Friday, 11 July 2014

An exciting weekend ahead ...

... and a very busy one. I've got my writers retreat (not an officially sponsored event, just like to call it that) starting this afternoon at Highgate House in Northamptonshire. I said goodbye to the family this morning, come to work for half a day ... then off I go!

I've just about hit 60,000 words and am looking to get another 10k+ words done between now and Sunday afternoon. As I'm quickly discovering, even the best laid plans for sitting down and writing don't always turn out very productively. I spent a little time yesterday just going over my scrawl laying out the connections of all the characters, just to make sure my plot works. Didn't want to get there today and think "Erm, what am I going to write about" or "How the f**k did that happen" as I sit down to write.

Twitter

I've also been slowly gaining Twitter followers, so thanks to all those who are actively following me. I've deliberately not followed those just looking for follow-backs, you know the ones:

  1. THEY find you in an app they've bought
  2. THEY follow you
  3. THEY send you a randomised and generic "Hey, your stuff looks great. Follow me back?"
  4. I check their stats - as many followers as they are following
  5. I don't follow them back
  6. I get an Unfollow a couple of days later
I'd rather follow people that are interesting, in the same line of work as me (actual work or writing) and don't spam the hell out of my feed daily for the sake of posting tweets. I'm sure there are books and guides out there about maximising your Twitter presence and fair play to those that take the time to manually increase their Twitter-base, but those bots just annoy me (and not just me).

I've got (a whole) 81 followers at the moment and these are people that I hope ACTUALLY want to follow me. Once I start the marketing process for the book later in the year/next year, hopefully these followers will actually be interested and Retweet my work. No point having lots of accounts following me, because I'm following them and getting nothing from it.

It's like these ads you get for "Buy genuine Likes and follows on Facebook/Twitter", why? OK, so when someone looks at your page they see a vast number of followers or Likes, but how many people look at that figure and think "Hmmm, something isn't right here." OK, so they say it makes your page look better and more authoritative on the subject, because ALL these people follow you, but it's just bull .... isn't it?

I understand that celebrities have lots of followers and for good reason. People like to feel close to people they see on TV or in the Movies, and Twitter has become a great place to get a little peek inside their daily lives (unless the account is run by their agent). Don't get me wrong, I follow a certain amount of celebrities. 

Take Robert Downey Jr for example. He only set up a Twitter account in April and because he is who he is, has 2 million followers and he follows 46 people. The power of celebrity.

I follow quite a few accounts who are in the Fantasy genre community and one, for example, Mythic Scribes (currently) follows 16k users and has 17k followers. Which just says to me "Follow me, follow you". As this is a community Twitter account, it's understandable. For an author, I'm not so sure. Jasper Fforde for another example, well loved author, has 17.9k followers and follows 59! That sounds more like someone I would want to follow for a start. If he followed me, then it probably MEANS something, rather than the "He's followed me because I followed him" feeling I'm increasingly experiencing.

Ah well, I was one of those people who signed up to Twitter way back in the early days and said it would never catch on!