Friday, September 16, 2011

White Noise

Posted by Melanie Bennett at 1:52 AM
It's a flood, man. The constant barrage of tweets and FB updates: buy my book, it's awesome, blah blah blah.

I try to follow back anyone on Twitter who follows me unless they're obviously a spammer. But sometimes the spamming is subtle. For example, there's one fairly successful YA writer who ONLY retweets nice stuff people say about her books. After a month of her in my feed, I've learned nothing about her as a person. Not a thing. So I unfollowed her.

And when random writers add me on Facebook, if their first three updates are nothing but marketing ploys, then I immediately hide them.

I get really tired of the Twitter folks who use it is as nothing but a marketing tool. IT WON'T WORK LIKE THAT, DUMMY.

And yet I think Twitter and even Facebook can be incredibly effective for marketing. For example, there are authors whose books I've bought that I wouldn't have otherwise picked up because I've followed them on Twitter for a while and I have a feeling that I'll enjoy their writing voice. I have never once bought a book from someone who tweets nothing but stuff about their own books or about someone else's self-pubbed book because they think the favor will be returned. It all comes off as a smokescreen to me.

And then there's the in-between, the writers who tweet about nothing but writing. I like to talk shop, too. But I need more than that connection point to really click with someone, even at a social media level. So the ones who wear me out with nothing but boring writing updates . . . unfollowed or hidden.

I think I react this way because I'm a classic extrovert, meaning I recharge by interacting with other people. People who don't offer real connection points . . . they just want something from me. In the circles I run in, they mainly want me to buy their book. In real life if you had a friend who always needed something from you without offering anything in return, that would be a toxic friend and ultimately, you'd probably let that friendship wither.

So that's what I do with social media relationships. The ones that don't offer some insight beyond the billboard of a writer's projects, I let those fade.

And amazingly, as many of those as I've let fall by the wayside, I still find some really fun connections.

Maybe that's why blogging is still my favorite thing. It forces more real reciprocity than "like" and "retweet" buttons do.


Miranda Hardy on September 16, 2011 at 3:58 AM said...

You need to stop eating donuts in the middle of the night. Lol

I understand about the marketing ploy some authors use. It can be very annoying. I love getting to know people. It's nice to know there's a real person behind a book that isn't full of themselves.

Stephanie Black on September 16, 2011 at 7:56 AM said...

Well said, Melanie! I enjoy connecting with other writers through FB and Twitter. But I can't understand how authors don't see how annoying it is when day after day it's BUY MY BOOK. I DO want to hear about their books and I DO talk about my own books, but I want to feel like I'm hearing a friend talk about something he/she is excited about (like the fun, natural way you talk about your books and book launch--you do social media extremely well). I want news from friends, not something that feels like an ad.

Jolene Perry on September 16, 2011 at 10:15 AM said...

Even on goodreads now!

It's like people mark your book as "to-read" and I feel like I'm supposed to return the favor even if their book is SO not my thing, and I can tell that MY book is SO not their thing!

I just want people to be REAL!! Makes me crazy!!!!

I found my AGENT after a #yalitchat evening, so I won't knock twitter, but I really only stick to my "lists" of people that I'm either:
1. stalking (as in the editors at the pub houses with my book - those are hidden)
2. Friends with
3. authors I think that are really cool.

On the same note - I took three different agents off of my query list because of their tweets. I'm amazed at some of the stuff people feel the need to share when they're on twitter as a "professional" but maybe I'm just old, lol.

Great post :D

Jessica Love on September 16, 2011 at 7:29 PM said...

I have noticed I am following someone similar to the author you described - she only RTs nice comments about her books. I wonder if it's the same person.

It drives me crazy - I go to Twitter for interaction, not to be sold to.

Anna on September 19, 2011 at 7:07 AM said...

I saw a facebook post on a friend's wall that was congratulating him on his wedding. The next line was "I don't know I told you about my book" and a link to it on Amazon.

S.P. Bowers on September 21, 2011 at 9:47 AM said...

Hahahaha. Love your husband (in a not stalking don't get mat at me way) That's hilarious.

Sher A. Hart on October 7, 2011 at 10:36 AM said...

I saw this last week when I was also flooded. Almost 200 twitter followers in my email along with ANWA posts galore. Although I'm an introvert in person, I try to force myself to engage in conversations on twitter. My best hope is being funny, although I'm not so much in person. In real life I usually think of what to say about one subject just as the conversation turns to another. I like twitter for the ease of finding the right subject/conversation. But like you, I prefer blogs for meaningful interaction. Okay, admit it. The real me almost never comes out of my real mouth unless I'm teaching or speaking to an audience because then I can go at my own pace. My fingers can type my thoughts faster.

Abby Fowers on November 4, 2011 at 7:46 AM said...

Hi Melanie! I just have to tell you that I love your book! In fact - I can't put it down. It is so much fun. Can't wait to see what happens next :)

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