Today I’m going to share my thoughts here on the madness of social media, and book promoting, and our constant battle to keep up with everything social media to stay afloat with our presence.
I’m speaking for myself, but I know my thoughts are shared by many a writer. As writers, we all develop our routines, and although every one of us has our own methods of tackling our ‘to do’ lists, if we’re writing books, much of what we do will involve ways to market our books using social media.
With the explosion of new authors and books in the past few years, there are waves of cries to ‘buy my book’ in order to be heard through a sea of social media blasts. I sometimes feel as though I’m drowning in that sea. But I don’t wish to become one of the ‘hard sell’ authors, and I don’t even spend nearly enough time or dollars doing the amount of marketing I’m urged to do through all the social outlets I follow and with all the subscriptions I read from newsletters telling me about another method to push my books.
Sure I read many articles to stay abreast. I’ll bookmark pertinent information and save it to Evernote for the time I’m ready to tackle it. But with all I read, I still can’t bring myself to become an aggressive marketer. I have my daily routine planned the night before with my list of things to accomplish, and that keeps my plate full as it is. As much as I want to try a million new ideas out, there are only so many hours in a day. So I prioritize with my book writing days and my blog post days. I’ve learned what social media sites I gravitate to most. I’ve built friendships and followers who I can chat with, share with, or just have a simple ‘thank you’ for sharing rapport with for dedicated sharers. I read many blogs, and like and comment where I feel like contributing, and if I enjoyed a post, I’ll share it to my social sites.
This routine I have was never a strategy to gain followers, but somehow it had led me to gathering readers and making some wonderful friends along the way. This is who I am, and I don’t wish to conform to being one of those hounds shouting hashtags to ‘buy my book’.
And what may have prompted me to write this you may be thinking?
I came across an article yesterday while reading my morning newsletter subscriptions. This is part of my morning routine with coffee in hand, my morning newspaper. I check my personal emails first thing in the morning, and catch up on what’s going on with the writing and publishing world with my Indie newsletters. This is usually when I send out my Twitter tweets while I’m reading articles. Some also get sent to Google and Linkedin and my Facebook author page. But I check Twitter once a day only, every morning, because I have a lot of writers that follow me, and I know some will find these posts informative because I’m sure that’s why they followed me in the first place. I know my posts are interesting to some because I’ve gained quite a few followers in the past few years, and I can honestly say I never search for people to follow, they find me, and I decide if I will follow back based on the criteria I have for following back.
My usual stipulations for NOT following back are: They use an egg as a replacement for a photo, no bio or website, hard sellers, or promisers to get you hundreds of followers for a price, or of course pornographic posts. I don’t hesitate to follow someone just because they may have few followers. I’m not looking for popularity, but sincerity and something informative offered. I always follow back authors because I believe if they took the time to follow my posts they’re eager to learn, especially if they’re new and just starting their platforms. This is just the way I roll in life with the people I congregate with and develop friendships with. If they’re sincere, forthgiving, and informative, I’m in.
Now, the reason I’m sharing this here today goes back to 2 relevant posts I came across from 2 articles I read in parts from a writer, Delilah Dawson from Whimsydark.com. She wrote about herself not being one of ‘those authors’ who are constantly pushing their books at every opportunity. She makes a pertinent point in her post that if people like you, and like what you have to say they may just follow you and buy your books because of those qualities, and eventually, hopes that word of mouth become our best marketing tool. Her point is to keep writing and doing what works and states that current trends don’t necessarily dictate what works for everyone.
The articles resonated with me because that’s what I do. I do my thing, and socialize where I enjoy being best, not trying to dance at every wedding (every social site) because there just isn’t enough time to do everything. Below I will give you a sampling of the two posts with the link to continue reading. I think you will find them good reads.
“Spend your energy and time being kind to your colleagues, thanking your publishing team, and making new friends with no expectation that you will eventually use them to claw your way to the top. Before you Friend another writer on Facebook, make sure it’s because you legitimately want to know them better and be part of their life and not because you’re planning on sending them an Event invitation or a link to your book… Continue Reading
And here is her follow up article:
“Adding value means passing on truly helpful links, retweeting job listings or calls for submissions, wishing someone a happy launch day, recommending books you’ve enjoyed, discussing the news of the day in a respectful and thoughtful manner, talking about an upcoming event, or generally saying things that make someone’s day just a little brighter. Over time, people will begin to trust you as you repeatedly add value to their life…Continue Reading
I hope you enjoy these posts and take something from them as I did. They confirmed to me that I’m doing just fine the way I’m doing. And please feel free to leave me your comments because I’d like to know where you guys stand on the marketing front.
And PS, this article reminded about how lame I’ve actually been this year with a serious lack of book promos. So not to be pushy, lol, I’m giving you a heads up that my book, Words We Carry, will be free on Amazon all of next week. You can be sure I’ll post it. Yup, that’s the extent of my ‘buy my book’ process.