Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Random Writing Tips – Social experiments


Every now and then, I’ll come across a writer saying that they’re looking for an agent.  But instead of looking for quality writing, the agent is more interested in how many followers the writer has.  Because how many people you can spam with messages to buy your book is, apparently, an important factor in modern publishing.  I understand that it is a publishing business and businesses need to make money and they will try everything they can to get a slight edge.  I understand that, but it sucks for people like me who aren’t much for engagement.  I don’t have a panic attack if someone comments on a tweet of mine, but I will spend several minutes overthinking if I should reply and if I do, what should I reply.

Anyway, for the last few years, I’ve tried to engage more on social media.  Which is easier said than done.  Especially for someone like me who only has so much social energy and can’t just spend it willy-nilly.  For example, a couple years ago, I noticed that I sent out the majority of my tweets in the afternoon.  While that probably worked fine to find readers here in the eastern US, it was probably harder for potential readers in the UK and Australia.  So I started trying to spread my tweets out throughout the day.  Has this helped?  I don’t know.  Mostly because what usually happens is I’ll be sending out tweets about Book A, and someone will buy Book B, and I don’t know how they found out about Book B.  And even if they do buy Book A, unless they actually send a message, I have no idea if my tweets was what led them to it.  So I’ve had little success in judging how my tweeting strategy has led to book sales.

Earlier this year, I started a little experiment where I can actually get some results that may help me narrow down my strategy.  Each Monday I post a question, and I record how many comments, retweets, etc. it gets.  But each week I post it at a different time.  The hope is that a pattern will emerge of when my tweets get the most attention: maybe they’ll do really well in the mornings and I should refocus my tweets then. 

Even if you have tons of social energy and are constantly tweeting or Instagramming or whatever, it may be beneficial to do your own social experiment to see when the best time for you to post stuff is.  If you’re selling your books, then it is a business and you want the most bang for your buck.  And even if you just write as a hobby, would you rather have two readers, or ten?


Image from Pixabay.

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