Social Networking…how to do it wrong

**LOLCats|Image from iheart2embalm

Okay, this is just my opinion, but there are ways to use social networking that can be very, very annoying.  Now for readers, this isn’t really an issue.  Readers are not on facebook to tell us all about their books… they are on facebook to chat with writers, chat with their family, chat with friends, etc.  Really, I don’t know too many readers who have gone and set up ‘fan’ pages.  Well,  I guess if they run businesses.

Anyway, today’s post is kind of directed more toward writers.  Now, I’m really, really not trying to be rude.  Not trying to be a bitch.  But lately, I dread going on facebook or myspace.  Myspace pages kill my eyes.  Either they sparkle, or they are so bright it hurts to look at them, plus, even though I’ve got a pretty decent computer, that place always loads way too slow.   Facebook-easier to load, easier to look at, but lately there are a million and one other annoyances, and many of them come in the form of writers who don’t quite seem to grasp the general idea of SOCIAL NETWORKING.

Here’s a question for writers…?  Do we really want to leave the impression of annoyance?  There are a few individuals…whenever I see their name, I cringe.  Not because I don’t like them.  I don’t personally know them.  Not because their writing is lousy-I’ve never read them.

So why do I cringe?

Well… because… social networking…ur doin it wrong…

  1. Facebook fan page suggestions stop becoming ‘suggestions’ after they’ve been sent a few hundred times.  They start to resemble ‘spam’ at that point.  Seeing them 100 times, 1000 times might make me remember a name, but not in a good way.  Unless twitching eyelids and clenched jaws are good.
  2. We’re smart people.  Readers…writers.  We’re pretty clever and we can figure out if you write erotica all on our own…trust us.  It doesn’t help your cause to dress like…well, I’m not entirely sure.  But if the profile pic is something I don’t want my kids see if they wander in here-well, I handle this one of two ways-if it’s a reader, I go to that handy little ‘edit’ feature and I block the posts-nothing personal, and while I’m sure you’re lovely, I don’t really wanna see you in your skivvies.  But if it’s a writer?   Don’t want to see you in your skivvies, don’t need to, and fortunately with authors, I don’t feel bad in the least about removing those who feel to pose in their skivvies from my friend’s list.  Yes, I have done this.
  3. Trolling for readers.  Probably NOT the best way to build your reader base.  Some of the readers might not mind, but as a lot of readers are there on their personal accounts-unlike authors who set up the facebook account specifically for promo, whether you have a fan page or not.  These readers might not want and Mary, Sue & Sally hitting them up.  Just because you write paranormal romance doesn’t mean you need to hit Sherrilyn Kenyon’s (pulled that name out of a hat) FB fan page and try to friend all of her readers.  Maybe you should let them find you.
  4. Writers need sales.  We, as writers, know this.  But don’t spam every last soul you can find on twitter, facebook, goodreads, myspace, the moon, the sun & mars to buy your book.  Really…honestly and truly, when you all but beg (ie: spam) them to buy…unless they already really love you, you’re probably not going to get quite the effect you wanted.  Look for a more clever, more subtle way to entice them into it-by clever, subtle, I do mean something other than… Hey, my newest book is out now, and since you read X, I really thought you’d be impressed with me as well…perhaps you should go take a look.  That’s not really all that subtle.
  5. It’s not all about you.  Really.  It’s not.  Look at the word… social networking.  SOCIAL…NETWORKING.  It implies you network with others.  If all you’re going to do is talk about yourself, your books, and how wonderful you are…well, I’m sorry, but that strikes many, many, many of us (readers and writers alike) as very boring.  How can you entice us to check your stuff out if you’ve already moved us to tears of boredom and we’ve either blocked/unfriended/deleted you?
  6. And for crying out loud… don’t correct reviewers. They didn’t like your book.  They are ALLOWED to not like your book.  When you correct a reviewer, ESPECIALLY BECAUSE THEY DIDN’T LIKE YOUR BOOK, you are sending a message.  And the message other people are getting… “This review is an idiot and NOT entitled to his/her opinion.”  That doesn’t go over well.  At all.  You are going to have some people who don’t like your book-that is a fact of life if you’re a writer.  You have to live with that, and just move on.  A possible caveat might be if there were errors, but I don’t know that I’d even address it then, and I wouldn’t do it publicly.
  7. Just because you can make your myspace page all colors of the rainbow doesn’t mean you should.  Remember, it’s gotta be easy on the eyes if you really want readers to hang around long enough to check your page out. Here’s a tip-if they need sunglasses?  It’s too bright.
  8. When you’re going and saying HI on myspace, if the ONLY time you ever talk to ANYBODY is to say… MY BOOK IS OUT (translates to … GO BUY IT)…maybe you either talk more…or just not say anything.  It’s that whole… SOCIAL NETWORKING concept again.
  9. There IS such a concept as TMI.  TOO MUCH INFORMATION.  Really.  We do NOT need to know if you’re breaking out the lube.  The pills.  The…whatever.  You might think you’re being fun and sexy, but really, it’s not.  If you’re a professional writer, then you need to act like one-telling us all about your sex life?  Um.  Don’t want to know, don’t need to know, and fortunately with authors, I don’t feel bad in the least about removing those who feel the need to overshare from my friend’s list.  Yes, I have done this.

Comments… you got anything else to add?