Even if you bleed on the pages there will be detractors.
This brings us to the second thing every aspiring author should know.
Social media is replete with anti-social behavior.
In fact, these sites are little more than a soapbox for some of the worst sociopaths out there. Also, regular use of social media has been scientifically linked to increased unhappiness, anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and suicides.
I SO get it!
After spending three years in a social media prison of my own making, I drink way more now than ever before, and trying crack cocaine to escape the preponderance of insanity exhibited there, is no longer out of the question. It’s probably a good thing I am a starving author who cannot afford drugs. Is this change in my outlook towards escapism merely a coincidence? I don’t think so.
Tips to avoid becoming this guy:
- Spend only the time that you must on social media. It is not a healthy place. Social media burnout is a real thing. Just ask any of your author friends on facebook, and they will tell you all about it.
- Do not expect reciprocity. You will probably LIKE and SHARE far more often than others return the favor.
- Being an author means you have gone into the book selling business. Sharp business people realize “Time is money.” Understand that without advertising, maybe 1% of your followers might actually read your book(s). Budget your time spent on social media sites accordingly. Here is the math that no author I know, including myself, pays any attention to:
10,000 followers x 1% book buyers x +/- $3.00 royalty = $300.00 / your hours invested.
My social media investment is really taking off. I make 14 cents per hour, now that I have cut back on the time spent there; when only one year ago the number was 3 cents per hour. So, I have that going for me.
Why do it at all?
We do it for the 1%.
- Engage with your very special 1%. Readers, reviewers, and supporters are what makes social media tolerable in small doses.
- To preserve your sanity, learn to UNFOLLOW, BLOCK, or even UNFRIEND those who post police brutality, animal abuse, racism, sexism, posts promoting division, photos of the bandits ruling America regardless of party—basically anything in your feed which causes a revulsive response within you.
- If you are a woman, opening your Messenger to a new male follower is like having to choose to between cutting the blue or red wire to defuse a time bomb several times per day. It’s an inevitability that you will make the wrong choice eventually and BOOM—dick pic.
These are YOUR sites to manage how you want.
Don’t let others tell you what you must tolerate in order to be “successful” on social media. Those days are gone. Social media no longer has the influence it initially had with agents, publishers or the book buyers of the world so keep the time you spend there in perspective. If you do this, you will find yourself with a significant amount of extra time to use on more productive pursuits like writing, e-mail campaigns, or trying to find a drug dealer in an upscale family-oriented neighborhood. It’s tougher than you think.