Are You Annoying People on Facebook or Twitter? – A Question All Self-Published Authors Should Ask Themselves

Originally published by me in July, 2014, this humorous article is still quite relevant. It sort of highlights the quandary in which many self-published writers find themselves, that is, whether or not to push that “send” button for yet another form of book promotion. First-time self-publishers are prone to overdoing it and filling up people’s mailboxes with their “BUY MY BOOK! BUY My BOOK!” pitches. Then they hopefully learn the subtle approaches which always has to do  with letting their books remain on the sidelines while offering hopefully valuable information to blog readers. For any author, self-published or not, self-promotion is essential. Few books ever sell without intensive author marketing. So, when you see an author’s newest and grandest promotion in your mailbox or tweeted 10 times in your last 100 entries on your Twitter home page, have some sympathy. Anyway, here is the 2014 article I posted on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and on my WordPress and Blogger pages:

By the way, Buy My Book – you won’t be sorry. Official publication date: August 20, 2015

Inga Shalvashvili's cover illustration for Jack

Inga Shalvashvili’s cover illustration for Jack

Do you ever wonder if you are annoying people on Twitter, Facebook or other social media?

If you are marketing your products, services, ideas and philosophies, or just the junk in your garage, where should you draw the line with Twitter tweets and Facebook campaigns?


Well-orchestrated Campaign Or Blitzkrieg?

I often wonder about that question. Hey, where is the line anyway between a well-orchestrated social media marketing campaign and a blitzkrieg?

Nearly every time I push that “send” button when I try to directly market my books or other products on line I wonder if I am annoying someone. I have begun to wonder in particular if I am annoying my former students in NYC because my Twitter account is connected to my Facebook account so all of my tweets appear on Facebook and, naturally, they’re all on Facebook every day with one another.

Rehash Those Tweets

I often see other authors bombarding followers with tweets about their new book – often the book is at least a year old and they’ve been pumping out the slightly different re-tweets all that time.  I don’t do that, at least. I might send out a flurry of tweets about my books every month or so. I don’t have the time for sustained blitzkriegs. But I don’t un-follow any author for trying to sell on Twitter  as I totally understand that many are trying to circumvent the “gatekeepers” and save money by self-promoting. Okay, no problem for me. More power to them.

The “Contest” That Wasn’t

You have to hear about my “contest” that I “launched” last week after reading an article about how to attract followers using “contest” ideas. Yes, I “launched” this contest on Facebook which I thought was cool idea as I was giving away three of “The Mountain” t-shirts to the top three responders who would get the most “likes” from their friends. Yes, you guessed it – the more likes they got the wider exposure the contest and the more potential for, uh huh, T-shirt sales. I figured this would be a really nice “giveaway.”

The Snowball Effect

And of course, in theory, the whole contest thing had the potential of “snowballing” as they all have hundreds of followers/friends etc. Taken altogether there are probably thousands of potential players here.

Write A “Commentary” – A Real Winner Here

The plan was simple: they had to go to my Selz or Volusion web stores and select their “favorite” Mountain T-Shirt and then write a “short commentary” (sounds like an English essay – in retrospect I probably should have said, “say a few words”) about why they picked such and such a shirt and relate a personal story about it. Yes, the personal touch might be great, so say the experts. I even modeled how to win by including a personal, humorous story of my own.

In theory, it all sounded fine. I thought many might respond and try to win these cool shirts.

Now How Could Anyone Resist That?

Now How Could Anyone Resist That?

“And The Winners Are…”

The top three would win due to the number of “likes” from their friends on line.

The ‘Now Generation’ & The Written Word

I tried to think what I would do if I was on the receiving end of such as sales pitch from a former teacher. After I put up the “contest” on Facebook, I read another article about online marketing using contests and learned (I should have already known this – actually I did but went ahead anyway, contrary to my better judgment) that most “kids” from the “now generation” and the “me first” generation would rather “cut their arm off” than write anything.

These Are Quality Shirts, Man! Don’t You Get It?

Anyway, the “contest” is now in its fourth day and, last I knew, not one of my former students had tried to win any one of these great Mountain t-shirts – free shipping too,  right to their door.


I used to make them do not just one essay draft but three. That was minimum for any piece of “good” (quasi-acceptable) writing. Talk about pulling teeth. Many of them would wait until the very end of the quarter and then turn in three “drafts” – each one looking nearly identical to the other two and, not infrequently, these same “drafts” looked nearly identical to other students’ drafts.


Anyway, in retrospect, the “short commentary” contest was probably dead in the water before it ever “launched.” No power over them now, nope. No essays either.


Did I annoy anyone? I don’t know. Nobody unfriended me. Maybe a dozen or so are busy now (even as I write this post-contest reflection) writing like crazy trying to win one of those great Mountain T-shirts. What do you think? That’s just a rhetorical question. You don’t have to answer it at the end of the article in the comment box.

YOUR TURN (the most brutally honest AND FUNNIEST gets A free Mountain T-Shirt (use the comments section please)

How about you? Do you annoy anyone on Facebook, Twitter and/or Google + ??? Tell us, how do you do it?

Please respond in the comments section. I would be very interested to know of anyone’s related experience regarding this question. The winner will be announced in one week on this site.


Here is a link to Jeff Bullas’ Blog where a guest blogger lays down some of the “rules” and “etiquette” about marketing things and annoying people in the process. The comments from readers are entertaining.

Here is the link:

5 Ways You’re Annoying Everyone on Social Media


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