Wednesday, February 6, 2013

I Think I Fail At Social Media...

With everything stressful that's been going on, I've made a concerted effort to get back into querying and other attempts at agent-hunting. There are multiple reasons for this, but primarily, it was so I had something 'else' going on that I could put energy into (because writing when stressed and unhappy is very hard) and so I could have something to be hopeful about.

Of course, since it's been some time since I queried, I did what I always do, and read up on current trends (in regards to query, or what agents think is a bonus for upcoming writers, not what's hot in the market) and of course, social media, and having a 'platform' seemed to be high on the list.

Well, I've had the blog for a while. I have a excruciatingly boring tumblr account. A live journal page I sometimes manage to post on. And then there's Twitter. Everyone's favorite random tweety thing.

I was late to the twitter game, but once I got an account, I found I really liked it. There is just something terribly amusing and endearing about reading that your favorite author got out of bed and tripped over their cat, or woke up with a kid's feet in their face. You think 'HA! I know exactly what that's like!' Then there's the 'I got an agent call! And then I sneezed into the phone! *face/palm*' tweets of your friends who are going through their own journey to publication. The point is that you get glimpses into those peoples' lives, and you feel connected to them. You love hearing these little blinks of their world.

Except Twitter isn't like that now.

Now, I have to search my feed in earnest to find one cute, random remark about daily life, or personal writing experience. Instead, I'm flooded with tweets bearing links to articles about peoples' books, tips on writing, releases of their friends' books, radio interviews, newspaper articles political articles, contests, press releases, movies about books, casting calls, charity events, and any number of other things. I, personally, am not such a much. I'm just a writer on her way to publication. I've got something like 250 followers. But I follow many more than that. Agents, authors, fellow writers still trying to make it, a couple of actors, and several publishing houses.

I sort of expect ads from publishing houses. And I don't mind them from established authors (what's cooler than having someone like Scalzi or Gaimen help raise awareness for something?) and I totally don't mind agents tweeting happily about clients' upcoming books or events.

But I think that either I've missed the point of social media, or it's changed. Because the nonstop links to buy your book on Amazon, and the endless ads drive me up a wall. If your tweeting about a release date, or contest/giveaway for the release date, awesome. But don't kill me with it. Recently when I've lurked on twitter, I've found myself feeling like I'm in one of those futuristic movies where there are ad banners embedded in your retinas and you have no choice but to swallow a steady flow of marketing. Maybe I just don't get it. Maybe the point of a platform is to tout yourself and your works nonstop.

But I thought the point of social media was to be social. To get people to like you, and thusly create a platform wherein people will support you because they think you're pretty cool. And they'll help spread the word about you because they want other people to think you're pretty cool. And somehow, being bombarded with what amounts to self advertising, just doesn't make me feel social. Or friendly. It makes me want to move into the middle of nowhere on the top of the world and live alone in a cabin, like that girl Hanna, in HANNA.


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