We – my co-author Jonathan Clements and I – are doing a Reddit AMA to promote the third edition of The Anime Encyclopedia. Or at least, Jonathan is, unless this works.
An AMA – ‘Ask Me Anything’ – is an online conversation/roast in the form of a Q&A session. Any registered Reddit user can join in online.
Reddit’s rules include verification that anyone participating in an AMA is actually doing it. I can understand why. I could say that Benedict Cumberbatch and Stephen King were joining us at some point to sing the Encyclopedia’s praises and a huge number of people would show up (probably not including either of the above.)
Reasonable, then, that I prove I’m going to participate in promotion for my own book. I’m a Reddit user but I could be pretending to be Helen McCarthy, so just an email from my email address isn’t enough. I tweeted the information about the AMA yesterday but it seems my Twitter account isn’t definitely mine either.They don’t accept social security numbers or notes from your parents. It’s hard to prove you are who you say you are online. No wonder so many people claim to be someone else entirely.
So here’s what Reddit need from me: a 5 a.m. mugshot in the laundry room mirror (not flattering, but the white walls have enough reflectivity not to need a flash, which is licensed to kill mirror shots) holding up a handwritten card with the details: name, date and the legend “AMA”.
And just to cheer things up, there’s also a 5 a.m. mugshot of two copies of The Anime Encyclopedia 3rd edition, about to share an early cup of tea in my kitchen. No toast and marmalade for them, though – they’re fat enough already.