The Art Of Doing Nothing

So a month or so ago I was pestering the internet non-stop about my book*.  I was starting to feel as though I really wasn't getting anywhere except up people's noses.  I mean how many times to they want to see a tweet that shrilly points out you've got a five star review somewhere**?  And surely I should be tweeting more interesting-yet-related things than repetitive self-promoting wotnot? Also should I be blogging more?  Also should I be paying more for my Facebook page?  And what is it about the likes? It wasn't about the likes to start with - it was just a page to put "Hiding The Smile" related news.  Then somehow, some insidious how, it became all about the likes.  Part of me wishes I'd never bothered separating it out - I should have kept all the information on my Charlie Boucher page and not worried about creating a whole new platform for the book when I have a perfectly good platform for the author, thank you very much.  And then I read a blog that said Calm down, Charlie. You don't need to be flapping around the world wide web like some crazed boasty wasp in a tizzy, you idiot.

Well, it didn't address me by name, obviously.  Not out loud, anyway.

Here it is:

7 Ways Authors Waste Time "Building Platform" on Social Media

Now it's entirely possible that I've mis-read this blog.  It's quite likely that I was so in need of someone to tell me to stop breaking Google that I skimmed this and took the merest hint as the sagest advice.

But I don't care.  Here are the golden rules to myself. I will be self-promoting by these guidelines from now on...

1) Blog occasionally.  No-one wants to read your daily bits and bobs unless you're Richard Herring and have the archives of the British Library behind you.  Plus he's funnier than you are.

2) Tweeting is all very well, but perhaps quality is better than quantity.  Just because it feels like you're shouting into a bottomless chasm doesn't mean you should shout loudly and frequently about the same thing with slightly different sentence structure.  You wouldn't want to read it in someone else's Twitter feed.  What makes you think people will put up with it in yours?

3) Paying for adverts on Facebook is a foolish waste of money.  What are you going to use these likes for?  Are you going to be able to marshal the forces of people who have clicked on an ad' and randomly liked your page in order to push sales of the book to global levels, sell the film rights, and get it made with someone exciting in one of the lead roles?  No.  Plus it's disheartening to win a random like from a person who has not even vaguely looked into what your page is about.  If you MUST have the likes - if you're an insane like monkey with a taste for jaunty thumbs - then give something away.  List your prize on Loquax or MSE and they will flock to your page MUCH much faster than any FB ad' can bring them.  They still might not know what they're liking you for though.  But them's the breaks if you're addicted to likes.

4) Value the people who have read your book, who appreciate you as an author, and who will be prepared to read stuff you've written.  Their support is MUCH more powerful than any anonymous visitor.  And yes.  I used MUCH in capital letters again.

5) Don't fret about the time you think you should be spending Facebooking, Tweeting, blogging or anything else online.  Instead spend it writing your next masterpiece.  That's where a proper sense of achievement will come from.

And that is that.

*It's called Hiding The Smile.  You can buy it on Amazon for Kindle here or in paperback here.
** Amazon and Goodreads.  Six of them. Happy face.