This is something that's been on my mind for quite awhile. I have a personal Facebook page and we have one for Book Binge. We use the site to network, keep up with publishing trends and stay in touch with friends and family. Or I should say I do (I don't know what Casee and Rowena use their personal Facebook accounts for, so I won't speak for them.). I don't care for the apps and games that are available there, and other than the occasional (ehem) game of Scrabble or Bejeweled, I don't really do much other than read status updates and cyber-stalk people through their pictures.
Lately we've been receiving an increasing number of "suggestions" via Facebook to become "fans" of authors. Personally, I hate these requests. Look, there are many authors I consider myself to be a fan of, but I don't feel the need to prove it by clicking a button on Facebook. I didn't realize this until recently, but apparently authors use their fan pages to update their readers about upcoming releases, book promo information and things like that, as opposed to just annoying me like I originally thought. But..I kind of thought that's what websites are for. And blogs. And Twitter accounts. I don't feel like I need to become your "fan" on Facebook just to keep abreast of what's going on in your writerly life. If I do, I think you have a problem, because seriously? I doubt the bulk of your fanbase or readership is on Facebook.
Not only that, but the actual wording of the requests drives me batshit crazy:
Author X became a fan of Author X on Facebook and suggested you become a fan too.As I said on Twitter the other day (slightly modified because I no longer have the 140 character restriction):
Dear Facebook Authors: Please stop suggesting I become your fan just b/c you did. As long as you love yourself that's all that matters. You don't need me.
I realize the wording isn't the author's doing. They don't have control over what Facebook sends in their email. But the whole thing screams, "ATTENTION WHORE" to me. If you feel the need to have a fan page on Facebook, by all means, go for it. But stop asking me to join it. If I want to become your fan, I will. Simple as that. I don't need you suggesting I do so.
As if that isn't bad enough, I've noticed an increasing number of bloggers creating fan pages for their blogs lately. Why? Why do you do this? I honestly don't understand why you need a FAN PAGE for your BLOG. If I like your blog, if I'm a true fan of it, I'll visit it and comment on it. I won't add myself to a list on Facebook to prove it. Seriously, WHY DO YOU NEED A FACEBOOK FAN PAGE FOR YOUR BLOG?!?!?!
I've also been getting an increasing number of "book recommendations" on Goodreads. Another question I posed on Twitter:
To be honest, I doubt the bulk of the authors who "suggest" their books to me know my reading tastes enough to think I'll like them. Therefore it seems much more likely that they're just spamming me.
Authors, why do you "suggest" your books to me on Goodreads? B/c you think I'll like them, or just to be a Spammy McSpammer?
And, ok, I understand authors are often in charge of their own promo. I'll also freely admit I've found many new authors via recommendations, both from other readers and sites like Amazon and Goodreads. But..well, I guess I feel like it's different if an author recs his/her own book to me. Just like it's different if an author suggests I become a fan of them.
To be honest, more often than not I want to delete authors from my friend list completely when they start sending me suggestions to become their fan or start recommending their book to me. Sames goes for bloggers who ask me to become a fan of their blog.
What are your thoughts on fan pages and book recommendations? Does it bother you when authors become fans of themselves and then suggest you do the same? How about when an author recommends his/her own book to you? And what about bloggers creating fan pages for their blogs? Does that seem like overkill to you? Share this post!