I'm a member of a number of closed Facebook groups, some specifically MM related, others of a more general writerly nature (my first new word of 2016, I think). In one of the groups certain individuals have recently been barred. Why? Because they were promoing like mad, doing the on-line equivalent of jumping up and down, waving their knickers in the air whilst screaming buy my book, buy my book. It was particularly niggling because the site in question is all about the business of writing within the MM genre, with out and out, blatant promo against the rules. It's their loss, because the site contains a wealth of knowledge and experience they no longer have access to.
It should be obvious, but to so many it seems not. Surely the clue is in the name: social media. It's not promo media, or let me sell you something media. It's SOCIAL media. Which means just that, being sociable and everything that goes with that like being polite and respectful. That doesn't mean that you can't have fun, be a bit blue or near the knuckle, rant and rave or say stuff that might not be popular, or be controversial. Of course it doesn't because that would make the on-line world way too dull and anodyne and who the hell would want to spend time in a place like that? I know I wouldn't. This whole subject has been written about in depth by authors who are much more social media savvy than I am. Joanna Penn www.thecreativepenn.com has written on this subject on a number of occasions. Check her out, not least because of her wide experience of the world of indie publishing.
Let me give you my take on social media. There are places out there that are all about promo, and that's fine, in those places it's all about selling and we expect to be invited to buy (invited, not hit over the head with the subtlety of a cricket bat). And that's okay, we all know the score. But other areas I see as being more like virtual cafés (yep, me and my cafés again) places where you can call in, spend some time, have a chat and just be, well, sociable. Often, I drop into the virtual café whilst clutching a real coffee, sometimes even a cake (whoa, I'm rolling with this whole analogy here). And just like in a real café that you find on the high street, when I go in I don't want somebody I don't know all but rugby tackle me to the ground demanding that I buy this book or buy that course, or buy anything for that matter. I'm there to meet old friends, make some new ones and chat about stuff of mutual interest. Now, that's what I call sociable, social media
A E Ryecart
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