Nobody likes a braggart, but all of us want to brag…at least a little. As we writers move into the Digital Age publishing paradigm, we often find ourselves in the position of having to market. Ah, but here’s the pickle. If we toot our horns too much, we can risk turning others off.
I’ve been coaching writers for social media success for quite some time, and I tend to see two distinct camps on the social media front—Obnoxious Ollie and Super Secret Susan.
Obnoxious Ollie is easy to spot. Who could miss this guy? He has four different Twitter identities, so he can tell us how awesome his books are four times MORE. This guy is everywhere on social media (and often automated). His tweets generally look something like this:
@OllieAuthor Man of the Year is hailed as the best book since the Bible. If you love Twilight, Harry Potter and Dianetics you will LOVE Man of the Year, a memoir about the world’s most interesting man. Too interesting for Big Six publishers, so now available for FREE! on KDP.
@AuthorOllie Man of the Year is hailed as the best book since the Bible. If you love Twilight, Harry Potter and Dianetics you will LOVE Man of the Year, a memoir about the world’s most interesting man. Too interesting for Big Six publishers, so now available for FREE! on KDP.
@ManoftheYear Man of the Year is hailed as the best book since the Bible. If you love Twilight, Harry Potter and Dianetics you will LOVE Man of the Year, a memoir about the world’s most interesting man. Too interesting for Big Six publishers, so now available for FREE! on KDP.
@OllieWriter Man of the Year is hailed as the best book since the Bible. If you love Twilight, Harry Potter and Dianetics you will LOVE Man of the Year, a memoir about the world’s most interesting man. Too interesting for Big Six publishers, so now available for FREE! on KDP.
Yeah, because we didn’t realize these tweets all came from the same dude. Really? Just…really.
Obnoxious Ollie doesn’t understand that social media is social and he looks for every opportunity to
shove his book up our nose self-promote and let us know how amazing he is.
Super Secret Susan
Super Secret Susan, on the other hand, rarely tells people she is a writer and she would DIE if people knew she had a book for sale. Super Secret Susan is sweet and interesting and genuinely kind…she just never tells anyone that she has a book for sale. Often this writer uses a cutesy moniker @WriterLady and her blog, Rainbow Kitten Fairy Dreams never lists her NAME or her BOOKS. In fact, if you want to actually purchase Super Secret Susan’s books, you will need to contact the FBI and they will get a message to her…maybe.
There are way too many Super Secretive Susans, but this gal is actually at far less risk for poisoning her on-line presence. Her social media might not do anything to drive book sales, but at least it isn’t going to make others want to stab her in the face.
So let’s talk a little about Obnoxious Ollie, because many of us are so afraid of being THAT GUY, that we shy too far to the Super Secret Susan extreme.
When is It Okay to Brag? Don’t…
Advertise Our Personal Awesomeness
Unsubstantiated self-praise is just annoying, and highly likely to
violate social norms make people want to shove you in a microwave.
“My books are sheer genius. Why wouldn’t they be? They were written by a genius. ME.”
Use Someone Else’s Glory to Make Ourselves Look Good
Let the other person shine. When we try to share the shine, we just spotlight that we are an a$$clown.
“You liked Piper Bayard’s book? I gave her all her ideas. In fact, she is lost without me.”
Fixate on One Achievement
“Can we talk about how I made #1 in the Men’s Midget Sci-Fi Steampunk Romance Category on Amazon?”
Use a Disclaimer to Talk About Our Success
“I’m so sorry your Aunt Myrtle passed on. Well, not to brag, but my book has helped people cope with grieving. They were so caught up in its AWESOMENESS, they forgot to cry…well, until the end when they realized the book was OVER. Now free on KDP *elbow nudge, wink, wink* Free all week, but time’s running out :D.”
Make False Claims
Okay, DUH. Writing our own reviews is just D-U-M-B. Don’t do it. Don’t say your book is the best thing since The Hunger Games. If other people, readers, reviewers want to say that, then fine. If we say it, we are not objective so it is automatically a false claim.
Talk About Money or Sales
It’s gauche to brag you make six figures at a party and it’s gauche to do it on-line. If people want to know your sales, how much money you made, how many books you sold, they can marry you. It’s tacky to ask and tacky to tell. I know this is a fine line for some of us NF folk, but we will talk testimonials in a moment.
I’ve seen some authors blunder this BIG TIME. If you are using your blog to tell the world how you sold zillions of books and now you don’t take WATER baths, when you can just scrub yourself in crisp Benjamins, we all just hate you. There is a time and place for this. Just trust me.
I remember when I first indie published.
My first royalty check could have covered a really nice dinner…if we bailed on the check. The day after I got my wimpy little check another author bragged on his blog how many books he was selling and how much money he was making.
I cried for three days.
In this new paradigm we all need each other, and if our behavior is turning our fellow writers into cutters, it’s hard to get their support when we need it.
Bragging is Okay When…
We Brag About Others
This is one of the reasons I feel we need to actively participate on social media. We meet people and get to know them, so we quickly see who deserves a pat on the back. We can use bragging to forge relationships and help others navigate the murky waters of meeting others on-line, by being a Connector…
“How are you? Have you met @KMHuber? She is one of my blog followers and she has the biggest heart I have EVER seen. You really should meet. She will help Twitter be more fun for you.”
“Oh, if you want some great fiction, check out Jody Hedlund or Tawna Fenske. Both ladies are wonderful writers and they are super sweet, too.”
“You have a hard time plotting? Get to know James Scott Bell. He is an AMAZING author and teacher.”
“You want a great blog? Oh, you MUST read The Bloggess or Chuck Wendig. Bring Kleenex. You will laugh until you CRY.”
“Oh, sure. Jillian Dodd has been super successful as an indie. Talk to her for some business tips. Doesn’t hurt that she’s super nice and works her tail off.
People can’t get enough of this type of bragging so long as it is genuine. We can spot a phoney from a mile away, so fake praise, even if we are praising others, can ruin our credibility. I NEVER praise a book, a blog or an author unless I have vetted them first.
I once had a friend who got very angry with me because I wouldn’t RT his blogs. I told him (nicely, gently and delicately) that, if he wanted me to RT his blogs, then he needed to write better blogs. Sometimes we have to use tough love and if the person stops being your friend, then so be it. They weren’t that vested in the relationship anyway, and they shouldn’t put us in that spot if they can’t take an honest answer.
Protect your name, protect your brand. Don’t just praise anyone. If people can’t trust our praise, they won’t trust us (our brand) and that’s bad juju.
But, if you engage on social media, it shouldn’t be long until you spot someone worthy of your praise. Often when we see someone who is always actively praising others, it makes us curious to know more about them. Why? Because we can’t help but LIKE them. We support who we LIKE. Not rocket science, here. It’s the Law of Reciprocity and it works wonders.
Bragging is Okay in Our Bios
Want to tell people you made a best-seller list? Want to tell people you sold 10,000 books? 100,000? A MILLION? Go for it! Put it in your author bio, web site bio, social media bios, as part of an e-mail signature or even on your blog in the About Me section or in the footer. You can also brag in a testimonial for someone else. Those are natural places we will look for people to list their achievements, sales numbers, rave reviews and praise.
For instance, we WANT to know if someone went to Harvard, their degree, achievements, clubs, titles…on their resume. THAT is a good place to tell us about achievements.
I graduated top of my class from Harvard with a 4.0 and was voted Most Likely to Succeed.
See? Natural. But if we put this same sentence on Twitter or at a cocktail party when no one asks? We just become That A$$ from Harvard who graduated top of her class, voted Most Likely to Be Unfollowed and Talked About…in a BAD Way.
Same with our books. People want to know if we are a best-selling author and they won’t be offended to see it in our bios. But if we tweet about it all the time and never shut up about our achievements and how much money we are making?
This is one of the reasons that reviews and testimonials are great to have for our website. So, if you want to highlight some reader reviews on your web site, go for it (so long as they were written by REAL reviewers/readers and not by you).
Bragging is Okay ONCE, Just Keep It Quick and Keep It Brief
Social media is social, so if you win a contest, grab a #1 spot, land an agent, or get a publishing deal, we DO want to hear about it and celebrate your victory. But, after that initial announcement? NO MAS. When we keep tooting our own horn, we really risk becoming an Obnoxious Ollie. Writing a tweet about major sales? Awesome. Writing an entire blog? Eh…watch it.
Also, I would never brag about money. If you want to brag, feel free to tell people how many books you sold (and let them do the math), but even then BE CAREFUL. I know sometimes this is necessary for those of us teaching “How To,” but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t handle this with some class. Those who brag about money will quickly turn others off.
The cool thing is that, if you are doing social media properly, then you will have forged some great relationships, so WE can brag about you because you deserve it…and also so we aren’t bragging about ourselves :D.
Brag if Someone Asks
If someone asks, then go ahead and tell (only if you feel comfortable with it). There are situations, especially for the NF expert, where people will want to know why we are qualified to give an opinion. THIS is the time to tell them about your #1 best-selling slot or how many people you have helped, etc.
If someone asks you how much money you are making, you don’t have to tell them that. They were rude for asking. And you don’t need to tell them your weight, age, or bra-size either. They should know better than being so gauche.
What are your thoughts? Are you tired of the non-stop self-promotion? Has an agent, publisher or marketing consultant put you in this awkward position? Do you disagree with me and don’t feel it is never wrong to talk about our accomplishments? Am I being too old-fashioned? What are some other situations that might be considered rude/offensive/sticky? How do you recommend we handle those situations? Have you ever found yourself at the blunt end of Obnoxious Ollie? How did you handle him? Are you an Obnoxious Ollie or a Super Secret Susan?
I love hearing from you!
To prove it and show my love, for the month of December, everyone who leaves a comment I will put your name in a hat. If you comment and link back to my blog on your blog, you get your name in the hat twice. If you leave a comment, and link back to my blog, and mention my book We Are Not Alone in your blog…you get your name in the hat THREE times. What do you win? The unvarnished truth from yours truly.
I will pick a winner once a month and it will be a critique of the first 20 pages of your novel, or your query letter, or your synopsis (5 pages or less).
And also, winners have a limited time to claim the prize, because what’s happening is there are actually quite a few people who never claim the critique, so I never know if the spam folder ate it or to look for it and then people miss out. I will also give my corporate e-mail to insure we connect and I will only have a week to return the 20 page edit.
At the end of December I will pick a winner for the monthly prize. Good luck!
WINNER OF OCTOBER CONTEST 20 pages of edit is THE HOOK. Please send your 5000 word Word document to kristen at wana intl dot com with WINNING in the title so I see it.
WINNER OF NOVEMBER is LISA WEIDMEIER. Please send your 5000 word Word document to kristen at wana intl dot com with WINNING in the title so I see it.
WINNER OF MANSFIELD MAGAZINE (10 PAGE EDIT) GRACE. Thank you for supporting my new blogging venture. By the way, the contest at Mansfield Magazine has AWESOME odds of winning. Please send your 2500 word Word document to kristen at wana intl dot com with WINNING in the title so I see it.
I also hope you pick up copies of my best-selling books We Are Not Alone–The Writer’s Guide to Social Media and Are You There, Blog? It’s Me, Writer . And both are recommended by the hottest agents and biggest authors in the biz. My methods teach you how to make building your author platform FUN. Build a platform and still have time left to write great books.
Great post, Kristen. And I love the sexy Batman shirt. (My wife’s obsession is with Batman and she owns about every DVD and comic book that he’s ever been in.)
And regarding the post, I hope — for the sake of my sanity and my Twitter feed — that a LOT of authors read this. It sounds rude, but I no longer “follow” authors after they follow me. I’ve just had so many send me obnoxious private — and pre-typed — direct messages afterward that I’ve learned in almost every case (at least on Twitter) that they’re not following me to get to know me or connect. They’re following me to promote their works.
So, I’ve stopped following them back, and if they want to get to know me and interact some, they can follow my blog and we can have a more normal — non-140-character-limit — conversation. : )
Crap. Why am I always the first the post. I even tried to delay my response and assumed that with the “likes” above others would have beaten me by the time I typed all of that out. (I may ban myself from commenting here for a while.)
Why??? I LOVE eager folks like you :D.
Hah! Yeah, but I don’t want to appear obnoxious, like what you described above. The truth is though that I hate for my e-mail to pile up, and then once I’ve read an article, I want to get my thoughts down before they slip away — assuming the article made me think something, which yours always seem to do. : )
Great advice! You know I tend toward the Super Secret Susan, but no aliases or hidden names here–Thanks to you. 😉
Reblogged this on K. Crumley rambles on… and commented:
Well Said. I definitely have that Super Secret Susan persona….
I also am of the not-auto-following vein. I was inundated with auto tweets from several authors that liked to tweet the same thing hourly. If I didn’t want to buy the book the first hour, I sure as heck didn’t twenty-four tweets later! What made me feel even stranger still, was that when I unfollowed said authors, I discovered that were griping about anyone that unfollowed their awesomeness. Well, thanks a crap load. I’ve noticed a lot of authors post on twitter about how they “discover” that people don’t follow them back, so they unfollow them. Personally, I am looking for quality, not quantity. I follow people because I like them personally or professionally or I care about the same things that they do. I don’t follow people because they follow me and I hope that people who do follow me, do so because they actually give a half-a-hoot about what I say.
I belong to a group on goodreads that is for readers and authors, and the head of the group had to ask authors to stop self-promoting because they were flooding the discussion groups with multiple posts of the same stuff. It’s sad that it even had to be said. There are those that don’t know that there’s a time and place for self-promotion, and shoving yourself and your books down people’s throats doesn’t do anything but piss everyone off. I have never bought a book because someone smacked me in the head with it ten times, and I feel the same about multiple posts.
It’s refreshing to read your POV, and I really enjoy your humor and advice.
I sure HOPE I am somewhere between Obnoxious Ollie and Super Secret Susan. 🙂
Seriously, it makes me wonder why some people find this so difficult to understand. If you wouldn’t act a certain way at a party, in person, why would you do it online? Maybe one day you can write a post (if you haven’t already) about the mentality of an Obnoxious Ollie and what makes them think they’re going to be successful with that technique. Also, sometimes I wonder, ARE they? Do they sell more books that way? I can’t believe it works, so why do they keep doing it?
Indeed, and I believe we’ve all bragged of freaked in our unexpected achievements sometimes. But hopefully common sense kicks in and we stop. Or they eventually find your blog.
I use a 5 to one rule. I have to have RT or tweeted about other things for everytime I mention my book.
It’s just a personal measure. Seems to work.
An excellent post. I have worried about where the balance is, and you have provided all the info I need. I am going to put your link on the San Antonio Writers Guild Facebook page.
I’m more of the super secret Susan. It even matches my name. I’m so shy even on social media but I’m working on it. Your post always give me something to think about.
Your message is well stated and well organized! Great advice!
The thing about bragging is, you sort of have to have something to brag about. Which lets me off the hook at least (unless it’s my gold medal in the ‘didn’t you used to have hair?’ Olympics, or being the first on my block to have to measure my waistline in yards 🙁 ).
Buy maybe that’s not the thing. Maybe we should wonder _why_ we want to brag.
I was talking once with, well with somone I’ll leave nameless :-). And they were about to go to an interview for a job they wanted. Now, they had an edge. They’d worked with the company interviewing them before. And, having an outside perspective, they could see ways to really help that company get better. They even had a list they were going to use as the basis for the interview.
A list. Of how bad the company was at doing things. Riiiight.
“Yes, Mr Hiring Manager. Actually, I’d like to show you why you’re, um, kind of dumb. And how I’m smarter than you. And why you really need me to save you from your dumb-ish-ness.”
Er – maybe not. Maybe:
“When I was fortunate enough to work with your company, I was really impressed with how you (insert good things they did here). I’d love to be able to bring my experience in (insert things you know they did less well here, but don’t say they weren’t good at it :-P) and be part of your ongoing success.”
When we brag, even if it’s justified, we tend to be bragging to a mix of people. And some of those people will be people trying (and potentially failing) to be good at the things we’re busy bragging about having achieved.
And they’ll hate us for it.
Well, actually, they’ll hate all of you. I’ve got that whole ‘nothing to brag about’ thing going on (blush). But remember, I’m an Idiot :-).
If we’re bragging to make our own selves feel better – don’t tweet it. Send ourselves an email. Heck, if we’re really smart, we can even fake the From address to make it work even better :-). But if we’re bragging to try to be remembered? Er – in a good way?
Maybe that’s when we shouldn’t brag. Maybe what we’re really trying to do is be ‘sticky’ (with apologies to Lady Kristen for stealing from her past posts and wisdom 🙂 ).
I believe Abraham Lincoln is said to have once said – ‘The louder he protested his innocence, the faster we counted the spoons.’ And maybe bragging falls into the same category. But, as ever, you’re right. We do indeed all like to brag sometimes. So when I find the urge on me, I’ll brag about some of the incredible and talented friends I’ve made in the writing world. But I won;t name them here. The list would be too long, and forcing them to admit they know me would ruin their street-cred :-).
THANK YOU for mentioning how bragging about money and sales is just GAUCHE. It infuriates me when I see it on Facebook and I tend to blank those people from my feed. I agree, contest wins and such are good news and should be mentioned – ONCE.
You are total awesomesauce. HUGS!!!
Thank you for sharing your experience and advice. I’m learning a lot from your blog and have begun reading it faithfully. Per your current topic, I haven’t figured out a way to gracefully link to your blog from my site because I’ve been keeping a low profile as the writer of the site, letting my character own it. Perhaps it’s time to re-design or come out of the closet. Per your last post, I am built like you, only shorter and squattier with Africanesque thighs and behind, though I am also white. My solution is to hang out more with ethnic people. 🙂 You go, girl!
Kristin, I always enjoy your blogs and so thankful for a place to learn how to navigate this wide world of social media. It is so true that in an effort to avoid being “obnoxious Ollie”, it is so easy to slip into super secret Susan. Somewhere in between (closer to Susan, it think) lies the authenticity and joy of just being real. It is a relief to see that I don’t have to become someone else to sell, promote or irritate the snot out of all my friends to let them know that I love to write and have words that they can read. Thank You!
I’m not an author but I like your advice. I think a few of my friends would do well to listen to what you have to say. I’ll see how far I can spread the word.
Oh yah, seen Ollie out and about. LOL
A couple blogs I’ve liked lately have highlighted personal experiences, so they highlight the successes they’ve had as well as setbacks on their journey to publication or promotion of their book. It becomes the real story, not just a brag story. I appreciate the writer’s advice then.
Reblogged this on Saffi's musings over darkness & light (SMoD&L) and commented:
Awesome, as usual!
Thanks! You pretty much listed off all my biggest pet peeves….along with some very good advice.
I love this blog! I’m very selective as to which blogs I subscribe to, but I’m so glad I chose yours. You always give great information
Reblogged this on Dorcas Graham's Writers' Hub and commented:
This is an awesome blog for writers and those aspiring to be writers!
Reblogged this on Southern Chick and commented:
Kristen Lamb’s books on social networking are one of the reasons I have this blog to begin with. Super friendly and just as nice in person, Kristen is a (friendly) force to be reckoned with in the writing community. Follow her blog and you will learn a lot!
I can completely understand people being excited about doing well, publishing, all that, but nothing will make me run screaming from a blog faster than the realization that I just signed up to be spammed by the author on purpose.
I’ve been seeing this as a recurring theme on writing blogs and my Google+ circles. The fastest way to lose your audience is to be an ad robot… I agree that Super Secret Susan is at least not annoying the crap out of anyone.
Now let’s hear some examples of “Perfect Paula”, the author who balances social media well…
I really like the analogy of Twitter as cocktail party. I’m a reasonably well-socialized person offline, but sometimes when online I understand what crippling social anxiety feels like – what am I supposed to say? how do I say it? am I really allowed to @ somebody I don’t know? what if I do something wrong? what if the WHOLE internet HATES me!?!
Um, yes. So thanks for the heads up, and I’m going to work on poking my head out of my online gopher hole more often.
Brilliant post. I read that when we hear gossip, we tend to associate negativity with the gossiper more so than the gossip-ee. Bragging about ourselves functions similarly, or opposite…? 😉 When we brag about others, people like us more. Plus, it feels good and gets the karma ball rolling in the right direction. I don’t believe we should brag about others disingenuously, but lifting those we love up is simply awesome on all levels.
Great post, Kristen. I don’t think you’re being old-fashioned and hope that all writers read it. Whenever I was a kid, my dad would always tell me: ‘Never tell anyone how much money you make. There will always be people who work just as hard and make less and will feel bad, and people who make more and will look down on you.’ I consider that to be the truth, and I’m stickin’ to it.
I try not to be brag-y (not that I’m a super-star or anything, anyway!). I *never* talk about how many books I’ve sold or how much money I’ve made from them. Frankly, I would feel embarrassed. And I dislike when others do it. There have been a few occasions though when I’ve shared with my social media friends when I’ve made certain best-seller lists, because it was very exciting to me and I wanted to share my happiness and my gratitude. I hope I wasn’t too brag-y on those occasions.
Try sharing a live, actual book event with Obnoxious Ollie. Oh my word. They suck online, but at least you can block them! Great advice!
I like to think of myself as a Connector. It’s the yenta in me. That said, everyone should check out @amberwest! She is a wonderful thriller available via Amazon. I say this because she is a bit of a Secret Susan. But seriously, she’s worth your time. If you don’t believe me, go check out her blog first. Google Amber West. 🙂 She’s going to kill me!
Ha!! You are fantastic, Renee.
::ducks back into my cave of SEEKRETS::
Why is this not a real genre? I WOULD READ IT: “Men’s Midget Sci-Fi Steampunk Romance Category.” Or really any Steampunk Romance.
I think these are great guidelines! So far I haven’t seen too much bragging, just a lot of promotion for the same book over and over and over.
Great post. You cracked me up. Hopefully I’ll be one of those people that you learn to like. 🙂 Thanks for the perspective.
When I first published, I had gone to social media classes through writing conferences, writing groups, and also the Small Business Administration that all said ‘post on all social media forums.’ So I did … perhaps about three times before I realized all my friends were quietly unfriending me and stopped returning my phone calls. ‘But what am I doing wrong?’ I asked. After all, all the geniuses who write blogs, publish ‘how to market’ books, writers groups, writers conference classes, and the Small Business Administration (I mean … c’mon … the SBA!) said to do it! I quickly learned to ignore what others said and moderate what I posted/when/to who. Maybe some dude sold a million books overnight on Twitter, but personally I -hate- getting spammed with stuff. ‘Do as you would like done to you’ seems to be the name of the game. (In other words, ignore the blog experts, Writers Digest, the how-to-market book people, the writers conferences, and the SBA … listen to your gut).
I’m glad you mentioned the Secret Susan’s – I’ve read work from some super talented people that a are so afraid of being Ollie’s you barely know they are out there!
Great column. I loved the line, “I”m so sorry your Aunt Myrtle passed on. Well, not to brag, but my book has helped people cope with grieving.” I’ve never come across one that bad, but I’v seen plenty of ones that are similar in principle.
Great advice! I’m not always active in social media, I tend to kind of wax and wane with work schedules and overtime. When I do hop on, I like to connect with WANA peeps, and I have certain blogs, like this one 🙂 that I follow and RT regularly because I trust them. I think I may be a bit of a Secret Susan because I’m not always a regular poster, and I don’t have any books out yet. My husband is in the music industry, and they call the person who calls day of show to ask “Hey man, can you put me and 10 friends on the list so we can get in for free?” That Guy. No one wants to be That Guy.
Great post Kristen. I’m glad I’m more like Secret Susan. I agree that bragging and too much promotion or just talking about “me” all the time gets stale. And I think it loses followers.
I confess! I’m a super secret Susan. I hate all these people who brag and brag about how wonderful they are and how their books are the best thing since Shakespeare and so hate the thought of becoming like them that I tend not to market at all!
Oh Kristen, you’ve found me out – the secret Susan (you got the name right!) Problem is, it’s been instilled in me since I was learning to crawl that I. Do. Not. Brag. Is this being a Brit syndrome? Thanks for this post, it made me laugh and it’s so important at the same time.
Spot on blogpost, Kristen. It’s hard to find a middle ground, especially if you tend to be a Secret Susan by nature. But we live in a different world, and being shy doesn’t really work. On the other hand, blowing your own horn definitely works against you. I completely agree that the Law of Reciprocity does work. It’s good Karma. Just be a good person. People can tell and they’ll like and support you for it. Just like they can spot an a$$ a mile away.
Now, I am famous for my name has appeared in your blog. It’s been one of those days but a #mywana tweet from @GivensJanet told me of my fame; at least five times this morning I started to read your post….
You have given me a moment that I will never forget, Kristen. This old woman is overcome with joy and awash in tears of gratitude. It was your original blogging class that gave me the courage and foundation to become a blogger; your current blogging class is teaching me to put some spit and polish to my blog. You have such an unparalleled facility for explaining social media, truly a gift, and one that you share so generously in your blog posts with humor and heart. I admire you a great deal.
But today, you gave me a reason for tomorrow. Thank you, my friend.
I second Kristen’s emotion. That was like receiving a great big hug. Karen, I’m sure that you deserved the mention. You are a lovely person and a fine writer. 🙂
And I will third, Karen. You are such a supportive, gracious person, your fame is well deserved.
This is fantastic, Kristen!
There have been times when I’ve avoided Twitter because all I ever see there is loads of the not so nice examples of people tooting their own very loud and obnoxious horns. You got the tone of their tweets perfectly in the beginning of your post.
But I always come back to twitter, because there are also many people who share the love, too. Those are the people I try and follow, and the ones I toot about whenever I can.
When you mentioned someone having two or three Twitter personalities I almost choked on my grapefruit juice. It never occurred to me that someone might do that.
I really enjoyed this post, Kristen!
Thanks for your wisdom and have a great evening 🙂
And P.S. I don’t think you’re old fashioned at all. In fact, you’re pretty darn awesome 🙂
Should I ever (yeah, I know, patience young grasshopper) have sales or review worth bragging about, I will keep this in mind, lol.
Seriously, I am not quite the silent type, but I do struggle with what constitutes as bragging and what’s just good marketing so while I may mention I have three books that I’ve published, I rarely say more than that. I need to find that balance, that golden middle ground.
Thanks as usual for the solid guidance.
I really enjoyed this week’s post and I laughed at the eye rolling part. As a new freelance writer just beginning to use the social network, I find your tips extremely helpful.
Very good rules. Question though, when does actual marketing fall under that? I get three message from three avenues about the fact that a person is making their book free on the weekend. When is it too much?
Reblogged this on "CommuniCATE" Resources for Writers and commented:
My apologies for being away all this week. It’s been insane and getting even crazier! My Big Red Button blog post explains it all. In the meantime, if you ever need common sense advice or support, you can’t go past Kristen and the MyWANA tribe! This is a great post Kristen has just blogged. I lean too much towards the Susan type. Where do you fit? Cheers everyone and thank you so much for the many messages of support.
I started unfollowing on twitter the Obnoxious Ollies and Olliettas last week. The constant bombardment of self promotion was swamping the feed and bumping all those people who actually had something worthwhile to say. The tweets, retweets, tweets about 5* reviews, retweets of retweets. A waste of time.
Great post! 😀
Someone on an agent’s page asked her whom she would recommend to help her develop an author’s platform. I messaged her on FB and recommended her. Do I get my name in the hat again?
Sure :D. Thanks for the support *hugs*
Question: How much is too much when posting upcoming book signings on Facebook? I still receive plenty of “likes” and “shares” from book signing posts (accompanied by a jpeg of the cover). But I’m wondering if that’s wearing thin, or if friends are simply reading through the posts now. When I saw your comments about being careful about how you brag, it made me wonder if posting my signings was, indeed, a form of bragging … Thoughts?
It is such a tough balance. I actually hate to talk about myself and my stuff. But, I love to spread the word about other’s stuff. So, I try to spend a lot of time spreading other’s writer’s news, then when I mention mine, I don’t feel nearly so obnoxious.
Great post as always, Kristen. I have just been having a discussion with another writer about how many times we should tweet about our books. He is of the mind that we should send out twenty or more a day. Whew! I get tired just thinking about doing that. I agree with Liz who commented, “If I didn’t want to buy the book the first hour, I sure as heck didn’t twenty-four tweets later!”
I have never been comfortable with that approach to promoting on social media, and am glad to see that my discomfort was not misguided. I liked what you advised about using social media to announce important events, like a new release or a great review, but only mentioning it once.
Kristen: I’ve honestly enjoyed all of your work that I’ve been able to read so far, but this one is my personal favorite. I’ve been struggling with the art of self-promotion for months and this is the first time I’ve felt a sense of hope.
I actually stopped reading a certain author’s blog because he closed out every single post with a prolonged bragging session. This gentleman has earned the right to brag about his accomplishments, but I found myself getting sick and tired of the same “commercial” within every post. It probably didn’t help that I’ve been struggling myself. Either way, I hate having to deny myself reading pleasure, but I simply couldn’t stand to read his work any longer. I still can’t.
You know your stuff, Kristen Lamb; you dispense advice that is grounded in reality and it always comes from the heart.
I was the Super Secret Susan…but I just read your Blogging book and got some great ideas in it. Now I need to read the other one. I just put my name on my blog header (first step to not being super secret agent writer).
Epic post. This is something for me to remeber when I finally publish.
You’ve inspired me to clean out the Ollie’s in my Twitter feed. A great post, Kristen. Have a great weekend.
I hope to be in-between when the time comes. I do try and support others, but there again, you have to be careful your not irritating other people with too many tweets about how wonderful such and such a book is. At the moment, blogs are a big retweet for me as I love relaying good info to others!! And hopefully, by reading it, they’ll want to discover the blog’s author’s books.
As always, terrific post. I wish I could shove this post under some folks’ noses, but then the Obnoxious Ollies rarely recognize themselves. And sadly, I’ve had to deal with that type at cocktail parties and conventions. Some people are just that clueless. But for some people it’s a matter of not thinking things through. Keep posting about this, Kristen, your making an impact one tweeter (or is that twit) at a time.
Reblogged this on Joshua Lisec.
Wow, if I was a writer I would hang out here and participate all the time. But I’m learning about the craft and do a little of it on my blog. Took a class last year and am trying to cram in some time for it.
I do have a question, though. My blog is more of a photography blog with quotes. I’ve been told by many to begin marketing my photography, like offering framed works or getting into greeting cards. Love your advice about the branding and shyness. I am shy Susan and am trying harder to be brave. Anyway, being the artist type I’m not savvy at all about business. Is there any blog you recommend for me to get into this market?
Another option is to advertise. I have several businesses who would like to put a link on my blog. But again, the artist in me wants to keep my blog “clean looking”.
Any help is appreciated. And I will link back to your blog or put you on my blogroll list.
Super Secret Susan is definitely out there. Sometimes I go on a writer’s blog, and I have to hunt down who the person is like I’m participating in a scavenger hunt or searching for the Holy Grail. Great points, Kristen!
This is quite possibly my favorite post of yours to date. At least until the next one. 😉
This is so simple and common sense! Thank you. I would tend to be a Super Secret Susan, so I’ll continue to challenge myself to be more personable!
Seems the same principles that made people effective in the physical world are the same principles that make us effective in cyberspace.
Thank you mentioned a good approach to this topic