I’m still a shy person. I’ve learned to put that aside on certain occasions. I have to. It’s part of my job.
I’m an introvert. It’s not that I don’t like talking to people, I’m just naturally shy and given the choice between fading into the background and starting a conversation with a complete stranger at a cocktail party, I’ll choose the background every time.
This presents a dilemma, because as an author, social networking is an important part of marketing. And most of us know it should never be about spamming or stalking people and chanting ‘Buy my book! Buy my book!’ Put it this way — whatever would be annoying at a cocktail party is equally annoying online.
So I invest in my social network relationships and take them seriously. I try to have real conversations on Twitter, which is why I only follow about 100 people. Same with Facebook. At last count, 32 people like me. That’s way more than I ever expected. I can survive without 32,000 people liking me.
I regularly visit the blogs I subscribe to and comment when I recognize a connection. I consider some of these people new friends. I belong to a small but powerful marketing group of fellow authors. I update my Pinterest page and my Goodreads account and weigh in with my Nancy Drew Sleuths Yahoo Group as often as I can. That way when I do promote my books, nobody can accuse me of ‘drive-by’ promotion.
Did I mention I’m an introvert? If we use the cocktail party analogy, I’m now the life of the party, standing on the table chatting with everyone and laughing at all the jokes. It goes against my nature. It takes a ton of energy and creativity and personality.
I’m exhausted and in danger of becoming overwhelmed.
So I made a mistake last week. I joined Linked In. I have no idea why. I wasn’t thinking. I can’t even tell you exactly what the deal is with Linked In, I didn’t do my research. I simply filled out my profile. The next day my mailbox was flooded with more people and more connections. Even one of my former students blathering on about her writing career and asking me questions.
I snapped, and decided I had to Link Out or lose my sanity. Nothing personal. I just needed a quiet corner to contemplate my naval for a while.
Do you get overwhelmed with the marketing side of writing? Do you sometimes wish you could Link Out?