In Alabama, we call that a fox pass …
I love Twitter — it’s a great resource to interact and learn about other writers, publishers, and agents. Or, you know, anyone else you want to know more about. I’ve met several agented and published novelists, as well as some quality agents. I’ve also met a good number of self-published writers and shameless self-promoters.
All of that is fine. But there’s one segment of the literary populace on Twitter that bugs me to no end: the people whose only interactions with you is to send you a direct message that pimps their self-pubbed novels. That’s an automatic unfollow, folks.
I understand that self-pubbed authors are going to market their wares through Twitter, and I’m fine with that. Everybody wants their novel to sell or their blog to get more hits or to gain more followers. So market yourself. That’s fine. But I consider direct messages a great deal more invasive than posts in my feed. Especially if that is your first interaction with me, it will also be your last.
I use direct messages for few things: Sending novelist Victoria Dahl dirty jokes. Picking on TL Costa while her power’s out or her kids are being unruly. Talking with Stephanie Sinkhorn about her experience getting an agent. Talking up Kait Nolan because she lives a couple of hours away and is cool as hell. Or chatting with my wife when she’s left her phone at home (which happens more often than you’d think).
If I choose to follow you, feel free to market to me through your regular tweets. I signed up for that. But once you invade what I consider a private space, don’t be surprised when you lose a potential friend, fan, and follower.