I’m seeing something that I hope isn’t a trend on Good Reads. Two authors, both of whom have large following in the podcast community, are rating their own works. Now, I’m all for “shameless self promotion”. I learn what to do and what not to do by watching those who have gone before me, and I try to come up with my own spins. Along the way I’m bound to make mistakes and want folks to call me on it.
As a writer I know you have to believe in your work. You need to be your own drum beater, horn blower, and cheer leader. You need to work on your stuff until you think it’s good enough to send out and should talk about it to anyone who wants to listen once it’s out there. This is different though. This crosses the line into something truly shameless (shameful)?
Here’s what I know to be true. You should avoid signing up on your own message board under a pseudonym to defend yourself. You should avoid responding to your critics in a negative fashion if they rake you over the coals. And, I’d think this goes without saying, you should avoid rating and reviewing your own work.
You don’t need to “prime the pump”. If folks enjoy what you’re doing, you could certainly share with them where you’d like a review (though this probably isn’t necessary). Doing that is fine. Rating yourself, in my mind and in the mind of many I follow on twitter, is only going to make you look like a douchenozzle. That will likely lose you more fans than it will gain you.
Personally I’m on the fence at this point as to whether or not I’ll ever listen to their podcasts or buy any of their books down the road. I’m not naming names and I don’t want anyone here to either. I sent a message to one of these guys, hoping for an explanation. None has been forthcoming. I am interested in what you think, primarily if you think I’m missing some good point to this.