Thursday, February 14, 2013

Social Me-Me-Media

I recently read a post on Writer Unboxed by Keith Cronin, about how the Facebook status update or 140-character tweet your favorite author just posted probably went through four drafts and painstaking edits.  Because it’s all about professional presentation, consistency, message branding, etc. And then I laughed and cringed because yeah, pretty much.

 (Not that I’m anyone’s favorite author; I just try to play one on TV.) But I digress. I even maintain a file called “tweets and FB updates,” and anytime something funny happens I drop it in, tinker around with it, post it somewhere later or not. I’ve only recently been tweeting more, and my attitude toward Twitter has changed from “I’m way too old and cranky for these shenanigans” to “I wonder if anyone will retweet my post about Paul Ryan doing kegels during the #SOTU?”
Deciding what to post is trickier. I have the most fun just being my goofy self. But when I have an author event or book release on deck, I start to really sweat, because I HATE—yes all four capital letters--HATE posting promo stuff. I always imagine people wrinkling their nose or thinking, “Not her again!” or “Yeah, we heard you the first time, Braggy Annoystein.”

It’s fairly safe to assume that if you’ve just seen a post anywhere from me about my books, I’m curled in a ball beneath my desk, sweat beading my upper lip, waiting for my intestines to stop spasming. Two posts down? I nearly DIED after I wrote that.
Because really, it’s great to put the word out that you’ve released something new, or if you’ll be at the Bedford Falls Public Library this Thursday night reading gluten-free haikus or your book is on sale for negative cents this weekend, but then I like to sit back and see what happens organically. Because sometimes on Twitter it feels like I’m running down the midway at the local carnival and everyone’s shouting at me: “Buy my book! Buy my sales tool! Buy now! Buy later! Die penniless and alone in a ditch if you don’t! Aaiiieeeeee!”

So I try to stick to witty shit like, “Sonicare toothbrushes are great, if you always wondered what the noon whistle would sound like going off inside your head.”

Me: “Wow, did you hear my stomach gurgle?”
J: “It’s the sound of your body turning pizza into poop!” #ValentinesDay #SoRomantic! #married 10years

This is the kind of groundbreaking humor you’re missing when don’t follow me on Twitter.
I recently even went so far as to delete any references to the titles of my books on my Twitter home page. I figure if people find me amusing, they know where to find me (usually here, or eating Feta right from the container in front of American Pickers on my new couch). I’ve never bought a book because of a Twitter post, but I have started to follow other authors more closely because they’re funny, they have interesting things to say, they link to informative articles. It always boils down to relationship-building, doesn’t it? And knowing when to hold ‘em, and when to walk away.

Now PINTEREST, on the other hand...that will have to be a new post. With lots of photos of recipes I'll never make.


  1. I've said it before and I'll say it again, all the work I get has been from twitter. I got my book deal off twitter so no, I'm not taking that down from my bio.

    And PR and marketing wise? Neither should you!!

  2. OK, you CAN'T delete your book titles from your Twitter profile. I agree wholeheartedly with Suzy. And I'm going to go see what Suzy has written in fact. See, that's the power of this whole soc media thing. Other than that, you know how I feel!!! But I think that YOU do need to do a little self-promoting. Our 'one friend' is of the one side of the spectrum. I fear you're on the other side... you gotta get in the middle a little... (hey, I just made a rhyme... maybe I could write sumtin! XOXO

  3. I'm from the all makes me want to hide under a rock. LOL!!!

    I think it's about presentation (and self-awareness & maybe a little karma). I ADORE Therese Fowler and will gladly add my voice to the many heralding the arrival of her new book, Z. Because I know how freaking hard she's worked, and she's also incredibly supportive of others.

    If I ever hit any bestseller lists, I'll be sure to preface my announcement with the story about me crying in the Petco parking lot or the hundreds of rejection letters I got the first time I queried agents. LOL

  4. Anonymous12:23 PM

    Wait, what? Did I miss the gluten-free haikus? Great post, Jess! (I need to post my neti pot haiku.)

  5. Anonymous7:27 AM

    Wow. Anonymous loves to spam. Crazy.

    Anyway, you shouldn't doubt the power of the social network. That's how I found you, after seeing that one of my friend's had comments on your post on Facebook.

    Also, hate to tell you this but yeah, you're becoming one of my favorite authors. Now write more, dang it.

    And I really want to make you a "Think Winter" sign. Is that weird? It's probably weird.

  6. Jess,

    I TOTALLY get your Midwest bashfulness. But I do think we need to learn the self-promotion game. ;)

    And now I'm off to check out the twitter feed of ALL who commented here! LOL