How Rude! Indies Need to Hone Their Social Skills

Lately, I've been receiving a lot of friend requests in Facebook. Because most of them are indie musicians and authors who find me through mutual friends who are indie promoters, I accept them. Hey, a little mutual backscratching never hurt anyone. So far, everyone has been polite and very careful about not being guilty of obnoxious self-promotion. They're all quite friendly, in fact. Some of us are even building nice online friendships....

Once in a while, though, someone comes through who hasn't learned the ropes, so to speak. Like today, when an author who'd never commented on anything I've posted, or even "Liked" anything stepped from the shadows. I've never even seen any statuses made by her, come to think of it. She posted on my wall a simple message:

"SK - how many of my books have you read?"

It was of course attached to a link to her website. Things like this crawl all over me, so I wrote back:
"If you want me to read your books, it might be best if you first said hello to me and introduced yourself before asking me how many of your books I've read. Sorry, but you have just ensured that I shall never read you."
Over-reacting? I don't think so. When someone accepts my friend requests, I always post a personal thank you to their wall. This person hadn't even done that. The message was clear: she considered me nothing but a billboard for her marketing. I went to her page, where it came as no surprise to see that I was one of only five friends. That friend list has been decreased by one.

Independent artists really need to hone their social skills. Yes, promoting your work is important, but it has more to do with building professional relationships than it does employing old school door-to-door marketing. If any one concept will make us strong, it's mutuality. Learn it now, or learn it later, but later may be too late.