There is plenty of advice about how to conduct ourselves online. The WIP will be finished soon (I promise – the cover is almost ready!) so I’ve been looking into marketing more.
I come from the old school way of doing things without fluff, fakery or salesman-like pretence. However, when it comes to being your own boss, what we do has to be curtailed to our target audience. I understand that.
But I have a hard time thinking that I have to blog a certain way or change the way I use Twitter (or use Pinterest – I’m still not interested in my account there.) In the last few days, I’ve read advice columns for writers saying things like, “Don’t write about what you had for breakfast. I still don’t understand why some people do that.” Well, it’s called real life and people live in it. Some people enjoy reading about real life instead of empty articles that lack personality. Heck, I even made a blog dedicated to my breakfast (lunch and dinner). I also read a book blog article today discussing how your Twitter account should have personality but if it’s a professional account, they only want to read news about your book.
Um…no. While I sort of understand what the reviewer’s getting at, I absolutely will not follow accounts that are only about their work. I want someone to have a discussion with, who has a pulse! While most agree that we don’t want to read a timeline full of links, some people are saying, “Oh, but if you’re having a discussion with someone do it in DM.” Makes me laugh. I love seeing people have conversations – it encourages others to jump in and chat (which is how I see Twitter anyway – as one, never-ending chat room.) DMs are used once in a while and whenever I check them, they’re usually the result of an account being hacked.
Now, that’s for an author’s account. Authors are people and readers want to connect with them. I just don’t see why we have to write articles in our blog about the topics we put in our books or why we should even limit ourselves at all. Most accounts that have no personality get ignored. I love to chat out my fellow writers but I don’t want to read announcement after reTweeted announcement about how everyone of my followers have a book to be read. I want to discuss and share about the craft (and everything in between), not the product that speaks for itself.
Now, when NaNoWriMo is going on, I do post about my word count because that’s all part of the “game.”
Professional accounts that I find done very well include writers and literary blogs. They are interesting to follow and aren’t out to just “sell” themselves by being dry and boring. A couple of them include publishing advice sites like DuoLit book review blogs like ShouldBeReading. Those sites are professional but they aren’t overly promoting what they and their friends are doing. I understand keeping those sites for posting only links to their site. Now, when you have an author page such as SarahDessen, you need to have some personality to the updates.
Again, I’m not saying that there doesn’t need to have a level of professionalism and a mindful eye on what your account is for but, really, do we need all this advice on how to conduct ourselves? It’s pretty much common sense, isn’t it? These are our accounts, our books, our online presence. We are free to use them as we wish. I doubt Amanda Hocking is losing any fans by posting on Instagram.
Oh, and by the way, I had an Activia granola pot for breakfast.