If you read any marketing books aimed at indie authors there is often a great deal aimed at social networking. Blog, make a facebook page or tweet. Endless information that all says the same thing. Make your presence known on the world wide web.
Tweet using hashtags, undoubtedly at some point other writers will follow you, you will follow back and find other writers to follow who will in turn (if they haven’t got their head stuck up their own backsides) follow you back. It’s all very chess right? Like a huge interactive game of chess with many many players. You make a move, I make a move, they make a move. Hell – we’ll all make a move. Jump aboard the social train – it’s destined for…
Where? Where exactly is it destined for? You realise that the people following you are mostly writers who have followed you to ram promotional post after promotional post down your throat right? And there you were thinking that you could connect on a writer to writer level.
I tweeted last night my frustration at looking at peoples blogs. These are people that I follow on twitter. They post that they have a new blog up so off I go and have a look. If I like it then I’ll hit the like button, maybe retweet it and maybe comment. I try to connect.
The vast majority of the time those people that tweet ‘Hey come see my new blog post’ don’t give a damn about you. A rats ass – they do not give. Do you think they’re going to go and visit yours? Pff, nope! They are merely jumping aboard the social networking train. Promoting themselves, along with the many, many others that do the same and it’s a damn shame.
I follow writers because I want to interact with them. I search #writerproblems most nights on twitter to see who’s having problems, maybe they need words of encouragement? I do this because that’s what we should be doing. It’s okay that they market their book, by all means they should but do they have to mention it in every damn tweet? And how’s that going for them? Twitter is saturated in promotional tweets, so is their getting them any sales? I wonder.
I get that some authors have fans that get genuinely excited about new releases. I am one of those fans that gets excited too. I look forward to the announcement of a new book by an author that I love. It takes very few tweets to grab the audience’s attention. Maybe throw out one a night. Maybe a couple a day? But every ten minutes, you’re killing me man!
As Sir Elton John would say, ‘it’s a sad, sad situation’ and while the majority of this blog I write using sarcasm the fact remains that there are very few people who want to speak to you about anything that it not going to better them. That is not going to, in some way, benefit them.
At some point a lot of these writers have decided that they are holier than thou. They do not need to interact with you. Their blog is so interesting that the peasant’s will flock.
I am aware how very negative this sounds but this is what twitter is doing to fledgling writers. This is my experience. It leaves an impression – for me a mostly negative one. For others they may take from it that it’s okay to tweet constantly about their book with a little link that conveniently points their followers in the direction of its location from where they can purchase. How very thoughtful and kind of them. Allow me to throttle them – please?
BUT, there are the diamonds in the rough. For every hundred followers (a guestimate!) there is one person who will interact with me on a genuine level. They will respond to a tweet that I throw out about how well I am doing or how bad it’s going. They will cheer me on, cheer me up and root for me. They will congratulate my successes, commiserate my failures, they reach out to me. This is how we should be behaving.
These are the people that are worth my time and effort. They take to twitter to post about their experiences and share their knowledge. Indeed, they may promote their book every now and then but a lot of the time they are reaching out to others. These are also the people whose book I am more likely to buy. Oh the irony!