I would really love it if you all would help resolve a bit of a mystery for a lot of us freaks/writers/authors/scribblers…
Lately, I’ve seen a tremendous amount of discussion on a couple of writers loops I’m on, and elsewhere on various blogs, about how important social media is to a writer’s career. We all pretty much agree that it’s important to have a website (she said, the person who has not updated her own in a long time, yikes)… but there is the assumption / pressure / voodoo guesswork that it’s critical for an author to also be present on Facebook and Twitter and other social media sites.
The assumption is that social media helps authors sell books. And the corollary is that a lack of presence means lost sales (bad author, bad author).
I think these are incorrect assumptions, but I could be wrong.
My theory is that most people who “follow” an author on Facebook or Twitter do so after they’ve already learned about the author–usually by buying their books or visiting them on blogs. I’m not sure that the exposure to the author on Facebook or Twitter actually compels a follower who hadn’t already been interested in buying the author’s books to then do so.
Does that make sense to you all?
Now, don’t get me wrong–I enjoy Facebook and Twitter and I think that it’s funt to build a relationship with readers, and I know in my case, many readers have become real friends, so that’s a lot of lagniappe, there. Subsequently, there have been times that these friends have talked about someone else’s books and I’ve gone to check that book out and then I bought it. But I bought it on word-of-mouth, not on the author having posted information. (In each case where this happened, the person had bought and read the book; they had not re-posted anything from the original author.)
I also know that there have been a few times when I’ve seen an author be so… repugnant… on their social media interactions, that I am no longer interested in their books, so the social media thing can definitely backfire.
So I’d like to know if the mandate to “get a FB and Twitter account” to “help sell books” is a fallacy… or if it helps… or if sales are just an occasional side benefit.
Would you mind telling me which of the following is true for you? Please feel free to pick more than one if you do some of one, some of the other. I’m looking more for overall trends here, so feel free to elaborate.
Now, this is not just aimed at readers, but I really hope you all will come out of lurkdom and post. To make it fun, one lucky commenter will receive a $25 gift certificate to the online bookstore of their choice.
a) I follow authors on FB/Twitter after I’ve read their books, not before.
b) I follow authors on FB/Twitter after I’ve heard about them from their blogs — this does not mean I have bought or will buy their books.
c) I follow authors on FB/Twitter after someone else has mentioned them / tweeted about them / shared a link, but that’s more out of curiosity, and does not mean I will be buying their books.
d)I follow authors on FB/Twitter, and in some cases (or all cases), have then subsequently bought their books.
e) I follow authors on FB/Twitter after I heard about them from their blogs, and I have then subsequently bought their books.
f) I follow authors on FB/Twitter after someone has mentioned them/tweeted, etc., and I often then buy their books.
g) I follow authors on FB/Twitter and ended up buying something they recommended. (Doesn’t mean I bought that author’s books, though.)
h) What the hell? Who the hell follows authors on FB/Twitter? I don’t “follow” authors online, and I still buy books.
i) WRITE IN YOUR TAKE ON THE USE / ABUSE / FALSE ASSUMPTIONS about Facebook and/or Twitter.
And now, for the teaser part of the post…
For the next two weeks, you will see all of our workspaces and hear about our writing processes. Well, everyone except moi… mine was posted a couple of weeks back here. I think this is a first for us–a concentrated two week look into the same aspect of each of our lives, and how similar–and different–we all are.
On my Sunday, two weeks from now, we have a round-up of photos from a bunch of cool writers friends, and we’re adding more through this week. (Seriously, you will love glimpses into these writer’s workspaces — Lee Child, David Morrell, Laura Lippman, MJ Rose, Anne Stuart, Lani Diane Rich, Karin Slaughter, Lisa Gardner, Cindy Gerard, Erica Spindler, T. Jefferson Parker, CJ Lyons, Jeff Abbott, James Born, Gayle Lynds, Jonathan Maberry… and YOU.)
I want YOU, yes, YOU to send me your photos of your workspaces, because you’re a part of us. So many of you have visited with us every day, and we’d love to include you in our pictorial. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE A WRITER. We LOVE READERS. There are a bunch of writer friends who post here for whom I do not have an email address, and yes, I want you on board. All of you. What a cool round-up that would be.
Here’s what you do — take a photo of your workspace. I don’t care if it’s a barn, a desk in a cubicle, an assembly line, a backhoe… take a photo of your workspace and email it to toni [at] tonimcgeecausey [dot] com. Any photo will do, and don’t worry if it’s dark or whatever–I have Lightroom, I can deal with it. Email it and tell me in a sentence or two something about your workspace and what you do there.
C’mon. Join the fun. I’ve got photos right now of everything from a Starbucks to a highrise apartment to a bed. (Yes. A bed. Which is so perfect.) So send me yours, dear ‘Rati. You belong here.
Now, on to your answers! And thank you.