First-Person Problems: Using Proper Perspective for Thunderclap Campaigns
It’s been a while since we’ve done a blog post with advice for authors, but Matter Deep has been experimenting lately with Project Thunderclap, and something has come to our attention. Project Thunderclap is kind of like Kickstarter for social media buzz instead of money. People pledge posts instead of dollars, and on launch day if you reach goal, the message goes out to hundreds of social media accounts at once. Plenty of independent authors are using Thunderclap to launch their titles, but poor practices in phrasing social media posts are creating confusion and leading to tweets being deleted.
Here’s a tweet generated by one of our Thunderclap campaigns:
— Amy Leigh Strickland (@AmyLStrickland) January 16, 2015
This tweet was generated as a unique post by my account and by over 100 others. Every poster of this message, be it on Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr, looked like the original poster. So you can see why it would have been a problem if we had composed this message in the first person.
Authors might generally tweet something like “Check out my new book about vampires!” and see their fans retweet it. And that makes sense, because Facebook and Twitter and Tumblr all indicate when a post is second-hand with retweeted-from, shared-from, and reblogged-from indicators. But when the system generates hundreds of unique tweets from the same message, the authorship of the post isn’t as clear.
A Thunderclap tweet that read “Check out my new book about vampires!” might make it look like every person who tweeted it is claiming authorship of said vampire novel, and that can be a big problem when a lot of the people who will share your post are… well… other authors. I know that I have personally deleted a few Thunderclap tweets because the final message was claiming authorship for something that might either confuse my readers or reflect poorly on me as someone seeking employment as a public educator in Alabama.
And to be fair, “I wrote a book” is a really bad argument for it unless you’re someone who has tons and tons of super-fans. A lot of people have written books. Use those 140 characters to tell me something I might like about it!
Here are some examples of how I’d sell our most-recent books:
Magic, machines, and danger! Order the Royer Goldhawk saga today [link] #steampunk
There are absolutely no space vampires in this book. [link] Okay I lied about the space vampires.
Leave the first person for routine posts.