In The Spirit of Public Interest, Not Prurient Behavior

February 24th, 2005 · No Comments
by Booksquare

Now, we don’t normally stoop to cat fights…wait, we do. Quite often, that’s us, racing out of the house in our pajamas, trying to figure out what all that howling and hissing is about. You know how boys can be.

A Booksquare tipster pointed us to this little exchange (one suspects she was avoiding work), and we found ourselves amused. First, titles are not something easily copyrighed. We are sorry to break this to you, but it’s true (we are not saying they cannot be copyrighted, just that it’s not as easy as you’d think). All those hours you spend lovingly crafting the perfect title are not hours wasted, but do not think the end result will be yours and yours alone. And we cannot count the number of times one person has announced they’ve come up with a title that is perfect beyond belief, only to discover so have five other authors. It’s a fact of life.

Now, our real point: if you are going to self-publicize, be less obvious. Putting a commercial on someone else’s site, without, oh, adding to the discussion, reeks of tacky. But not quite so tacky as posting a second comment and pretending to be someone else (yes, we’re jumping to wild conclusions, but the similarity of the email addresses cannot be overlooked). We will not get into little things like masking IP addresses and such to disguise identities. Suffice to say, many online readers are far more sophisticated than one thinks, and it’s wise to tread carefully on the publicity treadmill.

P.S. – We are offering this information as a public service announcement, not an invitation to start a flame war or any other behavior beneath the dignity of our readers. We think the author did sufficient damage to herself, and already learned a valuable lesson in marketing.

File Under: Square Pegs