Friday, January 10, 2014

Flogging Social Media to Death

Once upon a time, a writer could use social media to connect with her readers, build a fan base and sell more books.

What's the key words in that last sentence? Trust me, it's not "sell more books."

Today, I don't even get on Twitter anymore. No one talks. Every single tweet screams, "BUY MY BOOK!"

Something a lot of writers don't seem to understand is that following other writers, then demanding the other writers follow them back IS NOT BUILDING AN AUDIENCE. It becomes one ginormous echo chamber.

Even worse, half the new followers on my Twitter account are companies trying to sell their "special services" to indie publishers. Sorry folks, I know how to format, and I already have editors lined up. And I'm sure as hell not paying four-to-five figures for someone with no internet marketing experience to promote my books.

(Though if anyone can recommend a good fantasy digital artist, I'd love to hear about them.)

Facebook isn't much better. With the company going public, the shareholders are pressuring Zuckerberg to show them the money. Over half of posts don't show up on my family and friends' feeds, much less my fans. I'm sure as hell not paying $20 bucks to contact my family! And I don't trust Facebook's analytics for advertising when they keep telling me I need to improve my love life by joining a dating website, and I should earn my degree in medical transcription.

Oh, and I need to increase the size of my penis.

(Seriously, dudes?)

MySpace is officially dead. YouTube's become a joke since Google took it over. And Google+ is selling what info they can collect about you to any scam artist willing to buy it.

(Guess what? My penis still does not need to be enlarged. Thank you very much.)

If I haven't responded to you LinkedIn invite, I apologize. What do you mean you didn't send me one? Didn't you realize they mined your entire address book?

Instagram, Tumblr and Pinterest simply don't appeal to me. I write. I don't take pictures. And I really don't want Pinterest reselling pictures of my adorable beagle around the internet.

So for now, I'm sticking with Blogger. Hey, I'm a writer, so why not write?

Or I will until Google takes all my blogs and uses them as evidence of why a middle-aged mother of a teen needs her penis enlarged.


  1. This is an interesting post. I don't know much about Pinterest. Do they really sell photos that don't belong to them? Or is that part of the deal for signing up? Something someone agrees to?

  2. Whisk, the whole Pinterest debacle is more complicated than I make it out to be in the post.

    The short version is the original Pinterest terms (and I haven't gone back to see if they've been updated) gave them the right to license any picture you, the user, posted on their website to a third party. Someone came along a scraped some pictures and used them in magazines. Pinterest found out and demanded payment. Only for all parties to discover that the original posters to Pinterest didn't have the copyright to the pictures. Which led to the original copyright holders suing everybody: the posters, Pinterest and the magazines.

    Pinterest, in turn, threatened to sue their users for putting them in this position. That's when several people know closed their accounts.

    I decided it wasn't worth messing with Pinterest at that point.

  3. Seriously that I messed up stuff. Oy.