Facebook and the Writer: A Love Story

 

wpid-20140607_124807.jpgSince diving into the publishing world, I’ve met a lot of fellow writers. We all use social media sites in some way. A good bit of them not only publish under their real name but have Facebook accounts where numerous people can friend them. I’ve seen a lot of worms wiggling out of the can because of it. One friend in particular keeps getting photos reported as breaking the rules set by Facebook even though there is no nudity. I wonder why someone would befriend her only to turn around and do that? Especially when she makes no bones about what type of writing she dabbles in.

It’s a bit of a tricky business. We want to connect with readers yet there is always an element just waiting to holier than thou you into a blackout for a couple of days or whatever the ban hammer layeth on you. Plus, a more ugly side if you ask me, is the numerous creeptards who think we live the lives inside our books. I get this under my normal account and I don’t broadcast what I write on my wall. Or at least the extent of it.

So, since I use a pen name, I decided to create a page instead. Now this was also because I didn’t want to log in and out between accounts mainly. Yeah, I’m lazy like that. Plus, it gives the reader an option to ‘like’ my page instead of wading through the waiting list for me to friend back. So, I can interact with readers in a friendly environment. Unlike groups and personal pages, by clicking the ‘like’ button on my page you’re understanding what that page is intended for. While I haven’t had the ‘pleasure’ of getting ban hammered yet, I think it decreases my chances. Not to say I can’t see someone douching out and ‘liking’ an author page just to report them.

18 or older, folks. That’s what my page is marked. So by wary, my fellow writers just starting out¬†or those who have been jogging around the block for a while. While we love sharing our personal life with our readers to be more ‘human’, beware that there are going to be people who don’t like what you do. They will find ways to rain on your parade. Protect yourself and use the pages option on Facebook. It’s free and nearly troll free.

The Kinship of Authors

What I like when you dip your feet into the pool of publishing is the new friends you make in the writing community. Whether it’s your publisher’s group or even a writing community. It’s a great feeling. Social media and the like have made it easier to become friends with people from several different countries.

I love to read about their latest release and sometime wait anxiously for the next. Granted, I’m a space-it-out person. In the big publishing world, I have three authors I pre-order their books as soon as I see them. Nope, not naming them. I’m lucky if I get a book a year from them and honestly, that’s plenty. If they were the only authors I read I’d cry a river but I’m a little more diversse than that.

Now there is a dark side to everything. I don’t notice this from the bigger authors I follow so much but it does happen. I’ll friend about anyone but I’ll cull what I see in a heartbeat if I feel that it’s becoming a bit much.

Maybe you might recognize some like the following:

The Over Achiever: Constantly updates their status on everything, anything pertaining to their books to the point of overkill. Your Facebook wall looks like a harlot’s den of their promotional materials.

Me, Me, Gimme, Gimme: Self-absorbed and only thinks about promoting their own works. Doesn’t offer a spot on their blog for another author but tramps around to get their stuff noticed on other blogs. Say the words ‘quid pro quo’ to them and most likely they look like a canine when a dog whistle is blown.

Pity Me: Looks for sympathy over bad reviews about their books. Not the one-star drive bys but the indepth ones that point out the flaws. They want that pat on the back at tells them everything’s going to be all right. If you find the irony in this because their sales don’t reflect the poor rating, thumbs up to you. See also: Attention Whore.

Attention Whore: Any conversation they have, whether started by them or another, instantly becomes all about them. Never mind you’re celebrating an acheivement in your world. It’s like someone squeezing into a circle of your friends while you go over the latest feat your child did only to have a wallet full of photos from the cut-in queen on their super awesome mage sports offspring.

I really hope to not be or ever be this way. I love my readers but I also know (or hope) they are diverse like me. Too many authors out there to only give one love, IMO. That’s why I like to feature other authors here without expecting a spot on their blog. It’s about them, not me. Though, I will say I have excellent friends and most are more than happy to ante up a little quid pro quo.

*The artwork pictured is one of my original combination handdrawn and digital composition works.