I have over 1500 likes on my FB author page. These are genuine likes. I didn’t pay for advertising. Yet…out of all of those likes, only 14 are talking about it–whatever that means. Sometimes I’ll receive an influx of likes and my activity will rise to the 100s. But then just as quickly, it will die. I’ll admit I haven’t been that busy on my page. Recently I started posting more: The original number was 5. Yet, even when I do post continuously, I can get, at most, probably 50 or 60 actually talking about it. Out of all those likes, that’s EXTREMELY frustrating. One time I had over 300 talking about it because there was a point where I just had a flood of likes, and I didn’t even know where they were coming from! But, of course, it died…fast. This video explains my frustrations perfectly and why I have considered abandoning my FB page numerous times. It’s not like my fans are really seeing anything I post. FB, after all, WANTS you to spend money on promoting your page, and it wants you to keep doing that.
I have something very sad to report. I am no longer using my FB fan page. I have 1,537 likes, but only 32 are actually interacting with it. It isn’t my fault. I know it’s not. Generally when I receive a huge influx of fans for whatever reason, I’ll see about 300 interacting with it, then it begins to drop steeply, despite my continuous updates on the page geared toward my fans (updates on my personal life, writing life, ect). Do you know how I know it isn’t my fault? Look up authors like John Green. He has about 614k followers, and only 54,000 are interacting with it. Big number, right? So what’s there to complain about? Do the math. That, I believe, is about 11-20% (to be frank, I can never remember my percentage formulas, so, math wizards, do the calculating for me). But that is far less than 50%. That is abysmal for someone as prolific as John Green, who has more likes than even Stephen King.
I’m going to bring in facts from this post–rather thread from AbsoluteWrite–to convince you that having an FB author page is a waste of time. A HUGE one, one that does a disservice to both authors and fans of their pages. And I’m going to tell you what you can do about this, and what I am going to do about it. Everything I’m about to write uses the above post to support my argument, so this is an argumentative piece, not an opinion-based piece. I will no longer be doing opinion-based pieces.
Read this post, too.
Facebook claims it is a free service, and it is–for those who simply want to have an account and socialize. However, things become more complicated if you’re a business owner, social media marketer, run a charity, or are an author/artist of some sort. If you have read the first link, you will see that people have spoken about their experiences with FB before it began to scam its users of fan pages. Before, all fans were able to see the posts these pages created, and these pages didn’t have to boost their posts for their fans to see this. Now that is no longer the case. If your fans are not interacting with your posts in some way, be it likes or comments, they will eventually never see what you post again.
Facebook wants you to boost your posts, so they can make money off of you. So now you’re probably thinking ‘Well, spending the money might be worth it if it means keeping my fans happy and engaged.’ Unfortunately, spending money doesn’t guarantee this at all. In fact, only a tiny percentage of your fans may see it. The rest may be bots who end up liking your page, as proven from the first linked post above, where one user spent money to boost a post, but received zero activity, thus leading up to the assumption that the only things that could have seen it were bots. After all, if you boost your post, someone is going to have to see it, and it may not be actual people. It’s like Weebly’s stats. The unique views stats are not accurate because many of those views could have come from bots.
As I’ve said, I can’t remember the formula for percentages, but probably 5% or less are actually seeing anything I post, and I am not about to spend money on boosting my posts. Those 5% or less are regulars on my page, people who actually enjoy my work, or people who just happen, by sheer luck, to be on when they see my post. So what do I think you should do?
If you don’t have a fan page, don’t even think of starting one. Concentrate your efforts elsewhere. I would go with Google+. I would also find groups on FB that are geared to both writers and readers and have them friend you on your personal pages, because you will always see their posts, whether or not you actively engage with them (and I hope you will, if you are able to see a post from them at the time you are on FB).
If you are an author with a fan page, basically, and I hate to say this, you should just ditch it. For about a week or two, ask your fans to friend you on FB. Probably do this three times a day. Then you’ll have a good grasp of how many people are actually able to see your posts. Those who have never seen your posts again are not missing out on anything, because if they were truly fans, they would look you up on the search bar to see any updates on your fan page. I do this with John Green. I will look him up to see what’s going on because I am a huge fan of his (and I will also do this with my publisher and a few other AEC authors, as well as Month9Books). John Green is probably the only author whose work I actively look out for. I frankly cannot wait to see what his next book will be. As with those who don’t have a fan page, concentrate your efforts on Google+, join non-promotional groups on FB, and instead join groups dedicated to readers and writers, and make friends there. Engage with them on your personal FB page when you are on and see a status from those people. This lets you know you care about them as people, and this will strengthen your relationship with that fan. Readers nowadays expect interactivity with authors now, and it is especially crucial for those building platforms.
So what am I doing about this? Google+ and FB groups. I am also going to let my assistant take over my FB page so it doesn’t disappear into obscurity (because I did work for those 1548 likes), but I will no longer be an active participant on it. I am frankly disgusted that FB would scam and punish those with pages, especially businesses, and punish those who have liked those pages.
I wouldn’t mind spending a few dollars for my FB author page if ALL of my fans could see everything I posted, but as FB is not doing this, I am moving on. And you should, too. Apparently this is a recent development, but I have seen it in the past with me. Masses of people will like my page, and 300 or 400 will be talking about it, but then those numbers start to severely dwindle, and I know it isn’t me, because it is even happening to big-time authors; however, these authors continue to receive likes, so it may benefit them a little, but those interacting with their page are often way lower than 50% of their actual numbers in terms of likes. Look up Stephen King. Look up any big-time author. Less than 30%. That is neither good nor fair. So big authors like that may benefit from having FB pages, but, even then, I think they’re better off using Twitter or some other strong social media that doesn’t scam money out of its users’ dollars, but actually puts those dollars to good use that benefits its users.
If you need further proof, let me use my Tumblr as an example. I have 788 fans. Now, not all my fans are going to see what I post because Tumblr is a continuous stream. However, I can tag my posts, and strangers will see what I’ve written. A month ago, I wrote a post about first chapters. Just the other day I checked out how many notes it received: 351 (and I don’t think this occurred over an entire month, but a few days, and then stopped for whatever reason), and the majority of this was from strangers, along with a few of my followers, as a lot of my followers aren’t writers, so I’m going to try to do posts that also lure in readers that I’ve followed. This has happened to a previous post, and it was simply an inspirational post, one from Stephen King: over 500 notes. Do you see where I’m getting at? It’s the same with John Green. Over 500,000 followers, and he’ll receive more notes on his posts than followers.
In conclusion, I URGE you to read what I’ve linked.
Hello, everyone! I would like to introduce you to author, S. Katherine Anthony, who won When Stars Die’s cover art contest some time ago. Let’s begin with the synopsis, and then we’ll kick off with the interview.
Being strong is one thing. Being an unlimited source of power is quite another.
Genetically altered by the Organization, Annie Fox takes down criminals CIA-style with her luminary strength. With nothing to mend but her broken heart, she is relentlessly pursued by her boss Derek Lake. Just when Annie is about to give him a chance, her ex-husband unexpectedly comes out of hiding.
A wanted man, Nick Logan is a cold-hearted murderer who is considered enemy number one, and orders are clear: kill on contact. He is more powerful than ever and threatens the lives of those she holds most dear. His plan? Get his hands on Annie and use her Kinetic energy to destroy them all. When Annie finds herself with an opportunity to end him, she pauses, horrified by the scars covering the face she once loved. A split second that will cost her everything…
1. First and foremost, tell my readers about you (well, everything you’d like to share).
– I am a book-a-holic who runs away from baby spiders!
2. Tell us about Kinetic, your inspirations, the story itself, the characters, anything that will draw readers’ attention.
– It follows a broken-hearted Luminary, Annie Fox. She works as a crime-fighter and uses her “special skills” to kick some serious butt. Annie will have to struggle with the fact that her ex-husband, Nick Logan, is now the evil she is supposed to bring down. The problem is, if she even gets close enough to him, she will hand him the weapon that will allow him to destroy everyone she loves: herself.
3. What sets Kinetic apart from others books in its genre?
– Well, it’s a New Adult Urban Fantasy for starters, with some light sci-fi. But the whole premise is based on Annie’s ‘special power’ so its definitely action packed. There are several other characters and each of them come with their own ‘gifts,’ this makes for some interesting group dynamics.
4. What inspired the gorgeous cover art for this book, and who had a hand in it?
– The actual “Kinetic” power of Annie inspired the cover. At first glance it might be hard to understand but once you read the book, you’ll go ‘uh-huh!’ I would tell you more but then I would be giving a lot away 😉
5. How many rounds of edits did you go through to get this book in tip-top shape?
– Oh goodness, I had a lot of rewriting and revisions. I lost track of how many times but it was over fifteen times, for sure. I wrote the full first draft and let that sit for about a month then ripped it apart. I repeated that several times then sent it off to betas and ripped it even more. This final book is version number 3,499… ok, so maybe I’m exaggerating but it sure feels like it.
6. What made you decide to self-publish this book?
-I chose to self publish simply because I love having the control. Originally, I was afraid to write my books because I didn’t want to deal with the query stress, the “change this or else” aspect of it, or the rejections. But once I was researching it (yes, I still intended to pursue it), I found out about self-publishing and loved the idea, so I went for it.
7. So, what is your favorite wine?
– Anyone that will get me tipsy? 😛
I like both red and white, but lately I’ve been enjoying Pinot Grigio.
8. What books inspire you?
– I’ll keep it simple and just stick to the seven Harry Potter books.
S. K. Anthony is a writer, a reader and a make-stuff-up-er who lives in New York with her husband and toddler twins. She is a wine connoisseur, which just really means she knows she loves it, and a caffeine addict. When she isn’t busy with her family she finds herself being transported into the world of imagination. Well, either that or running away from spiders…she is convinced they are out to get her!
My next post will be on The Fussy Librarian. It is an amazing resource for writers and readers, one I would argue that is better than KDP and BookBub, as, not only it is free, but it sends you one update each day with two books. Yes, two books only so you’re not inundated with so many decisions.
First off, the opinions I’m about to post are in complete disagreement about why I think it’s unprofessional to show readers your actual Amazon ranking graph that conveys the ups and downs of your ranking. Perhaps I wasn’t being clear enough with what I meant, but in this post, I WILL be clear.
Shoshanna Evers: I disagree 🙂 I see it as authors being excited about their readers! Without our readers, there would be nothing to celebrate! (Though she actually sees my point)
Lauren Hammond: I don’t. Especially if it’s done out of excitement. It’s an accomplishment.
Kendra Ayers: I think it’s fine. People are proud when they see ratings and reviews go up or are positive and it encourages sales and more reviews I think. Authors should be proud of all of the hard work they’ve accomplished.
Raymond Vogel (My Awesome Publisher): Well, it’s kind of the only way to capture the Amazon ranking at the moment you achieve some level of success worth remembering… on the biggest book selling place in the world.
Gwyn Diller: I think a good author has earned bragging rights. I, personally, wouldn’t see it as unprofessional. Everyone likes recognition, it’s human nature to want to “show off” in a sense. We all are allowed to pat ourselves on the back every once in a while for big accomplishments.
Okay, now for my opinion. Keep in mind, again, that I argued against some of these points on Facebook and Twitter, and I may have misspoken so that the posters didn’t fully grasp what I was trying to say. Still, this post will be open for comments, and I look forward to your views!
So I was perusing Facebook and saw that one of the authors posted her ranking graph–she took a picture of it. Now it’s fine to take a picture of your graph as your own personal accomplishment, but keep it to yourself. In any case, if you don’t know what it looks like, this is it (this is not the author’s graph. It is a random one):
I wanted to comment that she shouldn’t be showing her readers this, especially because her ranking was rising, but I decided to take it to my Facebook author page to see what others thought–without pointing back to her. She deserves to remain anonymous, as she is a fan of mine. As you can see from above, all disagree with me, so let me explain.
First off, I now understand how Amazon rankings work, so I’m going to explain that here. Say you sold 100 books in one day. You may fall down to 10,000, perhaps lower. However, you don’t sell anything for the rest of the week, but your ranking can still be fairly low because no other books have yet to sell more than you in a short period of time. I know someone who was at 80,000 on his launch day, and he was 80,000 for the rest of the week, though he sold no more books after his launch day: he let me in on this so I could figure out ways to help him in terms of sales, but I ultimately had to realize that sales are the business side of things, not marketing, and I am not business-minded. Now let’s say another person also sold 100 books, but he sold it over a one week period. His ranking will be higher than the person who sold 100 in one day, but they still sold the same amount during that same week. Rankings are calculated based on how many books are sold during a set period of time. The shorter the period, the lower the number. Following me? If not, feel free to ask questions in the comments.
Here is another example. Say you are ranking at 100,000, which means the 99,999 books ahead of you are selling more. However, if for some reason a large amount of people below you sell more than you in a short period of time, and you drop to 1,000,000 during that same day, this doesn’t mean you didn’t make any sales. You made sells, but a crap ton of people below you suddenly sold a lot more than you did in a much shorter period of time–it’s very unlikely, but it’s an example. So this is why I think the obsession with the Amazon ranking is silly. I can guarantee you mine is probably very high because my book is out of stock on Amazon. But there is Barnes and Noble and Books A Million, too, as well as that one store in Tennessee.
Now on to readers. Readers can look at a book’s ranking on the book’s page. Just because a book says 1,000,000 does not mean it didn’t make any sales that day–it could have, but by some wild fluke a crap ton of books that were originally below it sold a ton more in such a short period of time. For the readers who understand Amazon’s algorithm, this number may not mean much to them, especially if the book has a decent amount of ratings. However, if you suddenly post your graph of your fluctuating rankings, the behind-the-scenes stuff, readers now have access into roughly how many sales you MAY be making, and for those who understand the algorithm, this may be a big turn off to them because now they know how your book may be doing in terms of sales, especially if your rankings are poor. They then may think your book isn’t worth buying because they’ll think it’s not selling much because it sucks.
Even with great, fluctuating rankings, I still think that is none of readers’ business. If it were, this graph would be accessible to them on the book page, but it is not. It is for the author and the author alone–and publisher, if you have one. I personally don’t check rankings because all I can do is keep writing and do my own marketing to the best of my ability: a ranking won’t change how aggressively I market. Thus, this is where I think it is none of readers’ business to even receive a glimpse into your ranking graph. Am I saying the Amazon ranking is pointless? Not at all. Books who stay consistently low are obviously selling, but just because another book’s rank is constantly fluctuating doesn’t mean there are no sales–it just means your book is selling over a much longer period of time. You can sell 1,000 in a day or a year and never sell any more after that day. See what I mean?
Now either yesterday or the either day, I posted how many adds I had on Goodreads for When Stars Die–it is more than 500, and the number just keeps rising. One poster pointed out that this was hypocritical of me because I didn’t have any problem posting my adds, but I have a problem with people posting their ranking graphs. Now I can see where the poster is coming from, but there is one flaw in that argument–adds do not means sales. I can have 10,000 adds, but my book may not be selling at all, for whatever reason, be it monetary issues for readers, too many books the reader needs to finish before buying another, prioritizing certain books above others, ect. But these adds do mean that readers WANT to read my book. So these adds in no way give readers a glimpse into the sales of my book at all. It’s just a cool thing that exists to show the exposure of my book. At least, for me, it does.
I understand the poster put up her graph because she wanted to show her fans that she was determined to lower the number, but book selling is not an easy thing at all. As I said in one post, it is not like selling Coke, and we need to remain realistic over how many books are expected to sell. I don’t know the business side of books. I don’t know why some books sell and others don’t, even the books with great publicity. The problem nowadays is that publishes are giving out extremely large advances to books they think will wildly succeed, but then some of those books turn out to be a flop–so not even the greatest of publicity can mean sales.
Now let’s go back to the ranking on the book’s page. If you’re ranking at 1,000, I see no problem in you taking a picture of that and posting it for your fans to see, as they have access to this number already, and it can be a way to thank your fans–and sometimes we authors do deserve to have some bragging rights. But the behind-the-scenes stuff is for the author only, or for the author and publisher only. Again, if it were readers’ business, it would be accessible to them, and it’s not. So keep your graphs to yourselves and remain professional about your sales as an author. To me, if you post your ranking graph, you might as well tell readers how many books you’re selling, because some might be able to calculate that from the graph anyway. Again, NONE OF THEIR BUSINESS. Readers DO NOT need to know this kind of stuff.
So what do you think about authors posting their rankings graph? Do you think it’s okay and cool, or, like me, do you think it’s unprofessional?
Yeah, yeah, I said I was going to do a post on marketing, but I thought it was more pertinent to do a review of these two things that I used to help gain exposure for my book. Both services were $30.00 each to basically blitz my book.
I will start with Juniper Grove Book Solutions first. Juniper Grove Book Solutions was a one day blitz that included 17 bloggers (they do 15-20 bloggers). On the first day of the blitz, I was not paying attention to exposure because I had other things going on that day, like school and a launch party later that night; however, when I looked at what type of exposure it had created the next day, I discovered 81 Goodreads adds. I also discovered that there were about 400 entries–I believe–into winning an e-ARC of my book, When Stars Die. As the week continued, I discovered that the exposure was still continuing because I managed to receive about 15-20 Goodreads adds a day for about a week. So instead of the blitz feeling like a one day deal, it felt like an entire week. At the end of the e-ARC giveaway, I had over 1200 entries, which was astonishing to me.
I will be using their services some time in December to help blitz the e-book giveaway of When Stars Die. This made me realize that A LOT of people were interested in reading my book–which in turn made me realize just how much buzz and exposure Juniper Grove had created–except, this time, I will be giving away a $25.00 gift card instead.
As for YA Bound, as I said, this was also a $30.00 blitz. The website recommended that I do it for a week for increased exposure; however, on the first day of the blitz, I noticed very little exposure because there wasn’t much of a jump in my Goodreads adds or Twitter followers or even Facebook likes (which I use to assess the amount of exposure my book is receiving). I also didn’t see too many bloggers doing the blitz that day (which could be inferred from the Tweets that the bloggers do to help advertise the e-ARC giveaway of When Stars Die). However, I did notice the second day that exposure was picking up to include about 15 Goodreads adds per day. I was pleased with this, as it did continue throughout the week.
Even so, there was one day where the exposure was pitiful, and I found out this was because the blogs that were blitzing that day had pathetic exposure themselves, having only about 5 people who were following their blogs. I was very displeased with this and felt shorted as an author. Even though it was only $30.00, the week-long tour promised increased exposure, and I didn’t exactly see that. At the end of the tour, I had about 900 entries into the e-ARC giveaway, which is good, considering it will be going on for a month. However, compared to Juniper Grove Book Solutions, I felt I had far more exposure with When Stars Die with Juniper Grove–and that was only one day! Keep in mind, too, that YA Bound brings on far more bloggers on board, the website promising 70-100 bloggers, compared to the 17 bloggers I had for Juniper Grove. I even had excerpts of my book posted with YA Bound, which I did not do for Juniper Grove.
I suppose I was satisfied with YA Bound, but I do not think I will be using them for blitzes in the future; however, YA Bound does do free cover reveals for YA books, and I know I will be using YA Bound for that.
Even if you’re traditionally published or with a small press, I do recommend Juniper Grove to really increase your exposure, along with the marketing plan your publisher has laid out for you. I think I will also be using Lady Amber for the e-book release of When Stars Die. Exposure doesn’t mean sales, but it does create a brand for you, so that the more people see your book, especially the cover, the more likely they are to prioritize your book when choosing which books to buy.
UPDATE: I have changed my mind about YA Bound. They are a good service to use. The adds I was seeing were adds that occurred on the first day of the print giveaway, which was VERY successful with exposure.
Welcome all my Stars! Today is the official release day of When Stars Die, and I hope you all will consider buying a print version of it. It’s a very beautiful book, gorgeous and everything. The cover is matte, so it has an extremely nice feel to it. Click on Amazon or Barnes and Noble to order it or at least add it to your Wish List. For those who want the e-book version, you will have to wait for some time in December. I will keep you all updated on that. I plan to have some book blitzes, a blog tour, and a hopeful promo release party either created by me, or created by a hosting PR. Because of this, I would love it if you added me as a friend on Facebook.
A decent amount of people have added it on Goodreads, so I encourage you to add it there, too, as I will have a print giveaway going on for one copy. Signed too!
Amelia Gareth’s brother is a witch and the only way to save her family from the taint in his blood is to become a professed nun at Cathedral Reims in the snowy city of Malva. However, in order to become professed, she must endure trials that all nuns must face.
Surviving these trials is not easy, especially for Amelia, who is being stalked by shadowy beings only she can see. They’re searching for people they can physically touch, because only those they can touch can see them. Amelia soon learns why she is being stalked when she accidentally harms her best friend with fire during the third trial. Fire is a witch’s signature. The shadows are after witches.
Now Amelia must decide what to do: should she continue on her path to profession knowing there is no redemption, or should she give up on her dream and turn away from Cathedral Reims in order to stop the shadows who plan to destroy everything she loves?
Also, here are all my current media links of interviews, guest posts, and a few reviews:
I WILL BE HAVING A SORT OF BLOG TOUR IN NOVEMBER, SO KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR THAT!
***IN OTHER WORDS, LET THE COVER ART CONTEST BEGIN!***
Some of the covers are smaller than others, and I didn’t do this on purpose to say that these covers are lesser than others. In fact, the covers I did make smaller are covers I thought would still be able to jump out and catch your attention, despite their size. But here are the authors you will be voting for:
Waterborn by Kimberly James
Like Falling (Surfacing Book One) by Jaden Wilkes
The Prodigy of Rainbow Tower by Charles Yallowitz (Cover Designer: Jason Pederson)
Ashes and Ice by Rochelle Maya Callen
Awakening (The Watchers Trilogy) by Karice Bolton
Cole by J.B. Hartnett
The Scriptlings by Sorin Suciu
Illicit Magic by Camilla Chafer
Blood Slave by Travis Luedke
The Earth Bleeds Red by Jackson Paul Baer
Kinetic (The Luminaries) by S.K. Anthony
Now Vote For Your Favorite One
The contest will end in two weeks, on November 5th!
Hello, everyone! Lady Amber is hosting a promo release party for me tomorrow on Facebook from 6 to 9 PM EST. Click here to join. This is a 3 hour release party.
Here is the agenda for this promo release party:
- Once every hour I will ask a question for your chance to win an e-ARC of When Stars Die, if you don’t happen to have an e-ARC already. If you do, Lady Amber will also be releasing other non-WSD prizes.
- I am also going to give away 3 signed, print copies of WSD, so the requirements to win these are going to be a bit more difficult.
- I also plan to add review quotes for the book.
- I will also add fun book quotes.
- I encourage you all to ask questions, as I really want to interact with you and add you as a friend on Facebook for a release party I will do for the e-book–or hosted by another PR agency.
- I also encourage you to enter the Goodreads release giveaway for one print copy of WSD. The contest isn’t up yet, but will be released tomorrow.
- There will be other release giveaways.
- I will give out my thanks to people who have helped me along the way.
- I will talk about the WSD characters and the direction the sequel is headed.
- I will talk about other planned books, as well as speak about the anthology my publisher is doing. You can buy it on Amazon, or download it for free. I ENCOURAGE you to buy it on Amazon, as all proceeds go toward marketing funds for AEC Stellar.
- I will also add a link to Goodreads lists, and you can vote on my book on any pertinent lists that you think might help with its exposure.
- I will also create a sort of press release (and this will be to earn a print, signed copy) that I want you to share across all marketing platforms. So, obviously, whoever shares the most will win the book. And if there are several people who have shared the same amount, the first one will receive the copy.
So there is the agenda for tomorrow’s release party!
***In Other News***
Here are all the blogs that will be featuring my book blitz. This is my way of thanking them for participating. It is done by Juniper Grove Book Solutions. I will also be having a massive book blitz/book tour/hopeful promo release party for the e-book version because e-book versions usually sell much better than print versions by a long shot. I really see my first book as a promotional tool, so any exposure I receive is good exposure.
- Jessica @ Jess’s Book Blog
- Candy @ Just Me, Myself, and I
- Sophie @ Book Suburbia
- Emma @ Books Forget Me Knot
- Mary @ Mary’s Cup of Tea
- Cremona @ Mythical Books
- BJ @ Inside BJ’s Head
- Ladies @ One More Chapter
- Dani C. @ Paulette’s Papers
- Sabrina @ Sabrina’s Paranormal Palace
- Jannat @ The Book Addict
- Dalene @ Dalene’s Book Reviews
- Laurie @ Laurie’s Paranormal Thoughts and Reviews
- Jaidis @ Juniper Grove
- Lianne @ Book Reviews
- S. Cu’Anam @ Cu’s ebook Giveaways
- Laura @ Colormetry
LAST! PLEASE RE-BLOG THIS POST!
Lately I have been doing some serious social media housekeeping–mostly getting rid of followers on Twitter, unliking pages on Facebook, unfollowing Tumblr users, and putting a pause on following people on WordPress. I am doing this because I am following writers who have thousands of followers on every social media platform they use but pathetic rankings of their books, and it isn’t because they’re spamming links to their books. It’s because they are following way too many people who are drowning in their feeds, and they can’t establish a strong social media bond with any one of them.
Let me begin with Twitter. Thus far, I have unfollowed over 400 people who link spam their books, re-tweet too much, have a high follow to follower ratio, and who don’t engage in conversation with other users because they’re following too many people.
I once read on Facebook that writers should follow 50 people a day, and I think that is a horrible idea because you’re not likely to chat with any of them. And if you do, you’re spending away too much time on Twitter when you could be using that time to write.
I am still unfollowing people on Twitter. It’s fine if people follow me. I’ll engage them in conversation, but I am extremely selective now about whether or not I’m going to follow you back because I want to make certain that you are a person I am going to regularly engage in conversation with on Twitter. Otherwise, you’re just crowding my feed. Social media is about interaction, and if I’m not interacting with you, there is no point in following you. I don’t feel like I owe anyone anything anymore. It is your prerogative to follow me, but I don’t owe you a return follow. However, if you engage in conversation with me, I’ll be happy to engage back, and that may lead to a follow from me. Maybe. I no longer want thousands of people crowding my feed. I now understand why people with a crap ton of followers only follow back a few of those people (I don’t have a crap ton, but you get my point). This has lost me followers, but those people probably weren’t interested in me in the first place. I am still following people, but only after I’ve engaged with them in some type of chat, like #yalitchat.
As for Facebook, I received a lot of my likes through Like groups. Authors post links to their pages, and we follow them and expect a follow in return. I am now unliking a great deal of the pages I’ve liked because, frankly, I’m not interested in the books, and authors create Facebook pages to further their careers, and if I’m not contributing to that, I see no reason to keep that page on my feed. It’s just cluttering it when my Facebook is supposed to be about my friends and anyone else who chooses to befriend me. If people unlike my Facebook page because of this, they probably weren’t interested in my book to begin with–or me, or anything I had to say.
Tumblr hasn’t been as bad because a lot of the content posted is often interesting and Tumblr makes it very, very easy to post something or re-blog something or follow someone or unfollow someone, so its interface is very smooth and I am not made to feel like my feed is cluttered when I follow someone new. I am just following writers and readers now and cleaning out those who are not interested in either.
But I no longer feel like I owe anyone a like or a follow because I feel like my book should do that for me. You can have 10,000 followers, but if you’re only getting 100 to respond to anything you put out there, then it’s absolutely pointless to have all those people cluttering your feed. I am not following people on WordPress anymore for this reason. I already wrote the blog post. That’s my product. If you follow me because you like my product, I don’t owe you a follow in return. I’ll do the polite thing and look at your blog, and if I REALLY like what I see, I might subscribe, but I can’t have e-mail subscriptions crowding my box when I have to make room for other, more important e-mails.
But the point is is that too much clutter makes for inefficient use of one’s social media time. I can create all sorts of e-mail accounts and other accounts for the purpose of containing the clutter, but why bother? I’m likely to not visit them. Ever. I want to make efficient use of my social media time now so I can spend more time writing and creating a product that people want. I just think it’s so maddening and petty that people actually use apps to see who unfollowed them. Why do we expect anything at all when it comes to social media? If you go to the store and buy post-it notes, you don’t expect a thank you letter from the company who made the post-it notes, so why do we expect the same with social media? I wrote the post, you read it and enjoyed it and got something out of it, so what more do I owe? I love to look at people’s blogs and comment on their stuff, and I love to reply to their comments to my posts, but it’s like we expect this, that it’s our obligation as bloggers to do this when our only obligation, I think, is just to write the dang post in the hopes that someone gets something out of it. Life is too busy for us to worry about whether or not these people are going to follow us back or whatever.
I would rather just write and make my writing what I owe people. Of course social media is very important anymore to sell books, but people expect too much, which leads to clutter, which leads to frustration. Social media is about interaction, and clutter doesn’t allow for much of that.
I have too much time on my hands this morning before I must take my leave for work (the chapter I have to revise in His Vanity today is rather short, so I can either do that before or after work). So here is a blog post for all of you, just because I really feel like blogging this morning. Of course, I’m going to hate when I have to leave for work. Sometimes I wish I could just join a convent and be done with all these earthly things.
In any case, I’ve whined about Tumblr a lot, but decided to pick back up on it because, hey, John Green uses it, as do a bunch of other big-time writers, and even some small-time ones, so I should quit whining and get back to trying. I should go to my potential fans instead of expecting my potential fans to come to me. I mean, it’s rife with teenagers. Twitter and WordPress and even Facebook, not so much. And teens are great and post interesting stuff on Tumblr, and yeah…
But what’s so great about freaking Tumblr is there are teens looking for book recommendations. I mean, they are actively seeking this stuff out in the book tags and everything. Sometimes they will tell you what types of books they’re seeking, and other times, you just have to wing it. I’ve been recommending them books that I’ve loved, books that I think deserve their full attention, and have even been trying to help a few author friends of mine by at least letting Tumblr know their books exist, even if it doesn’t improve their sales immediately.
I don’t know about you guys, but I think Tumblr makes a great street team. Have no clue what a street team is? Here’s a nifty link explaining that. Except we will metaphorically hit the streets.
Since I know a lot of you have offered to read ARCs of my book, I thought it’d be cool that, on its release day, you could hit the metaphorical streets of Tumblr and release recommendations about the book–it can be shorter versions of the reviews you guys are likely going to do for the ARCs–like I love it because of this, or I hate it because of this, along with some quirky quote or pic of the book, or whatever you can think of. Whether you love it or hate it, people on Tumblr are book hungry.
So why should you get a Tumblr? A lot of you are readers and writers. Readers could benefit from Tumblr through sheer book recommendations alone, along with the fact that it’s very, very simple to engage in conversations with people about books through reblogging or just direct messaging. And pics. Hello, the pics. You can post awesome, inspiring pics of awesome, inspiring stuff. And anon questions are fun to answer. Also, you can publish your responses to people’s messages.
For writers, it’s a great way to connect to readers who are sometimes just readers and not writers. That’s the difficulty in being a writer is you often go after readers who are also writers instead of just flat out readers. Granted, I think most readers also happen to be writers or want to be writers, but we writers have this bad habit of reading with a writerly eye instead of readerly eye. Of course, Goodreads is a fantastic way to connect with readers too, but I’m talking about connecting with readers in a very simple way, and Tumblr is probably THE simplest way to connect with them.
I have people who are looking forward to reading my book on Tumblr! It means more social media, but it’s one you do not want to miss.
Just so you know, I’m likely going to bring up the street team thing again closer to my cover release date (whenever that is), which will include a media kit and a more concise way of doing things instead of my throwing it out there and going, “Hey, wouldn’t this be a great idea?” like I’m doing now.
Also, I return favors…I try to, anyway. Sometimes I’m too busy with writerly things to return favors because you guys would likely rather see my books than my spending all day on the computer trying to return favors to everyone who has ever done anything for me. But you got something you want known? Post in the comments, and I’ll see what I can do.
All right, everybody! Today’s post involves an awesome cover reveal by a relatively new author named Jake Bonsignore. I am a huge fan of his first book, Empyreal Illusions, so I hope you guys will take the time to check out his cover and his book.
Title: Awakening the Fire: Book Two of The Inferno Unleashed
Author: Jake Bonsignore
Genre: YA Fantasy / Thriller
Release: August 30, 2013
Book Design: Regina Wamba of Mae I Design and Photography
Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/oKfRtBcb_jo
Breena Taljain’s idyllic days in Araboth came to a skidding halt when circumstances forced her into the dangerous hinterlands. The dire sacrifice she made to protect her comrades tainted her heart with hatred and despair. To cleanse herself she must outrun Death’s relentless pursuit and venture into the bleak unknown. With the odds stacked against her, stumbling into love when she least expects it may very well be her saving grace.
Meanwhile, succumbing to the Patriarch’s devious traps has Galbrecht Atalir questioning his motives. The folly of his recklessness has left him physical scarred and mentally traumatized. Now he must overcome more adversity as the wrath of the Sin Ministry bears down upon him. He will need more than wits and quick fists to find the truth he has sought for seven years.
Alas, every second Breena is apart from Galbrecht draws her further into strife. With her world rapidly crumbling inwards, she puts everything on the line for a last stand against the ruthless force that threatens to destroy all she holds dear….
** Social Media Connection **
** Purchase Empyreal Illusions: Book One of The Inferno Unleashed Here: **
Amazon – http://amzn.com/B00D18OUU4
Signed Paperback (with Bookmark) – Contact Jake Bonsignore directly via Facebook or firstname.lastname@example.org