Victoria A. Jeffrey's authorly doings. . .

Friday, February 17, 2012

Using Wisdom When Using Social Media

As always, every few days the writer's message board I belong to erupts with some sort of teacup controversy. I really need to stay away because it's a huge time-waster!

Anyway, someone posted a thought about how it is important for indie authors to be careful about spouting controversial political or religious views on social media outlets because it can turn readers off. It can offend your readerbase/fans (Dixie Chicks, anyone?)  which will hurt or even destroy a career before it ever gets off the ground.

Too many writers on the boards missed the point of that post and simply went on the attack about "Well I have the right to say or write however I feel about lalalalalala. . ." Yeah, they missed the point. Willfully missed the point, in my opinion.

Of course we all have the right to express ourselves and our opinions but like wise king Solomon said, there is a time for everything under the sun.

There is a time to talk and a time to keep one's mouth shut. If you do not have a career dependent on social media I suppose this does not apply but if your career puts you in the spotlight, running your mouth about anything and everything especially if it is controversial can destroy your chances of success and even if it doesn't and your fans like your controversial style, not very many people can pull this off well. It can also alienate many people from reading your books if you go too far.

Some might ask: "So what?" and I get that. There are some people that you may not want as readers if your books aren't a good fit for them but there are a lot of potential people out there that, while they may not share your views on important issues, could still be potential fans of your work - if you are gracious and sensible about how you communicate your ideas and opinions, in your books - and outside of them. I think professionalism and PR go hand in hand.


J. R. Nova said...

I've really turned my naturally high-strung personality down now that I'm actually trying to publish myself and grow readership and brand. It's not that I never discuss politics or religion (or sports), but it's that I choose my words wisely. I pick my battles. I never get angry.

If it's not at least good for my writing career, it's plenty good for my peace of mind!

Victoria said...

I think you're right. I've been blogging for about six years now and I was a real pistol when I first started blogging. Like you, I've certainly calmed down and especially now that I'm publishing my work.

It's not like we're selling out or anything but I think when you are really putting your professional work out there you have to be smart about how to speak your mind. It's still a great thing to speak your mind but how its done matters too. Thanks for commenting!