Media Overload

I just had coffee with a book editor I'm friendly with, and we talked about (among other subjects including driving in bad weather and our interest in birds) the sheer volume of media we are now keeping track of in our jobs. For publicists, the game has really changed since I started out. It was never easy to listen to all the shows or read the many magazines and newspapers that might matter for our books, but now the media has exploded with blogs and websites and twitter and FB. Some days, I just sit for hours and touch base with publications and blogs, catch up on conversations. The volume of material to absorb only grows, especially for a publicist who works in multiple genres. What to do? Well, first, breathe. Breathing helps. And then set aside time to stay on top of things. And realize, too, that it's impossible, really. So always check in before you pitch.


YES! I hear you! I've been trying to build my twitter following lately in anticipation of getting my book out there (might as well start sooner than later, right?), and I'm finding keeping up with everything to be a little daunting. It's exciting to watch everything that's going on in the world, but it's also exhausting--and can take precious time away from the actual writing.

My question to you publicists and booksellers (and my other lovely BtO writers): How much social media is too much? Where's the line? And is it still possible to withdraw periodically and not be gone in the blink of an eye?
caitlin said…
I think social media is too much if you aren't getting your work done or your actual writing done, but beyond that generalization, I'd say it's a very personal decision how one strikes a balance. And as for withdrawing, I think it depends on how long you're gone...
I can so relate to this. I think it's important to be aware of what's happening, but at times you can be "too aware," muzzling your own creativity in response to perceived limitations that a truly creative work could shatter. If the social media is affecting your relationship with your work or your production, then it's time to rein it in for awhile.
Barbara Sissel said…
I can so relate to this issue too as I look forward to publishing my first ebook. I've spent hours researching other authors' experiences and gathering information including marketing advice. My thought after all this endeavor is that there's a point where you will have done all you can with regard to promotion and you have to let the project go, trusting that it will move forward on its own. Like a garden, you plant the seeds, you create as much opportunity as you can and walk away, knowing something (hopefully wonderful!) will grow.
That's a great point, Barbara--and Colleen, how did you KNOW about the "too aware" aspect? That's exactly what I've been struggling with, although I have to admit that when my revisions are going well, I don't struggle nearly as much. But when I'm in that mode of beating myself up because what's on the page just isn't working, it's really NOT helpful to reinforce that by reading those "what not to do" craft pages.

I actually had an interesting experience chatting with an editor on twitter that turned out to be good in the end, but did for a couple of days derail my progress. It was one of those how to know which advice to take moments, but I think I ended up handling it well. Still, it made me realize that I may need to pull another hiatus from social media while I'm in the final stages of finishing the book.
Sherry Jones said…
I'm sure we've all had those days when, at the end of it, we take stock of how much writing we did and realize most of it happened online. And that was only a few months ago, before I got into LinkedIn, and Google+, and Pinster, and ... Did you read Andy Borowitz today? The headline is, "No New Socia Media Today."

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