On networking through social media

Lately, I’ve had the pleasure of gaining fellow writers as followers on Twitter. I’m all about sharing and spreading the love, be it my own work or another person’s. I don’t see the harm in asking for a favor (ie ‘Hey, thanks for the follow, do you mind checking out my book/page/whatever?’) in return for one. There’s no obligation for either to accept, but the gesture is nice all the same.  Getting acknowledgment from others is all part of the networking process. I love the small amount of recognition I’ve received so far.

Now, maybe my interpretation of this is different because I am an unknown, so I look at any opportunity to share or be shared (even if I’m acting as a platform for someone else) as a good thing. But if you’ve established yourself in your chosen field, getting bombarded with these kinds of requests can get tiresome. At the same time, established persons should remember that they, too, were once at the bottom rung of the ladder, and had nothing going for them save a driving desire to share a story, a song, or a picture with others. When I see posts stating a ‘thanks but no thanks’ message, it gives off the wrong impression. I get a sense of elitism from those kinds of things. I’m not saying a person HAS to honor all requests, or that it’s bad they give their opinion on the whole thing. But they could be turning away potential fans, thus preventing their own network from growing.

Another topic I’ve seen concerns illustrators. Say you’ve hired an illustrator to do your book cover, and they really blow you away with their design. Is it wrong, egotistical even, if the illustrator requests you include their site URL on your author page, or even on the cover itself? I don’t think so. I’m a firm believer in giving credit where credit is due. True, the art I chose for the cover for Renegade was free stock, but I still asked the artist’s permission to use it. He even adjusted its settings/colors so it’d match the DPI requirements. You better believe I credited him on the back cover, complete with website and email address. Even if he had asked me to do it, I wouldn’t have thought him overstepping his boundaries. Hell, he was doing ME the favor!

This is by no means an attack on those who believe differently than me. This is just a collection of observations I’ve made. How one advertises their work is their business.

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