authors ranting on facebook

She Didn’t: Another Facebook No-No For Authors…IMHO


I’ve talked about how I think posting about politics on facebook can hurt authors. I take no sides on this issue. I think political posts can be harmful if you’re trying to build a readership. Readers care about the books you’re writing, not about your politics. Of course there are some exceptions. I’ve seen smart, well written posts about politics that left me respecting the author…whether I agree or not. But most aren’t like that.

But this post isn’t about politics. This is different. I’ve posted about how ranting on all social networks, in a general sense, can hurt authors. And tonight I saw something else that really floored me.

An author…and someone I like, too…ranted, on facebook, about not flirting with her boyfriend on facebook. Meee-Ow!! At first I thought it was a joke. But when I read more in the comments I realized it wasn’t.

Of course there are no rules about things like this, and whether I like it or not means nothing. When I see people in their twenties posting jealous rants about other facebook friends flirting with their significant others I not only find it amusing, I find it endearing. We’ve all been there, in our twenties, filled with love and passion, ready to pounce on anyone who even looks at our significant other the wrong way. And there’s a lot of flirting going on on facebook.

But we grow up. And when an author in her fifties does this, regarding a boyfriend who is in his fifties, it’s not the same thing…seriously…far from cute. And I’m not just singling out women…I would say the same thing if a man did it. There is a certain age, I believe, when you stop playing high school games, especially in public. And frankly, if you’ve reached the age of forty and you’re still having jealous rants in public, you have more problems than someone flirting with your significant other on a social network.

So please don’t, for the love of all, throw a jealous, hissy-fit tantrum on facebook. Punch a wall, kick a door, or do something in private. Because if you do post jealous rants on facebook and you’re close to being a member of AARP, I can assure you that people will be rolling their eyes and thinking, “She didn’t.”

Facebook Posting Should be Taken Seriously

I’m probably going to get a little heat from this post, but I figured I’d write it because I’ve been on facebook and other social networks since most of them began and I’ve learned a few things by watching and reading posts written by other authors. And, this post really is just for authors, not for people who use social networks like facebook and twitter for personal enjoyment.

Most author posts are enjoyable and interesting. They help you find out about their books and tell you where you can purchase them. Other author posts are about personal things, where authors discuss the things they love, from pets to food. One male author is always talking about his love of cupcakes…to the point where I’ve had to go out and get a cupcake after reading his posts. The one thing all these authors have in common is they always post something readers and fans will enjoy. Some talk about the charities they are involved with, which always interests readers.

And then there are other authors who mistake facebook for personal pages. They rant about their family problems, their dysfunctional relationships with their mothers, and how depressed and lonely they are because they don’t have dates. And this always puts me off, especially when they are so blunt about it. I’ve read author posts on facebook that made me blush, and it takes a lot to make me do that.

The point I’m trying to make is that whatever goes down in print usually remains there, whether it’s an e-mail or a facebook post. And sometimes a negative questionable facebook post might be the only thing a potential reader remembers about an author. So if you want to rant about how Aunt Nancy treated you on Thanksgiving, or how much you hate your mother or your significant other, get a different facebook page that’s just for family and friends. You can monitor it and post whatever you like to the people who love you. But on your professional page you should be more careful, because no one really does love you there. They want to love you, but if you make it too difficult they are going to turn their heads and completely ignore you.