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Messages - sandysocks

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Writers' Cafe / Re: On the topic of Pen Names
« on: July 03, 2018, 07:56:10 pm »
So, you don't see an ethical problem, not because there isn't one, but because you think it's unlikely to happen to you. Not very convincing. You could get famous, even in a minor way, drawing the attention of, say, a gay romance blogger. He emails you asking for an interview because he loves your stories and you say what, exactly? "I don't do interviews"? Huh? Doesn't that sound a little out of character for the outgoing persona portrayed in the author's bio? Yes, it does. The act of posting a personal bio in pubic invites attention. And this is where people get into trouble by trying to get out of the trouble they put themselves in by doing something they should have known not to do in the first place.

Not very convincing of what? I don't see an ethical problem. At all. Not even a little. Everything I do is made up. I create entire worlds of entirely fake, not real sh*t. My characters aren't real people. Where they live is not a real place. The situations they're in are not real situations. Not only that, but I don't think that there's a single romance blogger out there who thinks that a pen name and a bio is representing a real, actual living person. So, a little open secret for you... the bloggers are in on it...shhhhhhh.... It's pretty naive to think anything else, really.

There definitely are a lot of people who are very honest. Too honest. And to them honestly all I have to say is "yikes". The obsession of some fans borderlines on stalking behavior and I would never put myself in that situation. Even if it means "lying". I don't owe people myself. But people want something so I give them something.

Doing a silly little interview isn't conning readers. Nor is answering reader emails (though I wont for other reasons as I stated) in your persona.
The reader, my customer, bought my product as it was presented and they were entertained. I don't owe them anything else.
I'm not a beggar on the street asking for money in exchange for nothing. They bought a product. And successful products get marketed.
The pine-sol lady didn't make pine-sol, she was just the face of pine-sol. I have a face for my products, too, they're just not real people and why should they be? Someone else has a better face? Slap it on there. I don't have money to hire someone else's face though, so I'm just going to have to make up my own. Maybe someday, though. ;)

Writers' Cafe / Re: On the topic of Pen Names
« on: July 03, 2018, 01:14:22 pm »
And when snowed-in lady gets reader emails, will she keep up the pretense? How far can she go before she steps over the line into conning? The real world doesn't conform to the simple demarcations you assume, as JR Tomlin says above; it can get ugly.

Quite frankly, not everyone responds to readers. I don't. Even then, a simple "thank you for reading my book!" should suffice. It doesn't need to go further than that and honestly, when readers want to ask you personal questions, like you're friends or something, it creeps me out, like a lot. So I just don't entertain that. Fans get weird and entitled.

So here's my question... is your problem with the persona, is your problem with making a little author blurb or are you taking it one step further and having a problem with conning and interacting with people while using that persona?
Because I think those are two completely different things.

But I actually really don't have a personal problem with any author responding to readers in that persona. I don't think you're conning anybody by pretending to be John Robert III by answering superficial questions about your story or about your persona because that's who the reader is asking. If you take it further than that and are like 'hey I'll let you into the mind of John Robert III for $15 a month', then I do think that's scammy, but I do also think it's an entirely different issue.

Writers' Cafe / Re: On the topic of Pen Names
« on: July 03, 2018, 12:39:01 pm »
So basically you're saying you don't believe God exists and therefore my point is stupid. Which is kind of exactly the point I was trying to get across. In order to debate whether something is ethical, the parties involved must have some base level agreement on where ethics even come from to get anywhere in the discussion. We don't. So you simply dismiss my viewpoint because you don't agree with where my viewpoint comes from and demand an argument based on your own viewpoint. It's silly to have this argument on a board about writing. What you want is a college ethics class, I think.

I do believe in God, actually. But I also believe that morality exists because you should not hurt someone. Wrongs hurt someone or something, or else they're not wrongs. Why would they be wrongs if they don't hurt anyone? How could they be wrongs if they don't hurt anyone?

If all you wanted to do was interject with a "because God says so", then that's fine, but don't pretend like I'm dismissing you because I'm questioning you.
If you don't want to debate it, then that's fine, too, but that's also on you, not me.
You're the one who brought up God's morality, after all. Not me.
I'm looking for consequences on how a persona effects the person reading your book.

If I call myself John Robert III and say that I'm writing this steamy gay romance from my beach house in California where my husband and I farm succulents with our four freakin' poodles but really I'm just a lady from Saskatchewan, who's snowed in, living a silly fantasy to get her through the winter, how does that effect literally anybody?

Begging for donations under the persona? Sure. Immoral. You're stealing from people. You're tricking them into thinking this person needs money when this person isn't even real. You're a fraud. You're conning them.
Asking for their personal information and taking advantage of them under this persona? You're catfishing them. You're just being nasty. You're defrauding their friendship in a way. You're conning them out of something that they probably wouldn't have given up otherwise, even if it's a little naive of them to have done so.
Pretending to be black and have black experience and speaking from authority about blackness when you're not black and interacting with "other" black people and asking them for donations and support. That's wrong. That's a big fat lie. You're conning them. You're taking advantage of them. Catfish.

But creating a little persona in your author blurb to match a specific genre so the reader has a nice little cherry on top of their entertainment, so the whole package comes together nicely and looks complete.... Who's that hurting?

I think the other issues are not so much about the persona, but the actions taken after. I don't think that this is about personas, I think this is about con artists.
The VAST majority of people who create fake little blurbs for there pen names are not con artists looking to take advantage of people, so I don't think that it's unethical or immoral to do so.

Writers' Cafe / Re: On the topic of Pen Names
« on: July 03, 2018, 11:51:28 am »
That's a much larger discussion about philosophy and religion. I would say if you don't believe in God and therefore some arbiter of absolute truth outside of humanity, you might not be inclined to agree with me on this point. But that's a discussion well beyond the scope of this thread, I think.

So basically what you're saying is that God said so, so it's immoral.
Okay, that's fine.
I was hoping this might be a discussion on, you know, actuality and real life consequences (if there are any) rather than God says don't lie so it's immoral.

If someone else wants to chime in to answer the question, I'm all ears!
If it doesn't hurt someone, how could it possibly be immoral?

Writers' Cafe / Re: Hot New Scam
« on: July 03, 2018, 11:31:48 am »
I don't think this is a scam?
What rule states that we have to let our books die?
If we can spruce them up and republish to give them new life, then we should! Why is that a scam?
I think amazon connects the new one to the old one because it's basically like a "new edition".
I don't think it's in any way consistent, but if their algorithm catches it, then good! Why shouldn't it?

Writers' Cafe / Re: On the topic of Pen Names
« on: July 03, 2018, 11:23:17 am »
The standard of moral/ethical behavior is not whether or not it hurts someone. Something can be immoral or unethical without demonstrably hurting someone.

This is very interesting to me.

If it hurts no one, what exactly makes it immoral or unethical?

Writers' Cafe / Re: On the topic of Pen Names
« on: July 01, 2018, 01:05:39 am »
Okay. It's a lie. It's a big, fat, dirty, completely untrue lie.


Why do we owe perfect strangers the truth about ourselves? Personally I don't think I owe anybody my truth. I don't know these people and they don't need to know me.

I'm selling a product that's fiction in it's entirety. It's a story. It's make believe. It's not real. Why is it so important that I'm real?

Writers' Cafe / Re: On the topic of Pen Names
« on: June 28, 2018, 01:55:31 pm »
I'm actually pretty surprised at the amount of people I've seen say it's unethical to have a persona for a pen name. That pen name isn't a real person. That's not my real name. Why does it have to be me? It's not, after all!

I've found it helps me in my writing. Being able to get into this name's persona actually helps me. sandysocks is heckin' boring, people. But Sandra Sockenburg isn't. I just find I do all around better when I know it doesn't have to be little old me presenting my work to the world.

And honestly yeah, if I'm writing something dark, I'll use my sultry bond girl name. If I'm writing something interracial, I'll use my pen that's more fitting with that audience. If I'm writing something sweeter I'll use my nice, gentle, flowery name. It's what the reader expects! I'm going to write what I want, but I also have to tailor it so people will actually want to buy it! Like, art for arts sake is great but I have bills to pay and I have to market these books in a way that's going to make the target audience interested.

 I'm not e-begging for money on patreon or go-fund-me or whatever under these personas. I'm not taking anyone's experiences away and pretending they're my own in the real world or being anyone's champion or speaking from any authority. I just have stories to tell and at the end of the day they're going to have to be marketed correctly because every single piece of this is a fantasy that the reader wants to be a specific way. It's got to meet that criteria for them to buy your book.

I'm not going to spend countless hours crafting something and then stick a mismatched, ugly bow on top. That would be insanity.

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