The Pitfalls of Social Networking Sites

 

Good morning friends! I hope that life is treating you well. Things are great on my end. I want to thank all of you who have bought Ad Nauseam 13 Tales of Extreme Horror. Sales have been very good and I have all of you to thank for that. An extra special thanks to those who’ve taken the time to rate and review it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble or Goodreads. And a super-duper-extra-sloppy-kissy thanks to those who have shared it on websites, blogs, twitter, facebook pages and the myriad of other social networking sites that are out there. You my friends, fans, and sometimes, kind strangers, are all rockstars to me.

Speaking of social networking sites, they have been on my mind a great deal lately. Promotion used to be something done by the publisher, allowing the writer the time necessary to just create, but unless you are Stephen King or Bentley Little, those days are gone. Your presence on social media, or lack thereof, can make or break a publishing deal. The big guys want you out there, building a fan-base and conversing with your readers. From what I’ve seen, most writers are really rising to the occasion. Unfortunately, a lot of new writers are going too far though. They don’t realize that how they present themselves is every bit as important as just being out there in the first place.

I have met some really great people through my adventures as a new writer on facebook and twitter. Some people that I count as true friends, as well as colleagues. I have also met some extremely strange and unstable individuals. Usually I am very good at picking the weirdos out of the line-up right away, but every once in awhile, one slips through. Now, I’m not going to rant at you about how you should behave on the internet. Common sense and simple manners say you already know, but I will tell you how your behavior is affecting you. If you are one of those sensationalist people who think that stirring up trouble and yelling from the mountaintops is the best way to sell your book? I will block you. If you post the same promo 5 times a day, every day? I will block you. If you regularly post about politics and religion? I will hide you. If you are a small press that doesn’t present yourself in a professional manner, engages in regular flame-wars, or is overly condescending? I will never submit to you.

And now you say C.W. why should I give a shit about your opinion? Why are you so important? Well, I’m a reader. And a fan. And  writer you may want to work with in the future. Did I mention I’m a READER? I used to deal with all of this shit because I thought it was a part of the social networking experience that just had to be dealt with. Not anymore. The majority of you are a true pleasure in my life, but the braggarts, crazies and promo-whores exhaust me. I won’t deal with it any more. As some unfortunate individuals have recently found out, I will simply block all contact and go on with my life. I am in this business to tell a story and hopefully entertain some of you. If you are a writer who thinks your novel is so great it will Change The World As We Know It, then you are probably a bit touched in the head and I don’t want to network with you. I’m tired. I have plenty of drama in my life and a full schedule. I don’t have time to become your biggest fan and spread the word of your revolution. Don’t bother.

Everything you do and say is being watched by potential readers and fans of your work. My advice? Scale back the promotion. Engage your friends as a FRIEND. Don’t pick fights with other writers and readers. Don’t act like an arrogant prick or a manic lunatic. Think before you type. I can pretty much sum this up in a few simple words for you…don’t be a dickhead.

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