I’ve been reading a lot of stuff lately about how writers should take control of new technology and use it to promote themselves. Facebook and Twitter seem as much of a writer’s armoury as flyers, bookmarks, school visits.
Now I’m not averse to new technology (although I was not quick to get a word processor, nor email and I thought web sites were an expensive waste of time). I can’t help feeling though that the constant appeal for fans on Facebook or regular Tweeting shows us writers to be, well, a bit needy.
It reminds me of when I was a young woman and went into clothes shops. There was always a predatory shop assistant who gave you thirty seconds before she (he) sidled up and asked if they could help. They hung around as well praising the choice you made, complimenting you. In other word they were desperate for a sale and it put me off. I hated that attention. I just wanted to be left alone to make my own choice.
Thankfully shops have changed and now, if anything, the job is to find an assistant.
Sometimes I feel that this rush to use every kind of technology to grab readers’ attention is a sign of desperation. The desperation to sell books. I’m not sure that this will attract readers any more than the dress sales person I was writing about earlier.
In the end it’s good stories that sell books. I think that promotion is important but maybe the world of children’s publishing has to look at new, broader ways to promote reading books. This guerrilla war of Facebook and Twitter doesn’t do it for me.