Every now and then I stumble across a social media post that really disappoints me.
How hard is it to be nice?
The Indie Author community is one of the most incredible groups of people I’ve ever had the privilege to be part of. Support, encouragement, commiseration and shared victories are the order of just about every day.
However, every now and then I stumble across a social media post that really disappoints me. Those posts fall into two groups.
1. Posts that rant at others for a perceived slight.
I’ve seen authors abusing people for not buying their books, not sharing their posts, or generally being less than 150% supportive.
How is this fair?
We’re writers. Most people have day jobs. Most people have families. Life is demanding. I don’t know anyone who can afford to be on social media 24/7, supporting others and buying six copies of every new release.
We cannot expect that all our friends and family are going to buy, read, and review our books. I can tell you from personal experience that this simply isn’t realistic. Shaming them on public media is hardly going to encourage them to change their ways.
2. Posts that demand people do something.
This morning I saw a “request for support” that was phrased as “do it now” and “I need this” and “you’ve been told, so do it”. There wasn’t a please or thank you in sight.
Am I likely to give my support? In all honesty, no. I scrolled past.
This is not my habit – anyone who knows me can affirm that I do everything I can to support my fellow Indies.
I felt belittled and taken for granted by that post. I don’t even talk to my dog like that.
It’s important that our public presence on social media is seasoned by good manners.
If we want to present ourselves as a public identity whose product – be it books, music, handcrafts, beauty products, or whatever – we want others to buy and enjoy, we have to make that engagement a positive thing, or it will never follow through.
I am in no way advocating being a doormat or accepting poor treatment. But that is not what I’m talking about here. I’m talking about keeping ourselves nice.
There is no place for arrogance, selfish demands or rudeness. Nobody is doing anyone, including themselves, any favours by carrying on like that.
My final piece of advice is one I apply every day in both my professional lives: you’ll get a lot more with honey than you do with a stick.