I understand the power of social media and it's ability to be leveraged as a successful marketing resource. I am not an avid user of social media and refuse to use services such as TikTok but that doesn't mean that I'm oblivious to their usefulness. My lack of social media activity and marketing stems simply from my desire to not become consumed by social media. I do not want to spend every available hour of every day managing Facebook, Instagram, X (formerly Twitter), TikTok, Amazon, Good Reads, Pintrest, and who knows what else. Of course this means that I might be losing sales and exposure of my books but I'm okay with that. I would rather have my books available to those who find them but still be able to live my life without constantly having to be on social media.
That's just not me to live my life online like that.
But as we approach the holiday/end of year season, my Instagram account for my author profile has been inundated with messages from strangers trying to sell me their IG promotional services. I have received 13 messages in the last 6 days. Some of them go into a lot of detail about what they offer and charge while others are more subtle about their offers while trying to encourage me to reply for pricing. Some of them even boast of "guaranteed book sales" which is a no-go because there is absolutely no guarantee that their IG post will result in sales and there is little that can be done to track if their specific post led to a sell at any retailer unless the poster is the one who actually bought the books.
Back in the day, I would get several of these types of messages practically after every post made to IG. I would politely reply to many of them thanking them for contacting me and I would let them know if I wanted to use their services at a later date but that I was not currently interested. This led to some polite exchanges with most of the people on the other side but there were some that I had to get ugly with because they wouldn't let it go. After having more than one of the negative encounters I decided it was best to not reply at all. No interaction = no immediate interest without the risk of being harassed.
For a while, my IG inbox fell silent from "influencers" and "marketing consultants" who wanted to "collaborate" with me to market my book. All those terms mean is that they think they're someone online with a few thousand followers (probably some if not many are fake) and they want to charge me money and get a free book in exchange for them posting a picture of my book with a short blurb on their profile. Sometimes these offers would cost as little as $25 and others ranging into the hundreds of dollars. To say that I was happy that I wasn't having to field these pitches daily was as accurate a statement that has ever been made.
However that silence was short-lived. All of the sudden a new wave of voices are screaming in my inbox. Most only have a few thousand followers with a few hundred posts. Most are people overseas. Most are people I've never heard of. Most have a post history that isn't inspiring or seen as particularly valuable to me. I've not engaged any of them and will continue to refuse to do so. But for the love of God, STOP MESSAGING ME ABOUT YOUR "PROMOTIONAL" SERVICES!!
Several of them have sent me messages before commenting on my posts to "check my DMs". If you're not commenting on the post itself, don't comment! If you send me a message and I don't respond. Move on!
And people wonder why I'm an introvert?!?!?!