Last week on my radio show (Friday Night Writes, co-hosted by Armand Rosamilia) we discussed two separate topics which I’m going to fuse into one for the purposes of this blog post.
The two topics were Twitter Tips for Authors and Authors Should View Each Other as Teammates Rather Than Competition.
I’ve been on Twitter since 2010, but I really didn’t start using it regularly until 2012 when Armand gave me a crash course – so I am not, by any stretch of the imagination, an expert.
There is one thing about Twitter that is, to me anyway, common sense. It also applies to Facebook, Pinterest, Blogging, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc.
It Doesn’t Cost You Anything to Follow Back.
As Independent Authors, we rely on social media to expand our audience and reach out to potential readers. Unfortunately some authors treat it like a competition…like we are all fighting over that one reader.
On a typical day I will follow anywhere from 10 to 50 new people. Many of them are other authors, but not all. Generally, about 75% of the people I follow will return the courtesy and follow me back. Most of the people who don’t are usually large entities who can’t possibly follow every one of their followers.
For example, this morning I followed the Library of Congress (@librarycongress). They have over 550,000 followers, yet they only follow 7, and 3 of those are other branches of the LoC.
I truly don’t expect a return follow from them.
At the same time that I followed the LoC, I also followed several other people, and within 2 hours almost all of them had followed me back.
There were 3 (all Independent Authors) who sent me direct messages.
The messages were worded differently, but all said basically the same thing…
Thank you for following me, let’s connect on Facebook too.
Okay. No problem.
I’m all about the networking…
I proceeded to click the link they so thoughtfully provided to their facebook fan page and give it a like.
I then tried to send a reply to them saying I had connected with them on facebook, and I also provided them with a link to my facebook fan page.
I hit send and got a red flag saying I was not allowed to send a direct message to this person because they do not follow me.
This happened for all three of them.
You took the time to send me a message asking me to like your facebook page, but you can’t follow me back?
So guess what I did.
That’s right. I unfollowed them.
This is the way I see it…
You are an Independent Author…I am an Independent Author and we are both trying to succeed in a pursuit where the odds are decidedly against us.
I can’t speak to your reasons for not wanting to follow another author, but I can give you my reasons for doing it…
Authors read too…yeah, that’s right – not only are we writers – we are also readers. So every time you don’t return a follow you have alienated both a colleague and a potential reader.
Authors have readers…think about it – establishing a two-way connection with other authors opens the door to attracting some of their followers.
You might learn something…at the absolute minimum; you should view connecting with other authors as a chance to learn something new and helpful. None of us know it all, but all of us know something.
Being an Independent Author is not for the timid. It’s long hours and hard work for very little money. On a dollar-per-hour basis, we’d probably do better flipping burgers.
Doesn’t it make more sense to work as a team, rather than trying to fly solo?
If we all help each other we all win.
People buy lots of books. I know people who read as many as five books a week. It’s not like buying a car or a house…we are not salespeople competing for that one buyer’s money.
So when another author follows you on Twitter (or any social media platform), take a few seconds to follow them back…it costs you nothing and you’re helping all of us.
As always – thank you for reading