Saturday, March 15, 2014

Don't feed the Trolls

I wanted to make a this week's blog post to add on to last week's by talking about how self published authors could reduce the cost of printing. In doing my research I found... nothing. I found a few printers that could match the $4.50 per book mark, but none that could beat it. This is for a 300 page paperback book with perfect binding. I'm going to do more research to see if it's cost effective to publish hardback books. Thus far I've only explored paperbacks.

Instead this week I wanted to talk about the negative people who are always trying to tear down things. They try to give bad advice, and any good advice should be ignored because it didn't come from them. Any innovation that empowers the individual over the establishment is bad. They try to drum up controversy as much as possible for their own benefit. If you follow self publishing news then you have come across a few of these people. They are the trolls of the internet.

How do we combat this? It's simple. Don't feed them. It's easier said than done. Here's a list of things that work for me.

1. Don't give them the satisfaction.

They are trying to get a reaction with their incendiary comments. They want you to comment on their website. It's like confronting them on their home turf. They have friends there that will defend them. It will be near impossible to get your message through to these people. They have already made up their mind, and there is very little you can do to change that. Giving them any kind of debate is only a work of frustration.

2. Combat them on your turf.

I'm not a fan of the "look at this idiot" posts, so I am not going to link to the person who inspired this one. One of his blog posts spoke about how self published authors should not be called authors. Another spoke about Hugh Howey giving bad advice that could ruin the entire industry or some other such nonsense. If you must comment on something like that then you should do it on your own turf. Write a blog post, tweet about it, post your comment on your facebook page, talk about it in your Goodreads group, etc... If the troll migrates to your blog, you have control over the venue.
You can delete any comments that are offensive, or disable them entirely.

3. Realize the trolls don't need to make sense.

If you get into an argument with a troll, they might make up stuff or falsify information to try to win an argument. Trolls don't filter what comes out of their mouths or type, so they could claim that you are being mind controlled by aliens. (I'm pretty sure that I am not!) Don't try to argue fact vs. fiction. Fiction will win more often than not if it sounds factual. It's not worth your time or energy.

4. Realize that you don't need much evidence.

There's no need to keep having encounters with the same troll over and over. Who has time for that? Don't put yourself through the torture. Find something better to occupy your time. Once you have confirmed that they are an idiot, how much more evidence do you need?  If they have three posts that are based on inaccurate information, poorly thought out conclusions, and filled with errors then why should you expect anything different in their next post? You don't have to continue to read that drivel. 

Final thought

Every person that you disagree with is not a troll. If they post intelligent arguments and can engage in a healthy debate on the topic then they aren't the trolls I am talking about. Trolls live to destroy. They ignore your argument even with the evidence staring them in the face. They are crying for attention, and think it's funny to frustrate all who dare disagree with them. Please don't feed them.

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