Saturday, August 24, 2013

Why I will never make it big through social marketing (rewritten)

“Lucky old Charlotte Bronte, not having to consider her web presence, not having to bother with blogging and tweeting, not having to justify to her agent why she wouldn’t do Facebook.”   Sally Howe in Plotting for Grown-ups 

All the internet sites giving authors tips on how to market their books say you must get lots of followers on Twitter by following as many people as you can in the expectation that they will follow you - and then you sneak in subtle marketing for your book.

The experts say you mustn’t use Twitter like online advertising, as in “THIS IS MY BOOK! IT’S GREAT! WHY DONT YOU BUY IT?” or it puts people off. Well, it certainly puts me off when people do that.

The trouble with this strategy is that your twitterstream becomes cluttered with tweets from people you are not interested in, whom you are following only so that they will follow you. If I did this, it would take the pleasure out of Twitter.

I like Twitter for the occasional chats I have with friends and with people I have “met” on Twitter, and I also like it because I can follow my interests in writing, culture and politics, by following the links to interesting articles that people tweet about said topics.


If you are using it to market your book, you are advised to “engage” with your followers i.e. have conversations with them, reply to things they have said, retweet their tweets.

If you do this properly with hundreds of people it zaps your brain and take hours out of your days, days when you could be/should be writing or even doing normal things like living in real time in the real world – you know, like actually doing things with your body (such as walking, trying out recipes to find the perfect Bloody Mary, cycling, playing with your grandchildren, gardening, eating a curry with friends and laughing, playing table-tennis, knitting, playing the saxophone, sewing, visiting the sick, making jam, demonstrating against fracking or Israeli apartheid, etc, etc.).


I don’t want to waste my sunny days on a torrent of online blather in order to get peeps to buy my books. My sunny days are finite, and I’d rather have them than an exponentially burgeoning bank balance. Yes, I really would.



Anonymous said...

Don't know if this helps or hinders your decision but your books are possibly the only ones I HAVE bought because I heard about then from your blog. And I discovered that from comments you made on another blog. And I have bought and read all your books.


Sue Hepworth said...

Thanks, Chris. I write the blog for marketing purposes, so that's a win!
I have been reading that blog (The Scent of Water) for years for pleasure not for marketing purposes. The thing is that I don't want to spend hours ever day reading and commenting on blogs that are only marginally interesting, in the hopes of getting more (very nice) people like you who will follow the link to my blog and buy my books. I only feel able to say this now tha. Have decided never to approach another agent or publisher. Social marketing is de rigeur for all writers now. And bucket loads of it.

Sue Hepworth said...

P.s. actually, Chris, you have made me think. what a pain! Perhaps you can recommend some ineteresting blogs to me. And how did you find The Scent of Water?