I’ve been grappling with my social media from the day Passports appeared in November 2013. I have largely given up on Twitter mostly because it’s generally a cesspool of bigotry, hate, and cr-pola. I tried Google + but found that was not particularly useful.
I found Instagram – which I had never thought I would ever use – to be different and far better than I had expected it to be. However, that has created new problems I had not foreseen. How is an indie writer supposed to use social media, particularly Instagram, and yet not be social? Simply post self-help memes? Pics of flowers? Book covers? The sky?:
Talk about booooooring. Sure, now and then a sky shot, or a book cover, or the others, are fine. But who wants to see that stuff on Instagram ALL of the time? I sure as heck don’t.
It is a minefield – step slightly off a narrow path, and you’ll get blown up. I write this post to vent about this because recently I have been getting *extremely* negative feedback from a family member about my author Instagram page. That criticism has led me to recall now why I took to writing my novels under a pen name: they are not for family. Similarly this Insta stuff is why I did NOT (and do NOT) want family following (or “stalking”) me who cannot grasp that my *author* blog and Instagram are my professional pages. They are not personal pages.
This situation has left me feeling a bit depressed. Lacking promotion by a huge corporation, how on earth is anyone ever to discover my novels if I cannot use social media in a way that isn’t (I hope) dull and spam-like? I would never have sold any numbers of books without this blog; few would even know they exist.
Indeed my Instagram following has grown lots recently – not bad for a writer on a primarily photography site. I have been discovered by new readers there who had never visited my blog here and would never have found me without Instagram. It has been a real and an unexpected boost to my writing visibility.
I had also been getting more relaxed in recent months, gradually allowing personal friends and family to follow my Instagram (and they may have also found my blog here, of course, by extension). I see now that may have been a colossal mistake. I knew this would happen: it takes only one person who knows you and who does NOT like your social media to become a distraction and potentially a huge personal problem.
I am about to release the single volume paperback compilation of Passports, Frontiers and Distances. I am also trying to write the new book, but I have found I am losing some of my push to do it: I feel I am now always looking over my authoring social media shoulder in a way I never did before. Recently I began to wonder if it is all worth it.
For I must now think VERY carefully about every single Instagram pic and possibly blog post here – all due to family… when none of it has ever been meant for family.
I came ***THIS CLOSE*** this morning to declaring “I’m done” and deleting all of my social media other than my useless personal Facebook page. But I know if I do that, everything I have worked so hard to create over these last five years will vanish instantly, my followers and my readers here and on Instagram will be baffled, and I will be finished as an author. And I can’t bear the thought of all of that either.
UPDATE: Am I not concerned about that person possibly seeing this post? Not at all. It may actually help matters…