I suppose that title could be interpreted in two different ways. I'll leave it up to the reader to determine. Ha!
Recently I've been attending conferences, and I have a few more sprinkled throughout the spring/early summer months. I also participate in the WriteOnCon monthly chats. I see a question come up all the time: What social networking sites should I be on? Will you take on clients who don't have a blog/who don't tweet?
I sat on a marketing and publicity panel at one of the conferences. I've been stewing over my social networking efforts and I've realized that I have rules for myself. I'm going to pass them along in the hopes that it will help someone who has questions about social networking.
Agents and editors WILL take you on if you don't A) blog B) tweet or C) Facebook. They may ask you to do something, but they're looking for great stories, not the best blog on the planet. (Though, in my personal opinion, I think having a good blog/website is beneficial. It won't secure an agent or a book deal--only good writing/storytelling can do that--but I think it's beneficial on the marketing/publicity side of publishing.)
Self-promotion. It's like a beast with fifteen heads, and when you chop one off, two more grow back. My policy? If I say something on my blog/Facebook/twitter about POSSESSION, I have to talk about/promote another book and/or another author before I can say anything else about my book.
I cannot take credit for this. I stole this policy from Lisa and Laura Roecker, who are fexcellent marketers. (See what I did there? Ha!)
Twitter. Everyone likes to say stuff about themselves. Humans are pretty self-centered. To avoid what I believe is a pitfall on Twitter about talking about ourselves/our books too much, I've adopted a tweeting policy. When someone does something amazing for me, I tweet about how amazing they are.
If I say something about what's going on in my life, I have to scroll through my twitter feed and @-message three other people who've said something about theirs. This creates a new conversation between me and them, and only takes me a few minutes. Then I don't feel like I'm hogging the twitter feed.
These are not the be-all, end-all rules of social networking. In fact, they're only "rules" in Elana-land. But I think it gets very tiresome to read someone's blog where ALL they do is promote their book. Same with the twitter feed. I mean, how many of you had no idea I have a book coming out?
So yeah. Some social networking rules that hopefully make self-promotion non-annoying.
What do you think? What annoys you re: social networking? What do you wish more authors would do? What do you wish they'd STOP doing? Lay it on me.
Self-promotion is such a fine line, sometimes I think it's hard for authors to know which side they're on.