Okay, so when I first found out I had a contract I jumped onto MySpace. I made a beautiful page and uploaded book covers and found a whole bunch of friends. Or should I say, they found me. I loved MySpace. I went there nearly every day and left comments and updated and even posted blogs. But then it started doing weird things to my computer and some people’s pages were too big and wouldn’t load and MySpace slowly faded into the background.

Then I found Twitter. I loved Twitter. It was like having a massive chat with 300 of my best friends. I’d post, they’d post, we’d laugh. A good time. But then somehow I ended up following 600 people. Now granted, they’re not all active, but still, that’s a lot of 140 character info streaming into my computer. Not quite so intimate.

Somewhere in the middle of all of this I found Facebook. Mostly because my family was all hanging out and chatting and I was feeling very left out of everything. And I love facebook. But some people now have their tweets streaming to their facebook status. Which is all very cool, but it makes for an incredible overload of information on some days.

And now facebook has fan pages and I’m being asked if I want to “fan” some of my friends. Really, I’m not sure what to do about this. Every day I have people making friend requests … and this is great really it is, but I wonder if there’s such a thing as friend overload. Being both a middle child and a mother I have this need to make sure everyone gets their attention. With all this information flying at me I’m seriously wondering if I’ve taken on too much. On the other hand I don’t want to offend someone who loves my books. For goodness sake, that’s the person I most want to chat with.

And as if all that isn’t confusing enough, now I’ve discovered that some agents and editors are using twitter to send out mass rejections. As in “if you queried me prior to April 1 and you haven’t heard from me, I’m not interested in your manuscript”. There are mixed reviews on this, from “it’s great to have an answer” to “what if I’m not on twitter?”. I guess my worry if I queried one of these people would be what if I missed the post. I’d be a maniac frantically checking and rechecking their twitter stream (as well as my inbox).

It’s definitely a whole new world out there. Social media has made it possible for authors and readers to connect in a way they never have before. Which is awesome. On the other hand it’s also created a situation that sometimes feels like a feeding frenzy to the harried author trying to balance marketing with writing. Twitter and Facebook and Yahoo Loops and MySpace and blogging are all part of the publishing landscape these days. I guess it’s just a matter of planting seeds where you’re most comfortable and nourishing the buggers in hopes it helps grow your career.

6 Responses to Social Me? Duh.

  • Great post! I think the jury’s still out as to whether it actually impacts book sales, but I kind of feel as if I have to be “out there.” I’ve been most resistant to Twitter, I guess. I can’t think of anything to “tweet.” At the end of the day, I think authors have to find what they enjoy doing that doesn’t eat into their writing time too much. It’s a hard balance.

  • Suzanne – and there it is, the whole balancing act thing. Not knowing what works it’s important to balance what feels right, but I do think authors need to be out and about in cyberspace.

  • I think it’s important to have a social networking presence. When I hear authors say they aren’t computer savvy or don’t use the Internet much I advise them to learn–fast. Those who don’t will get left behind in cyber dust.

    My fave site is Facebook. I like the immediacy of responses and the freedom to post messages of any length. I post videos and photos and chat with readers and friends. Since using FB my blog traffic has increased significantly. I don’t use other networking sites as often because I need to budget my time, though I do keep a presence in several areas. Writing is always my top priority.

    Congrats on your new release, Nina! I wish you many sales and great reviews.

    Best–Adele Dubois

  • I hear you loud and clear, Nina. Balance … ever notice how a tightrope walker holds a balancing beam that is always in motion? That’s how balance is developed, by counterbalancing the things that throw us off.

    Do I do that? I try. Do I succeed? I sort of… well, I began a… There was a… Uh, no. But I keep trying. o_0

  • Adele – I have to say I love FB, but the other day I got on twitter and found a bunch of friends hanging too and ended up staying awhile and really enjoying myself. Okay, not much marketing, but for someone in the willy-wags of Maine sometimes it’s nice to have a little social interaction. And I agree, authors need some sort of presence, but it’s hard to no where and how much. (And thanks for the congrats on the book. I do love Cole and Jayda.)

  • Kayelle – LOL! Let me know when you achieve that balance and then scoot right over here next to me and share the secret. 😉

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