I got a little fired up the other day about this article in Salon. In it, an author complains about having to be on social media in order to market his book. I took exception to his whiny, foot stomping tirade about hating to be forced to be social, which probably got his article a ton of views on Salon, but I can tell you personally, it certainly doesn't make me want to read his books. Ever.
I guess in that way, social media can cause more harm than good for an author. It can turn a reader off before they've even looked at your first page, which is a very bad thing if you want people to read your book. I also have a feeling that we authors have been sold this terrible lie: you have to be on social media to sell your book. I don't know about you, but nobody has ever convinced me to buy a book by tweeting ads about it 24/7.
Books are sold by word of mouth, by friends telling friends "hey, you should read this." You can't buy that or make it happen if your book isn't any good. Readers have a limited time in their lives and authors have to respect their choices. No amount of hours on social media is going to change that.
The other point I want to make is this because I see a lot of other authors feel the same way as the guy on Salon. Yes, almost every author wants you to enjoy their story and they can take it very much to heart if you don't. We're all human. It takes an amazing amount to strength to put yourself out there for people to judge. Believe me, I know how hard that is. But don't ever doubt for one second that you have something important to say. Don't do that to yourself!
Work hard. Perfect your craft. Make it the best it can be. And if you can't stand the thought of talking to strangers on social media about it, just don't do it. A good book can speak for you. Books have been doing it for hundreds of years and hopefully, they'll keep on doing it for hundreds more. ~peace~