When is a book not a book?
When it’s a collection of tweets!
So what was on the twitter dot com today that got me all fired up? Some nameless person started forwarding a donation page to create their own book. Alright. Cool. I have no problem with that whatsoever. A friend of mine started a gofundme page to help buy promotional tools for my first (and upcoming second) ebook, so I don’t have a right to complain. Right?
And here’s why.
How much is this person (who will remain unnamed until I forget to not name her at some point) looking for to put out this book. $5,000. Oh… It’s not that bad considering she’ll give 10% of it to cancer research. So if this funding is successful: Cancer research gets $500 and she will get $4,500. Seems reasonable. Now that I’m a published author (please hold the applause), I get the spam too… I know the Chinese are mass producing self-published books and delivering them right to your doorstep. I understand that costs money.
So what’s this book about?
Well, there’s the rub. It’s not actually a book. It’s a cut & paste collection of the jokes she puts out on twitter. But It’s Ok… She, herself, says that her tweets are “humorous, thought-provoking, and bring a smile”. She also goes on to brag about how she gained 30k followers in five months without buying them (yes, you non-tweeters, you can BUY FOLLOWERS on twitter). Upon closer inspection, it seemed that she found 27k people that she finds interesting and humorous enough to follow back. What are the chances?! I am absolutely sure that she didn’t get drawn into the glow of the follow-back circle and somehow got around 3,000 followers that may or may not be SPAM accounts. That almost never happens.
But don’t worry about the sordid details. There’s also fabulous prizes you can get with your donation. What prizes?! I’m glad you asked. For a twenty dollar donation (two will go to cancer research) you get a copy of her book of tweets and random stuff. For fifty dollars (five of which go to battle that pesky cancer), you get the book autographed and she’ll think about you while she eats nachos. That’s right. Nachos! The new twitter bacon!!
But there’s bigger prizes!
For $100 you get the autographed book and a tee shirt about ripping off, I mean fighting, cancer. Add an extra Benjamin, and you’ll get a shout out on her coveted twitter feed as well. For $500 she will post a selfie just for you (incredibly not like the hundreds that are already on her feed, I’m sure) and what you’d get for spending hundreds less. Cancer gets the crumbs.
This sounds all well and good, so why do I feel like it’s all so wrong?!
Could it be because I, my hypocritical self, was involved in a gofundme.com site dedicated to getting donations to fund promotion for Askharoth and Budgie Bigelow, author? No… That can’t be it. It’s probably because I am not advertising something that doesn’t exist. I don’t have an unwritten book of cut & pasted tweets that 27,000 followed back tweeters may or may not enjoy on a basis.
Let’s rewind a bit and go back to 2011 at my first failed attempt at self publishing.
The book was called Buzzquotes. It was to consist of my tweets that were solely composed of quotes from people I know and you don’t. That was the hook anyway. So why didn’t I publish said Buzzquotes? Quite simply: IT SUCKED. Nobody wants to buy a book of tweets, let alone a book of tweets of quotes of people you don’t know. Also, I wasn’t only not the first person to think of this, but I was at the end of a long list of people who already did this.
Bottom line: NOBODY WANTS A BOOK OF TWEETS! EVER!
I came to a grim conclusion or two of this asinine website dedicated to give this still unnamed person money to write a book that is essentially unwritable in its very conception. This is way to wacky to be real, and we have all been trolled by someone who is laughing their asses all the way to the bank. Or, more likely, there is no book. Wait… I just though of one more…. The “person” who is putting out this fabled book of funny and thought-provoking tweets will put out a book, fail at it, and pocket whatever money of the $4,500 she intends to raise. Then again, I’m a cynic.
Before you call me an asshole for telling you not to donate to cancer research: DONATE TO CANCER RESEARCH!! Just don’t do it though someone looking to pocket 90% of your donation. If you plan on giving this woman a fifty dollar donation because you feel guilty about the whole cancer thing: take ten dollars and donate it to cancer research. This way they’ll get double what they would have gotten. She may be one in a long line of people using cancer or get attention to their twitter account, or maybe she’s not. Again: I’m a cynic. Also, I’m a rare blood type and donate regularly, SO SHUTUP ABOUT IT!