Using covid as a Hashtag and keyword for selling books

Robert Zwilling

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I wrote a surrealistic style science fiction book (not a good idea) and have been trying to publicize it over the past few years. Because it is hard to read (another not a good idea), there is little support for it from the meager exposure it gets. As part of the background it uses vaccinations and viruses that won't go away, questionable political leaders, eccentric industrialists, rushing to populate the space around Earth, architecture designed to withstand the weather, and it was all a joke. Never thought things would be the way they are, as they are.

Imagine my surprise when I found out Walmart was listing it as a book to buy, apparently by making use of print on demand inventory. It hasn't generated any sales, but it was a weird experience seeing it on the Walmart site.

I advertise it on instagram and I get one of those vaccination blurbs inserted into my post from instagram saying how to use the word vaccination.

My question is, is it ethical to use words like covid or other virus related words related to public related experiences as a hashtag or keywords for indexing in the description of the story for the purpose of selling it.

The next stop is tiktok, which is more likely like going over a very tall waterfall without a barrel.
 

Mon0Zer0

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My question is, is it ethical to use words like covid or other virus related words related to public related experiences as a hashtag or keywords for indexing in the description of the story for the purpose of selling it.

Does it help or hinder people finding information that could prevent harm? Are you exploiting people's interest or alarm in COVID? Is your book going to help people or will it assist the spread of misinformation?
 

AnRoinnUltra

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I think I see where you're coming from. I wrote a story called 'A cure for the burn' (about a married couple having a bicker), and stuck it online. Months later it got a pile of internet traffic and I'm guessing some search engine listed it as medical info -I thought about changing the name or deleting it, but the fault was really with the dodgy search algorithm so I let it be.
It might be that some places link your book to the pandemic because they see it being related. One of the most surreal things I read in the last few years was Stephen King giving advice on the virus based on his experience writing The Stand -the journalist must've seen it as relevant! The keyword thing you suggest seems to me to be deliberately misleading and morally wrong though.
 

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