You’ve worked hard on your book
or deck, lovingly dedicating yourself to your craft, your creation, your…baby.
Like a proud Mom or Pop, you want
to show off your newborn to the world.
Isn’t she pretty?
have Daddy’s chin?
Isn’t she the most adorable thing ever?
Thing is, books and decks aren’t
While the rare artist creates
just for the sake of creating, most make art because they want to delight,
entertain, inform, encourage and heal others.
This means most artists want, and
need, an audience.
Otherwise, they’d be content to
paint pictures, push pixels or massage words in obscurity.
Oh, and there’s this thing about
paying the rent and eating at least one meal every 24 hours…
And maybe, just maybe, acquiring
the ability to actually make a living at one’s art or—dare we dream—even become
financially comfortable one day?
This takes coin. Serious coin.
In this day, even traditionally
published authors need to promote their work as much as their indie brethren.
So, inspired by their colleagues
who make it look oh-so-easy, these proud parents hop on Facebook, Twitter,
Google+ and LinkedIn—hoping to connect their progeny to a buying
welcoming world…expecting perfect strangers (or even past fans) to lavish it
with praise and PayPal transactions.
A week goes by. Then two. Then a
Why hasn’t the world fêted
my newborn with the cyber-equivalent of a baby shower, replete with Twitter
RTs rattles, FB shares stuffed bears and Amazon purchases
tender congratulations wrapped around a financial gift?, the creative
mother quietly asks herself.
Photo Courtesy Frank Selmo via WANA Commons
The new parent becomes nervous. The world
isn’t jumping on the “my kid is great”
Weeks go by.
they haven’t even helped with the baby announcements!
Staring at the computer monitor, heartbeat
caroming the ribcage like butterflies hepped up on coke, the parent cries Where are my friends? My family? My supportive
The parent begins Googling the baby, hoping to find a
book blogger’s mention an announcement in the local newspaper or an Amazon review old-fashioned card of congratulations delivered
Desperation ensues, and a thick
miasma of mixed feelings descends on the once-thrilled mama artist.
And the social media whoring begins.
Buy my book!
Sample an excerpt!
Follow me and I’ll follow you!
Now free on Kindle! Three days only! Don’t MISS IT!
See my new painting! Here’s a coupon code worth 10% off!
My new book on Smashwords! It's a cross between Stephen King and Nora Roberts!
Suddenly, internet acquaintances are
bombarded with these kinds of anxious posts birth announcements from
you…the frantic proud parent.
Facebook groups that you’ve not
posted to for a year or more suddenly see chirpy greetings from you, complete
with a link to your product page baby photos. Colleagues that you have ignored when they launched a new Tarot deck
birthed new babies get surprise messages.
Radio silence for months—even
years—and BOOM, you and your “baby” are everywhere.
Some are happy to see you. Others
wonder where you’ve been.
Colleagues who could have really
used your encouragement and support when they
were trying to get pregnant—eventually getting that baby baking in the oven and
finding themselves in their own new-parent boat—begin to resent your sudden
They see what you’re doing.
You’re using them. And, sometimes, their groups.
And whoring your baby, to boot.
People begin to feel icky around
you and about you. You’ve not engaged with these acquaintances and former
colleagues for months and months. You’ve not been there when a Dad has died, a
pet was lost or a child has graduated High School.
Nor were you cybernetically “there”
for the minor celebrations, defeats or goofy fun.
You were nowhere in sight during
Facebook “dance parties” when we gathered to post our favorite YouTube
videos—chatting a running commentary on times past.
No replies or “likes” for the
funny posted cartoons, the aired angst of a working creative or the new coffee
creamer that’s to die for.
In short, you don’t really care
about relationships. At least, it doesn’t look that way.
Because if you did, you’d be
there for all the “little things” (or, at least, one little “thing” a week)...as opposed to, you know, only showing your face when you want
something have a baby announcement.
Let me be clear: it’s about
These days, content may still be
King…but relationships are Queen. You are no Queen if you forget or dismiss the
“social” in Social Media.
Given two equally lovely Tarot
decks, informative books or helpful services, consumers will likely support the
artist/author/maven who has been engaged with them for the long haul. Who
chatted them up in the wee hours even when no product was being launched. Who
cared enough to answer a FB post, Tweet or email. Who provided helpful information,
reviews or advice when they were
trying to get “pregnant”.
But, you may be whining saying, I don’t have time to do that! I’m busy creating!
Look, I write traditionally
published books and eBooks. I own four blogs, and write for a fifth. I conduct
Tarot webinars and radio interviews. I’m a professional Tarot reader for a
worldwide clientele. I'm an Amazon.com Hall of Fame/Vine Reviewer. I’m co-creating the Snowland Deck, and forming a cottage
industry around it (including designing jewelry, picking out fabrics, procuring
crystals). I am my own webmaster (always have been), and handle all my personal
correspondences, bookings and social media.
This, on top of owning a 12-room
house to take care of with my husband, domestic duties and homeschooling our
almost-14-year-old…not factoring in other “life issues” like losing my Dad in
March, illness and dealing with a terrorizing neighbor who’s out on bail for
attempted murder (thankfully, not mine!).
So don’t tell me you don’t have
“time” to make connections, foster friendships and remain engaged with your
potential fan base…even for only a few minutes a day.
If you have time to smoke a
cigarette, watch reality TV for hours on end or drink a cup of coffee, you have
time to interact with people online.
Simple as that.
Don’t think you can ignore people
for months (or years) and expect them to throw a full-on party for your newest
We don’t live in that kind of