If you're on MySpace and don't have a very restricted privacy level, you've received more than your fair share of unwanted Friend Requests. I have received plenty from crappy bands and aspiring porn stars, but it's never gotten to a point where I couldn't handle it. Yet I've done something for my newly-created page for Post that could be misconstrued as committing a similar annoyance. I'd like to explain myself.
Make no mistake, I want to get the word out on my book. This is not for fame or a feeling of warmth because I have a lot of friends on my list. The deal is, how I've spread the word (and will continue to) takes a lot of time and energy. I spent almost four years getting everything just right and I don't want this effort to go unnoticed outside of my friends, family and regular readers.
Instead of trying to befriend those who might have a slim interest in reading the book, I decided to go for ones I think might be very interested in reading. Taking a tip from Brian on how he built his friends list for his book, I typed in names like "Jawbox," "Red Animal War" and even "Empire State Games" in the search field and looked at the results. There were a lot of bands listed, but so were a lot of individuals around my age that still treasure these featured bands. So, with that, I just fired away.
In the process, I came to an understanding that my approach is rather different than some band that formed last week, recorded its first two songs, lists Panic! At the Disco, Powerspace and Chiodos as influences, and hopes to get a lucrative record deal. I rarely receive requests from authors, so for the ones that do (like Brian), chances are good I'll take a look. Not many people are writing books on this subject, so the playing field is small. I think it's totally fine to do the same with searching out possible readers. Besides, I'd rather have a list of 1,200 that would read this right away rather than 30,000 who wouldn't give a rat's ass in the first place.
With the ones that have some restrictions on sending a request (ie, must know his or hers last name), I sent a personal message giving a heads-up. I appreciate it when people do this for me, so I hope it would return the favor. The non-personalized nature of unsolicited requests drives me nuts. And I know I'm not the only one.
Anyway, in hopes that I have not committed the worst MySpace sin, I plan on sticking to this course of action. Though I believe this book has a chance to reach a wider audience, I'm seeking out the converted first and foremost. In other words, the ones who bought a 7" at a show, did a fanzine, played in a band that opened for one of the featured bands and so on. POST is a tribute to them more so than the ones who first heard about Jimmy Eat World because of "The Middle."