The thing about social networking is that there has to be a measure of honesty about it – at least if you’re trying to make actual connections with people. I tend to go fairly light on the promo stuff most of the time unless I’ve got an interview or something to mention. I probably *should* do it more, but it’s just not me.
Call it modesty, if you want, or laziness, or whatever, but I’m not fond of the selling myself aspect of authorship. Probably makes me a Bad Promotion Author, but that’s okay. No one really seems to know what sells books anyway – promo, ads, swag – whatever. In the end it should be about the words, though sometimes it’s really just luck and timing.
At any rate, many authors are introverts – so the idea of blogging or facebooking can be fairly intimidating. It doesn’t mean they’re not worth a try – after all, shoving through the comfort zone can often bring about growth and change.
But if it’s really that disconcerting, sometimes that can backfire. Blogging only to promote becomes boring after a while. Only sending people Facebook messages about various causes and games rings false. (I don’t react to those, by the way. I pretty much let people post whatever they want to my walls, but please don’t clutter it up with various causes or do the passive aggressive thing – e.g. “If you’re against/not against X, you’ll post this.” Please, PLEASE stop doing that. I instantly delete it if it shows up and if it happens more than twice, I’ll remove you. Doesn’t matter if it’s a good cause or not, or even if I believe in it or not, but give me the right to fly my own flag on my own virtutal doorstep. )
I think I’ve gotten off track here, because my initial point is that not everyone is comfortable with putting out. Even if blog posts aren’t all about promo, if the author in question is super uncomfortable with it, it shows. And that’s not anyone’s fault – sometimes we’re just wired that way. I’m notoriously camera shy – I hate it. I usually hate getting my picture taken and I do not do well on video.
(Though I think it sorta depends. If I’m having fun it’s no big deal. If I’m forced to pose and be all authorly, I completely freeze up. Alas.)
This is that travesty with being born on the Leo/Virgo cusp. I crave the spotlight…and then shun the hell out of it. But that’s just my personal issue. And the only reason I bring it up is because it’s been suggested that I start doing video blogs, which I’ve never actually tried.
And really, I’m not sure how well it would work. I tend to ramble here on the blog. I imagine my words would probably slur together in a big nervous mess as I talk about nothing, so… (I suspect I have the potential to get really jacked up and weird too, so who knows?)
I have seen a few authors use an online video service where followers can submit questions and the author then just records the answer and posts that. Might be that’s a more workable solution for me, if only to keep me on track.
I’m just not sure about it, to be honest.