How Important is Social Media if You’re a Writer?

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It’s the Labor Day Weekend! I hope you all enjoy the holiday this week. A couple of days ago I was thinking about leaving Twitter for good. There are many reasons why, but I think the main reason was that it just doesn’t seem to really help me in any way as far as book promotion goes. I see a lot of authors on Twitter and they have created a wonderful and supportive writing community. And that support system is something that writers need every single day to get motivated to write which is why I decided not to leave just yet. But trying to get feedback on Twitter and trying to stay active on it is not easy which is why I have been re-evaluating the need for it.

This is actually my second Twitter account. The first one was deleted after giving up on trying to gain a lot of followers back in 2015. I created a new account after I published my first book A Woman of Courage because I read that Twitter and Facebook were great for self-promotion. For some it is great if you can afford to pay for Twitter and Facebook to promote your book for you and post endless tweets about it throughout the day. Some of us writers can’t afford that luxury. Social media can only help you if you are extremely diligent in tweeting and your good at coming up with funny or interesting things to say to your followers. Keeping them engaged is often a challenge, especially if you suck at it as I do.

Sometimes it takes me days to come up with a really good tweet. If you are a very witty person or have a great sense of humor it should be easy to come up with the kind of tweets that make your followers like it and retweet it. It’s even better if they make a comment but not everyone will like or care about what you tweet. The Writing Community has certain superstars that always seem to know the right thing to tweet and when to tweet it. I don’t know how they do it, but they do, and they are great at it. That is what you will have to compete with, and it can be a very humiliating experience if you say the wrong thing or get no feedback from your followers.

We writers also have to ask the question, should we talk about politics, religion or racism? It’s kind of a damned if you do, damned if you don’t kind of situation. People want to know your stance on the things that the President are doing, and many have very strong opinions about it. I personally feel that I am better off remaining silent on the issue but not everyone can hold their tongue, and some don’t care if they offend anyone. I strongly believe in the freedom of speech but if you are a writer, why talk about how rotten Donald Trump is as a president? I would prefer to read more informative things that would help me to become a better writer and inspire me to continue my quest for becoming the best that I can possibly be.

It’s important to be politically correct nowadays on social media but sometimes one can say something that can be so offensive to a group of people that it can never be undone. The next thing you know, people are criticizing you left and right and your day job are on the line. It’s just too risky. Like you and everyone else in this country, I have very strong opinions about the way this country is being run and no I’m not happy either but complaining about it isn’t going to change anything. All it does is turn people off who don’t agree with you.

Social media can be fun, I mean I’d be lying if I said that I don’t get any enjoyment out of reading funny posts or seeing the cute animal videos. There’s also a lot of good information out there that you can click on about publishing and finding a good Editor or writing contests to participate in. Sometimes you may even find movie trailers or book trailers to watch and funny memes and gifs that can turn a sour day into a happy one. Social media for a writer can bring forth a lot of motivation to finish your book and some may even preorder it before it’s even been released if you’re lucky.

Social media isn’t for everyone though. If you have a hard time seeing the happy lives of others being posted every day then it can get a bit depressing, especially if things aren’t going quite the way you want it to for your own life. You also may receive direct messages from unwanted men looking to date you or scam you. It’s also very time consuming to maintain a Facebook page or a twitter page and people will forget about you and unfollow if you start slacking and can’t post anything on a consistent basis. That is frustrating because life happens. Sometimes you are just too busy working, or taking care of family to be on social media all throughout the day.

For now, I plan to remain on Twitter until I have truly made up my mind about deleting my account but if I do, I will make a formal announcement to let you all know. I will continue blogging though for as long as I can come up with something worth talking about which isn’t always an easy task. But no matter what happens, I will always try to have a way to engage with my readers out there. Creating a strong relationship with the people that buy your books is the best way to promote yourself like doing interviews, book signings, appearances, podcasts, and online chats. These avenues are much more intimate, and your readers can really get a sense of who you are as a writer and as a person.

Have a great week everyone…

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