Monday, 4 August 2014

Writers on social media

I was at an event a couple of weeks ago - a food thing, nothing to do with books - and one of the PRs blithely said "oh of course you know about SEO, 250 word posts, links back to important sites, lots of good-quality pictures". I smiled and nodded and then scurried home to find out what it is I am supposed to know about 250 word posts.

Well, turns out shorter posts are less likely to turn up in search rankings. So I need to write longer pieces about books if I want people to read these posts. Well, maybe I do, maybe I don't! And as for pictures... I mean, they do make a post prettier, but I don't take a lot of pictures of books...
So here is Urchin catching up on some bedtime reading.

There must be a lot of lists of things you must know and do, as a blogger, as an author, as a whatever. Based on the people who follow me on twitter, quite a bit of it seems to be a painting-by-numbers thing. There was an author who I followed, and whose blog I read, who insisted that the more followers on twitter the better and that it was just a numbers game. He followed vast numbers of people, and if they didn't follow him back within a certain period, he unfollowed them. His act of following me seems to have got me on some sort of list, because every day now I am followed by a bunch of people whose profiles read "author".

Now, I have a fairly flexible attitude towards following people on twitter. As long as nothing about your profile or recent tweets suggest you are a dickhead with views that will outrage me, I will follow back. But. I am a big believer in the "social" side of social media, and if you ONLY tweet praise for yourself, or ads for your book, I will unfollow you pretty damn quick. And I probably won't be buying your book.

You know what makes me buy a book? Interest and gratitude. I'm in 3 different bookclubs, which all introduce me to books I probably wouldn't have read before but which fall into line with my interests. I also buy books out of gratitude for the entertainment that writers have provided me with on social media. Chuck Wendig: great blogger, great tweeter. Jim C Hines: great blogger, great facebooker. It's not just a numbers game - there has to be some give and take.

400+ words. Take THAT SEO!