Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Have Some Fun With It

I've noticed a little trend with Twitter.

Okay, it's a big trend.

Well, it's like a tidal wave of trends without a hashtag for said trend.

Wellll, let's hashtag it anyway. #hashtaglesswritertrend

It's the fact that people with books out do one of two things... they either over post the link to that Kindle, Amazon, Indiebound, Borders (okay, not Borders... really... have you been reading the news? I tried to slip that one by you), or Barnes and Noble site that has their book on it. "BUUUYYYY my book," they say. "Come on, people, let's sell some books today."

And it's all they do.

Then there's this guy... the "I'm not going to do that guy." The passive aggresive, my book is out today, I'm going to post a link to it and then pretend like I never did and not really care if anyone buys it even though I care more than you know. I'll retweet every mention of me and hope it catches on that way.

(I'm a little of both of these people on Twitter, btw, I am not innocent in all of this. Well, I'm kind of innocent. All right, I'm just a plain hypocrite... I do these things all the time).

But I'm here to say something... It's time we have a little fun being an author. It's time to stop taking ourselves so seriously and remember that "HOLY CRAP, I HAVE A FUCKING BOOK OUT THERE!"

Be excited. It's okay. Something good happens to you, shout it from the rooftops. Tell people, hire a skywriter and let your town know about it. Be excited. I don't know about you, but if someone out there isn't excited about their own book, then guess what? Neither am I.

Don't be too cool for school about this. Let your freak flag fly.

At the same time, you don't have to be all self-promo all the time. It can't just be a link to your book. It has to be a link to good reviews. A quote from an email you got from a fan.

Sell your movie rights? Tell us!

Listen. You're human. Writing a book and getting it published is a big deal. Fans understand this. We've been beaten down by too many people telling us selling ourselves is a BAD thing. It's not. Not if you do it right.

Have fun with it. Celebrate your good stuff.

BE EXCITED!!!!!!!!!!!ZOMG!!!!!!!!!

Let me tell you a story:

I was in Boston seeing a concert right around the time my 2nd book came out. As my buddy and I were grabbing a beer, a woman stopped me. In Boston. At a concert. And she said, "I'm sorry, are you Dave White?"

I said, "Yes."

She said, "Your book rocked."

She wasn't star struck. I was. I made her take a picture with me. I got all... giggly. I was excited. I texted my friends and family. I know I blogged about it. Not sure if I had Twitter then, but if I did... I definitely tweeted it.


And that's okay.

You want to shout about the big deals, we're all going to be happy for you. Have fun. It's a book. If you're reading this site, it's like a mystery book.

But don't be boring. Don't tweet links, and don't try to downplay it. Act like you KNOW you have something special on your hands.

Because, you know what? You do.

So, show us.

Shout--USE CAPITAL LETTERS--your good news in the comments below.


Sandra Ruttan said...

This may be changing a bit, but with the exception of a few writers (Konrath) it's always seemed the ones who shout the loudest and proudest were self published. That's going back to before being self published in Kindle became acceptable, of course.

Dave White said...

Yeah, true. I just... I want people to be excited that something good happened to them. Not too cool. And not just "BUY MY BOOK!!" Enjoy what's going on! For a lot of people this is a life long dream, why not be excited when you've accomplished it?

Tim said...

I don't have a book out, so I just use Twitter to tell people when I have a blog post up. And remind them every hour. Also, I use my website as a hashtag because having seven people retweet me will move me into trending topics with Kei$ha.
Sometimes to break things up I say "For the afternoon crowd." Other times I say "For the night crowd." Other times I say "For those of you who woke up late, don't miss."

Dave White said...

Right. That's good to know, but you're probably missing the point of this post, then.

Thomas Pluck said...

Dave, that's an awesome story.

I do the same with story publications. You have to get it out there. I try to limit it to a few times a day.

JamesFinnGarner said...

Good post, Dave. It IS a great feeling after months or years of work to be able to say a book is out.

I think I'm finding an audience for my latest farce, HONK HONK, MY DARLING: A REX KOKO, PRIVATE CLOWN MYSTERY. (There! The caps felt good)

I was happy this weekend when 3 reviews went up on Amazon (granted, I got them through Book Rooster, but they are honest reviews). One gave it an ecstatic 5-star, while another said it was the weirdest thing she'd ever read. So, good news on both counts. What would she expect from Clown Noir?

Gerald So said...

The key to promotion for me is authenticity. If I get the sense that the author's enthusiasm is real, if s/he can answer the initial questions I have about every book, then I will buy the book.

I can't promote a book the same way you do, Dave, so I don't try. Each of us has qualities that set us apart from others. Those qualities should come through in writing and in promotion.

Dave White said...

All I'm saying is believe in yourself, believe in your emotions and believe in your book. Don't just post a link every 2 minutes.... Give me some enthusiasm.

Gerald So said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dave White said...

I know that too, Gerald.

Gerald So said...

I agree with your basic message, but people have different ways of showing emotion and belief. Sometimes, people are unfairly perceived as lacking enthusiasm/belief if they don't show it the same way others do.

The particular show of emotion or belief has to fit the person, but I want to see it as much as you do.

Dave White said...

Gerald, you just made me look psychic... ha!

Gerald So said...

Yes, well done. :)

Anonymous said...

All Twitter is anymore is writers jerking each other off.

@author: I have a book LINK
RT @author: I have a book LINK
@author: Thank you for the RT. RT @author: I have a book LINK

On and on and on and on.

If authors spent as much time writing good books as they do jerking off other authors, maybe there would be books worth reading and Borders would still be open.

Dave White said...

Wow, it took 14 comments for the Anonymous wet blanket to show up. I would have lost the over/under.

Dave White said...

Also, anon, flaw in the argument: For Borders to have stayed open it would have needed to sell more books. Promotion helps that.

Dave White said...

Annnnnnddddddd, that's not what this post is really about. It's about letting authors be excited for their accomplishments.

Dave White said...

And, finally, "B-gock" (chicken noise) for not signing your name.

Anonymous said...

Oh, sure! Because having a bunch of straight-to-kindle authors flooding Twitter would have helped Borders.

You're not going to find any real authors on Twitter, because they're too busy writing real books.

If you just shit something out of your ass and wipe it on the internet, then you've got plenty of time to Twitter yourself.

Steve Weddle said...

I think what you want to keep in mind is that we've got a community out here.

If someone -- Anon or whoever -- doesn't want to follow what you say, he/she doesn't have to.

But if a member of the community -- my friends, family, whatevs -- has good news, I want to hear about it. I want that person to do well. If Keith Rawson or John Hornor Jacsobs or a thousand other people have good news to share, then let's spread it like herpes on the Jersey Shore.

Ben said...

When promotion is peppered with discussion and interaction, I don't have any problems with it. I have a problem with people that use Twitter as a way to impose their thoughts on the world in general, so I guess it doesn't reach out only to books. I mean, unless you're Jose Canseco, I'm not going to check your tweets and wonder that you checked into a Starbucks.

I understand the passive-aggressive writers, but yeah it doesn't get them anywhere. But also, keep in mind that selling is a skill and not everybody has it or develops in the same way.

Dave White said...

Okay, lots to comment on here. Ben, I agree with you wholly. I still think it's okay to celebrate good things, however.

Steve, you're right, people don't have to listen.

Anonymous, you still come back with your sweary tough guy talk without signing your name and acting like an adult. If you want to disagree with me, fine, then we can have a civil discussion. But you want to come in here with your bluster and anger and you're derailing a discussion much like the Twitter Tweet and RT of links you say you only see does.

You also say "real" authors aren't on Twitter. However I see Jodi Piccoult, George Pelecanos, Harlan Coben, Lawrence Block, and Duane Swierczynski on there all the time. And they probably fall into your category of "real" authors. And "real" authors is offensive, but I'm sure you meant this that way, because you're insinuating a lot of people who are putting out good books (e-books too) aren't.

The other problem is I have is you still refuse to act like an adult and sign your name. Instead, you're acting like an angry teenager who's upset at the glitch in the 3rd level or World of Warcraft. You're scared. I don't know why... is it because you're trying to get a book deal and you're afraid your sweary "tough guy" rants will hurt your chance? Or are you afraid to be confronted and have to think up real points without lacing them with "shit" and "fuck."

But anyway, you've done what you wanted and derailed a post that was supposed to be fun... Congrats on winning this battle. I'm sure you'll be back for many more.

Thomas Pluck said...

The one good point is that promotion can be overdone- especially when it doesn't have the honest enthusiasm you mention in the original post. I'd recommend Chuck Wendig's post today about writers and social media, which had some salient points about quid pro quo.
I know for one, that some friends of mine RT links to stories before they have a chance to read them. And while I appreciate it, I think it sends the wrong message. The same if I clamor about a book I haven't read, because hey, he's my twitter pal. It's not authentic and it cheapens the enthusiastic shouting that generates true word of mouth.

Another good read is Dean Wesley Smith's "myths of publishing" posts on his blog. One myth that he recently mentioned is that we writers think that once X happens, "we've made it, and it's all gravy." Like rejections suddenly stop. Sure, once you have name recognition, sometimes getting in the door is easier. But it's a constant job to improve as a writer, and keep the fire going. And with promotion landing in the writer's lap, that becomes part of the job.

Anonymous said...

That's what social media is all about. Part marketing, part excitement and part being yourself. You put a book out there and it's hit the top of your genre on Amazon, be excited and YELL out loud. Allow yourself to be human. That Chuck Wendig guy posted one of his glorious lists about using twitter and he nailed it. Don't be a persona, be yourself.

A side note to your fan experience and I only mention it because I can relate. Back when I pretended to be a comic book writer I was at a con with a small press publisher promoting our anthology series DWP and selling back issues. The biggest thrill was when a guy came up to the table and asked me to sign an issue with my story "Got Buggz?!" and told me it was one of his favorite stories. I felt like a rock star for a day.

Unknown said...

I'll admit I'm the reluctant guy, or pretend to be. I am excited that I have a book out and someone actually wanted to publish it...but I think the reluctance game is a reaction to the authors who do nothing #but #use #hastags #every #time #they #post (#kindle #amazon #whatever)

And, admit it, Dave, you're the anonymous poster and you're arguing with yourself....

(But if you're not Dave, anonymous guy, what have you written? Are you a 'real' writer or just some dude who posts his stories to his blog because he's afraid of a little rejection?)

Dave White said...

I wish I was the anonymous guy. I'd know everything about me and throw it in my face.

Sabrina E. Ogden said...

I love hearing the good news, and can't understand why anyone wouldn't want people to share it. As far as I'm concerned... your good news is my good news. Plus, watching others fulfill their dreams is actually quite inspiring, or it can be when your heart is in the right place.

I wouldn't call myself a writer, but I do have story being published next month in a fun online zine... and even though I'm nervous about it, I'm still excited. I WROTE A STORY. AND IT'S BEING PUBLISHED. Wootzie =0