I’ve noticed what appears to be a percolating trend out there on the Internet: fatigue with social media. From people letting their blogs slide to celebrities quitting Twitter to an entire university taking a week off, it seems like quite a few people out there are needing a break from the web.
Though, I suppose if you’re taking a break from the Internet it means you’re not reading this right now. Conundrum. WHAT IF I YELL OUT LOUD CAN YOU HEAR ME??!!
Anyway, according to my completely unscientific Pulse-of-the-Internet-Meter (patent pending I’ll sell it to you for seven billion dollars), it seems that a lot of people out there are having a collective “Wait, why am I doing this again?” moment when it comes to social media. So I thought I’d circle that back to books and a recent topic in the Forums:
Does social media work? Does it help sell books? Have you bought books because you heard of them through social media? Or do you simply follow the people whose books you’re already familiar with? Do you think the time spent is worthwhile or is it a glorified time-waster? Are certain activities more productive than others?
Poll below. If you’re reading via e-mail or an RSS feed you’ll need to click through to see it.
James Reed's Reads says
I run the Digital Spotlight Fiction Review. I'm part of a group who are reviewing ebooks to sift the wheat from the tares in the vast mountain of self-published material available on the net, particularly Smashwords and Amazon.
The first batch of reviews are now up. 3 ebooks reviewed – 1 Good, 1 BAD, 1 a Must-Read.
Please read the reviews in order as I posted the 3 at once for a reason:
It's all getting a bit too….OTT.
I tried to leave a comment on another agents blog. I need a google account. To get my google account, they want my phone number.
They can sod off. (yes I did send off to say I didn't want to give my phone number. But heck, it's a lot of work just to post a little comment)
Social media can help sales, especially for smaller presses etc, because how will people buy it if they don't know it exists? But I think people are in overload and/or fed up with intrusion. I know I am.
gae polisner says
funny that, as a writer with my debut YA book coming out in the spring, and my option revisions due, I just blogged on this topic yesterday, here:
also, there's a link to an AWESOME short (mini?) film by a woman named Andrea Dorfman there. I don't know her. But I wish I did.
I voted that I am not "here."
gae polisner says
sorry, that should have said blogged on a "related" topic yesterday… it was the whole social networking thing that led me there… 🙂
Julie Weathers says
I've picked up some books because I find the authors interesting in various social media. I've also decided I will never buy some books because the author is an arrogant ass in public. It goes both ways.
J. T. Shea says
Anonymous 1:45 pm, my last comment carefully distinguished between intent and impression. I already agreed with you regarding (online) social networking, but your comments seems more a critique of writing as a career choice than of social networking. There I would agree only in part.
But social networking IS working for you. Next time I'm in a bookstore, I'll keep an eye open for any books by 'Anonymous 1:45 pm'. You could really make a name for yourself!
From what I've learning from friends in advertising, social media does very little in the end. All those fb updates and the like – bupkis. It's just more noise mucking up the signal.
Clearly it doesn't hurt, but I'm getting completely unimpressed by all this internet chatter.
I was thinking of this the other day. There are so many aspiring authors on Facebook or Twitter that I'm getting fatigue reading their status or tweets.
I know the importance of marketing yourself; especially if a person self-published their books,but it has to be a limit. I believe if they tweet too much or post endless excerpts of their book on Facebook, I feel they'll lose their fans before their get book hits mainstream. Of course, it's my opinion.
I use Twitter to network with other writers and Facebook to communicate with friends and family. Every now and then, I will do a shameless plug of my endeavors, but I don't want to overkill it.
Adam Heine says
It sounds like a lot of people are saying either "There are too many people out there to filter the noise" or "I never buy a book based on someone's tweets."
Both of these are true, I think, but are beside the point. Social media is not why you buy a book. It's how you first hear about a book.
And if you hear about a book enough times, from enough different sources, you'll eventually check it out yourself. So all the regular book filtering factors are still in play.
About a third of the books I read are purchased as a direct result of Internet chat and/or advertising. That's significant.
Interestingly though, book trailers have turned me off to books I thought I would buy. Once I saw the trailer, I thought, WTF? And then it was over. Not buying that.
However, I bought Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver because she had the first chapter posted online. Loved it. Bought it. The same is true of Julie Kagawa's Iron King.
When an agent finally awakens to my writing genius and I get published, I'm going to make sure any publishing contracts I sign include the right to publish the first chapter online. That's what makes ME want to buy a book, so why the hell not?
Jane Holland says
Nearly every ebook I've bought has been as a direct result of seeing it promoted on a blog, mentioned on Facebook or retweeted by a fellow writer.
But then, I'm a writer and editor, and most of my "friends" on social media are writers, editors, publishers, agents. So it would be amazing if I didn't hear about new books all the blinkin' time, and occasionally clicked through and bought one of them.
Not sure how important social media is for non-writing friends, whether they buy the same way or through different – dare I say, old-fashioned? – channels.
I got off the net about two months ago. I've slowly gotten back on, but I actually don't want to be on as much as I used to. I like life. I like visiting with my neighbor and talking about our gardens (and her husband was a famous writer, yo, so we talk shop, too but mostly plants). I like walking to the library. I like walking down mainstreet and checking out the galleries. I've been taking hikes with the family every weekend, going apple picking–you know, LIFE. the stuff I need to think up the stories.
Maybe it's just that I'm older-39 this year, but apart from a very few sites-I just don't care where the next big story is.