On Monday E L James, author of the
highly acclaimed hugely popular 50 Shades series, held a Twitter Q&A. Hilarity follows, so lets have a look, a laugh, and maybe even learn something about the way Twitter marketing works.
The internet was not going to let E L James have a Q&A without getting some shots in, so lets take a look at some of the best:
#AskELJames What's your favourite shade out of the 50? Is there a chance that more shades will be added?
— Jack Howard (@JackHoward) June 29, 2015
#AskELJames Is there a safe word we can use to get you to stop writing such drivel?
— Amanda (@Pandamoanimum) June 29, 2015
Which do you hate more, women or the English language? #AskELJames
— Ian Robinson (@eyeswideshut75) June 29, 2015
#AskELJames after the success of "Grey," have you considered re-telling the story from the perspective of someone who can write
— Andrew Vestal (@avestal) June 29, 2015
#AskELJames Can you confirm that you will be writing the story of Ramsay Bolton from his perspective, showing he is just misunderstood?
— Ros (@GameOverRos) June 29, 2015
But there are of course serious ethical questions about the content of the 50 Shades series as well as fun jokes to be made, and James opened herself up to these:
Do you ever feel guilty that you made so much money from romanticizing sexual abuse and selling it as "erotica romance"? #AskELJames
— Melanin Monroe (@Jherane_) June 29, 2015
#AskELJames Is it only ok for Christian to stalk, coerce, threaten & manipulate Ana because he's hot, or is it also ok because he's rich?
— 50 Shades is abuse (@50shadesabuse) June 29, 2015
Did you see the abusive relationship of Bella and Edward and think "hmm needs more abuse" #AskELJames
— R_chelCh_rlt_nD_iley (@RachelCDailey) June 29, 2015
#AskELJames I need advice on making a BIG romantic gesture. Should I put a GPS tracker in her phone and make threats if she tries to leave?
— Liam Dryden (@LiamDrydenEtc) June 29, 2015
And then going back to the lighter end of the questioning:
Are you going to answer any of these questions, or do you need Stephenie Meyer to do a Twitter chat first? #AskELJames
— Beth Thorne (@bethorne) June 29, 2015
#AskELJames So whats your favourite moment in Twilight? When Bella meets Edward or when Stephanie Meyer sent you a cease and desist
— Słodka Idiotka (@Rachel_Destross) June 29, 2015
Will you be rewriting the book from Stephenie Meyer's point of view next time? #AskELJames
— Skeptical Dinosaur (@skepticosaurus) June 29, 2015
#AskELJames What's the minimum distance you have to stay away from Stephenie Meyer at all times?
— Kayleigh Anne (@Ceilidhann) June 29, 2015
#AskELJames Are you going to take a cold bath later to recover from being so thoroughly burned on Twitter today?
— Vanessa C. (@nessaskybooks) June 29, 2015
#AskELJames Do all these negative tweets sent to you seem abusive to you? I think it's romantic enough to be turned into a novel!
— Stephan Krosecz (@Krosecz) June 29, 2015
#AskELJames Are you getting tendinitis from having to hit "block" so often
— Mara Wilson (@MaraWritesStuff) June 29, 2015
All of this of course raises a good question…
I'd rather #AskELJames's publicist why they thought this was going to be a good idea.
— Jenny Trout (@Jenny_Trout) June 29, 2015
…and a pithy answer
Whoever planned out the #AskELJames tag has obviously never, ever met Twitter.
— Summer Heacock (@Fizzygrrl) June 29, 2015
But lets face it, if these sort of questions bother James she can dry her tears with banknotes.
As discussed before, the cornerstone to dealing with negativity online is offering understanding and an apology (if appropriate), That isn’t possible for this case as what people are taking umbridge with is the product itself, a product James and her team stand by.
Ultimately, the question of ‘why’ any marketing team would advise a Twitter Q&A for James is publicity.
99.9% of people know how they feel about 50 Shades and this isn’t going to change it, but it does create a news story, even (or more likely especially the negative responses. I mean, we’re talking about it here and we never mention 50 Shades normally.
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