Okay, I’ve come to a decision.
This hasn’t been a particularly easy decision…as in I know it’s going to bother (some) people. (Probably those who already friends with me on facebook and don’t want to mess with more ‘likes’).
But it’s also not a hard one, because I realize it’s the right decision for me.
In the next week or so, I’m closing my regular Facebook page. My ‘author’ page, found here, will remain. I’ve got Nicole who’ll be around to help me with questions there and that has never been so crazy that I can’t keep up and that page is more manageable. My friend Erin also helps me there so I know that page is in good hands.
But with my regular Facebook page, it’s a different story. Too many inbox messages, too much author spam…just too much. A lot of the time, these are questions that I’ve already answered via the FAQs or directly on the pages of books here on my website, on the What’s New page of my site, etc.
I realize some people are probably thinking, Well, we are interested in the books—that’s a good thing—why don’t you want to answer those questions?
It’s not a matter of not wanting to answer. It’s a matter of I’ve already answered them—sometimes to the tune of dozens of times. It simply takes visiting my website and checking out either the FAQ or the What’s new page.
When I’m constantly answering these questions for the twentieth time, one thing I’m not doing? Well…I’m not writing. A few questions here, a few questions there, it adds up to a lot of time taken out of the author’s day and there are only so many hours, ya know?
Social networking is great for letting authors connect with readers… I love it, I really do.
I love connecting with the authors whose work I enjoy…I see Teresa Mederios on Twitter and I get all giggly when she tweets me back—two of her books are die hard favorites of mine and I love that she’s there and I can say Hi! I saw Mercedes Lackey on Twitter and my heart almost stopped. And although it’s not twitter, when I see Lynn Viehl drop in on my blog? I have complete and total fan girl squeals. You should see the way my husband looks at me when this happens. And emails from her? Um…well, it’s kind of embarrassing.
I love being able to connect with authors. I love being about to connect with my readers.
But social networking, if we let it, will eat up so much time and we’ve got to write. In the end, we’ve got to write or we’re not writers.
When I’m answering questions I’ve already answered, and they’re coming in on Goodreads, on Facebook, on Twitter…I’m spending so much time keeping up with the social networking and I’m not writing during that time. I’m paid to be a writer, I’m expected to be a writer…and I figure most people are here anyway because they have an interest in my books.
And because I’m big on honesty…yes. Answering questions repeatedly does get tiresome to me. I’m not trying to be rude and I apologize if I hurt feelings. I’m a bitchy person even on my best days, but I don’t set out to intentionally hurt anybody’s feelings. I’m sorry if I’ve done that.
But I imagine most people have those days when you have people constantly asking you the same sort of thing over and over…this is the tiresome aspect.
I blog, I tweet, I do Goodreads (or rather I did Goodreads), I Facebook and I have all of these questions coming from all of these venues and 98% of the questions asked are already answered on my site.
Again, it’s not that I’m not thrilled with the interest, and if there’s a question that somebody honestly can’t find on my site, either on the book’s page, the FAQ, or the What’s New page, then I definitely want to hear so I can answer it. God knows I’m an airhead and there are probably questions that I need to put up on the FAQ page.
But if you can try to understand… sometimes keeping up with these sites is almost like trying to keep up with individual websites…and the individual emails that go along with it. And I’m done with it.
I love hearing from my readers and I hope you all know that. I just have to cut back on some of the time I spend on non-writing business stuff of writing and streamline things. This is one way to do it—if I’m not there on Facebook, people can either hit the author page or hit my site for the info.
And um…yay…if I’m not there on Facebook, I don’t have anymore author spam coming at me on Facebook anymore either…yay!!!! Double yay!!! (I hate author spam-finding a way to be rid of that is almost enough to make me wanna do a happy dance.)
Somebody suggested I just ignore the questions that have already been answered, but that’s not the answer, either.
Somebody else suggested that I just make the page for ‘business friends and associates’ only so they continue to network with me. But…well, my friends know how to contact me if they need to and I didn’t go to Facebook to network anyway.
I went to Facebook to connect with readers and with the author page, I can still do that. People who want me to hang around to ‘network’? Basically this is a translation for… ‘hang around so we can use you.’ No, thanks. I’ll pass. Go network elsewhere.
I honestly think the answer is to cutback. I’m just spreading myself too thin and some things are going to have to give. Facebook is the first one—the author page isn’t going anywhere but by eliminating the regular Facebook, then I don’t have the questions coming through that route—people can post them to the author page where Nicole can answer them, or they can check my site and hopefully find the info they need there.
I’ve got some killer deadlines coming up on me and after the stress of 2010, I know if I don’t find a way to decompress in 2011, I’m going to turn into a babbling pile of useless goo…incapable of writing.
So…buh-bye Facebook. I’d say it’s been fun…but…well, I never liked it all that much. You can still find me at the author page and I’ll keep that up, but the regular page? It’s going the way of the Dodo…
(and don’t worry… twitter isn’t next on the casualty list…I like twitter).