Thursday, October 21, 2010

About Facebook and Book Promotions...


If you're like me, you usually check out facebook a few times a day to see what's going on, to see what your friends are doing and to post something you hope might be interesting. By accident I happened to be one of the first people ever to join facebook. I started my page when no one even knew what facebook was, thanks to a very tech savvy friend of mine named Jonathan who writes some great YA fiction.

And in this time period I've met some great people. I've learned a great deal, too. But there are also a few things about facebook I don't understand. One of which are these group notices I receive from people I don't even know. I see them in my in-box all the time. The subject line reads something like this, "Betty Jane, Jim Bob, and Ethel Mertz have invited you..." Most often, these are requests from other authors regarding events they are having to promote their books. Some are blogging events, some are free give-aways. And nine times out of ten they aren't valid requests from friends, they are publicity stunts geared to snag you into buying something.

The problem with this is two-fold. One, like most people I'm usually too busy to check out any events other than those I find are extremely important. As an author, I don't do this to my facebook friends because I don't want to bother them or disrupt their busy days. What I prefer to do is just post information about book releases and let people decide for themselves whether or not they want to read my books or stories. If people have questions...and they do...I'm always there to answer them either with this blog or through a personal e-mail. The second problem with these invitations is that most people who are sending them out aren't famous enough to make other people care. I'm not being snarky now; just realistic. In other words, if one of the famous people I'm following sends me an invitation for some type of event, the odds are I'll at least check it out. And only if I'm not too busy and it's something that really makes me curious. But if I've never heard of you, I'm just going to delete the message without opening it. And if I see it there repeatedly, I'm hopping over to facebook and blocking you from my account.

So for all those out there who are sending out facebook invitations to events and book promotions, you might want to re-think your strategy. Most people are on facebook to have fun, not get frustrated. This is just a suggestion; you don't have to listen to me. It's just that there's this thin line between aggressive and obnoxious when it comes to self-promotion, and I'd hate to see you turn potential readers off just because you think it's the right thing to do or you don't understand how facebook operates. And lets face it, no one's really going to tell you this out loud. Your friends will see these things, snort a few times behind your back, and just delete the invitation. And you run the risk of annoying people instead of attracting them.

We want information about your books. We really do. We just don't want you to hit us over the head with a sledge hammer while you're telling us about them.

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