The holiday season is upon us, which is a beautiful thing. The Christmas/New Year collaboration is supposed to be, in my opinion, the celebration of the birth of Christ, the joy in our world, and the blessing of being on this earth another year. Many of us celebrate by giving gifts to show our appreciation of one another, having family and friends over for festive gatherings, and possibly getting drunk to forget about all the money you spent and the ill-meant well-wishes you sprayed because 'tis the season.'
Is Wanda D. Hudson a scrooge? No. I absolutely love the holidays. What I don't love is the fact that some people use the holidays as a personal promotional tool. Yes, I do believe in promotion - hell, I have a novel that will be released in January of 2006, so I'm a promoting fool right now. Sure, push your book as a Christmas gift. If someone if going to spend their money to show their appreciation for their fellow man, why not spend it on your work. My problem comes with people who burst down your door to get the job done.
I am a member of a few online writing groups. Every year some of these groups do gift or Christmas card exchanges. Beautiful. I signed up in a couple of the groups. Everyone gave out their home address or PO box numbers and the cards began flying. Well, I received my first card in the mail last week. I was so happy! I mean, to think someone who doesn't even know me included me in their holiday spirit! Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Well, I got so mad when I opened the card and the author's promotional bookmarks fell out! Those bookmarks took my holiday happiness and stomped on it. In an instant I became another stranger at a fair who that particular writer wanted to reach. I know how the author felt, I am the same individual trying to reach that potential buyer.
I just feel that the majority of us in these groups know what each other does. I know you're trying to blow up, shoot, so am I. But the purpose of the card exchange, in my opinion, is to spread holiday cheer. Would it really harm any of us to simply put those promotional items to the side? I feel like my home was invaded. I gave my address to a stranger and then they just came in and did as they please. Yeah, I'm probably turning a mini cupcake into a German Chocolate Cake, but this is my vent space. I had to get this off of my chest.
Maybe I am judging someone's actions and for that I apologize. I haven't thrown the cards away, but I have no intention on purchasing the writer's works. Will keeping my money in my purse hurt the author? Probably not. Promoting until you are on the best sellers list is a dream that many of us have, and that many of us will accomplish. Promoting by entering the back door, when you're welcome thru the front, is promotional suicide.