Saturday, October 10, 2015

On Social Media.

Louis Shalako

When it comes to simple posting of content on social media, I use three or four websites pretty consistently to discover content.

Long-form journalism on a host of topics that probably won’t make the headlines today or any other day. Yet these stories are important, in-depth and well-written.

Plenty of tech stories, internet, gaming, (not my biggest priority), privacy, surveillance, drones, all kinds of interesting stuff there.

Mocking the news, tend to be shorter stories. I do like the bizarre, the maudlin and the slightly-creepy.

A vast compendium of stories submitted by internet-cruisers. The style and the substance are different and therefore complementary to other sites.


On Facebook, I have resisted the urge to build up to five thousand followers as quickly as possible. I add friends slowly, as often as not taking a quick look at someone’s profile page before sending that friend request.

When notified that x-number of friends have birthdays, I go to their page and find something to like. If someone has given them a big virtual birthday cake, I click on that. It’s a way of acknowledging someone. It’s a way of keeping track of people whom you might have friended ages ago. If they’re not particularly active, if you habitually click like on the same small group, the other folks drop off of your time-line. After a while, you can’t see them and they can’t see you. It’s a way of keeping things fresh, and constantly rotating through the friend-list so that everyone gets a bit of your time.


After people have had a chance to observe you for a while, they can quickly tell if this is your schtick. We as writers have an online presence. People understand it is an act to some extent. 

We are what we choose to present, and I’m a fairly funny, sometimes impulsive guy.

The other day I posted on Twitter: “I’m going to kill all of you.”

No one said boo, and that’s probably a good thing. It’s just part of the entertainment after a while and no one takes it all that seriously.

Facebook is a bit different. Let’s say I like someone. I tend to click like on their stuff.

If they haven’t responded, and the impression is that they’re never going to respond, the best thing to do there is, if necessary, to break myself of the habit, is to unfollow at the very least. 

That way they’re out of sight, out of mind.

To constantly click like on someone is probably a bit needy. If I can’t take a hint, I’m probably just tormenting them to some degree and it’s better to walk away from any sense of entitlement.

You really can’t make someone like you.

Sometimes it’s just better to accept that.

On Twitter, when I get up in the morning and check my email/notifications, I very often find that someone has re-tweeted something I posted the day before. As often as not, they’re experienced Twitter users, and they will often have a pinned tweet. The problem there is that they’ve often re-tweeted me before and I’ve already re-tweeted their pinned tweet, sometimes more than once. In that case, I’ll just pick someone at random from their feed; tweet them out and see what happens. Sometimes you get a new follower, someone who’s interested in internet marketing, and they catch on pretty quick.

Some folks spend a lot more time on Twitter than I do. They’ve seen my tweet go by in real-time, where I’m just checking notifications the next morning. The odds of them ever re-tweeting my pinned tweet are small, and there’s no sense in resenting that.

I just do the best I can with what I got.

Does Social Media Sell Books?

Yes. I've never had a  traditional publishing contract. I have sold or otherwise distributed over 100,000 books since September 2010 when I published my first title. That first book actually sells, where some of the other ones don't.

I've never had a story in a pro magazine. So far this year I have not placed a single story in any other market, not even at a penny a word, and I haven't given away any stories either.

When people say social media doesn't sell books, they may be right...up to a point. What are they hoping to achieve? Some of us are pretty wrapped-up in the idea of being a bestseller, attracting the notice of a literary agent, all that sort of thing. In which case it might work and it might not.

You never can tell just what is going to work. 


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