(Excerpt from Anne R. Allen’s Blog post)
Are you “building platform” or just annoying people?
This week, author Mary W. Walters blogged that promoting your books on Facebook and Twitter is a total waste of time for book sales.
That’s because Social Media is not for selling books. It’s for making friends—friends we hope will help us in our careers sometime. It’s for networking, not a direct sales tool.
Mary Walters is right when she says, “Most book-reading folk…aren’t interested in advertising and promotional copy, or in watching writers pat themselves on the backs for winning awards or getting great reviews. They are interested in discussions and opinions about books. They are interested in two-way exchanges about literary matters – not in one-way communications.”
One-way communication is a misuse of Social Media—and that’s why it doesn’t sell books.
And why we find it so annoying.
Author Elizabeth Ann West rebutted Mary Walters’ post in a comment on The Passive Voice . She pointed out: “The problem is most authors start using social media in a professional capacity for the first time when they publish and guess what? It takes a large amount of time the first few months to figure it out and test it out and make social connections.”
In other words, they blindly jump in and start screaming “buy my book” at everybody instead of making friends with people who could then suggest your book to readers in your target demographic.
It’s like going to a Chamber of Commerce mixer wearing a sandwich board advertising your restaurant instead of schmoozing a large company’s event coordinator and getting her to use your restaurant’s banquet room for future company parties.
Don’t wear a sandwich board to a cocktail party. Be subtle. Make friends. Anything else is misusing the medium.
I’ve made a list of some of my unfavorite misuses of Social Media here. I admit upfront that this is a very subjective list, so please feel free to vent your own pet peeves in the comments.
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