valentine2The way I see it the Internet community amounts to a workplace for romance authors. Every single reader who hangs out in Romancelandia is a potential customer for the books authors want to sell.

Few of us these days are spared the workplace and most of us have learned the hard way how to get along – or not to get along – in a work situation. Here’s a big one: You don’t always get to say what you really think.  And this one can be even harder:  Sometimes you smile when it’s the last thing you feel like doing. In short, you learn to moderate yourself in the workplace and save the real you for family and friends.

That’s just how life works.

I’ve been noticing lately that some authors – mostly newbies – don’t seen to play by these rules.  They are so out there and so unmoderated in the way they post on message boards, twitter, and blogs, that they’re inviting you to love them or hate them.  And for everyone who loves them, there are going to be those who don’t – and those who don’t have book buying budgets, too. And here’s the crux of it for me: Why would you risk that when you don’t have to?

Seems to me if I were attempting to sell books, I’d suck it up the way most of us learn to do in the workplace. I’d post kindly and respectfully to readers. I’d save my rants for author loops.  And I’d follow the leads of those established authors who have proven themselves to be extraordinarily adept at negotiating online waters.  In short, I’d learn to moderate myself  in the workplace and save the real me for family and friends.

So, here’s the poll question for the day: Have you ever let your feelings about an author’s online personality affect your buying decisions?  Or, to put it more bluntly, has anyone lost a sale simply because you didn’t like them?  And, in the comments, care to share the names of any authors you think are doing it right?

– Sandy AAR

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