A couple of weeks ago, I created a Twitter account and joined the Twitterverse. Through observation and a few online articles, I’ve been navigating it as well as can be expected. I’m tweeting, retweeting, following, and favoriting.
Like any social medium, it can be a time sink, and you get out of it what you put into it. It’s difficult to be clever, current, and relentlessly positive in 140 characters or less. I admire everyone who does it well. It’s a skill that requires practice. I have opinions and thoughts like everybody else, but I don’t want to alienate virtual strangers with unwanted political discourse or bitching.
My ultimate intent is to meet new people, learn from them, and discuss things of mutual interest. And, of course, interest them in my own writing so they want to read my books.
One of the things many Twitter experts say is that you shouldn’t constantly spam Twitter with links to your book. This makes perfect sense: if my only experience of you is you stuffing a book in my face, saying, “LIKE HORROR? READ THIS IT WILL SCARE THE DICK RIGHT OUT OF YOUR PANTS” over and over again, I will get the impression that you’re not interested in anything else, and will just mute you from the timeline. However, there’s not a lot of air between constantly spamming links to your book and constantly spamming links to your writing blog, especially when the articles you’re linking to are a few years old. It’s still spamming.
Many authors on Twitter do this. I don’t understand it. Why follow someone if all they do is try to sell you something, especially if it’s a book you’ve already read?
One of the most off-putting things I’ve experienced is getting direct messages from people I’ve just followed, asking me to buy their books or like their Facebook pages. So it’s not enough that your typical public communication is “BUY MY BOOK”, but you also sidle up to everyone you meet and say, “Buy my book.” Don’t…don’t do that.