Introvert Authors as Social Media Mavens?

“When I’m working I sit alone and write words that no one will see for months or even years,” says author Leah Stewart in her recent story titled, “One Author’s Journey From Twitter-Clueless to Organizing a 48-Writer Social Media Giveaway,” in the Huffington Post.

“You have to understand what a lonely, frustrating profession this is,” says Stewart, “not just in the writing of the books but in the selling of them.” Stewart continues, “and how ill-suited many of us introverted indoor types are to the kind of self-promotion publishing a book now requires.”

Stewart shares that three months ago she did not have a Twitter account and, she says, “the world of publicity has changed radically since I last published a novel, in 2005.” But recently, with the publication of her new novel, Husband and Wife, she describes how she has created an “online community of readers, writers, and reviewers.” Stewart adds, “On Twitter, you can exchange erudite, funny, snarky, emotional thoughts on literature all day long. It’s like going to a writers’ conference without the booze and ill-considered affairs.”

As the recent author of my first book, Self-Promotion for Introverts®, and an introvert, I’m still finding my way in the social media sphere. I’m a relatively new blogger and I post updates and participate in conversations on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. However, not lots of conversations. Participating too much affects me similarly to attending too many meetings. And my “too many” might be your “not enough.” Hats off to those who are always at their keyboards, learning, sharing, expressing themselves, responding. I enjoy doing all of that—in doses.

“Like most introverts, I hate the phone and prefer reading and writing notes,” says Mitali Perkins, author of the new novel, Bamboo People, in a recent interview on the Shrinking Violet Promotions blog. “Social media puts me in charge of when and how and with whom to interact.” R.L. LaFevers, who conducted the interview, refers to Perkins as a “twizard.”

What’s your threshold for interacting on public forums like Twitter? What’s the relation between your social media activity and your introversion (or lack there of!). What gets you to write more or less? Do you agree with Perkins: “If it’s not fun, don’t make yourself do it”?

Copyright © 2010 Nancy Ancowitz

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