“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.