I’m deviating for a blog post from my reviews because 1) I’m behind on reading because I’ve been so exhausted from my first trimester that I was too tired to open a book and read and 2) because I feel compelled to give some opinions on social media. That’s right. I’m going to say stuff that thousands of people have already said, only in my own words and emphatically. Hold onto your hats, people.
Oh, yes, I’m in my second trimester now (17w4d when this blog post goes up), so my energy is coming back. Thank you for asking.
Because I liberally post links to my Twitter and Pinterest profiles all over my blog, I assume that some authors who are requesting reviews click on the links and follow me. That is more the impetus for the post, but there’s nothing like beating around the bush in an introduction, is there? So I wanted to share my rationale for following or not following people, mostly because I want you to understand that you following me or not following me or me following you or not following you has nothing to do with whether or not I accept reviewing your book.
As I have said on multiple occasions, I only accept a small percentage of the review requests I get. It’s not because I’m a princess (or maybe it is; I guess you can judge that). It’s because I really don’t have much time to devote to reading, though I love it. I’ve accepted some books and not enjoyed them, not because they weren’t good, but because they weren’t for me. So I’ve honed my process: Every review request I receive gets a perusal of the summary and first chapter of the book. Assuming you’re polite, are asking about a genre I’m interested in, address me as though I’m not on a mass email list (even “Proprietor of Magic & Mayhem Book Review Blog” is better than “Dear Reviewer,” by the way), and follow my review request guidelines, summary and first chapter are the only criteria I use to decide if I’m going to review it or not. This should not be a surprise, since I make it pretty clear in my Review Policy.
When I decide to follow you on Twitter, it’s because I’ve decided you seem interesting. Maybe you tweet pictures of your cat or funny things you think of throughout the day or interesting articles or heart-wrenching bite-sized stories about your struggles writing or links once in awhile to goofy articles. What you do NOT do is one or more of the following things on this non-inclusive list:
- Tweet a link to buy your book / artwork / etsy store every hour.
- Tweet quotes from your book every hour.
- Tweet quotes from Mark Twain and the Dalai Lama every hour. (I follow the Dalai Lama myself. I don’t need your quotes from him.)
- Tell me every time you got a five-star review on amazon. Note: “Top 100 Amazon Reviewer gave my book 5 star, AWESOME!” is cool. If you do it, like, one time. Because that’s an announcement. Not spam.
- Retweet other people’s boring-ass articles about … yawn.
- Never talk to anyone. (Someone who joined Twitter last week is OK. Someone with 10k followers … What’s up with you, Little Miss Thang?)
- Only tweet @’s that go like this: “Thanks so much for following me.” “Bless you, I like your name, too.” “Awesome, thanks for the follow; would you be interested in reading my book?” I don’t understand how people think this is acceptable social interaction, especially when it’s a run of 25 tweets at once.
- List of tweets includes a once a day status update brought to you by everyone’s favorite spam factory, justunfollow.com.
- Tweet #writingtip/#pubtips. I know that this is probably not on many people’s pet peeve lists, but seriously, I can’t handle it. 99% of the time, it’s exceedingly generic and condescending. I don’t follow Stephen King, but if I did and he tweeted writing tips, I’d probably unfollow him.
- After I follow you, you send me a DM with a link to or request for following you elsewhere (mainly FaceBook). I will let “Hi, hope we can become friends!” pass, usually, but that’s really lame and not the greatest first impression. (50 DKP minus for any DM that includes “brought to you by justunfollow”: See above.)
Basically, as long as you don’t act like a robot, but instead post stuff about your opinions on life–i.e. making you seem like you have a personality–then I’ll probably follow you. What is most surprising to me is the sheer number of people that use Twitter like a spammy bulletin board. Hootsuite was a great invention, but so was the gun. Let’s use both of them wisely, people.
Since I’m perpetually behind on book review requests, if I follow you, you shouldn’t take that to assume I’m going to review your book. (I hate to create false hope. I WILL CRUSH YOUR DREAMS INSTEAD! Just kidding. No, wait, that’s probably true.) It just means that you seemed like an interesting person to follow. And maybe we can be friends. But I still might not have time for your book unless we become super-extra best friends.
Pinterest is a different animal. I have a very specific curated set of boards (which have been neglected because of the baby. Yes, I will blame everything on the baby now). If your Pinterest boards don’t fall into those categories (angels, demons, fantasy, the color red, books/reading, and interesting/exotic places), I won’t follow them. I will follow individuals boards, I try to look at every person who follows me, and I usually follow back if your boards are within my sphere of interest. The same stuff I just said about Twitter applies here, except that I’m more behind on following people on Pinterest usually than I am on Twitter.
One final note about Twitter and Pinterest: While I try to tweet a link to my review of your book a few times the week I post it and pin it on my blog’s Pinterest board, I don’t always do that in a timely manner. This also has nothing to do with you. For some reason, I keep forgetting to set up the auto-tweets in HootSuite. It’s a terrible excuse, but just know that if you don’t get tweeted/pinned right away, it’s me, not you. (It’s the baby.)