Response to an Internet Troll

There’s this guy out there whose decided his sole purpose in life is to troll me. This is what he wrote in a (deleted) comment: “You actually just fucking suck at writing, which is why nobody buys your furry-fantasy bullshit.”

Now the best thing to do is to just ignore him and let him go away. But I’m not, for this post only, to make a larger point.

The reality is, as much as I rant and rave about sales on twitter, A Clear and Feathered Danger, sales numbers wise, has done alright for a self-published book with extremely limited appeal in an over saturated market during an economic downturn. The review consensus  seems to be, for all it faults, the book tells an  entertaining story. (On Amazon, it has a 4.3 rating. On Goodreads, 4.0)

I could go on, but any explanation is lost on him, because his mind is made up, he’s targeting me to make himself feel better. He’s a broken, empty person who attempts to find meaning in life by attacking other people who feel they’re beneath him. I am an easy target, I’m autistic, have problems proofreading(applies to blog posts as I pay people to edit my books, I’d go broke if I had to pay for blog proofreaders) and my work can be a little ridiculous. Still pretending to be some one I’m not only makes me feel worse. On the other hand, that troll’s  identity is obscure and he reveals nothing about himself. His twitter icon obscures his face. He is anonymous and that’s the way he likes it, if he bared who he tuely was, the world would see he “has no clothes.”

Sure I piss off a lot of people with my highly controversial sales strategy, but its something which works for me, and something I don’t do all that often to my sales detriment precisely because it pisses people off. Most of my time on twitter is spent talking about media and pop culture. And those people who disagree  with me and get in arguments with on twitter, they either block me or I block them and that’s the end of it. I don’t go after these people and they don’t go after me, because we have better things to do with our time.

Trolls like the man i’m referencing are not going to make me stop writing and go away, he can’t, because of those people who tell me to keep writing, to keep doing what I’ve been doing. If they weren’t there, I wouldn’t be here, and that’s the honest truth.

Even if I fail in this endeavor, I can live on knowing that i gave it my all. I did something constructive with my time. But trolls post flames or even go as far to post 1 star reviews of stuff they haven’t read, destroying my sales. And for what? A few seconds of euphoria that quickly fade. I pity them really.

Pit bulls are trained to be attack dogs by depriving them of contact with anyone but the owner. So when the owner does bring them out into the world, the dogs attack others out of fear. Internet trolls are people so deprived of meaningful contact, when they contact other people, they lash out because they’re afraid deep down inside; afraid of admitting their own misery.

I might only whip them into even more of a frenzy with this post, but I don’t care, because I know the truth. I’ve written a niche, but decent novella;  they’ve done nothing of merit, and never will until they decide to grow up.

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  • Reply
    January 21, 2012 at 7:37 pm

    A troll, eh? What a pain! I’m really glad that you’re not going to give this waste of skin and oxygen any credence – as you say, you’re doing the thing you love – and recognising that your work isn’t to everyone’s taste (who’s is??).

    Best of luck for your writing in 2012 and here’s hoping that your nasty little troll gives up sometime soon!

  • Reply
    Agatha Raine (@AgathaRaine)
    January 21, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    You have my sympathy. I deal with trolls on a daily basis at my job. You learn to develop a thick skin when working with them, but it’s a whole new level when they’re attacking you or your hard work directly.
    I commend you for rising above it and using the opportunity to make a point rather than descend to their level by starting a veritable flame war. Besides, if your average rating is a 4-star or higher, then he’s not really doing anything to hurt you anyway.
    And in tandem with Sjhigbee, here’s hoping he gives up soon. Cheer!

    • Reply
      Noah Murphy
      January 22, 2012 at 12:03 am

      He didn’t. instead he’s reading my twitter feed through this page and commenting this way. Well instead I marked him as spam.
      I’d start a mass blocking campaign, but then it’d give him the time of day.

  • Reply
    Dwight L. MacPherson (@D_MacPherson)
    January 26, 2012 at 7:44 pm

    Yes, but has he said “Your gay” yet? That is the epic troll comment all writers strive for; the Holy Grail of Trolldom, if you will.

  • Reply
    Chrysoula Tzavelas (@chrysouladreams)
    January 30, 2012 at 6:58 am

    Hey, Noah. I’ve been watching your latest situation and I have an idea to propose.

    Like many people I don’t really agree with the hard sell technique but I hadn’t yet come up with a solid explanation of why that I thought you’d be interested in. I’m sure you’re already aware of the hordes of people who are actively turned off by hard sells and avoid both salespeople and environments that advocate them, and you’ve chosen to instead focus on the shoppers who don’t like making decisions on their own and don’t consider being pushed as a negative start to an experience. That’s of course your decision. But watching the current scene new ideas have occurred to me and I’d like to share with you.

    I agree that hard sells CAN work in some situations. They’re never really ethical or pleasant but hey, they work, and that’s what you care about. However, after watching recent events I’ve come to the conclusion that they primarily work in situations where the purchaser can’t afford to engage in buyer’s remorse; instead they engage in post-purchase rationalization and even confirmation bias. Things like car purchases, diamond purchases, life insurance, etc. What’s important here is that the cheaper something is, the less they have invested in finding things to like about it if pushed into buying it. Since books still depend a lot on word of mouth rather than functional necessity, cultural indoctrination or native fears of mortality, you’re basically playing a popularity game. The cheaper you make a book, especially a short and stylistically odd book, the less a hard sell is going to kickstart the kind of experience that will make people say great things about it.

    So basically, I think a hard sell is going to have better consequences for you with a $10 book than a 99 cent one. A single sale is going to provide a huge profit margin and the purchasers will be more inclined from the start to justify their purchase to themselves. They’re going to be inclined to look for what’s good about it rather than what’s bad, and to post about said good things.

    By the way, my housemate insists on me mentioning that he thinks you should totally take your tweets from a day of ranting, not tweet them and instead compile a small Kindlebook, then tell people on twitter they can buy a day’s worth of your rants for 99 cents.

    • Reply
      Lauralynn Elliott
      June 15, 2012 at 3:21 pm

      Just for the record, I don’t buy $10 ebooks. My advice, based on my experience as an author, is to keep them under $5.

  • Reply
    Noah Murphy
    January 30, 2012 at 7:06 am

    The pop culture stuff, yeah that would make a good book,

  • Reply
    Lauralynn Elliott
    June 15, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    I saw your Tweet about the troll, read this, then I went to Amazon and read a sample of A Clear and Feathered Danger. I liked the sample, so I bought it. 🙂 See, Twitter works even if you’re just talking about some troll that’s bothering you. You made a sell. LOL

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