Last week I wrote about how I believe it’s necessary to keep your author platform politically neutral (you can read the post here). That is just a small – albeit important – aspect of keeping your writing life apart from your personal life. Although I agree that allowing readers glimpses into your personal life is a great way to increase your fan base and connect with readers, I’m a big believer in keeping business business and private private. Let’s not forget that being a writer is a business, after all. (Even if you don’t make that much or any money from it.) There are two very specific ways in which a lot of indie writers are failing to keep the separation.
Facebook. We can argue all day and night whether Facebook is effective in selling books. I’m not going to get into that here. If you are going to be involved with Facebook as a writer, you need set up an author page. Let me repeat that: Do not use your personal Facebook profile as your author platform! There’s nothing worse than spamming your so-called friends with book promos. Trust me, your friends don’t appreciate it. When I’m promoting authors on my Readsalot blog, I make sure to tag their author page on Facebook. You can’t do that if their so-called author page is actually a personal profile. That’s a lost promotion opportunity right there. Many authors who only have a personal profile send friend requests to their readers. Do you really want your readers knowing everything about you?
Twitter. Twitter is a bit trickier. I admit I only have one twitter account. I actually can’t imagine having more than one account to deal with. I try to keep my own tweets either book or writing related. I also tweet humorous things that happen to me. I write humor and I hope that by showing my followers how funny I can be in a tweet, they’ll be tempted to try one of my books. On a personal level, I follow others who are involved in causes I believe in. I just don’t re-tweet anything unless it can be considered politically neutral. Where that line is, is difficult to detect. For example, as a woman, I’m a big believer in education for girls. Some may say this is a political agenda. There are thousands more causes that straddle that same line.
The obvious exception to the above is if your writing is autobiographical. In that event, you are opening up your entire life and who knows where the division between private and business is? No matter what you decide to do remember that everything you put online is out there for anyone and everyone to discover for-freaking-ever.