So, as you may or may not know, I wrote four books recently, and number five is due out any day (well, it was actually due out yesterday, but is still stuck with the designers who aren’t responding to any of my emails. But let’s not talk about that now.)
In the process of writing all these tomes, I discovered a very surprising thing: people don’t automatically rush out and buy your books; you actually have to market them.
I chuckle now at how incredibly naïve I am sometimes, but having a blog (or even 3…) isn’t enough to guarantee sales of a book. (I haven’t sold as much even one copy in the last 6 weeks. But let’s not talk about that now.)
So then I did what any other self-respecting author would do: I got all despondent and depressed for 2 weeks, and started scanning the ‘secretary wanted’ ads in the local paper. But then, I snapped out of it, bought a whole bunch of ‘how to market your book’ books, and discovered that I HAVE to work the social media angle for all it’s worth.
I hate social media!
Just one problem: I hate social media. I particularly hate all the false, fake ‘commenting to be seen’ stuff that is part-and-parcel of everyone’s idea of how to market my book. Still, it’s a shame to have NO SALES WHATSOEVER, so I signed up for a whole bunch of things, probably started spamming a few too many people with misguided attempts at ‘connecting’ (sorry!), and waited for the social media effect to kick in.
Kick in it did – but not how I expected.
I’m still selling zero books (but let’s not talk about that now); but what I’ve also realized is that social media is soul-destroying, even when your efforts are getting noticed.
The online discussion from hell...
Let me give you an example of what I’m talking about: I decided to start an online discussion about why people get depressed, expecting no-one to participate. To my shock and horror, a whole bunch of comments started piling up underneath the discussion, and I had no idea what to do with them.
Reply to some of them? Reply to all of them? Ignore the stupid ones? Ignore all of them, so the people who made stupid ones wouldn’t think I was ignoring them? Try to reach out? But wouldn’t I sound phony or fake if I did that? Share more of my own opinions – surely that would be controlling and big-headed?
On and on my confusion went, until I came to dread the email alerts telling me someone else had commented, and pretended they must be talking to someone else.
Dear reader, I ran away from my own discussion.
Forget about 'social anxiety'; social MEDIA anxiety is far more of a problem in 2015
And in the process, I coined a new term: social media anxiety.
Now that I’ve officially diagnosed myself with social media anxiety, I’m hoping God will have mercy on me, and see that the whole 'online interaction' route to selling my books really isn’t going to work in my case.
As usual, I’m back to waiting for an open miracle, which also has its own drawbacks, I know. But it still beats the heck out of spending hours a day trying to figure out which smiley to put next to my last (dumb…) comment.