Accused of Being a Shill

I couldn't believe it when someone sent me an email and said he hoped I wasn't just a shill for Sunny Frazier. I was horrified by the accusation.

Then I thought about it a bit, maybe I am--and she is for me.

Sunny and I do a lot of events together and we promote one another on the Internet, if that's being a shill--well, I guess I am.

Right now I'm really pushing the PSWA conference and she's promoting a mystery cruise.

I'm in charge of the program which I think is dynamite--can't believe all the wonderful speakers who've agreed to come--and so of course I'm promoting it like crazy. Anyone writing a mystery with any kind of public safety person in it should come to this conference.

Sunny is the one lining up the panels for the mystery cruise and encouraging people to come.

Guess what, we're both going to be taking part in the PSWA conference and the mystery cruise. And we're promoting both. If that makes me a shill--well, so be it. I've been called worse in my time.

And that's the latest surprising event in my life--and I'm living with it.



Sunny Frazier said…
I looked up "shill" in the Websters: "One who acts as a decoy." I have no idea if we're sitting decoy ducks for that man who tries to shoot us down. While he is content to come after me in public (don't know why, I'm such a sweetheart!), I'm totally offended he privately emailed you, Marilyn. That makes him a lame duck in my book.
I think you had it right when you said we were cross promoting, because that's what we do all the time. I don't think there's anything wrong with that. The guy has a problem and that's too bad for him.

Marilyn, you are the best shill I know and I would be glad to have you as part of my team any day. Have a great day.
Anonymous said…
I love you, Marilyn. You are my role model. Hugs.

Bonnie Hearn Hill
Denny Griffin said…
Marilyn & Sunny,

Networking and promoting are the name of the game in my opinion. And both of you are very good at it.

I welcome your friendship and assistance by any name.

jenny milchman said…
Gosh, I shill for an awful lot of people then (MANY great writers out there) and one day hope to be shilled for in return (if that's a real use of the word)! I can't imagine what aggrieved that person, and think both you ladies are doing great with these events and your careers--not to mention making the time to reach out to those who are trying to follow along...

Maybe shill also means "support" :)
Kit Sloane said…
Calling our dear energetic Marilyn a "shill" sounds like this guy (was it a guy?) is against cross promoting, networking, helping each other out and heavens knows what else. There are just some readers who resent writers (read the dorothyL list for a week...) I think it shows a very CRANKY personality and I'd totally ignore it (and whoever it was that sent it.) If it was a writer who wrote that, he/she/it oughta be ashamed. As if the "business" wasn't difficult enough...

Anonymous said…
Obviously the person who accused savvy authors of being "shills" has no concept what it takes in today's market to publicize books and events.

They should wake up. It's all about networking, and if we can help our friends, that's what we do. That's what the writers groups are about, and I think it is ridiculous to say that someone is "shilling" for an event another is promoting.

I wouldn't even have a fraction of my visibility without my friends in the writers' world. I wouldn't have been able to help found the Southern Nevada chapter of Sisters in Crime, and as a matter of fact, I wouldn't have my paperback or audio publishers. It was all to to networking and cross promotion.

This person should concentrate on something other than attacking fellow authors for doing what is standard in the industry.

By the way, I was co-owner of a marketing and promotion firm for five years, and we always did cross-promotion campaigns and also bounce back.

What is bounce back? One of ours was if you ate at Tony Roma's you got a discount certificate for Hollywood Park racetrack and a $2 betting certificate.

When you used it, in return the racetrack gave a discount certificate for Tony Romas. Sort of like keeping the ball in play.

Are cross promoting and bounce back shilling? Maybe in the very broadest sense of the word, but a perfectly acceptable tactic in the world of marketing.

Lauren Carr said…
Gee, would you two mind being my shill? This man has no class. Unfortunately there are a lot of classless people out there. Once I posted a menu for our church's discount grocery program on a local website and was accused of "pimping" steaks. When I complained, the webmaster pulled out the dictionary and said "pimping" meant selling and I was too sensitive. I'm sorry, but as a writer, we know that the pen is mightier than the sword. Part of that power comes from chosing our weapons in the words we use. Certain words provide certain images, which is why we use some words and not others.
BillieJohn said…
So, is this jerk hiding behind his anonymity and hurling shots at Marilyn and Sunny?

If that is true, he is not only a creep but a coward.

This gets my "mamma bear" dander up. Maybe iUniverse rejected him and he is having a bad day.
Holli said…
This person obviously has some personal problem with Sunny--maybe she wouldn't go out with him, I don't know-- but it sounds childish. Are we still in high school? Because I got over not sitting at the popular table twenty years ago. Maybe your e-mail sender should as well.
Lou Allin said…
I put up reviews for plenty of people. Perhaps they give me a plug. It's refreshing and heartwarming when authors support each other instead of regarding each other as enemy competitors. You go, girl!
Oh my goodness, I've never had so many comments on any post of mine. This was fun. How great to know I have so many supporters.

I do know who this man is because he emailed me privately. I think he's bitter and jealous because he has never published as many stories as Sunny or a novel for that matter. He's childish and actually this has been kind of fun. I appreciate all your comments.

Mary Welk said…
Be careful of this guy, Marilyn. "Bitter" and "jealous" can sometimes become "psycho" and "dangerous", especially if the guy is the brooding type who won't let go of a perceived injury. Maybe Hap ought to have a word or two with him!
Anonymous said…

You gotta let comments like that go. Had it been me, I might have been tempted to send back an e-mail saying 'What's the matter? Mad I didn't review one of YOUR books?'

But I'm kind of the snarky type to beging with, I get it from my mother. ;-)
Mysti Lou said…
The key word is "just." I promote like a crazy monkey for my friends when I love their work. Because I love their work, not JUST because we are friends.

A shill promotes anything they are paid to promote. So none of you are shills!!!!

Maybe the guy was burned in the past? People usually have at least one good reason for acting boorishly ;)
Maryann Miller said…
I agree that cross promoting is just fine. I have been doing that with writer friends for a long time.
Melanie Atkins said…
Well, that's just bizarre. Both of your projects sound fascinating. Wish I could participate in both.
Well, I received more comments on this post than any I've ever done. Nice to know that everyone more or less agrees with me.

Actually this has been rather interesting--doesn't mean I want any other emails with accusations in them though.

Back to writing...and promoting.


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