Sunday, 5 May 2013

Authors' Behaviour: Party Rules

So, it is my birthday and I am a lovely party that my wife has painstakingly arranged for me. The balloons are floating, the Chinese food is laid on the table and many of my friends are here. Included on this year’s guest list are several of my new author friends. The party is very lively with games and dancing (mostly initiated by my daughter) putting crowds into fits of laughter. Every so often I am talking to members of the party about me, my work and family. The party is to celebrate my birthday after all, talking about me is natural. However it is not always a subject I am particularly comfortable about. So I occasionally drag the conversation to things in the world; news articles, new ideas and advice that people may find interesting. Once in a while I give a shout out to someone else. “Yes my wife did this...” or “yes Frank is very good at...”

Then someone else comes into the party. They wonder around for a minute drinking their class of wine and not joining in any of the conversation. Then suddenly they clink on the wine glass with a folk. “David,” they start off, “I have liked your party. But I would like to invite everyone over, including you, to my own across the road.”

Okay I will be honest.  It is not my birthday and I didn’t have a party to celebrate. It is fact my author page on facebook, my review blog’s page, my blog, my review blog, my twitter account, my... you get the idea – it was something that belongs to me that I have built up to do a specific task.

Now I am not a self centered person, my review blog is specifically for helping other authors out, my facebook page normally carries articles and on a Friday I do a twitter follow page (and will also do a facebook follow Friday soon). But coming onto any of those platforms, not engaging in conversation and then telling me to come over to your page and like yours; is wrong! It is like you coming to a birthday party and then telling everyone else to come over to yours without even saying hello to your host. Would you do that to someone on your street, at work, or a family member?

No? So why do it to someone on Facebook?

It is no different to spamming.

If you want people to follow you back, the best way is to engage them in conversation; not hijacking it.

So next time you are on someone’s page and want to post something, think twice. Would you like someone posting on your page about themselves?

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