By Lonnie Cruse
I've talked about Facebook before, but this is a sort of different take on it. If you are a reader and not a writer, and you are on Facebook, do you connect to writers there? If so, to any and every writer? Or only to your faves?
IF you connect to writers, what do you want to hear from them? Writing ONLY? What they are working on, promoting, just had published, etc? Or do you want to connect on whatever personal level they are willing to share? We could use some input here.
When I first joined Facebook, I joined because other authors mentioned it as THE place to promote our work. I was quickly friended by other authors, quite a few other authors, over three hundred to be exact. Nearly all of them were touting their own work, and not much interested in mine or what I had to say. It just struck me as, ME, ME, ME! I soon lost interest in Facebook. Authors DO buy other authors' books, but promoting primarily to other authors isn't a good way to sell books. We need to reach dedicated readers, not just other authors.
A few months later my best friend (she's an avid reader, but not a writer) joined Facebook and connected to me. I was able to touch base with her daily (she lives a couple of hours away) and keep up with her and her family. I found other friends and connected to them, and I'm also enjoying meeting up with people I haven't seen or heard from in ages, getting to know them again.
I'm still friends with several authors, but those who only talked about writing and publishing and nothing else, I pretty much disconnected from. Yes, there is an album with pictures of my book covers on MY page that interested readers can click on, and my profile states that I have several published books, but probably 90% of my pages are about other things in my life besides my writing. I want to promote my work but I don't want to turn people off by sticking to that one subject.
I've not tried Twitter, so have no opinions on it. I have had pages on MySpace and CrimeSpace and CrimeSpace seems to be a place where promoting our work is very acceptable and actually expected. Facebook doesn't seem (to me) to be that sort of place. I dunno. Maybe the other authors there have had great success selling their books via promoting on Facebook. Maybe it's just me.
If you are a reader, we'd love to have your views on authors promoting their work on Facebook. Does such promotion by authors bother you or does it help you decide what to buy/read next? Do you actively seek that knowledge, or avoid it?
Love to hear from you authors as well. Do you actively promote your work on Facebook, discussing little else? Or only mention it in passing, discussing many subjects? Does Facebook help your sales at all, so far as you are able to tell?
I do know that on some book discussion lists, members prefer self-promotion of an author's work to be kept to a minimum and discussions kept focused on what each person has recently read and wishes to express an opinion about. Same for the Amazon Kindle discussion lists. Authors CAN mention/promote their work, but it has to be done VERY carefully. That set me to wondering about sites like Facebook and/or Twitter. And about the readers' reactions to authors promoting on those sites. Our listening ears are open! Care to share?