Wednesday, 1 October 2014

A Shower of Golden Rules – or How to make social media work for you by Derek Duggan

There are a lot of pressures on writers these days. Not only do you have to write books and stuff but now, with the demands of an ever present public, you have to write about other things across several platforms.

This can seem a little daunting to the novice, but there are some simple rules and once you follow them you’ll be laughing all the way to the bank (and then, as a writer, crying all the way home again). First, and most conspicuously, you will have to make regular posts on social media sites. This can be a little bit tricky as you have to show people that you, as a writer, are better than everyone else while making yourself seem like a regular Joe Soap at the same time. It doesn’t matter which platform you choose, the rules are the same.

1. Wine/alcoholic beverages. You have to mention wine in at least every other post or people will think you’re not an alcoholic and therefore not a real writer. It doesn’t matter if you’re really a teetotaler, you still have to post things like – Hey, is it wine o’ clock yet? – or – It must be beer thirty – or – It must be time to down a bottle of whiskey and shit the bed by now! Nobody will buy your work if you don’t do this. In a recent study at the British University of Made up Studies it was found that the amount of times wine was mentioned on a writer’s time line was directly proportional to the amount of sales achieved. And that’s a fact. If you can’t think of any wine related thing to say why not simply post a link to some online article that says drinking lots of wine makes you really good at doing everything and makes you really healthy and people who live under bridges and shout at traffic are just doing it wrong. This will help you to connect with regular alcoholics and convince them to buy your stuff.

2. Work in progress. You have to mention this from time to time or people might forget that you’re not just someone who lives under a bridge and shouts at traffic. Don’t go into details – just say something about drafts and word counts and that should keep everyone happy. In this way you can connect with regular people by pretending that you do some work too and don’t actually spend the whole day farting about on the internet.

3. Stuff about dogs/cats. It’s a well-known fact that people who are interested in buying books are much more interested in photos of your dog than they are in your reviews. Think about it - How many times have you come across a novel that has all five star reviews on Amazon only to be put off buying the book when, on inspection of the author’s Facebook page, it turns out they haven’t posted twenty five pictures of their dog sitting on the couch in the last half an hour? I think you can see the logic in this. It will help to show that you have as little in your life as ordinary people and thus connect with them.

4. Wine. See number 1.

5. Links to grammar tests. You need to post one of these a month to show how good you are at doing English and to remind other people that they are shit at it. This will show people that you’re dead clever and that because you got ten out of ten on this online test your book is obviously a work of genius and is definitely worth reading. People don’t want to think that the book they’re reading is stupid as they feel it might reflect badly on them and people will think they’re a thicko. Dan Brown probably got ten out of ten on several online grammar tests. I rest my case.

6. Food stuff. In case all the animal pictures haven’t convinced the general readers out there that you are at least as boring as them there is always room for the occasional food post. Just stick up a photo of your dinner and watch your book sales soar. Everyone loves a good picture of someone else’s dinner. A recent study done by a University somewhere found that when normal people sit down with their families at night after being at work all day all they want to do is pick up their tablets and look at pictures of other people’s dinner. They can’t get enough of it. And the study found that when people see a picture of some potatoes and random meat and boiled-to-fuck vegetables on Facebook, the first thing they do is to go to Amazon and buy a book. It’s in a scientific study so it must be absolutely true.

7. Links to a good review you just got. There’s nothing that excites common people more than knowing that a writer they know has just received a five star review on Amazon or somewhere. Most ordinary folk can’t wait to read how LoveCats169 couldn’t put your book down and they’ll be delighted that she’s managed to spell most of the words correctly in her review. This shows how normal people, just like the other people you know on Facebook, would like your book if they read it.


8. Wine. See number 1.

And that’s it for social media. See? It’s nothing to be worried about.
Glad I could help.

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