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The Self-Pub Twitter Echo Chamber

Posted on Dec 4, 2014 by in The Scrawl |

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Had some discussion on Twitter yesterday concerning writers who market well and market poorly. And the subject came up again about writers who do nothing on Twitter other than talk about their books. I follow a number of writers on Twitter and can give you the basic profile.

Let see if I can give you the key points with this totally fake one:

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  1. High follower count, but almost exactly the same number of followers as following.
  2. Clearly fake profile picture.
  3. Cover image that evokes Twilight or other supernatural YA/Romance/Erotica associations.
  4. Quote that should be a big red flag for anyone actually in a relationship with this person.

What do their tweets look like?

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Now, obviously I’m poking fun but I have seen enough of these to be sure I’m not that far off. And that Tweet up there? That tweet is one per hour. Sometimes more. Definitely more if they pick up other author’s tweets of a similar nature and retweet them. So it becomes this weird sort of automated advertising cacophony. Everybody is screaming, “Buy my book!” and then the others around them begin screaming, “Buy their book! And buy my book!”

I used to work for a major media company. I don’t like to go into too much detail but it was in a market that once was robust, strong, and seemingly unstoppable. With the advent of Netflix and Amazon Prime and Hulu, their once great empire is definitely not what it was. They are retooling their business, however, to focus more on content development than on advertising sales. Why? Because content is what drives advertising, not the other way around. Content is king.

There is definitely room for self-promotion within the writing world. And I mean that in both the traditional and the self-publishing world. But you cannot expect people  just lap up your advertising. I’ve never before turned on the radio or television hoping to find repetitive advertising. Never. Not one time.

So what’s the answer? Use Twitter as a way to interact with others but also to provide content that interests you and, more importantly, your prospective audience. If you liked an article, maybe they would. If you liked a quote, maybe they would. Don’t just be another piece of background noise in the echo chamber. And when you do talk about yourself? Do it with content, not just a mindless repetition.