Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I Don't Get Twitter

I like to think that I’m technically savvy. I’m usually the one people come to for help with their computer (Apple only) problems, I have the blog, the BookEnds Web site (although someone else manages those for me), and a Facebook account, but when someone asked me recently if I was thinking of opening a Twitter account, I just couldn’t see it. I don’t get it and I don’t get how it would work for me, in real life or work life. Frankly, it makes me feel a little old, because I just get confused.

The Web site exists for obvious reasons, but let’s state them anyway. The BookEnds Web site helps give clients, prospective clients, and writers as much information as possible about BookEnds. I would guess that our busiest page is probably submission guidelines, but by looking at our site you’ll also glean personal information about each of our agents, a peek into our client list, and answers to the many frequently asked questions we get regularly. And of course you’ll get a link to our blog.

The blog is, hopefully, useful as well. The intent of the blog is to teach. Publishing is a weird business and I think sometimes it’s easier to find (or used to be easier to find) misinformation than real information. My goal with the blog is to give out the information I usually present at conferences and make it more accessible to all writers. The problem with that is that it’s a lot easier to come up with a one-hour workshop than it is 300 or so posts a year. And sometimes, I just get it wrong. And sometimes the blog stresses me out and gives me headaches and makes me anxious and makes me angry and just makes me crazy. Most of the time, though, I love it. It’s a lot of work, but I love it.

The Facebook account is still a work in progress. Between the blog and the work I’m actually supposed to be doing I don’t have a lot of time for much else, so the Facebook account is really just for staying in touch with the many writers I’ve crossed paths with over the years. Of course I’m friends with many of my clients and I do frequently update my status. Other than that, though, I use it as another source of information. Whenever I read an interesting bit of publishing news it’s easy enough for me to hit “share” and spread that news to my Facebook friends. So far that’s all I’ve found it useful for.

But Twittering. I don’t think it’s for me. I tried MySpace once too, very briefly. It wasn’t for me.

What’s my point? you’re asking. My point is that when choosing your road to publicity and the many, many marketing and networking opportunities that are available to writers these days, you need to choose what’s best for you. Just because every published author you know is blogging these days doesn’t mean you need to jump on the bandwagon. Publicity and marketing doesn’t work unless the author’s heart is in it, and if you’re just Twittering because you’re “supposed to,” it’s not working for you and, in all likelihood, it’s just making you miserable.