Today I’m only tackling one question, because it’s slightly involved and also because I feel it’s an incredibly important topic for writers on Twitter. The submitter has asked to be kept anonymous, so some of the details of the writer’s specific situation have been changed or omitted to maintain privacy. Anonymous writes:
Thanks so much for the informative blogs on Twitter. Do you have an example of a line not to cross in self-promotion?
My publisher stipulated up front that they expect their writers to help with marketing, etc. No surprise there, but it’s a big job. I’m feeling a bit desperate in a way. I’ve been reaching out on social media, but I got my hand slapped the other day by a blogger/writer I’d made contact with on Twitter.
Here’s what I had sent her: [Includes a promotional image with a book review quote.] “Look what my publisher sent me today! Almost a month away!”
She said: “Please don’t spam people about your book. It results in exactly the opposite of what you’re trying to achieve.”
To be fair, I have sent her other stuff from time to time re: this novel, but I always try to make it at least interesting – with a catchy quote from a review or saying where it’s available… I hadn’t sent anything to her within the past 2 or 3 weeks…
The gaffe included the @ addresses of 3 others in the industry along with hers. Wanh – wanh. I’m so embarrassed to be called out.
I have gotten it right with some relationships, but you can’t really have a ‘relationship’ with as many people as NEED TO KNOW about my book. (Reviewers, bloggers, bookstores, distributors, libraries, etc.) So…?
Can you tell me what’s wrong with this picture?
[pullquote]Do: Tweet your news occasionally from your own profile into the general timeline.
Don’t: Tweet your news at people by tagging them.[/pullquote]First of all, Anon, let me say that I feel for you. I really, really do. Pressure and isolation and desperation: What writer hasn’t struggled with these things? It’s a crowded marketplace out there, and how is one lone writer supposed to market themselves amid the din? Not to mention that each social media platform has its own set of standards, cultural expectations, and nuances. It’s tricky to master any one of them, much less keep up with them all. We all make faux-pas sometimes.
Unfortunately, I’m afraid that’s what you’ve done here. I do think that your attempts at self-promotion have crossed that invisible, subjective line into spam. [Read more…]