Be Careful What You Search For

Periodically I Google the name of my book to see if there’s anything out in cyberspace I’ve missed. Every now and then I stumble upon a review or listing I hadn’t noticed before.

The two images below come from my latest surprise. It’s one of those sites where people submit questions in hopes that a knowing soul will respond. Apparently someone decided to inquire about my novel.

TSS question 1

TSS question 2

In case you can’t read the image, here’s a summary:

Using a subject line of “Where could I find this book?”, the lovely Wynonna has asked:

“Please, do you know where could I download it (pdf file).. if it is for free, much better. Thanks a lot”

The issue of obtaining a pirated copy aside, let’s explore the answers:

Arjun—awarded the status of Best Answer (go Arjun!)—supplied the link to my book on Amazon and replied:

“there is no pdf file on the net for this book…but you can read first some chapters from amazon.com”

Hey, Arjun, you’re all right!

Wynonna then responds with:

“hehehe I should buy it then. Thanks a lot.”

To which I say, “Aw, Wynonna, aren’t you the sweetest?”

But then comes along a party pooper. There’s always one in the crowd, though usually it’s me.

Source: Microsoft Clip Art

Source: Microsoft Clip Art

Today the Toilet Paper Award goes to David.

David says:

“That looks like an amateurish, wattpad-like cover. Are you Carrie Rubin trying to get people to search for you to get hits on it?”

Um, say what now?

Naturally, the immature child in me was immediately tempted to defend myself. I am NOT posing as Wynonna. I am NOT directing people to my book. (Well, not there anyway.)

But I didn’t. We all know it’s best to let these things slide.

However, had I not reined myself in, the following responses came to mind:

Sarcastic Carrie: “Oops, you got me, David. I’m secretly Wynonna, trying to find out where I can get a free copy of my own book. No fooling you, you big rascal.”

Jesse-Pinkman Carrie: “Yo, you be dissin’ on my cover, I be dissin’ on your face.”

Insecure Carrie: “Wh-wh-what do you m-m-mean ‘wattpad-like cover’?” Sniff.

Zen Carrie: “Hey, it’s all good, man. At least someone’s searching for my book.”

Actual and Practical Carrie: “Hmm, well, that stung a little. I kind of liked my cover. Plus, I’d like to assure David I am not Wynonna.”

But I didn’t.

When we put ourselves out there, whether for a book publication or something else, we have to expect the good with the bad. The yin with the yang. The Wynonnas with the Davids. It’s best to accept it and move on.

So that’s what I did.

Oh, and I wrote a blog post about it…

Have you found anything online about yourself that surprised you?

*     *     *

Rubin4Carrie Rubin is the author of The Seneca Scourgea medical thriller. For full bio, click here.

269 Responses to “Be Careful What You Search For”

  1. Elizabeth Hein

    I don’t know if I should be happy or offended – when I googled my name and book tittle, all the hits were legit. No one seems to be looking for free copies of my book.

    Like

    • Carrie Rubin

      I figured I’d take it as a plus that at least someone was talking about it. Of course, whether they ever read it is a different story…

      Like

  2. jbw0123

    I signed up for Wattpad, and … and… haven’t looked at it.

    Highest form of flattery I’d say, to have someone trying to sniggle your book for free. When’s that new one coming out?

    Like

    • Carrie Rubin

      That’s a good question. Depends on when I can find someone to publish it. :) (I feel so old-fashioned still trying to go the traditional route!)

      Like

      • jbw0123

        You’re right to try. It’s still the most respected way to go.

        One woman I met who worked on a novel for ten years and couldn’t get it published, sat down with her husband and blocked out a formulaic mystery, pounded it out, self-published it under a pseudonym, and IT did well enough to catch the eye of a publisher, who then picked up her “real” book.

        Not that you have to write a whole extra book, just that sales catch the eye of publishers. Which you know of course.. Anyway — it’s worth a try to find a publisher.

        Like

        • Carrie Rubin

          Thanks for sharing that story. I’ve heard of something similar happening to other authors. I’ll see how it goes. Maybe down the line I’ll change my mind. In the meantime, I’ll keep working on book #3. :)

          Like

  3. Kourtney Heintz

    I found a couple sites with pirated versions of my books. I politely requested they remove it with a DMCA take down notice. I also found a bizarre twitter account where the person was impersonating me. I got that taken down too. Weird stuff google digs up. :)

    Like

    • Carrie Rubin

      Yikes, that Twitter thing is weird. I suppose it’s actually a compliment in disguise. Just be careful you don’t find out your fake Twitter friend is doing a book signing in your place… ;)

      Like

      • Kourtney Heintz

        It was really weird. She was tweeting about drinking and partying. I have no idea why she stole my bio and pretended to be me. I did just stumble on a new library carrying my book via Google though. So yay for that google hit. :)

        Like

  4. leamuse

    One of the biggest lessons I learned was that it takes real courage to be yourself. Okay, so I was a slow learner! Thank you for sharing as it helps and challenges others to find their own way. I don’t think one could ask for more. :) x

    Like

  5. List of X

    Or you could have been Paranoid Carrie Rubin, and say: “David, are you sure you’re not really Carrie Rubin pretending to troll people and artificially create a controversy to sell more books???”

    Like

  6. Andrew

    That guy was a jerk and idiot. I think you handled it the right way. I googled myself a long time ago, and found out there’s a famous Scottish Comedian with my exact name. Didn’t see that coming.

    Like

    • Carrie Rubin

      I was surprised how many people share my name. Plus, one woman’s mugshot comes up, so that’s always fun…

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

      Like

  7. aFrankAngle

    Good choice of not responding, but loved the creative, unused responses. Thanks for the visits during my move.

    Like

  8. michellejoycebond

    Love the toilet paper award–he totally earned it! There isn’t enough of me out there to really comment on yet, but I’m often very surprised at the terrible things trolls will say on the internet. Ugh!

    Like

  9. Aussa Lorens

    Oh gosh, yes. One of my posts was on Reddit and people TORE IT UP. I mean– they were all just debating amongst themselves about whether or not I had made the entire cross examination thing up. I wanted to defend every little thing and be like “No! It IS like this! Judges DO laugh and restraining orders CAN be reversed!” But it totally wasn’t worth it and thankfully all the debate was NOT happening on my own site. There were people chiming in and pointing out their own experiences that matched and validated mine so that was nice but for the most part it was pretty frustrating to read! I just stayed away and waited for all of them to forget about me.

    Like

    • Carrie Rubin

      Oh, that must’ve been so frustrating. I don’t think I’d dare link anything over there. I did have to read various opinions about my book on an online book club’s site once. That made for a few interesting days. Most of the stuff was positive, but there’s always a pooper in the bunch. :)

      Like

  10. Bruce Thiesen

    Restraint is a virtue in these cases. But that guy David should just mind his own beeswax and work on his life attitude while he is at it.

    Like

  11. whiteladyinthehood

    Well, David stinks. (but of course, like you say, there will always be those willing to put forth effort to say something negative) You keep your smile and your gracefulness and know that he is one of few and we don’t care what he says!!

    Like

  12. Curmudgeon-at-Large

    After reading your post, I decide to google “Curmudgeon at Large” and found – surprise, surprise – that, even after a nine month hiatus, I was still at the top of the list. Oh, hooray! That’s got to be worth a couple sheets of toilet paper.

    Send “David” and all his book-pirating ilk to me and, as I say on my site, “You will receive the response you deserve.”

    Like

    • Carrie Rubin

      I’m thinking David is probably a curmudgeon himself, so that could make for quite an interesting showdown. ;)

      Like

  13. Maddie Cochere

    Great way to handle this, Carrie. I had another word for David, but “party-pooper” and a roll of toilet paper suffices. The first time I saw one of my books on a pirate site, it made my heart sink, but I later realized that the people who pirate were never going to buy my book(s) anyway. It doesn’t make it right, but I think the majority of people aren’t aware of these sites, and I like to believe that most people – especially those who love books – are honest when it comes to obtaining them. In all the years of selling used books, we only took checks and money orders, and in all those years, we only ever had two bad checks – and one was from another book seller, not an end customer. I always said that book people were the best.

    Like

    • Carrie Rubin

      I think you’re right on that. And from what I can tell, some of these pirating sites are dubious in terms of their downloads. You can’t be sure if it’s an actual book you’re getting or some nasty malware on your computer. I found my book on one site, but when I started to download it, I got a virus warning. Decided to leave it be.

      Like

  14. Dave

    Three things. One, glad that David character had a picture with his name. I wouldn’t want you to think I was dissing your book cover :-) Two, your Jessie Pinkman response was missing his classic, “Beeoch!” And three, I applaud your restraint. I know I’ll struggle when I’m in that same position someday. When I am, I’ll have to work real hard to restrain my inner Jessie :-)

    Like

    • Carrie Rubin

      Hmm, Dave…David, it’s all making sense now… ;)

      Luckily, the skin gets thicker over time. This one was just a little sting (unlike my first nasty book review).

      Great comment!

      Like

  15. jennifer Windram

    Oh, ouch. I love how some people seem to have so much time that they go around saying mean things about people.

    Good for you for handling this so well. I would probably be balled up crying on the bed. Guess I better work on thickening my skin.

    (I was also shocked that my comments on other blogs show up on Internet searches for my name. And pictures from other peoples blogs show up under images. Then I recently read a blog post about using your comments on highly trafficked blogs as another means of improving your visibility. Crazy.)

    Like

    • Carrie Rubin

      Crazy is right. Once it’s out there, it’s out, which is why I’m often amazed by what people say online, particularly the negative remarks about others. But luckily my skin has thickened. I’d like to say I recovered from my first bad book review as swiftly, but I’d be lying…

      Like

  16. bethteliho

    I googled my name about two months ago and was SHOCKED that so many of my comments on other’s blogs showed up! I had NO idea those show up in cyberspace! eeeek. Since then I’ve been more careful about what I say in comment sections haha! Also, a lot of hot guys show up under images of me…which I love. :)

    Like

    • Carrie Rubin

      Oh, I know, those comments are everywhere. Just goes to show every footprint we leave online stays on line. Scary!

      Like

  17. Valentine Logar

    More often than I would like and all to frequently unflattering. It is why I use a pudendum in my blog, why I do not use my full name on my facebook account, why I don’t use pictures of myself on my facebook account (my non-blog account that is).

    I truly despise people who only want to say nasty things to hurt.

    Like

    • Carrie Rubin

      Yes, it’s hard to imagine people being vicious just for the sake of being vicious, and yet they are. If it wasn’t for the marketing aspect, I would use all social media under a pseudonym. Of course, I’ve heard even then, anonymity is rarely guaranteed. Looks like you’ve taken good measures to keep the vitriol at bay. Or at least muted.

      Like

    • Carrie Rubin

      I had to look wattpad up. I guess it’s an online writing community where people can share stories and such, one of those sites I never have time to visit. Always so much to do…

      Like

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