Thursday, July 5

Kristen Lamb: Don't Let Trolls Make You Crazy

Don't feed trolls, it's not worth it
Don't Feed The Troll

I love Kristen Lamb's blog, but this time she's outdone herself! Anyone who has ever dared to do something that took them out of their comfort zone has had the unpleasant experience of being trolled. Kristen gives some excellent advice on how to respond to trolls: don't. She writes:
It is easy to have a bad day and snap on-line, but here’s the thing. That is a luxury only afforded to amateurs. If we are serious about being successful writers then we know that publishing/the blogosphere are small worlds. People who blog and take time to serve other writers are generally viewed in high regard, because let’s be honest. They don’t have to help other writers.
Read the rest of Kristen's blog post here: Trolling the Trollosphere–Staying Sane in a World of Crazy.

Sometimes, often, tolls make their presence known in comments--I have been extraordinarily fortunate in this regard, and (*knock on wood*) haven't yet had the displeasure of meeting one--but in my experience trolls also rear their heads in real life.

It is no secret that the world of publishing is rapidly changing and many folks who haven't been paying close attention don't realize there's a difference between self publishing a book and being taken to the cleaners by a vanity press.

When strangers think you're nuts for self-publishing that's one thing, but when friends take a condescending tone and try to show you the error of your ways it's quite another. But that could just be me! When someone tries to 'set me straight' about 'how it is' in publishing it puts my teeth on edge.

Now, I'm not saying I know it all, far from it! But I do know that for many authors self publishing was the right path for them, both temperamentally and financially. They are far happier on their own than they would be with a traditional publisher and they are making a decent wage through their writing.

If you are cornered by a friend in troll aspect, don't let his remarks get you down. I usually make the mistake of trying to educate my interlocutor about the current state of the publishing industry but this is useless since he doesn't think I've got the good sense God gave a slug and so won't believe anything I say. My advice: Kristen Lamb is (of course!) right. Don't waste your breath. Don't engage, just smile and change the topic.

Is that cynical? I hope not!

Have you ever had a run-in with a troll?


  1. Hi Karen

    Thanks for the follow.

    I hope you'll check out my Sunday Safaris. I love to show off my Florida back yard. Look forward to following you 2.

    Have a great weekend

    - Mac

    1. Hi Mac, I just looked at your latest Sunday Safari, great idea! I live in (what I think is) a beautiful part of my city and have often thought about doing a day-in-the-life type thing. You've inspired me. Cheers, hope you had a great holiday.

  2. The Author and Publishing blogs & social media are generally pleasant, and there are rarely any trolls. I used to be actively into political blogs several years ago and it got nasty at times...especially during the 2008 election.

    It's interesting you mention the condescending tone of friends and family. When you have a small business you get the same unsolicited "advice" from people who don't know anything about starting a business.

    1. Great point Paul, I hadn't thought about the resistance many business owners must meet from well intentioned family and friends.

      True, political blogs can have positively hair-raising comment sections. A friend of mine has a political blog, I think he loves the ... how shall I put this? The passionate nature of his posters. I'm glad that, so far at least (*knock on wood*), the folks who have left comments here have been of the more laid back variety. Cheers!

  3. To my mind this is exactly what I call a delightful blog article! Do you use this website for personal goals solely or you actually have it as a source of income?

    1. Thanks! About my website, my book is for sale but that's about it.

      I appreciate your stopping by! :)

  4. Paul Salvette speaks truth. I haven't encountered that many trolls on authors and publishing side of the blogosphere. Politics, economics, and history blogs/forums are littered with trolls. Being an active debater and moderator in the english part of the Ars-Regendi forums, I've dealt with flamers and trolls. In my "youth", I got caught up in the webs of trolls. While it was a frustrating experience at first, it did provide a lot experience. Once everyone's semantics have reached a common denominator, it's fairly easy to spot paralogisms (honest errors) and sophisms (intentional errors) in the other side's posts. I agree with you, Ms. Woodward; there's just no gain in replying to trolls, especially the pathological ones. It's not your mission in life to enlighten everyone. Ears must be open, words must be said, and the mind needs be open as well... else there is no communication. Instead of me stating the obvious, I'll let these great words of Marcus Aurelius inspire you, "The purpose of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape the ranks of the insane."

    1. I hadn't come across that quotation before, thanks! And thank you for the comment. :)


Because of the number of bots leaving spam I had to prevent anonymous posting. My apologies. I do appreciate each and every comment.