(Or, how to annoy me on Twitter…)

I understand that this is easy for me to say, because my income doesn’t depend on selling books, but Maker’s* mercy please, please stop the obsessive self-promotional tweets! (I say that like it’s a pervasive issue, but most of the authors I follow on Twitter are brilliant, funny and interesting, it’s just, some…some are…ew.)

You know how it is, you find some interesting authors to follow on Twitter, follow said writers, and then, it begins. The daily deluge of inane marketing tweets.

Such as:

  1. Tweeting your book title, cover image, link to Amazon and as many hashtags as you can squeeze into the rest of the tweet.
  2. Same as above – but retweeting a post by a fellow author.
  3. Setting up automatic retweets of someone. Someone who decides to allow some sort of hellish auto tweet feature to run on their account. (Why do people do this? Why?!)
  4. Sending new followers direct messages seemingly written by a robot with the personality of David Cameron.
  5. Retweeting, or tweeting, your 5* reviews. No.
  6. Retweeting praise. “Follow the amazing @AnnoyingWriter101”. Really?
  7. Retweeting a tweet that was obviously just replying to you about something mundane. A tweet that makes no sense, and can be of no interest to anyone. (It’s like hearing someone talking loudly on their mobile on a bus. No, I don’t care that they had no 10 inch cake tins in Robert Dyas.)
  8. Retweeting people who make even less sense than you. (For example, “ROMANCE. HEARTBREAK. ACCEPTANCE. Bit.ly/383s9 #Books” – resembles an actual tweet in my timeline. What does it mean? Why? WHY?!)
  9. Posting roughly 80 million of these tweets a day. ARGH!

It’s always breathtakingly obvious that many of these people are buying followers. No one cares how many followers people have on Twitter, they care about how they act. Is there an actual human being running the account or a machine? Does the person ever reply to tweets? Do they have interests outside of selling their books?

Look, if that’s the way someone wants to run their Twitter account, more power to them. The thing is, genuine followers are going to turn away and you’ll be left with the fakes. These authors are missing the point of social media. It’s about creating connections and conversations, not blunt marketing and self-promotion.

Not that I’m claiming to be some kind of Twitter guru. I’m just a regular person, who now needs to go and drink a vast quantity of tea (after hitting the unfollow button).


* yes, I may have become a tad obsessed with Dragon Age.