What do you see, you people looking at me?

As many of you probably know, there’s a little bit, in WordPress, that tells you what people typed into their search engines to get to your  blog. I’ve just been looking at fellow Gumbee Writers’ Guild author, Jim Webster’s latest post about the absurd things people type to get to his – apparently it’s a big favourite with people looking for Marks & Spencers knickers.

Boringly, most of the people who come here have either typed a variant of “why do so few UK agents handle sci-fi and fantasy” into their search engine and come up with this post or they’re actually looking for me. Or at least, they were. After reading Jim’s post I had a quick look at my stats and this is what I found.

the beebatron cbbeis, the beebatron tardis
Excellent. Yes, random person, I can confirm that I, too, have noticed that the Beebatron which was on CBeebies a while back, was the old 1970s Tardis control console. Did you also notice that it then went on to be come Riff the dog’s mixing desk in Carrie and David’s pop shop.

Second: snurd, phn erotcia ah ah ah oh

Yeeeeeees. That one’s a bit of a worry.

The word “snurd” didn’t mean anything when I came up with the concept but I have checked the Urban Dictionary since and discovered that “snurd” is also a contraction of “snotty little turd”. Which, in itself, is quite interesting.

Tangental Hint: the Urban Dictionary is kind of like Rogers’ Profanisaurus – only a bit more serious. However, if you write any kind of spec fic it’s always worth checking it out before you name anyone or anything. You don’t want to discover that your hero’s monika is also the slang term for one of those loud honk-like farts that sounds as if someone’s dragging a table across the floor of the room above. I didn’t know about the Urban Dictionary when I started out.  That’s why I have a race of bad guys called the slang term for a fellow who has one ball that hangs considerably lower than the other.

So there you have it. The Urban Dictionary: gold. Now then, where was I? Ah yes…

What all this illustrates to me is two things: First, what we write on the web can be taken very differently to the way in which it is meant. Second, it’s going to be there for a very long time.  Your views my change, your outlook may mellow but that rabid rant you posted in 2008 will be with you always. This thought crystallised further when I opened my second blog alert this morning and found this article about whether or not agents google the writers who query them: short answer, they do.

Today’s advice, then. Think twice before you speak on the net, especially if you’re an author. Think extremely hard before you make any flippant remarks at anyone else’s expense or anything that might paint you as mean or vacuous or prejudiced. Remember, if you’re prone to bitch about publishers and agents, that if you ever want to work with them one day, they’re going to check you out. They’re going to read everything you’re saying now. So think, my lovely peps. Otherwise, hitting that ‘post’ button, or publishing that book, could constitute several high-calibre rounds to the foot.


Filed under General Wittering

15 responses to “What do you see, you people looking at me?

  1. Reblogged this on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog….. An Author Promotions Enterprise! and commented:
    AUTHORS – a cautionary article from Author M.T. McGuire 😀

  2. Some of those hits could just be by webcrawlers or bots programmed to find random or recursive combinations of characters.

  3. Good advice. It’s so easy to think ‘oh no one reads it anyway, I can vent’. Ok so now a blog may not be topping to-read hold lists…. But who knows what the future holds! Good advice to keep in mind!!!! Xx

  4. *to read gold lists.

    Sorry I couldn’t ignore that typo courtesy of my phone and autocorrect!!! Xx

  5. I can remember someone ringing to enquire about pigs once and I thought they were looking for a brand of wallpaper – I had a lifestyle blog and an interiors business at the time and had blogged about my niece’s miniature potbellied pigs.
    Yep, apart from anything else, I’m guessing agents and publishers get a sense of what you’re like by looking at your blog (not to mention your style of writing and level of popularity) and can tell whether they like you or not too.

    • I’d loved to have been a fly on the wall for that conversation. 🙂 I doubt any agents or publishers will be troubling this blog though. Nice to think it but I’d guess my stuff is quite a hard sell – even for people who know what they’re doing – as well as me.



  6. Author Catherine Townsend-Lyon

    If you like Sci-Fi…you should visit my good friends site, Author Ian Kane… IanKaneBooks.com ! He’s an Awesome writer.
    I’m another boring Recovery Author….LOL.
    Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon 🙂

  7. Not that it matters, as I stand behind what I say/type, and generally try to behave myself, but anyone googling me is going to be spending several weeks reading the results. There is something to be said for being wordy: when someone want to find something, unless they’re very good at SEO, they’re going to be reading complex sentences for a long time.

    Plus I doubt any agent would want to deal with me. Ever.

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