Being Authentic

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Today I want to tackle a topic I’ve never touched upon because there are two factors in my life that are making it apropos. Before you worry that this will be a serious topic, I shall reveal that it is about writers on Twitter. You may unfurl your brows now.

I’m near the end of Kate’s book, Novel Marketing, and she’s on the topic of social media presence for authors. For the record, if you’ve noticed that it’s taking me a long time to read the book, I read my non-fiction notoriously slow. I like to savour it and think about it in a way I don’t with fiction. They are two entirely different avenues of experience. But I digress.

The biggest golden nugget to be found in Novel Marketing, in my opinion, is the stress placed on being authentic no matter what platform you use for marketing. The more of the real you you reveal to the masses the more they will connect with you as an artist.

Logical, right? For most of us, yes.

I can prove that it actually works. For myself as a reader, anyway. I’m still beta testing as a writer. I’ve been active on Twitter for just over a year now and I’ve seen each of the types of users referred to in Novel Marketing. I’ve got the people who constantly post: “GET MY FREE EBOOK ON AMAZON….;” “THIS AWESOME THING WAS SAID ABOUT MY FREE BOOK ON AMAZON;” “READ MY BOOK;” “BUY MY BOOK;” blah blah blah. I don’t like these people. I unfollow these people because I’m spammed enough by the advertisements on the margins of my internet pages.

Then there are the retweeters. I don’t dislike these people as much as the spammers but I don’t like them very much. A lot of them retweet reviews of their work, mentions, or random tidbits out of the Twittersphere –usually pieces written by other retweeters or spammers. They’re boring. I’ll just say it.

Yes, social media is impersonal by nature but it doesn’t have to dull you to tears. My favourite users are those that post opinions, retweet comics, factoids, jokes–really anything that connects to them as a person. Jokes are subjective but it’s nice to see people actually have senses of humour.

My hands down favourites are those who have perfected the witty banter. The ones whose tweets make you stop or laugh out loud. The ones who don’t pander to the masses and are totally themselves. I’m a creature of sarcasm so wit and dry humour are two things I connect with instantly. I’m also dorky, so random things make me snort.

I actually followed a writer when I first got on Twitter and was immediately drawn to their tweets. I’d never heard of him and have no idea how I initially stumbled upon him. Maybe he followed me first? Either way, @BrianRathbone chiselled his way through my skepticism with his ridiculous and awesome tweets. These are all recent but they’re standard form for him:

my dragon's beautiful

yoga

reply

chubby dragon

A year later, after favouriting many of his tweets, one came up on my feed in which he linked to his free e-books. I hemmed for a minute and went and emailed it to myself. The tone of his tweets are consistent, his presence on Twitter is solid, and he responds to people like a normal human being. I was more than willing to try out his fantasy. Since then I’ve read the first book in his series and have downloaded the second. Was Call of the Herald perfect? Nope. I say the same thing about most first works of fiction for any writer published by any publishing house you can name. Very few strike lightening. Indie’s wouldn’t be an exception to the rule.

That’s my success story for you. I do my best to be authentic on Twitter with my handle @evoday; I’m opinionated, I’m cat crazy, I’m occasionally frustrated, I retweet and favourite things that catch my attention, I reply to real comments and messages from people, and I tweet quotes from or about my work. I don’t do this to gain as many followers as I can, I do this because that’s my personality type and it’s natural for me.

That’s what I want out of Twitter so that’s what I try to give. What has your experience been like on Twitter or any other social media platform?

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