Obviously, having written an LGBTQ romance novel with a political undercurrent addressing issues like drug addiction, mental health, apathy, religion, violence and hatred, I’m expecting some criticism of what I’ve written. However, today I experienced something I’d not quite anticipated (though probably should’ve): trolls on my paid advertisements.
It was pretty simple and innocent, to be honest. I made a little add, paid a small fee for two days to test it out, and released it on Facebook. The add featured my book cover (a silhouette of two men holding hands) and a short description of the plot. I labeled it as LGBTQ, and left out the bits about politics in my description. Immediately, within two hours of launching the add, I got one genuine comment of interest, and three trolls. Though I’d like to say I’m a strong, brave person, I also have limits.
I’m learning really fast that promoting a book like this is going to require a level of discernment over what I can and cannot tolerate, and given the fact that I basically just paid Facebook to help trolls find me, I can’t say I have much confidence in their platform as an advertisement resource. In the end, this mode of engagement doesn’t seem efficient or ideal to me, so I deleted my profile (sorry if you were already following me).
That being said, I have found Twitter to offer a far more pleasant experience, at least up to this point. I’m exploring other avenues. I’m waiting for author approval on Goodreads and Bookbub, and will soon have those links active. I also love writing this blog! It’s a fun way to engage and put my silly thoughts out into the world.
It does make me sad, though, how crawling with bots and trolls, or perhaps even just angry people some of these online social spaces are. That’s essentially what my book is really about at its core: we need to choose love and kindness. We need to treat each other with respect and dignity, whether or not we can manage to agree or even compromise. We intrinsically have value as human beings, and we let so many fickle things that give us little momentary hits of dopamine get in the way.
It’s important to be kind. It’s important to show respect. We are human. We are all human.
I know this post was prompted by trolls on an advertisement on facebook, but the message rings true, no matter what sort of event gets the issue on your mind.
Take care of your mental health friends, and don’t let hatred and negativity get you down. Take the highroad and be kind – it’ll be worth it, I promise!!