I recently began experimenting with Facebook ads to get people to sign up for my NickThacker.com mailing list. I offered ALL THREE of my first thrillers (The Golden Crystal, The Depths, and The Enigma Strain) to anyone who signed up at NickThacker.com/free-books.

My biggest mistake was in expecting a single, simple landing page with instructions to be simple enough for people to get the books.

In the days that followed, I began to see comments on the ads (a really “cool” feature of Facebook advertising) from people who were unhappy it didn’t “work as expected.”

(I expect that “working as expected” for most of them included someone coming to to their home, knocking on the door, and handing them a Kindle Paperwhite preloaded with my books and opened to the first page.)

I didn’t want to start a smear campaign or “troll” anyone, so I responded casually and nicely to everyone and tried to help where I could. But — and this is why I cannot work in tech support — I decided it would be fun to use some of the actual comments I read, answer them the way I wanted to, and then imagine the responses they’d have.

The comments I received are real, but everything else is made up. (Honest!)

1. Real comment: Link didn’t work.

Me: Okay. Did you click on it?

Them: Yes.

Me: Were you connected to the Internet?

Them: I…

Me: Are you using an actual computing device? 

Them: It’s a TI-85 calculator.

Me: …

2. Real comment: I can’t download the books! Wonder what kind of SPAM I’ll get now!

Me: Sorry to hear that, they’ve been working for everyone else who’s not trying to use a TI-85 calculator. What exactly is the problem?

Them: Now you’re SPAMMING me!

Me: I’m merely trying to help. 

Them: SPAM! SPAM! SPAM!

Me: *sigh*

3. Real comment: When will your book be available in [market]?

Me: Did you search for them, or my name, in [market]?

Them: No, I just wanted to comment because I need to get my daily typing exercises in.

Me: (Imagines person strapping on a FitBit Finger [note: this does not actually exist].)

4. Real comment: I only read hardcover books. Can I have a hardcover book for free instead?

Me: Yes, absolutely!

Them: Really?!? I didn’t think —

Me: You’re correct. I was kidding. I’m not giving you, Person I Do Not Know, a free $30 gift just because you’re too antiquated to accept some free shit. 

Them: BUT I ONLY READ HARDCOVER BOOKS!

Me: Enjoy your Laserdisc collection. I watched The Gods Must Be Crazy on Laserdisc once in high school. It was special. 

5. Real comment: so wat

Me: *hides post*

6. Real comment: I tried to download them and it didnt work beware SPAM

Me: I tried to understand your sentence but I went to school and only understand proper grammar beware STUPID

Them: Hey, that’s not nice.

Me: I’m sorry. Were your feelings hurt when I rudely responded to your ignorant comment that let the world know you have zero technical abilities? 

7. Real comment: Downloads don’t work hope the books are better

Me: Hope the books are better than what? Your ability to download something on a computer? Me too… 

8: Real comment: So what you’re saying is that if I want the hard copy, I have to pay for it, but if I want the ebook, it’s free? 

Me: That is LITERALLY what I’m saying. 

Them: But I don’t want to pay for anything. Ever. Not even food. EVERYTHING SHOULD BE FREE NOM NOM NOM.

9. Real comment: It will not work on an iPad.

Me: It actually will, but what you’re really telling is that you either 1) do not know how to make it work on an iPad, 2) do not care to try to make it work on an iPad, 3) do not own or know of anyone who owns a computer to help you, and/or 4) do not want to try to get your free thing by Googling your question.

Them: What is this Googly Machine thing?

Me: It’s a very helpful search engine that helps you —

Them: IT GIVES YOU SPAM AND PORN AND SPAM-PORN.

Me: Well, technically, yes I guess it does give you that if you want it. BUT it also gives you solutions to problems, like “how to open a .zip file on an iPad.” 

Them: WHAT KIND OF VOODOO SPAM IS THIS “.ZIP FILE?” NOM NOM NOM (eats iPad)

Me: *sigh* it’s NOT spam! it’s — 

Them:  ICAN’THEARYOUIATEMYIPAD

10: Real comment: I’ll pick them up at the library! Can’t wait to read them!

Me: Aw, some actual enthusiasm for my hard work! Unfortunately, they’re probably not going to be at your local li–

Them: SPAM! ARGGGG SPAM KILL THE SPAMMER!!!

Me: Sheesh. No, it’s not, it’s just —

Them: THE SPAMBOT CONTINUES TO SPEW SPAM-DRIVEL ON MY FACEBOOK!

Me: No! I’m just trying to help! I’m trying to give you FREE copies of THREE OF MY —

Them: MY LIBRARY HAS FREE BOOKS AND I DON’T HAVE TO CLICK ANYTHING TO GET THEM SO THIS IS SPAM ARGGGGGGGGG

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Ever had an experience like this? If you run a blog, write anything for public consumption, or otherwise subject yourself to the scrutiny of the masses, you’ve probably endured some sort of punishment for that hard work. The above is just my pseudo-humorous way of handling it. Everyone’s got their coping mechanisms…