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Author Topic: Request for comment on "Help me hit milestone xx" threads in WC  (Read 11490 times)  

Offline KBoards Admin

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Request for comment on "Help me hit milestone xx" threads in WC
« on: January 19, 2014, 08:05:36 PM »
Hello all,

  We've been discussing a couple of moderation topics, and are asking for some community input.

  As you all know, we have a general policy of moving self-promo threads to the Book Bazaar. This helps keep the WC conversations free of self-promo posts, which can easily overwhelm the otherwise useful discussions that take place in the WC.

  So here's the question (and a follow-up):

  1. Should we allow "Help me hit milestone xxx" threads in the WC? Or should we disallow those by either deleting them or moving them to the author's thread in the Book Bazaar..?

  2. If we do allow them, should we limit it to only certain milestones? Like Top 100 in Amazon store, Top 10 in Amazon store, etc...

  The intent here is to find out what our community wants, which may have us updating our policy about this. I feel the second part of the question is important, because if we don't limit it, and the WC becomes overwhelmed with these type of threads, we will all find a diminished value from browsing and participating in the WC.

  I appreciate your input.
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Offline JustAnotherAuthor

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Re: Request for comment on "Help me hit milestone xx" threads in WC
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2014, 08:07:55 PM »
A long time ago there was an endless tagging thread here. Why not have a single thread where people can post requests for help with milestones? Corral everything into that thread.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2014, 08:38:08 PM by JuliaKent »

Offline JessieVerona

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Re: Request for comment on "Help me hit milestone xx" threads in WC
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2014, 08:16:06 PM »
A long time ago there was an endless tagging thread here. Why not have a single thread where people can posts requests for help with milestones? Corral everything into that thread.

That's a good thought. I haven't even published my first book yet, but I feel like I've learned so much from everyone here that I am happy to help out when someone needs a push. It'd be good to have a place to go when I'm looking to pay back in even a little way how kind everyone is with their advice. I like staying on the good side of the karma.

Offline KellyHarper

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Re: Request for comment on "Help me hit milestone xx" threads in WC
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2014, 08:50:21 PM »
A long time ago there was an endless tagging thread here. Why not have a single thread where people can post requests for help with milestones? Corral everything into that thread.

The NA Promo thread and the Make It Free thread are essentially this. I agree that this might be the best overall way to handle it. I doubt anyone would appreciate all of WC becoming a huge promo center.

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Offline Gretchen Galway

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Re: Request for comment on "Help me hit milestone xx" threads in WC
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2014, 08:57:43 PM »
I agree that a separate thread seems a good compromise. I wouldn't want the big moments to be forbidden completely--like when Holly was going for #1--they're just too fun.


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Offline Monique

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Re: Request for comment on "Help me hit milestone xx" threads in WC
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2014, 09:08:01 PM »
One thread to rule them all. :)

Or none at all, honestly.

While we're talking about things, I was discussing off-board the posts that are meant to drive traffic (whether genuine or of the spammy variety) to a blog, facebook page or website. Instead of having the convo here. I have to admit the inconsitent modding of those confuses me. Some are moved to the BB and others, that are exactly the same, remain and some are even encouraged. I'm confoozled on that policy.

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Offline Carol (was Dara)

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Re: Request for comment on "Help me hit milestone xx" threads in WC
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2014, 09:15:42 PM »
If it's from a long-standing member trying to hit a huge list and they're someone who rarely posts stuff like this, I say let them post. If it's someone whose every post is promo, that'd be a no-no. Good luck figuring the cut-off.

On the point Monique raised, I agree it's annoying when vague blog topics/links are posted to lead people off-site. Personally, I'd only like to see those if a section of the blog is quoted, so people can discuss it without having to click-through, unless they just feel like seeing the whole context.

But to be clear, the "help me hit..." topic isn't one I have strong feelings about.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2014, 01:31:39 PM by Dara England »

Offline Bluebonnet

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Re: Request for comment on "Help me hit milestone xx" threads in WC
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2014, 09:18:36 PM »
I have been confused when I saw so many threads devoted to individual book promotion here in WC, when the forum rules said you were only supposed to promote your book in Book Bazaar. If one author is allowed to have a thread promoting a book in WC, then all authors should be allowed to do it -- however, as already noted, that would risk turning WC into a promotional board.

Maybe the single promotional thread idea would be best, and all authors could post on it. It doesn't seem fair to let some authors have their own promotional threads in WC.

Offline telracs

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Re: Request for comment on "Help me hit milestone xx" threads in WC
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2014, 09:20:23 PM »
i think they are self-promo and should be in the Book Bazaar.

as the authors hopefully know, they can change the title of their book bazaar thread, so when they're trying to hit a milestone, they can use that as the title of the thread, and modify their first post.

and that way they will also hopefully be using a link that will help support the kb...

Offline Shawn Inmon

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Re: Request for comment on "Help me hit milestone xx" threads in WC
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2014, 09:27:32 PM »
These "Help me hit a milestone" posts don't bother me at all. If it's someone who has been around for awhile and contributes a lot, I go and buy a copy and if it is appropriate, I mention it to my FB followers. If it's someone I don't know, I just skip right by it. I guess it would be a "thing" if there were a lot of these, but I haven't seen that to be the case here.

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Offline Vivi_Anna

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Re: Request for comment on "Help me hit milestone xx" threads in WC
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2014, 09:29:31 PM »
I think one thread would work.  That's a fair compromise for everyone.  I hate seeing some people get passes on the rules and others getting nailed for it.  What's good for one should be good for everyone.

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Offline Cherise

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Re: Request for comment on "Help me hit milestone xx" threads in WC
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2014, 09:35:08 PM »
One thread to rule them all. :)

Or none at all, honestly.

While we're talking about things, I was discussing off-board the posts that are meant to drive traffic (whether genuine or of the spammy variety) to a blog, Facebook page or website. Instead of having the convo here. I have to admit the inconsistent modding of those confuses me. Some are moved to the BB and others, that are exactly the same, remain and some are even encouraged. I'm confoozled on that policy.

Everything Monique said.

Perhaps without realizing it, the moderators allow our superstars to post new threads to their own articles, blogs, facebook pages or websites. Newbies see this and think posting to their own articles, blogs, Facebook pages or websites will be allowed. The poor newbies are understandably confused and hurt when their hands get slapped. Perhaps one thread for all this should be the rule, too.

To be clear, I often find useful and informative links that authors post here to *other people's* articles and blog posts about the publishing industry. The resulting discussions are often illuminative, too. I wouldn't want to stop those. Perhaps a different thread for all those is a good idea, too. This way, we would all know if it's old news or not.

Dara,
It is a violation of the blogger or article writer's copyright to quote more than a brief snippet here. It makes them lose page views, and many article writers and bloggers get paid per page view.

Offline Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake'

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Re: Request for comment on "Help me hit milestone xx" threads in WC
« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2014, 09:37:15 PM »
I vote for one thread. I don't mind the help me reach ... threads. It's kind of exciting. But there is always the possibility it can get out of hand.

One thread worked (mostly) for KDP Select results and for Make it Free. Other things, too.



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Offline Estelle Ryan

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Re: Request for comment on "Help me hit milestone xx" threads in WC
« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2014, 10:19:36 PM »
I agree with everyone. I really would like to help everyone reach big and small milestones. My concern is just that (1) either we would have to set the bar too high for those threads with only the super-super stars being given that privilege or (2) the bar is lower and the cafe becomes flooded with those threads since we're all very keen on any and all visibility.

So I think one thread for everyone, big and small, is a good idea. About blogs - unless it's helpful information to us and will result in a healthy discussion, blog posts should be posted in the blog thread. I get quite a few views from there when I put my latest post there. 

Thanks for asking for our input, Harvey.  :)

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Offline Hudson Owen

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Re: Request for comment on "Help me hit milestone xx" threads in WC
« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2014, 10:36:31 PM »
I think there is a difference between a milestone thread without promo links, and a promo thread with links.  I would suggest you keep the milestone thread as a mega thread on the WC, if you feel you need to relocate one or the other.

My experience with the Book Bazaar is that a hot topic on the WC redirected to the BB quickly dies.   I don't bother anymore to announce new books there.

Offline Raquel Lyon

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Re: Request for comment on "Help me hit milestone xx" threads in WC
« Reply #15 on: January 20, 2014, 12:31:30 AM »
These "Help me hit a milestone" posts don't bother me at all. If it's someone who has been around for awhile and contributes a lot, I go and buy a copy and if it is appropriate, I mention it to my FB followers. If it's someone I don't know, I just skip right by it. I guess it would be a "thing" if there were a lot of these, but I haven't seen that to be the case here.

This ^

I never venture out of the WC, so if all the threads went to the BB, I wouldn't see them. I love to help my WC friends out when they're trying to reach a goal and would miss the excitement if the threads were removed.

On the flip side, no one wants the WC cluttered with general 'Buy My Book' threads.
 
 
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Offline Carol (was Dara)

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Re: Request for comment on "Help me hit milestone xx" threads in WC
« Reply #16 on: January 20, 2014, 12:58:49 AM »
Dara,
It is a violation of the blogger or article writer's copyright to quote more than a brief snippet here. It makes them lose page views, and many article writers and bloggers get paid per page view.

Yes, I'm aware only a portion can be quoted and even that portion needs to be attributed with a link back. What I'm referring to are the posts that open with "what do you guys think of this?" followed by nothing but a link to that member's personal blog. I see those frequently and am not a fan.

On the main topic, I like the idea of a single thread for all "help me reach XX" posts. What I wouldn't like is to see them shuffled over to the BB, because I don't think most of us venture in there. And if the member is someone who's contributed a lot to the site, I enjoy having a chance to support them and cheer them on. I'm not talking superstars, but the members who've spent months/years sharing sales data, marketing tips, and so on with the rest of us. In those cases, I tend to look the other way when I see a gray area post. But I concur that would be a slippery slope and make extra work for the mods if they had to make determinations on a case-by-case basis. So I cast my vote for a single thread.

Offline Colin Taber

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Re: Request for comment on "Help me hit milestone xx" threads in WC
« Reply #17 on: January 20, 2014, 01:29:37 AM »
Yes, I'm aware only a portion can be quoted and even that portion needs to be attributed with a link back. What I'm referring to are the posts that open with "what do you guys think of this?" followed by nothing but a link to that member's personal blog. I see those frequently and am not a fan.

Honestly, the threads that are thinly veiled attempts to garner personal blog traffic are just self promo by another name. I couldn't agree more with Dara. I don't want to see them. If it's your blog, and you have something informative or cool to say, dump it in the opening post. 

I'm afraid to say the matter of there being one rule for some and another rule for others has some credence.  :(
    
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Offline Colin Taber

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Re: Request for comment on "Help me hit milestone xx" threads in WC
« Reply #18 on: January 20, 2014, 01:50:49 AM »
I'm afraid to say the matter of there being one rule for some and another rule for others has some credence.  :(

Having said that, I don't want anyone to think I'm having a go at the mods. I used to mod at a different forum/bulletin board, and it's a tough gig and the pay is pretty ordinary.  ;)

Getting back to the OP question, which I assume is particularly aimed at the "push author XXX into the top 100, she's currently on 103!" types of thread. As much as we all would like to help each other, maybe that would be best left to the arena of social media, and not used to clutter the WC.

I'm all for zero tolerance of self promo in its various guises on KBoards, even when enabled by others, otherwise the boundaries become blurred. Sure, if you read author XXX's book and loved it, go post about it in the Book Corner.
    
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Offline KCHawkings

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Re: Request for comment on "Help me hit milestone xx" threads in WC
« Reply #19 on: January 20, 2014, 02:11:53 AM »
As much as I want to support people, I don't want to be overwhelmed by posts like that. I don't mind occasionally, but as soon as we have people trying for list places, we'll end up being swamped by "Help me get to the top of so-and-so category that nobody really cares about" posts.

I like the idea of one post where everyone replies, but realistically it won't have much affect because, in no time, the only people who'll actually go on that thread will be people posting and they probably won't read far back into it.


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Offline ellecasey

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Re: Request for comment on "Help me hit milestone xx" threads in WC
« Reply #20 on: January 20, 2014, 02:13:00 AM »
I like helping my fellow authors.  That's 75% of the reason I'm on WC every day.  I'm here the other 25% to learn and help myself do better at writing, promoting, or publishing.  I love the WC.  I'm here pretty much every day and my favorite threads are the ones where people share their successes.  My second favorite ones are where people offer something that might help me, be it a tool or an article or a tip.  Whatever it is, I want to hear it.  That's why I'm here.

I don't go to the Book Bazaar.  That's a reader hangout, and I don't like giving the impression that I'm spamming readers for self-promo reasons so I stay out of there.  That's also why I'm not active on Goodreads or the Amazon forums.

So now you know my motivations for the following opinions:

1.  I think a single thread for any "help me reach my milestone" posts is a great idea, so long as it's here on the WC.  Of course it won't get as many eyes on it as an individual thread will, but it's a good compromise.  None of us want this place to become a spam board of self-promo threads, but I want to help my fellow authors find more readers.  I'm actively searching for ways to do this, so if there's a thread here for it, I will check it regularly. Does that mean I will help every single person that posts there?  No, probably not.  I don't have time to go on all the threads every day and I usually only recommend books to my readers that I think they'll like (i.e., similar genre to mine).  But if someone wants my help and I can help them, that's what I want to be able to do.  Thank you WC for making that easier.

2.  I have zero problem with someone posting a note to go join a conversation elsewhere, if the point of it is to help authors or to learn something important as an author.  This place is a resource.  That's why I come here.  Where else am I going to get those links?  I don't have time to search the internet for them, so I appreciate authors bringing them to my attention.  If they stop showing up here, I'm going to go find the place that hosts them, which drives me away from WC.  I think the goal is to keep people here, where they find helpful and useful information.  Give those threads a home.  Just because someone clicks a link and goes elsewhere, it doesn't mean they don't come back.  People always come back to places that offer good resources.  Besides, nothing's stopping authors from commenting on the thread here at WC.  It happens all the time.  A person provides a link off WC, people go read it, then come back and discuss.  I can't believe people are complaining about that right now. ???

I posted a thread here yesterday telling authors to come join an author-centric thread on my Facebook, for the express purpose of giving them exposure to my readers and vice versa.  I see many of my more avid readers have "liked" the post and "liked" some of the author comments.  I'd be thrilled to know that someone who reads my books now reads one of these authors' books.  This falls under the definition of resource.  I would like to be a resource for other authors.  The best way to reach my fans is through my Facebook page. The best way to reach authors is through the the WC.  Obviously I'm not the only one who realizes this as we daily have posts about book bundles, anthologies, cross-promotions, and many other vehicles meant to connect our readers with other authors.

For those of you who have a problem with that kind of thread like I posted (from your posts on the subject, I assume you are: Phoenix, Monique, Cherise, Dara, Colin, ...and probably several behind the scenes) , I have to wonder why.  Why do you take issue with authors giving other authors exposure to their readers?  Surely you don't expect them to do it here at the WC.  This is not a place for readers, although I know they're welcome here.  This is a writer's cafe where we talk about the world of writing and being writers/publishers.  Honestly, I'm trying to figure out why anyone would take issue with this practice, and I can't come up with a single reason that makes sense.

The general atmosphere or mood on this board shifts over time, kind of like a roller coaster.  There will be months it's a great place to be with all kinds of positivity and support and helping hands.  Then it slowly starts drifting in the other direction, with negativity, unkind comments, and outright attacks.  Last time it happened, I jumped in and made it a point to post a bunch of very positive, hopefully helpful threads, trying to bolster things and get them going in another direction.  WC is my writer home and I love it here when it's working and everyone's being good to each other.  Thankfully lots of other authors jumped in and did the same and things turned around.  It stayed really positive until recently, the past month or two.

Someone told me privately that another forum's members have recently left there and joined here. Maybe that's part of the reason why the forum seems to be swinging back in the dark direction, but I'm seeing garbage attitudes from long-time members of the forum too, so that's not the only source.

I have left the WC for extended periods of time in the past when it's gotten like this.  Not only do I find the negativity very bad for my writing mojo, I also don't like that the people swimming in that kind of cesspool of jealousy and unhappiness are often tempted to interfere in an author's livelihood by posting sock-puppet reviews and talking to people behind their backs, saying unkind and untrue things.

Last time this happened, I jumped in and tried to help turn things around.  This time, I'm not sure I have it in me.  That expression 'no good deed goes unpunished' comes to mind. I have a ton of books to write this year and promotions to do and trips to take to support my writing.  I don't have the time or the desire to spend time in dark places, and I'm quite sure my readers won't appreciate it.

I hope that Harvey and his gang of trusty mods can get this forum back on track and do the right thing by the authors who come here to help and be helped.  And I hope we can all take a step back and decide what kind of place we want the WC to be and then make a commitment to making it that place through our own actions and words.  If you're the one posting all those positive comments, sharing things that work for you, and pointing us to places or resources that will help us, please keep doing that.  If you're the one bashing people or what they do, criticizing when criticism has not been asked of you, and being negative about other authors because their actions or level of success doesn't meet with your approval, please stop doing that.  You're going to ruin a great place and a great resource for people who really need it.


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Re: Request for comment on "Help me hit milestone xx" threads in WC
« Reply #21 on: January 20, 2014, 02:31:11 AM »
A separate thread seems like a reasonable compromise.  :)

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Offline Colin Taber

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Re: Request for comment on "Help me hit milestone xx" threads in WC
« Reply #22 on: January 20, 2014, 03:11:18 AM »
...I have zero problem with someone posting a note to go join a conversation elsewhere, if the point of it is to help authors or to learn something important as an author... ... I can't believe people are complaining about that right now. ???

I posted a thread here yesterday telling authors to come join an author-centric thread on my Facebook...

For those of you who have a problem with that kind of thread like I posted (from your posts on the subject, I assume you are: Phoenix, Monique, Cherise, Dara, Colin, ...and probably several behind the scenes) , I have to wonder why.  Why do you take issue with authors giving other authors exposure to their readers?


Hi Elle,

I didn't see your thread yesterday, so it was not what I was referring to. I gave an example in my post as to what I felt we should steer away from.

I'm sorry you took my post as a negative comment on your participation here.

    
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Offline ellecasey

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Re: Request for comment on "Help me hit milestone xx" threads in WC
« Reply #23 on: January 20, 2014, 03:13:02 AM »
Hi Elle,

I didn't see your thread yesterday, so it was not what I was referring to. I gave an example in my post as to what I felt we should steer away from.

I'm sorry you took my post as a negative comment on your participation here.



No worries, Colin.  My mistake. :)

Offline Colin Taber

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Re: Request for comment on "Help me hit milestone xx" threads in WC
« Reply #24 on: January 20, 2014, 03:22:59 AM »
No worries, Colin.  My mistake. :)
No worries, indeed! Wow, you sound like an Australian!  ;)
    
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