I make it a habit to recommend only books I’ve read and loved, or even liked, or when I think they are brilliant. That’s just me. I like to think that I have a small list of followers who trust me when I say a book is a “must read” or a “should read.” To maintain integrity and honesty, I can’t make myself like a fan page or retweet a book promotion when I haven’t read the book.
Just to be clear, friends, I’m all for writers promoting other writers – that’s how the word gets out. And I promote myself – about 3% of the time I’m on the internet. But I am not jiggy with the writers who tap-tap-tap their own drum over and over. Like a woodpecker at 4:30 a.m. on a sleep-in Saturday. Annoying.
I’ve seen a few blog posts lately about self-marketing techniques, needy, desperate writers, and pushy social networking skills. I’ve been holding my tongue on the subject for months (and I’ve been collecting notes). But it’s spilling over now, and I’m losing sleep. So here goes.
The Rule of Three – My writer-pal Shawn MacKenzie and I recently had a conversation on appropriate give-and-take. Shawn and I promote each other because 1) we appreciate it, 2) we say Thank You, personally, and 3) we pay it forward – not only to each other but to writers who have earned our respect.
Like you? I don’t even know you – Reminds me of the old joke, “Tissue? I hardly know you!” Writers and other publishing peeps asking me to like their page – why should I? What have you done for me lately? What have you provided for others?
Read my review – If I’m not interested in your book, why should I read another review? If I am looking for a new book, I’m most apt to look for the genres I prefer or ask trusted friends what they have read and enjoyed.
11,986 other books – My book just went from 12,429 to 11,987 on _________ [fill in review site here]! Since your book is 11,987 then I have 11,986 other books to read before I get to yours. When it gets to the 20 or even the top hundred, then I might be interested.
Free give-away of my book – I’ve seen a few of these, I check them out. Who doesn’t like a free anything? Once, all I had to do was 1) like her page, 2) make a comment on her page, 3) follow her on Twitter, 4) mention the give-away on Twitter, 5) and sign up for her newsletter … oh, is that all?
Friend mills – Please like me so I can get 250 fans – So, you don’t care who likes you or if they have read your book, you just need 250 fans. I’ve seen this carried as far as “I have a bet with a friend to see who can get the most fans.” If you win the bet, I get what? A new crock pot would be nice – I lost mine in the flood.
The whining why – Saw a guy post his book and ask for tweets. Then he actually came back and said (to an online group) “Why aren’t you tweeting my book?” Um, because maybe you are a nincompoop?
Blogging about me – I’ve seen thousands of blogs that are not blogs at all – they are self-promoting, self-marketing, begging, me-me-mes. Boring and uncool. Give me something I can use, give me something that is helpful, give me something I’d want to share with other writers.
Sneaking it in – Like a smelly silent one in an elevator. I have seen some writers that no matter where they post a comment, they have to sneak in a little tid-bit about their book (with a link of course). Knock it off.
Facebook THANK YOU!!!!! – You connect with someone on some form of social networking. You like their blog, you like their tweets, you like their website. You might, some day, read their book. So you friend them on Facebook. Next thing ya know there is this big-ass post on your FB page announcing your new friendship and a link to their book. Ick.
Brass ones – Daniel L. Carter, a totally cool, pay-it-forward guy and writer and creator of Author Central Facebook group – Daniel got a tweet from some writer bean-head. Daniel tweet-messaged the guy with a friendly, casual response. Now the guy is quoting Daniel’s tweet on his review page. Some nerve.
Unsolicited crapola – I received an e-book attached to an obvious form letter from a writer I wrote to once, six months ago. I wrote to tell her my daughter-in-law loved her book. What I didn’t say in my email was how shabbily edited her e-book appeared on Kindle. This writer sent me her new book and asked me to please do this and this and this … Duh-lete. I didn’t read your other book (which I made plain in my email); I’m certainly not going to read your new book and give you a good review just because you sent me a form letter with lots of !!!!!! in it.
What irks you in the social networking scene? What uncomfortable situations have you personally experienced in social networking?
“When science discovers the center of the universe, a lot of people will be disappointed to find they are not it.” ~Bernard Baily
“A man wrapped up in himself makes a very small bundle.” ~Benjamin Franklin
Photo – C. Christine Roberts – The photo is my grandson Shawn, but of course I doubt he’ll ever be picked last in gym class.
Additional helpful resources –
Roni Loren – Why Self-Promotion Shouldn’t be a Dirty Word
Bundle Post – Social Media is NOT about YOU – Four Points to Remember