbeware.com Hands down the best site for new writers and even some old ones, that teach you the TRICKS in the trade and the DIRTY scoundrels out there waiting for you to look the other way.
For everyone else I recommend using the internet to look up anything that seems out of the ordinary. Everyone from the FBI to the National Consumer League has information that can be useful to you if you just look it up. Not only do they have tips for staying safe, but they have directions on how to fix what you’ve gotten yourself into, as well as a list of the most common schemes because we all know “forewarned is forearmed.”