Selling Our Books on Social Media–Don’t Be a Personal Space Invader

Photo courtesy of Lynn Kelley WANA Commons

For those of you who’ve been following me for a while, you know that my methods are very different, and my advice often runs contrary to what other experts are saying. Well, that’s because I’m right and they’re wrong :D. Joking! Okay, maybe only halfheartedly.

There are a handful of common practices encouraged by other social media experts that bother me deeply. I feel that, as we shift from the TV-Industrial complex of the past century and into the Digital Age, we are becoming more of a global village. Information no longer runs one direction, from sender to receiver. Why? Because the medium has changed. The medium always affects communication, and yet too many teachings out there are failing to account for this shift.

I Heard You the First 20 Times

Recently, another social media expert wrote a blog about the value of repetition on social media. I respectfully disagree. I feel that the paradigm has shifted and so has the medium. As the medium changed, society, culture and values shifted as well.

For instance, we never had America + Television. Once television became a part of our everyday life, America was different. It could not go back to the way it was before television. The change was like a chemical change, a cake that could not be un-baked. The culture changed. Our habits, language, expectations and definitions of “truth” all shifted.

Same with social media.

In the traditional paradigm, “air space” cost money. To put out an ad, a commercial spot on television or even an ad on radio cost money. Even printing off flyers and paying someone to stuff paper under windshield wipers cost money. This “cost barrier” was a sort of gatekeeper that naturally decreased the number of people who would be “advertising” their products.

Then came the Internet and social media.

Now it is FREE! for everyone to talk about goods and services non-stop. The sheer volume of people all pitching their services renders them invisible at best and highly annoying at worst. There is a lot about the new publishing paradigm that I love, but it also has created some serious problems. Now that everyone can be published, we are inundated with constant pitching to buy books or download free books or read reviews for books.

I do not believe in repetition for the sale. Why? Because it stands out so much and people often are offended. Posting multiple times a day about our book for sale is like us going to a cocktail party and opening a card table to take book orders. The medium has changed and so have the rules.

Yes, it is important to let people know we have a book to offer, but how we do that has changed.

In the TV-Industrial complex, people merely received information. There was no dialogue, so no social rules applied. We didn’t take offense when we saw a commercial on TV…but the TV wasn’t our “friend.”

Language Matters

In the Golden Age of TV and Advertising, we accepted that commercials were just part of having entertainment on television. We didn’t “own” any of that airspace, so we willingly acquiesced. Social media changed this dynamic, and, for the first time in human history, the Internet gave us virtual territory.

Tom Anderson was highly intuitive when he called his new social network (2003) MYSPACE. Humans are territorial. Our Facebook wall is literally OUR WALL. When strangers post ads in “our space” it is irritating and personal.

Don’t be a personal space invader.

“Careful, Jim. I think it has a book for sale.”

We cannot get the benefits of social norms unless we respect social norms. On social media, we use terms like “friend” and “Likes.” To humans, these words have meaning, whether we consciously acknowledge this or not. When I “befriend” someone on Twitter and they immediately DM me with a spammy message to buy their book? I am offended.

Why?

Because social norms regulate social media. Fail to appreciate this and there are consequences.

Social norms don’t mean we are against buying stuff from “friends,” but it does mean we are part of a social dance that we are wise to respect. For instance, how many of you have kids? How many of you have had your kids come home with boxes of candy to sell for school? Who did you go to first to offload overpriced crappy candy? Family. Then friends. Then probably some coworkers.

Why?

Because no one wants to go door-to-door selling anything, let alone $4 stale candy bars.

But see how the social norms guided who you would ask, and in what order, and even how you would ask for a sale? Many of those closer relationships are happy to buy overpriced candy, but only because they know you.

Let’s look at this scenario instead.

What if I complimented a woman in the grocery store, then got her chatting about the items in her basket and what she was cooking for dinner? At first she is hesitant but as we chat she lets down her guard and talks about her cat Muffin, and how she likes to bake cookies for the church. And just about the time she is comfortable talking to me, I ask, “Wow, if your church likes cookies, they would LOVE chocolate bars. Would you like to buy some candy?”

Yeah. I bet she couldn’t get to her wallet the door fast enough.

What To Do?

All right. Some of you might be panicking a little right now. But Kristen, how can we ever sell our book if we can’t TALK about it? I never said we couldn’t talk about our books. I said we had to adjust our approach. Sure, tweet about your book once, MAYBE twice a day. But, make sure to sandwich those tweets between a lot of authentic interaction. It should be clear to anyone looking at our interaction history that we are on social media primarily for the purpose of being social, NOT using Twitter of Facebook as free ad space.

We just need to apply the Golden Rule here.

Don’t just blast out a bunch of links all day. Are you lacking for stuff to read? I know I’m not. How many of you woke up this morning and said, “Gee, you know what I need? MORE information. I don’t have enough. In fact, I have far too much free time I need to fill.”

Most people are on social media because humans are wired to be social. We are looking for connections, not another news feed with commercial breaks. If we wanted that, we’d just watch TV.

Interruption Marketing DOESN’T Work

When was the last time a writer tweeted several times a day about her book and that prompted you to drop everything and go buy? When was the last time you clicked on a Facebook ad to buy something? If ads on social media were so great, then why did General Motors pull their campaign with Facebook?

One of the reasons I encourage writers to blog is that a blog is very useful for passive selling. Every one of you who follow this blog know about my two books even though I have never tweeted about them and never posted about them on Facebook.

How is this?

I serve first with a blog and then, at the end of my post, I mention my books or any WANA International classes that might be of interest. So I am promoting my books and classes, thousands of times a day if we look at my unique visits…but I am not doing so intrusively. Most of you are not offended that I mention my books, namely because I gave freely, and thus reciprocation on your part feels natural. You don’t feel like I am ramming book ads down your throat.

No one likes a personal space invader.

My attitude is that some of you will read, click and even buy, but those not interested can simply scan past the information. You might not buy one of my books today, but you know about them. So when the day comes that you decide you need to blog, my book will be in your mental databanks.

Since you have come to my corner of cyberspace it doesn’t feel invasive when I mention my books and classes, because I mention them in MY space, not YOURS.

Selling this way has an additional benefit. It makes it easier and less icky for others to support us.

For instance, when I helped NYTBSA James Rollins with his book launch in the summer, I encouraged him to blog about his work with war dogs (since his new character was a war dog). People, intrigued by the topic, would click the link, read the blog, interact…and see that there was a new book for sale. The book was there, the information was there, but the approach was different. It wasn’t intrusive like a commercial, a pop-up ad, or a repetitive sales tweet.

Jim gave first.

As I mentioned, this passive approach made promoting Jim far less icky for those of use supporting him. Hey, let’s all talk about dogs and swap pet stories! is way easier for the support team to get excited about. We much prefer this to, “Download Such-and-Such’s book. Now only $4.99!” We don’t want to tweet that about our own book, let alone someone else’s (yes, even Jim).

Serving first and promoting in a socially appropriate way is much more effective in an environment governed by social norms. It allows us to achieve our goals while respecting the virtual space of others.

What are your social media pet peeves? Do you see red when people post ads on your walls? Or does it not bother you? Do you buy books from people who promote a lot on Twitter? Or do you not see the tweets? Do they irritate you or make you unfollow? What are some of the areas where you see the most personal space invasion?

A quick announcement: WANA International is offering a class for creating your novel’s log-line. This is perfect for those of you panicked about pitching your book to agents. Solid log-lines are VERY helpful to keep you on track for NaNoWriMo. Down with plot bunnies! WANA also has classes about how to turn your books into audio, how to build your own web site. Lots of good stuff, so, if you have a moment, check out the new class listing.

I LOVE hearing from you!

To prove it and show my love, for the month of October, everyone who leaves a comment I will put your name in a hat. If you comment and link back to my blog on your blog, you get your name in the hat twice. If you leave a comment, and link back to my blog, and mention my book We Are Not Alone in your blog…you get your name in the hat THREE times. What do you win? The unvarnished truth from yours truly.

I will pick a winner once a month and it will be a critique of the first 20 pages of your novelor your query letter, or your synopsis (5 pages or less).

And also, winners have a limited time to claim the prize, because what’s happening is there are actually quite a few people who never claim the critique, so I never know if the spam folder ate it or to look for it and then people miss out. I will also give my corporate e-mail to insure we connect and I will only have a week to return the 20 page edit.

At the end of October I will pick a winner for the monthly prize. Good luck!

I also hope you pick up copies of my best-selling books We Are Not Alone–The Writer’s Guide to Social Media and Are You There, Blog? It’s Me, Writer And both are recommended by the hottest agents and biggest authors in the biz. My methods teach you how to make building your author platform FUN. Build a platform and still have time left to write great books.

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  1. #1 by Kim on October 10, 2012 - 10:43 am

    My “friends” and Twitter followers thank you for this advice.

  2. #2 by tricia on October 10, 2012 - 10:54 am

    Great advice. I think I’ll forward the link to this post to a few ‘friends.’ You know, the Facebook friends who post buying links to their books on your FB wall, or the friends who tag you in links advertising their books, the newly befriended Tweeters who promptly auto spam you with a link to buy their book or follow them on FB… I could go on, but I won’t. We’ve all been there. Thanks, Kristen, for another informative post.

  3. #3 by martinadalton on October 10, 2012 - 11:02 am

    Another great post. There is a fine line between respectfully promoting your book and hitting your readers over the head with it. ;) I really like your approach on giving first, and then providing a link for readers to buy the book if they wish. This is how I prefer to buy books, and I’m betting most others feel the same. Thanks for the great reminder to avoid being a personal space invader!

  4. #4 by Tiffany Pitts on October 10, 2012 - 11:04 am

    What about the sidebar ads in FB? I’m not offended by them any more because they’ve become so much a part of the digital landscape that I hardly ever see them. Probably this makes them a bad advertising tool but I’m curious – do you think they ever add value to a marketing plan?

  5. #5 by Tracy Campbell on October 10, 2012 - 11:05 am

    I needed to read this today. Thank you! :)

  6. #6 by Charlie Holmberg on October 10, 2012 - 11:09 am

    I absolutely agree with you. I’ve actually stopped following people on Twitter because all they do is flood me with marketing!

    Definitely linking this post on Twitter. ;)

  7. #7 by John Holton on October 10, 2012 - 11:16 am

    I Tweeted this one to everyone following me. I don’t mind the occasional “buy my book” message, but I’ve had a few people tweet me every five minutes with their spiel.

  8. #8 by Jon Rieley-Goddard (@baldyblogger) on October 10, 2012 - 11:22 am

    I keep the maximum number of lists on Twitter (20). I wish that the limit would raise to 21, since I have a new list in mind titled ‘Hey check out my book’. If the limit were to rise to 22, I would add another titled *Dummies who DM*.

  9. #9 by Tonia Marie Houston on October 10, 2012 - 11:24 am

    Your approach makes complete sense and it’s something I know I can feel comfortable doing. I’ve been brainstorming on ideas for my blog and this is the encouragement I need. I’m happy to share this post and hope others will follow your good example. Cheers, Kristen. I knew there was a reason I liked you. :)

  10. #10 by annerallen on October 10, 2012 - 11:26 am

    Thanks for this Kristen! Posting an ad on somebody’s FB wall is like stomping over and pounding a political sign into their front lawn. It’s not just rude, it’s trespassing. Using DMs and @ Twitter messages to blast them with ads is pretty damned insulting, too. I figure marketers must take some class that teaches them “potential customers are not human. They are prey. Treat them as generic ciphers with the brains of banana slugs and no feelings whatsoever. They are all identical clones who only exist for you to exploit them.” Has this ever worked for anybody?

  11. #11 by Donna L Martin on October 10, 2012 - 11:37 am

    Hi Kristen…I totally agree with you! I have at least one person that I have “friended” that now posts nothing but ads for their books on my Facebook wall. I’ve never seen anything BUT their ads and now they send me videos promoting their books. I never thought about it before but yes, it DOES rub me the wrong way when I started seeing this because I don’t actually know the person and after months of nothing but ads, I STILL don’t know them…want to take a guess how much I will help promote THEIR books? ;~)

    Thanks for all you do for the writing community!

    Donna L Martin
    http://www.donnalmartin.com
    http://www.donasdays.blogspot.com

  12. #12 by colonialist on October 10, 2012 - 11:40 am

    Really useful and sensible advice – thanks! Some of it also boils down to that tricky task of locating the merry spiritualist.

  13. #13 by Victoria Treder on October 10, 2012 - 11:41 am

    Do you prefer Ann Landers of the Cloud, or Dear Abby Blog? Your tips on netiquette are very useful!

  14. #14 by Jae on October 10, 2012 - 11:42 am

    Spot on. I grow weary of the marketing Tweets. In fact, I often wonder, why is it we writers all became friends on Twitter, so we could push our books on one another. Is that really the best market anyway? I’m more inclined to read a blog post than follow another buy my book link.

    Maybe it’s like what Yoda said about the force when it comes to social media. You may gain a quicker, easier following autofollowing and spamming, but eventually people figure you out (the dark side). Better to develop a stronger, lasting following with real interaction and less sales pitches. (Cuz Luke won out in the end).

  15. #15 by Satin Sheet Diva on October 10, 2012 - 11:57 am

    I’ve stopped looking at my Twitter feed for the most part as I finally noticed, I don’t follow any “real” people, only writers who want me to read this, download that…it’s rate to come across a quote, or general sharing of info that doesn’t some how lead to a commercial. By that same token, I realize I’m not doing enough talking about my books. I blog on a fairly regular basis, but I don’t include any passive information about my work or events as frequently.

    So, to that end, like you, I am going to add at the end of each post, a general “ad” for my books and any events I have coming up. I’ve got to work toward that middle ground because right now, my use of social media is way too focused on the social. ;-)

  16. #16 by Exploding Mary on October 10, 2012 - 12:02 pm

    Ah, you’ve said here everything I’ve been thinking for so long– thank you for the plainly put truth. Peace, Mari

  17. #17 by Anna on October 10, 2012 - 12:15 pm

    Awesome post. You hit the nail directly on the head. I do and feel everything just as you said but I never would have been able to put it into words. Sharing this post. It’s really great. Thanks

  18. #18 by MonaKarel on October 10, 2012 - 12:16 pm

    I keep sending people to your site in hopes they will READ and UNDERSTAND. I’m so very tired of promo vomiting.on my wall and in the Facebook groups. And it’s not just new people.

  19. #19 by Jennette Marie Powell on October 10, 2012 - 12:30 pm

    I saw the post about repetition, and couldn’t help but think, “yuck, that’s not what it’s about!” Then I was happy to see your response. If someone DMs me a link to their book or FB page as soon as I follow them, I unfollow. Good advice on the blog post ender, too – I recently added that on my blog.

  20. #20 by joannahinsey on October 10, 2012 - 12:33 pm

    Love this. And totally agree.

  21. #21 by Susan O'Neill on October 10, 2012 - 12:52 pm

    Great advice, Kristen. Since opening a twitter account, I’ve wondered whether tweeters actually read other tweets–or if they just use the medium to put their own voices out there. Whole lotta noise-to-signal going on. Yours is an eloquent and sane voice among the marketing din.

    Now if only I could get rid of those spammers who leave me the “nice blog” messages to sell their product…

  22. #22 by Lysana on October 10, 2012 - 12:57 pm

    Great post! I am nervous about how promoting my books will happen when the time finally comes. Your posts are always a valuable resource.

  23. #23 by char on October 10, 2012 - 1:10 pm

    This is why I haven’t even bothered with Twitter yet. I hear about all the authors out there saying “Buy my book” several times a day and haven’t wanted any part of it. Most of the books I have ended up buying are from blogs I enjoy reading and getting to know the author. Great post.

    • #24 by Author Kristen Lamb on October 10, 2012 - 1:20 pm

      Twitter is fabulous, especially if you hang out with us at #MyWANA. But like all social media, it does have its share of personal space invaders :P.

      • #25 by char on October 10, 2012 - 2:33 pm

        Maybe some day I’ll break down and try it. It sounds very time consuming, and I have a hard time as it is keeping up with blogging, etc.

        • #26 by submeg on October 10, 2012 - 3:09 pm

          It’s not that hard, even though it may seem so at first. I felt the same, I thought twitter was crazy and there was information overload. However, once you delve into the different poeple/groups on there, you will quickly know who is worth listening to and those that you should avoid.

          I have followed others because they were writers, but then quickly unfollowed as my timeline became full of them tweeting about their new book or saying how awesome it was to get it finished or….yep, unfollow. There are some very useful people to follow who know all about hooking their audience and getting you to open that link! (Kristen, I never even though about that, people on Twitter know how to write that great first line.)

          • #27 by char on October 10, 2012 - 6:17 pm

            That would be worth seeing.

    • #28 by Jenny Hansen on October 11, 2012 - 2:30 pm

      Char, I LOVE Twitter. I have the best conversations there. And for those people who make you nuts with “Me, me, I, I, mymymy BOOK?” You just unfollow them so they don’t clog you up. :-)

      • #29 by char on October 11, 2012 - 7:32 pm

        I will probably have to enter this new Twitterpated world one day and see how it goes.

  24. #30 by Melanie Marttila on October 10, 2012 - 1:19 pm

    Thanks for this great reminder and for mentioning that post on repetition. I agree with your respectful disagreement :) with the author. I’m too shy/polite to feel comfortable doing that anymore. Trying to use SoMe more wisely these days and save my energy for my writing.
    Cheers,
    Mel

  25. #31 by Becky Burkheart on October 10, 2012 - 2:09 pm

    yep and yep. another great and timely article. … i recently “liked” an author page for a friend of a friend and the topic seemed interesting, but it took me less than a day to turn off notifications and hide it from my wall because of the constant barrage. it’s probably petty to say that the book lost a sale because of the incessant marketing, but i went from supportive and mildly interested to “get the heck away from me” even before the book was released.

  26. #32 by Russell on October 10, 2012 - 4:08 pm

    I’m now working on a theme song for the Personal Space Invaders. This will forewarn us of their approach and buy time to throw up our invisible force fields and and set our stun-guns to paralyse. Be sure to aim for the large area between the ears–and remember–take no prisoners.

  27. #33 by Linda Adams on October 10, 2012 - 4:23 pm

    The most personal invasion I see is on Twitter. So many writers, all sending out link after link after link. It seems like they’ve all read the advice that you have to have 10 tweets a day for anyone to notice, so they link spam. I even unfollowed Mike Hyatt James Scott Bell, who both have had great tweets in the past, but has taken to sending out repetitive promotional tweets.

    I’m an introvert, so the spam is like being in a crowded room with everyone talking. Makes me want to stay away from Twitter, and I’ve been finding myself looking at other promotional opportunities that people aren’t trying.

    Linda Adams — Soldier, Storyteller

  28. #34 by the curtain raiser on October 10, 2012 - 5:08 pm

    Thank you for some much needed common social media sense! No one wants their news feeds to read like one long advert. You have to work promotion into the currency that makes the social media world revolve – inform or entertain.

  29. #35 by Nana Araba on October 10, 2012 - 5:44 pm

    The advice is very good. Thank you.

  30. #36 by thehollywoodcontender on October 10, 2012 - 6:50 pm

    Great article…we might want to be taking a few notes as our teachers were always forewarning us right before a test…by the way, have you all read my new novel…Just kidding!! Thanks for the valuable information Kristen…you help put things in proper perspective for many of us flustered authors…

  31. #37 by The Hook on October 10, 2012 - 7:16 pm

    I’ve fallen into the “social media as advertising” trap once or twice in the past. In my defense, I just don’t know what I’m doing and it’s not that I’ve been rejected… I’ve been ignored – over and over!
    Still the fight continues, for now.

  32. #38 by Lynn Kelley on October 10, 2012 - 7:42 pm

    “Careful, Jim, I think it has a book inside.” That caption under the spaceship pic is a riot! I couldn’t agree with you more. You’re right on, as usual, Kristen. If I see a book in a genre I love and it catches my attention, I click on it to check it out, but for the most part, I just ignore those tweets.

  33. #39 by Patrick Thunstrom on October 10, 2012 - 7:49 pm

    When I finally get my work out there, I hope not to need to do any more ‘hard’ linking than I’m doing now: The occasional post in my communities and the one or two links on Twitter. And I want most of those to my blog. Nice, simple, and the content is more interesting to write.

  34. #40 by Char Newcomb on October 10, 2012 - 9:15 pm

    I use Twitter lists to weed out the blatant self-promoters and rarely look at my full Twitter stream. I do promote others and post a few links daily to blog posts I’ve enjoyed. I’ve also tried to highlight 3 or 4 a week on my blog, but that weekly Thursday post doesn’t seem to get as much traffic as my Monday posts so I’m not certain if I’ll continue to use that strategy. I greatly appreciate your more passive approach to book promotion. When I publish my first novel in Dec., I’ll remember your advice.

  35. #41 by DJ Austin on October 10, 2012 - 9:16 pm

    good points!

  36. #42 by Carrie Rubin on October 10, 2012 - 9:31 pm

    To me, those repetitive promotional tweets are like white noise for the eyes–I glaze right over them. I also tend to relegate the senders to lists I don’t often open and explore. Sad, but true. Interaction is much more fun.

  37. #43 by kimterry on October 10, 2012 - 11:21 pm

    Good blog entry, Kristen. So timely!

  38. #44 by David Lowbridge on October 11, 2012 - 2:01 am

    Such great advice. Much of it what I believe already. The one part of the topic that I feel was missed was the report that came out last week that only 1% of sales come directly from social media links on the internet. Proving that those people who spend 8 hours a day on their twitter account (you laugh but someone did do that this week and complained when twitter closed his account) just promoting their book are really not doing anything constructive. It would be better if they spent an hour spread throughout the day doing a few meaningful tweets with a couple of links to their book and a couple of hours on their blog. The rest of the time they could have been writing the next book.

    Thanks for such a great article. I will share it on Facebook!

  39. #45 by jadwriter on October 11, 2012 - 5:23 am

    I see red when someone emails me to say that they like my ebook and they write similar books to that. Would I like to read their book? I say silently to that, no, thank you. To me that is blatent pushing themselves at others. I only advertise my ebooks on Twitter and FB once, and that is when they first come out. No more after that.

  40. #46 by Britt Skrabanek on October 11, 2012 - 8:21 am

    As always, Kristen…thank you for telling things with absolute honesty. I agree with your approach. The last thing anyone wants is a space invader…heck, I know I can’t stand it. Blogging is one of the most effective, non-intrusive ways to sell books. As you said, if people are interested the info is right there. If not, they can scan along.

  41. #47 by Elizabeth Lawrence on October 11, 2012 - 9:34 am

    Great advice! Thanks!

  42. #48 by t.i.n.a. on October 11, 2012 - 10:55 am

    Agreed! Actually, TV commercials DO annoy me (hence I don’t miss TV and the few commercials I have to see on Hulu get muted or I just stop watching altogether). As much as I like some authors, their Twitter/FB accounts feel an endless stream of “lookitme! lookitme!” with very little “social” aspect to them. I don’t follow many folks on Twitter because I really can’t keep up with all the posts. FB seems to be easier to read/scroll through, but the constant ads are getting on my last good nerve. I’d like to be social (and I don’t have a book to promo, so everyone’s safe from me, I hope!) but social media doesn’t seem very social any more.

    Doesn’t anyone talk to folks? Really?

    • #49 by Tasha Turner on October 13, 2012 - 10:41 pm

      I have had DVR technology for over 10 years I forget that some people still see commercials. I do have friends who are social on both twitter and FB. I also use FB tools that let me turn off everything but status updates which helps keep my wall clean… Go to friends profile, hover over the friends button, deselect everything but status updates… I might miss a few posts I would have liked to see but it has helped get rid of the worst junk by my worst offending friends.

  43. #50 by Rob Mahan on October 11, 2012 - 12:21 pm

    Great post, Kristen!

    Invention:
    Someone needs to invent a TiVo for Twitter. I haven’t watched a TV commercial in years!

    Observation:
    It’s much easier for an indie author to drive people away from their book, than it is to entice them toward it. We should adopt our own Kristencratic Oath: First, do no (social media) harm!

    Connection:
    Your friend, James Rollins, might really enjoy meeting a great guy I recently met on Twitter. Kevin Hanrahan is a writer, a soldier, and a Military Working Dog advocate. http://khanrahan.com/

    All the best,
    Rob

    • #51 by Author Kristen Lamb on October 11, 2012 - 12:49 pm

      Thanks Rob. WANAcratic oath might be easier to say, LOL. I will let him know and thank you for the comment :D.

    • #52 by Jenny Hansen on October 11, 2012 - 2:31 pm

      I’ll tell my cousin who follows military heros as well. :-)

  44. #53 by Joanna Branson on October 11, 2012 - 2:16 pm

    Being relatively new to Twitter (1-week old newbie!), I have already unfollowed 2 people- one for blasting nothing but book reviews and pitches for “must-read” books, and 1 for tweeting nothing but what she’s watching on television and what she’s eating for lunch and dinner… I need to know this why, exactly? Conversely, I’m learning tons from your example of effective tweeting, Kristen, AND from the content of the tweets. The best of both worlds!

  45. #54 by Kate on October 11, 2012 - 6:21 pm

    Thank you so much for this perspective! I have a friend who several times a day begged everyone on facebook to buy her novel and I got annoyed and didn’t buy it. I have to start thinking about advertising my own book and this post has given me a lot to consider.

  46. #55 by Margaret on October 11, 2012 - 6:36 pm

    It’s so weird that you should write a post about exactly what I have been mulling over, however my beef isn’t with twitter but with people using auto-responders and pretending that they are really interested in engaging with you. It’s even worse when they tell you they are using an auto-responder. If someone wants to have a relationship with me and they can’t communicate directly with me then I don’t want to buy their stuff.

    • #56 by Author Kristen Lamb on October 11, 2012 - 8:11 pm

      AMEN, Margaret! I am anti-auto anything and if you ever hear from me it is ME. Very uncool. Down with bots!

      …ok, rant over. I agree :).

  47. #57 by nancyelizabethlauzon on October 12, 2012 - 10:18 am

    Great post, and so valid. The reason I switched from a Facebook group to a fan page for my Chick Dick Mystery books is I had a guy on there, a complete stranger, who every week posted about his new book coming out, without even asking. I blocked him, but not before telling him (politely) that what he was doing was socially ‘uncool’. I mean, if you wouldn’t do it at a cocktail party, don’t do it online! At least with a fan page I have control over what is posted =)

  48. #58 by Tasha Turner on October 13, 2012 - 10:45 pm

    Another great post. Too many newbies don’t know what to do or whose advice to listen to. I learned a lot about what to do/not to do by what annoyed me over the last 10 years. More people need to read and listen to you.

  49. #59 by sharonsharinginsights on October 14, 2012 - 12:48 am

    Great bog…but what if you don’t have a book? What if you have a lot of poetry and a lot of ideas, short stories, etc? Just musing but wanting to be “discovered”? You are told on this site to share your blogs with FB, Twitter, Linked-In, etc……so what is your recommendation for those of us who are just blogging individual pieces of work-not a book? I would really like your insight on this please. Thanks!

  50. #60 by Kim Savage on October 14, 2012 - 2:58 am

    Great info as always, Kristin! I am new to Twitter and just starting to get followers, which was exciting until I started to see direct messages to me in attempts to only sell their product. A real bummer. I’ve been trying to connect with readers, but only attract ‘salesmen’ who can help me market my new novel, etc. I’m over it now and have figured out that, unfortunatley, this is how it is with the bulk of tweeters and am backing off myself. Thanks so much for your take on this and I’m hoping fellow tweeters and FB friends will read it and put your advice to good use. I agree that we should be givers first. So many aren’t-a sign of the times, I’m afraid. Thanks again and keep the good posts coming!

  51. #61 by A. Colleen Jones on October 15, 2012 - 5:23 am

    I have a friend who was very enthusiastic about a diet program she had joined. She had even become a trainer. But then she was mentioning this business in posts on my wall, even on photos. That drove me crazy. She did the same thing when she was promoting her AirBnB rental of her cottage. Thankfully, she seems to have stopped doing that. I do worry at times about pushing too much about what I’m promoting, so your advice about giving first and then promoting in my own space makes great sense. Thanks!

  52. #62 by Danielle L. Zecher on October 15, 2012 - 6:00 pm

    I think it is beyond annoying (and rude) when people post all kinds of “buy this” stuff on Facebook. I haven’t experienced it much with books, though there was one popular author that I un-liked on Facebook because her posts were too frequent and annoying. This was a great article.

  53. #63 by Richard Snow - Writer on October 15, 2012 - 7:40 pm

    Hi, Kristen, the best exponents of what you are advocating are Piper Bayard and Jay Holmes, whose blog is here: http://piperbayard.wordpress.com/ They have an interesting blend of humor, social comment and historical info. I want to buy their book and they haven’t even finished it yet!!

  54. #64 by melorajohnson on October 18, 2012 - 10:55 am

    I definitely have to agree. I’ve “liked” a few authors on Facebook. I enjoy hearing their thoughts and just seeing their name reminds me to watch for their books, but when they start posting repeatedly selling their books, I’m pretty likely to “UN-like” them. Good thing to keep in mind when I have a book to sell. Thanks.

  55. #65 by Kimberly Packard on October 21, 2012 - 3:00 pm

    Great post, Kristen! I’m all about supporting my fellow Indie authors, but I’ve un-followed those who post “buy my book, buy my book, buy my book” 20 times a day. Thank you for sharing!

  56. #66 by bardessdmdenton on October 22, 2012 - 11:23 am

    Thank you for this, Kristen. I am in agreement with your approach, and have tried to nurture and expand the relationships I have through my blog, that although a nice venue to promote my novel, is mainly a dialogue – much of it creative – between me and the friends I continue to make through it. I was recently guilty of invading someone’s ‘private space’ on FB (did so quite spontaneously and without thinking much about it …) and was quickly reprimanded and rightly so!

  57. #67 by Jack Whitsel on October 25, 2012 - 8:19 am

    Wonderful article. Advice and insight that should be adopted by our writing colleagues.

  58. #68 by Honey A Hutson on October 30, 2012 - 12:01 am

    I completely agree with you. As a writer, I understand the drive to “get your book and yourself out there.” As a person, more than once in a while – really bugs me, therefore I try not to do that to others. In fact I don’t often mention the books on my personal page, I leave that for the book’s page and only post (only one or two posts at a time) every other day about a lot of things, not just the book. It has been well received as only those liking that page get that information.

  59. #69 by E.b. Black on November 1, 2012 - 2:25 pm

    I usually ignore ads all together, but certain ones have gotten on my nerves before and caused me to unfollow certain people, but it has to be extreme.

    I’m glad to know my social media plan is headed in the right direction. I WILL NOT be tweeting about my book even one a day, I won’t be putting it at the end of my blog posts unless I’m on a guest blog, but I will mention it occasionally, when appropriate. What I’m going to try to do is make friends and hope that sales happen, too, eventually and we’ll see what happens.

    Still, authors do this tweeting about their book over and over again on twitter so much that this guy said he didn’t want to talk to me on twitter because I had the word “author” in my description and that must mean I wasn’t really interested in being his friend and was just trying to sell something to him. I don’t even have anything for sale yet, so that was literally impossible.

    I like to socialize, too. Honestly, focusing on socializing more than advertising is just as pleasurable to the person trying to sell the books as to the people who could potentially buy your books.

  60. #70 by tjgholar on November 3, 2012 - 8:49 am

    Thanks so much for sharing this! It really needed to be said. I am an artist, and am so tired of people using my Facebook fan page to advertise their work! Get your own page. I am also losing patience with the “social media experts” who follow me on Twitter expecting me to follow back. What I need is to have more art collectors following me, not useless spammers. they’re a plague on social media.

  61. #71 by Robynn Gabel on January 5, 2013 - 10:53 pm

    Again, Excellent! I can say first hand that I have encountered this. Old friend saw my FaceBook, looked around, saw I had written a book, and wallah! Sold book. Common sense information. Thank you.

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