Jane over at Dear Author had a great post up about online promotional don’ts.
She hit most of my major pet peeves like…
4. Don’t have a blog with a bunch of flash. No matter how cool you think it looks, it’s a good bet that at least half your existing or potential readership will be annoyed and click away.
Now I’m not sure if she’s talking flash like a website with flash installed, or just a lot of sparkly, shiny, animated junk. But I hate both. I don’t like flash websites. And I abhor cluttered looking websites. All those animations or bright colors or sparkly font may look pretty to some authors are actually just annoying. Some may well love it, but you stand a big risk of losing half your potential visitors within the first five seconds. I spend way too much time looking at a screen and I like the websites I visit to be uncluttered and simple. That doesn’t mean you can have a pretty website, but flashy doesn’t mean pretty. Flashy usually just means annoying, IMO.
8. Don’t ever type a comment or blog post while angry. Step away, call a friend, eat an entire pie.
Oh, man, I can’t second that one enough. There have been times when I’ll have a comment, but I’ll wait until two hours later to say it just because I’m so frustrated and I know better than to do anything until I’ve cooled off. No matter what the topic is, when you’re angry, it’s too easy to lose objectivity and when you lose objectivity, it’s very, very easy to end up looking like an ass, even if you’re not in the wrong.
9. Don’t spam readers. Authors are on facebook, twitter, goodreads, librarything, and every other social network on the internet but the readers on these places are there to interact and not to be spammed.
Don’t spam authors, either! I swear, there are days when I get invited to ‘fan’ ten different authors on facebook…by the author themselves. Use your status update if you want to let people know about your author page. It’s so much easier, and it requires no action on my part unless I decide to ‘fan’ the author. And egads…do not post on an author’s blog/guestbook/facebook/myspace page just to promo your own work. It’s rude.
10. Don’t be fake. In other words, don’t try to adopt a persona that you are not. Readers flock to authenticity and turn away from facades. Unless it is a damn good facade.
I don’t even want to get into this one here, because I plan on blogging about it later.
Some commentors also hit on things like sig lines and music on websites. I hate music on websites. I hate long sig lines. So I don’t use music. I don’t mess with long sig lines in my email… because if it annoys me from somebody else, it’s going to annoy people when I do it.