East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

Show, don’t tell

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We were talking about writers and social media with some friends, yesterday, and how you are supposed to post regularly and get Likes on Facebook and shares and what not to increase your reach and develop your platform. I hate it. I mean, when I post something on my Facebook profile or my Twitter channel, or indeed here on my blog, it’s not, usually, thinking

Wow! The punters will love this! My Social Media Score will go up!

So yes, I suck at social media.
On the other hand, talking with my friends, I found out a lot of writers feel awkward about strutting their stuff online just for clicks. An we identified three types of social media writers we really can’t stand.
So, why not post a brief profile of these guys. Maybe I’ll get a lot of likes and shares…

The Hustler

The first embarrassing approach to social media by (some) writers is the continuous and extensive diffusion of sales copy. Here’s my book, buy my book, my book’s out, my book’s discounted.
Now mind you, we all post and share  announcements about our books. And indeed, social media gurus say you have to post four times the same post on Facebook to catch all the time zones and increase your reach, but really… c’mon, take a deep breath.

The Poseur

This is usually a guy that’s got “Author” after his name on his profile, and he will hit you with vaguely “intellectual” snippets, designed to be shared because they sound wise, or sensitive, or whatever.
I could bring you the example of the writer that posted a quote by Richard Bach and attributed it to Lao Tsu, and then got royally pissed off when I pointed out the mistake.
Touching on controversial and “triggering” topics (like whether you should put pinapple on your pizza or not) is also part of this strategy. Let’s get those haters to comment!

The Funny Guy

Is the one that always has something really really funny happening to him, but actually he’s the only one that finds it funny – well, he and his claque, of course.
Stuff like “This morning I missed my train because my bike got a flat tire, that’s also part of the hard life of the freelance writer [smiley face]” or supposedly funny kitchen disasters, because he’s an ace writer, you see, but he can’t cook to save his life, so he burned the omelette, what a cartload of laughs, uh?
He is probably also fond of reminding us that he’s “such a nerd” (cue canned laugh).

In the old days before the social networks and the blogs, a guy I respected deeply told me

You should not tell them how good you are, you should show them how good you are.

I miss him a lot. He was a good friend, a mentor, and knew what he was talking about.

Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

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