15 Reasons Why I Muted You On Twitter (And Other Rancour)

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Many bloggers have written many blog posts containing many points regarding the many things authors should not be doing on Twitter if they want to sell their books (there’s a mathematical formula in there somewhere). So, why should I add to it?

Well. Because it’s quite obvious that nobody has been bloody listening; that’s why. (Another reason is that having alluded to this post a number of people asked me to publish it. So now.)

Fine. You Don’t Understand Twitter? Get Off It, Then

Before 2011, there was a window – for about 45 minutes, one Tuesday afternoon – in which people (authors especially) had an open forum on Twitter upon which to promote themselves. During this time, pretty much any old tweet could gain some traction. Some did very well out of it. But times have changed.

There are now too many folks tweeting mindlessly, and too much. And the result is the equivalent of an ad agency trying to sell detergent in 2015 by showing a wife in a skirt and apron dancing around a kitchen. Times have moved on. I wish tweeters would too.

We’re coming up to the first anniversary of Twitter’s Mute function, and I’ve spent some very productive waiting times lately (at the bus stop; in the dentist’s waiting room, and during that interminable time between the bread going into the toaster, and the toast coming out) doing nothing but a satisfying little job I like to call Muting You On Twitter. This is because my Twitter timeline had become 90% torrential guff (and that’s even before you count pathetic ads now thrown at you by Twitter itself). The other 10% – the stuff I’d like to see – drowned.

Sure, I could have unfollowed all these people. But the sad thing is that I feel like I worked hard to get my followers, even if they never ever ever ever read my tweets and only want to clog up my timeline with total and utter shite. I don’t buy followers. I try to play by the rules.

Yet Another Diatribe Against Authors On Twitter

The factors which influence my book-buying decision… (and 1 which DEFINITELY DOESN’T…)

So, with regard once again to this post on how not to sell your self-published book, not to mention this one on author behaviour online which would earn them a slap in real life, here is the list of things which makes me mute people – mainly authors – on Twitter.

I might add that I am supremely confident that I won’t upset anyone with this list, because not one of the people I have muted has ever read this blog, or interacted with me in any meaningful way.

 15 Reasons You Have Been Muted From My Twitter Feed

  1. When I followed you, you sent me an automatic direct message telling me to go to your Facebook page/buy your book/check out your blog (I don’t know you yet. I don’t care.)
  2. You have more than 1 hashtag in your Twitter profile (so you read an SEO-optimisation article one time, and think that by using 10 hashtags you will get 1 million readers.)
  3. You use too many quirky symbols or capitalised words
  4. You have the words “I follow back”; “I promote” or “I retweet” in your Twitter profile (I make about 2 exceptions for trusted indie promoters I have interacted with elsewhere – e.g. on my blog or theirs. Generally, incessant book promotion tells me that you never employ any type of vetting process. Meaning your recommendations are irrelevant.)
  5. The first 3 tweets I see from you are inane promotions of your own work
  6. I see any tweet containing the words “buy my book” or “check out” or “another 5 star review!”
  7. Any more than 2 of your last 10 tweets quote reviews of your own books (they are meaningless)
  8. You have sent out more than 3 tweets in 10 minutes (stop clogging my feed)
  9. You have sent out more than 10 tweets in 24 hours (I said, stop clogging my feed)
  10. You have the words “motivation” or “inspiration” in your profile (sigh)
  11. Any of your tweets order me to do something (Seriously. You think that works??)
  12. You tweet banal quotes from your own books all the time (in some mistaken belief that 160* characters could hook someone who has never heard of you before)
  13. A significant number of your tweets are made up of those group #FF followback messages or retweets of same
  14. I see any tweet containing the words “Please RT” for anything other than public information, missing persons, or charity purposes
  15. Anything about your tweets suggests to me that when it comes to Twitter, you believe in quantity over quality


Yet Another Diatribe Against Authors On Twitter

In Shakespeare’s time, Twitter abusers were challenged to a duel

As a slight antidote to the vitriol I feel about timewasters on Twitter, I will say that if I see tweets from you containing personal thoughts from your own head, anything funny, specific replies to other tweeters or even clickbait, I won’t mute you. These things say you interact, not just bombard. Sadly however, there are few enough people out there tweeting this kind of stuff.

Also, if you were to send me a tweet telling me I’m lovely, I wouldn’t mute you either.

Just kidding. I wouldn’t believe a word.

What are your triggers? Anyone else think the mute function on Twitter is the greatest thing since the flush toilet?


* or 140. But who’s counting? 😀


  198 comments for “15 Reasons Why I Muted You On Twitter (And Other Rancour)

  1. April 23, 2015 at 10:06 am

    Lol – sounds like you’ve been having a field day, muting your Tweeps! 😀

    You’re right; it’s got to the point when it’s meaningless. And yet, we still do it. I always Tweet your posts, for example – or any other post that I enjoy. But for real interaction, nothing beats a blog, in my experience.

    Then again, perhaps I’m just doing it wrong 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • Ali Isaac
      April 23, 2015 at 10:09 am

      I agree… blogging is brill! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

    • April 23, 2015 at 10:15 am

      How could you possibly be doing it wrong, if you’ve tweeting my posts? You won’t catch me out with that kind of trick question, my crafty friend. But I agree with you – nothing beats the ould blogging.

      Liked by 1 person

      • April 23, 2015 at 10:53 am

        Yes, I’m pretty cunning that way 😀

        Wouldn’t want you to mute me just because I have too many hashtags on my bio, after all… 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        • April 23, 2015 at 11:11 am

          Rumbled! Yes, Nicholas, there was one lone infringement, but it was immediately cancelled out by non-fake interaction on every other level 😉 It’s the strangers who are vetted to the nth degree. Mind you, that’s if I have any followers left on the 1/100th offchance that any of the culprits ever read this post.

          Liked by 1 person

          • April 23, 2015 at 11:24 am

            Lol – I doubt any of them will 😀

            I’m always genuine in my interactions! Now, buy all of my books, review each one on Amazon and Goodreads and beta-read my next ones. Oh, and don’t forget to support my Kickstarter, vote for me on a number of competitions and watch my videos. Comment on my blog and follow me on Facebook and Twitter. I’ll also accept your firstborn now, thank you very much.

            *Seriously, that’s the sort of prompts I see daily in my twitter/DM feed by people who have literally just followed me 5 second earlier! So, I do sympathize 🙂 *

            Liked by 1 person

            • April 23, 2015 at 11:34 am

              That’s as good a summary I’ve seen of Twitter orders, Nicholas! In the ever-growing list of functionality we want on Twitter, I’d like a button which you can click to send a notification to a stranger saying “Good day Sir/Madam. I regret to inform you that you managed to make it impossible for me to follow you back. Toodle-pip”

              Liked by 1 person

              • April 23, 2015 at 12:12 pm

                That’s it? You’re too kind. What about the explosive tweet (your computer explodes upon receipt), the stinking tweet (the room stinks up as if your dog had eaten beans) or the banishment tweet (you’re not allowed to use Twitter for X amount of days/weeks/months/years)?

                Honestly, Tara, it’s like you’re not putting any thought in this whatsoever! Tut tut tut…

                Liked by 2 people

                • April 23, 2015 at 12:39 pm

                  Fair comment. And I like where you’re going with this, Nicholas. Do you want to be Chief of Secret Police in Jool’s new regime (see above)? That position’s still free, since I’m the obvious choice for Director of Ire and Bile.

                  Liked by 1 person

                • April 25, 2015 at 6:13 pm

                  Exploding tweets!!! That’s the kind of fun the Weasley twins would get into if there was internet at Hogwarts!

                  Liked by 2 people

                  • April 26, 2015 at 12:47 pm

                    Lol – absolutely. Or explosive owls, in their case 😀

                    Liked by 2 people

                    • April 27, 2015 at 3:40 am

                      Buahahaha! I can just imagine owls exploding like the cat on National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation! Viv Drewa would have to be sedated…

                      Liked by 2 people

                    • April 27, 2015 at 10:35 am

                      Lol – poor Viv; she would 😀

                      I watched Penguins of Madagascar last night, and now I’m thinking of an exploding Eve. Yikes.

                      Liked by 1 person

    • February 20, 2016 at 12:51 am

      Well, crap. Now you won’t follow me? *grin*

      No, seriously . . . my Twitter posts are just slices of writing life, family life, observances life, occasionally talking about my pets, and paying it forward in Sunday quotes other writers were influential in my life and to the world at large. I ONLY mention my book–which feels like I’m an overdue pregnant elephant trying to give birth to this baby!!–in my struggles and impatience with getting it uploaded, finally. But you’re right: my feed is C-L-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-G-E-D with ads of “We Promote Authors!” or “My New Release!” I never buy books from Twitter recommends, either, but really have to slog through reviews on Amazon to find something that grabs me from go.

      Great post. And you’re right: blogging is way better than 140 characters. More freeing, too.

      Liked by 1 person

      • February 20, 2016 at 2:40 pm

        Exactly, Missy, I don’t think Twitter works for selling anything, unless it’s straight-up direct marketing to existing customers regarding special promotions. And even then, it’s hard to make that work for books.


  2. Ali Isaac
    April 23, 2015 at 10:07 am

    Theres a mute button on Twitter??? Great! I had no idea! Guess what I’ll be doing today…


    • April 23, 2015 at 10:15 am

      It’s the most satisfying job you’ll do on social media, Ali! Get muting and make sure you have some cake for the high spots 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ali Isaac
        April 23, 2015 at 10:20 am

        Lol! Will do! 😃

        Liked by 1 person

  3. tbrpiledotcom
    April 23, 2015 at 10:07 am

    Mute is better than a flush toilet (go compost toilet – saves water, helps grow daffodils).
    I agree with every single one of your points, although I do tend to unfollow for some of the reasons you mention. I use mute for people I want to support but don’t actually want to hear from (some charities, or people doing Good Things that I think are great but which I don’t want to participate in). Someone followed me yesterday who joined Twitter in February and has sent out 100 tweets, 99 of them advertising his book (the other one was to tell people he’d joined Twitter). I know that by not following back he will just unfollow me later, but I’m trying hard not to play the numbers game because where’s the real advantage of having huge numbers of followers if they just mute you? I could just follow him and mute, but really what’s the point?
    The quotes from books are just bizarre – half a sentence “… and she looked into his eyes and saw a world of lustful promise” is not going to make me buy a book. I’d love to know who this kind of advertising works on. Anyone?
    What I’d really like to see Twitter do is to say “Author Z is following you but has muted you from day 1”. Makes a mockery of the word “follow” really, doesn’t it?

    Liked by 1 person

    • tbrpiledotcom
      April 23, 2015 at 10:08 am

      By the way, can anyone tell me how to mute certain hashtags?


      • April 23, 2015 at 10:23 am

        Yeah, this would be wonderful too. File under “Dear Twitter”…


    • April 23, 2015 at 10:23 am

      I couldn’t agree more, and I think if I was smarter or stronger, I’d be doing the unfollowing too. I think it’s because Mute is a great reflex for getting rid of people who have annoyed you once without jettisoning them forever just because of one infringement – having said that, I don’t follow back at least 50% of the followers I get in the first place because I can see straight away that they’re spammers/marketers/annoying/stupid.

      I love your idea of the muting notification, even if it would get me into huge amounts of trouble. Oh, the functionality we would have if only we would have it…

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Jools
    April 23, 2015 at 10:14 am

    Great post, Tara. I couldn’t agree more. Twitter has become a sea of people mindlessly making noise for the sake of it. As a marketer by profession, I’m a supporter of highly targetted communications over mass mailings/junk-mail. Shouty book promos on Twitter are just like junk mail, and we all know where that ends up.

    Liked by 1 person

    • April 23, 2015 at 10:28 am

      Exactly, Jools. Weirdly, it doesn’t annoy me so much that people are tweeting this rubbish: it irritates me beyond belief that they actually think they’ll get something out of it. There’s odd psychology in that, but it gets me out of bed in the morning. And don’t even start me on the absolute spanners on Linkedin sending me messages because they never even bothered to look at the blog or my profile properly, and they think I’m a book reviewer, or have self-published a book myself, and are trying to sell me extortionate and fraudulent marketing dross. I’ve sent some fairly nasty replies to those types before immediately removing the connection 😀

      Liked by 2 people

      • Jools
        April 23, 2015 at 10:34 am

        I long for days when people use social media with respect. I resent all those sources which claim you need to post a hundred times a day, even if you have nothing at all to say, just so that you pop up on people’s feeds every few inches. I simply don’t understand how this makes any sense, in a world where everyone else is doing the same. Maybe there’s room for a new-style Twitter, where you’re only allowed to post ONCE a day…. So you’d better make it good!

        Liked by 1 person

        • April 23, 2015 at 10:39 am

          Now now, Jools, if you go round talking sense like that people are going to start thinking you’re leading the revolution… you have to be careful! On that note, I’ve just printed up the placards and bought 10 grand’s worth of advertising space for your manifesto – how soon can you have it over to me??

          Liked by 1 person

          • Jools
            April 23, 2015 at 10:45 am

            Oh… If only! Ex-Queen guitarist Brian May was calling for ‘common decency’ in politics on the TV this morning. I could be persuaded to call for ‘common sense’ on social media! But I’m just One Grumpy Old Woman… What can I do…… … . . .

            Liked by 1 person

            • April 23, 2015 at 10:49 am

              I’m afraid we don’t have time for this sort of defeatist politics, Jools. Just keep the chin up, remember everyone else is wrong except you, me and a choice few other commenters, and we’ll have you in high-waisted trouser suits with a dubious haircut before you can say “Vote # 1”.

              Liked by 1 person

        • April 25, 2015 at 3:42 pm

          I love that idea, Jools! I’m being a lot more selective about what and how often I tweet these days. Trying to emulate you by only posting golden nuggets!

          I have just coined the phrase BIRD BARF to describe the deluge of unmitigated ‘stuff’ posted on Twitter.

          Liked by 2 people

          • Jools
            April 25, 2015 at 5:04 pm

            Bird Barf… I love that! I think the Twitter genie is out of the bottle – noise is the norm and it’s hard to play differently. But I long for a more sublime and thoughtful environment. Perhaps the way really is to limit people to one Tweet (or similar) per day – that would make people focus on saying something meaningful, so as not to waste their message.

            Liked by 2 people

            • April 25, 2015 at 5:54 pm

              I think it’s just a different kind of forum, I have heard that it can be very amusing if you’re following celebrities (I don’t) who do funny, running commentaries on events they’re at, and things like that. For the rest of us mostly-unknown celebrities (:D) I’m certain it works out best to only tweet when we have something exceptional to say. Then, hopefully, our followers will say “Oh look! It’s Jools or Wendy or Tara!” and retweet us because they actually like what we say.

              I feel another new phrase coming on
              : It’s better to be a shining star in the Twitterverse that a gas giant. 😀

              Liked by 2 people

              • April 25, 2015 at 7:33 pm

                Or how about: “Welcome to Twitter. Now please shut up.” 😉


              • Jools
                April 25, 2015 at 7:46 pm

                I’ll take ‘shining star’ over ‘gas giant’ any day!

                Liked by 1 person

  5. April 23, 2015 at 11:29 am

    Wait–do we get 160 characters on Twitter now? (“in some mistaken belief that 160 characters could hook someone who has never heard of you before”) Because I’m very long winded and I really, really, really need those 20 extra characters (so I can one 3 more REALLY’s to my Tweets).

    I, too, was unaware there was a Mute function on Twitter. If I don’t find value in a Twitter-ers Tweet-ings, I unfollow. You can also block people but that removes you from their feed as well as removing them from yours, which may not achieve your objectives.

    Liked by 1 person

    • April 23, 2015 at 11:36 am

      Oops. That was a Type-O typo. My bad. I did of course mean 140 characters but I must have been influenced by the “666” which kept appearing in front of my eyes while writing this post. You’re right, though. You can never have enough reallys in a tweet. Or OMGs. Like, totally.


  6. April 23, 2015 at 11:39 am

    I agree with everything in this post! I loved Twitter but now I find I’m using it less and less. Self promotion and RTing of inane compliments drives me mad. And like you, I don’t want to unfollow people. Mute is a great invention but now I hear they are allowing anyone to DM you. It’s going to be as bad as facebook soon!

    Liked by 2 people

    • April 23, 2015 at 12:05 pm

      Oh no, I loathe DMs. I state on my profile that I don’t read them (well I do, but only from people I’ve chatted with before), so when the dreaded automated DM pops up from a new follower I know they haven’t read my profile. That doesn’t auger well for them being interested in a word I have to tweet. Like you, I’m using Twitter less and less – I have to confess I started using it to promote my business, but then got into interesting chats with some great followers who soon became friends, and it was fun. Now, as Tara so rightly says, the interesting tweeters are getting lost in a sea of ‘Buy my books, now!!!!’s and the fun interactions seem to be a things of the past. Sigh…

      Liked by 2 people

      • April 23, 2015 at 12:16 pm

        That’s it exactly! So many people that I enjoy engaging with or even just reading their tweets but they are lost in the middle of all the other rubbish. I do tend to unfollow people who reply to my follow with an auto DM.
        Why do all the good things go to pot?!!


        • April 23, 2015 at 12:37 pm

          Yep, that’s what I’m here for: to point out that everything you used to love is gone to pot. Glad to be of service 😀 And I’m also now unfollowing anyone who sends me an auto DM. Muting’s too good for them.

          I still get a kick out of some interactions on Twitter – I’ve had some very funny chats with people because they made an introduction tweet or referred to one of my tweets, etc. It’s still possible to have a nice experience on Twitter (once you’ve muted the 90%, obviously. So get cracking!)

          Liked by 1 person

  7. Alex Hurst
    April 23, 2015 at 11:51 am

    Oh dear…. I’m a little worried about #9… what is the optimal amount to tweet per day? Right now I’m at 8 a day, but maybe that’s too much? XD Otherwise, I think I’m okay… I haven’t tweeted a book in… yikes… I better go fill my queue with book quotes. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • April 23, 2015 at 12:42 pm

      Quickly, Alex! And get at least 16 5-STAR REVIEWS in there before sundown! Remember to use hearts, stars and capital letters – it defeats the spambots if you do.

      I seem a little harsh with the 24-hour limit, I think, but it’s entirely reserved for people I don’t know. It wouldn’t even occur to me to count the tweets of the people I chat to in the Blogiverse.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. April 23, 2015 at 12:12 pm

    Goodness, I’d say I’m well over the 10 tweets a day! Yikes
    Have to admit I either follow or unfollow – I obviously don’t care about their feelings enough! Well, to be honest, I use twitter lists too which reminds me that they really need to be updated. It’s a full time job trying to ensure you see those gems from valued tweeps

    Liked by 1 person

    • April 23, 2015 at 12:48 pm

      Yep, I had the jackboots on for that one, Lorna! As I say below in my reply to Alex, though, it’s reserved for people I don’t know. When I don’t know who you are, I will do you the courtesy of looking up your profile to see who you are and what you tweet. My finger is however hovering over the mute button for any minor infringement in these cases!! It doesn’t count for people who interact in other ways let alone make the effort to make their tweets interesting and relevant, which I know you do.

      I tried Twitter lists but I just couldn’t keep up with them. That’s where the mute button saved me, because up to then I’d just not been reading Twitter at all.


  9. April 23, 2015 at 12:30 pm

    How do you mute?? I did not know you could do that! What a hilariously truthful post 😄 loved it and that I feel the same about most of the annoying things you said people do on Twitter my biggest gripe are those stupid DMs

    Liked by 1 person

    • April 23, 2015 at 12:45 pm

      Yep – there is nothing more annoying than an irrelevent and unsolicited DM, Sacha. I think Nicholas’ idea below of exploding tweets needs to be explored for these serial offenders.

      The mute function is under the “more user actions” beside the follow button. About 3 commands down, a gorgeous, fluffy little button, simply entitled “Mute”. Use it liberally 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • April 25, 2015 at 8:47 am

        Hahah exploding tweets. Now that is a good idea. Thanks for the tip will go have a look for this glorious ‘mute’

        Liked by 1 person

  10. April 23, 2015 at 2:53 pm

    Number 1 is my biggest pet peeve on Twitter – I do not follow promotional stuff on Facebook. The ONLY things I follow on Facebook are legit real life friends and events/groups I truly want to keep up with. I’m already clogging my Twitter – why clog my Facebook too? So please don’t send me an automated, obviously insensitive DM instructing me to follow you on ALL the platforms. Especially when you’re probably not posting *different* stuff on Facebook than your Twitter anyway!

    Liked by 1 person

    • April 23, 2015 at 3:41 pm

      Funny, I’ve never had those problems on Facebook, but probably because I’m connected to hardly anyone on there I don’t know well… I obviously exercised far more prudence there than on Twitter! But auto-DMs are the root of all evil. Absolutely loathe them.


      • April 23, 2015 at 4:19 pm

        Ah, I was talking about the auto-DMs on Twitter that ask me to follow them on Facebook. I don’t get DMs on Facebook because I don’t connect to strangers on there either. Like many people, I use different platforms for different purposes, and my Facebook is for personal purposes. I would never presume that someone should follow me everywhere, as they likely limit their “writing/artistic follows” to Twitter alone.

        Liked by 1 person

        • April 23, 2015 at 5:07 pm

          Oh yes, it was the annoying Facebook feeds that I was referring to! The equivalent on FB without the 140 character limit. Nothing worse when you tend to use FB as a news source. And don’t sell yourself short – always presume that people will follow you everywhere. For instance, next week I’m going to try to get people to follow me into an abandoned mine. Just as a social experiment, you understand 😉


  11. April 23, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    Totally agree! 😀 Too much tweeting gets you noticed – not necessarily in a way you’d want… >< In fact I'd go so far as to say that we should really take the lead from Mother Nature and only do our tweeting when it's safe for us to do so (like when everyone else is doing it dawn chorus style, OR we have a valid purpose in mind for it (fight or flight? perhaps to attract a mate if they're reeeeeally into Twitter?!!! 😦 )

    I DO tweet to support other authors, but I never, ever, RT authors who're supporting me (I'll favourite them or say thanks one on one if they've been do a lot of promoting though – that's only polite! :-P). And, like Nick I'll re-blog priceless blog pearls… 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • April 23, 2015 at 5:05 pm

      I’ll go one better than only tweeting when it’s safe to do so. How about nobody tweets until they’ve passed their learner’s test, having proven that they can tweet without killing anyone’s buzz??

      I’ll do up the crib sheet. You get it past the powers that be.


  12. April 23, 2015 at 3:49 pm

    Reblogged this on Jan Hawke INKorporated and commented:
    More pearls of witty wisdom from the inimitable Tara Sparling 😀


    • April 23, 2015 at 5:03 pm

      Arra, stop, would you, Jan! I’ll get a swelled head, and we’re not done with hat season yet…


  13. April 23, 2015 at 4:15 pm

    Reblogged this on After the Sucker Punch and commented:
    I know this much is true….

    Liked by 1 person

    • April 23, 2015 at 7:06 pm

      Now you’ve got Spandau Ballet giving it welly in my head, Lorraine! Thanks for the re-blog (and the earworm)

      Liked by 1 person

  14. April 23, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    I’m with you on most of this. I think if an author has just published a book, it’s ok for them to show how happy they are and mention it on social media. When the first reviews come through, of course they are going to share this with their online friends. It’s the same with blogging. However, if their Twitter feed is full of BUY MY BOOK type tweets or pure self-promotion, I unfollow. I don’t mute.

    Liked by 1 person

    • April 23, 2015 at 5:10 pm

      I know what you mean, Dylan, and I think I’m much harsher than a lot of people simply because I haven’t had to try and sell a book online, so I afford myself the pleasure of being a social media etiquette tyrant (not sure about the acronym “SMET”, needs some work). But I just don’t think Twitter will sell a book for anyone. You could use it to direct people to a cleverly-headlined blog post or article which could try to sell a book, but not the book itself. It just doesn’t work. The only people who will appreciate review tweeting etc are people who have already got it, I think. But that’s me. The SMET. 😀


      • April 23, 2015 at 5:21 pm

        I agree, but I’m not talking about selling, I’m talking about authors celebrating their book being published with their social media friends. There’s a big difference between “Yay, it’s my book birthday” or “Whee, my first 5-star review” compared to “Buy my 5-star rated book of AWESOME! DO IT NOW!”

        Liked by 2 people

        • April 23, 2015 at 5:28 pm

          That said, I understand your sensitivity. Every time I open up Twitter I sigh. I’ve tried to find out from these mass tweeters whether it actually results in book sales but, of course, they aren’t interested in engaging with me…

          Liked by 1 person

        • April 23, 2015 at 5:41 pm

          Oh, absolutely, Dylan, I hear you. I suppose part of the problem is that I can’t tell the difference in a lot of my Twitter feed between “BUY MY BOOK I PUBLISHED IT IN 2011 AND NOBODY WANTS IT” and “My book is finally out! Woo-hoo!!” I haven’t taken umbrage with anyone who’s announced any releases. I only feel happy for those joyful tweeps.


  15. April 23, 2015 at 4:31 pm

    First of all, you’re lovely, you really are. REALLY.

    Now, let’s get to the grit:

    YOU ARE SO RIGHT. I had to reblog this post, it’s so spot-on. I asked someone the other day if Twitter curates the feed like Facebook does, because I cannot believe the only thing my bevy of “followers” (that sounded like L.Ron Hubbard) are talking about is their badly covered books!!! Are they??

    Listen, I’m a writer, I’ve got books, I blather about them as needed and from time-to-time even I get that creepy feeling it’s too much. I actually contacted a book site promoting my book to ask them to STOP bombarding Twitter with incessant posts about it because if it was bugging me, likely it was bugging others. They begrudgingly agreed, though claiming they have stats to prove their bombardment method “works.”

    Uh huh. Not for me either, Miz Sparling, not for me either.

    But, as you say, you’re probably preaching this sermon to the choir; the folks who are robo-tweeting with impunity are likely not reading your blog. Or my reblog. But still, we do what we can. Huzzah for another insightful rant.

    Liked by 1 person

    • April 23, 2015 at 5:37 pm

      The only thing I can think of which would be more annoying than being someone who is forced to wade through pathetic and irrelevant spam from authors trying to sell their books, Lorraine, is being an author who tries not to annoy people, and yet is forced to wade through pathetic and irrelevent spam from other authors who don’t care. So you have my sympathies entirely. Thank you for appreciating the rant. I’m nonplussed, truth be told. I was expecting anger and defensiveness and everybody’s being altogether too supportive.

      Liked by 1 person

      • April 23, 2015 at 6:39 pm

        I think you’ve struck the unspoken chord that we’re not only sick of marketing ourselves, we’re REALLY sick of enduring the marketing of others. Aren’t we??? There’s a line… we have to do some sharing or no one will know about the damn things. But when it starts to feel like Chinese Water Torture (drip, drip, drip), the point is lost. We can’t miss/love you if you won’t go away, sorta thing.

        And you’re so effing funny, who could get angry and defensive, come on?!

        Liked by 1 person

        • April 23, 2015 at 7:03 pm

          Oh, a few have managed, don’t you worry. But I rather like it, because I’m funny that way too 😉

          Liked by 1 person

  16. April 23, 2015 at 4:45 pm

    Reblogged this on Random Ramblings and commented:
    A dollop of sense!

    Liked by 2 people

    • April 23, 2015 at 5:38 pm

      Thank you for the re-blog! Wonder if you tweeted it 😀 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • April 23, 2015 at 10:01 pm

        Funnily enough…….😄

        Liked by 2 people

        • April 24, 2015 at 12:23 am

          I thought this message was for me. When I reblog, it’s supposed to go to FB, Twitter & several other sites I am on, but I couldn’t find it on Twitter. I guess that’s part of the thing I don’t get sometimes. It doesn’t always seem consistent.
          By the way, I just got a call saying I was entered into a million dollar contest thru some publisher’s site. I told the woman I’ve been fooled too many times already & was there a way I could get an e-mail about what she was telling me (she wanted me to give her all my personal info!). She said “Sorry, I can’t help you. Have a good day.”
          WTF! We are not supposed to see in writing anything this person is saying?! That has to be a scam! That’s another issue when you are all over the net! You should see all the stuff I get in the mail because I order supplements on-line. The latest one said “80 is the new 40!” As long as I buy their product. And like an idiot, sometimes I do!

          Liked by 1 person

  17. April 23, 2015 at 6:09 pm

    I am so glad I’m not the only one who feels this way! I have to catch up on muting people on Twitter because, like you said, I don’t want to just unfollow all of these people. But when I don’t mute their tweets, they clog up my Twitter feed with “follow back” tweets, promotion tweets, or hundreds (literally) of retweets. I sometimes feel like I can’t even go through my Twitter feed anymore because about 90% of it is promotional or “follow back” tweets. Ugh!

    Liked by 2 people

    • April 23, 2015 at 6:58 pm

      Yep, Rebecca, you’re exactly where I was a few months back. Just remember to have your phone in your hand next time you’re waiting in line for tickets to Siberian opera, or discounted toilet roll, and let the muting begin. In no time, you’ll look at your Twitter timeline and sigh fondly “You used to be so annoying, but just look at you now!”

      Liked by 1 person

  18. April 23, 2015 at 6:45 pm

    Reblogged this on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog and commented:
    Many have spoken, but few pay attention…
    People like myself, Tara and MANY others will not stop telling you to STOP IT until you DO stop it – Capiche?

    Liked by 4 people

    • April 23, 2015 at 6:59 pm

      That was masterful, Your Apeness… makes me want to check my own feed for transgressions now. Thank you for sharing! 😀

      Liked by 2 people

      • April 23, 2015 at 7:10 pm

        You’re VERY welcome Tara, it’s a subject I feel strongly about – I sometimes respond to these Dumbos – “READ MY AUTHOR PROMOTIONS BLOG” – OR give them the link to an appropriate post about How NOT to promote your book lol 😀

        Liked by 2 people

        • April 23, 2015 at 7:32 pm

          Thanks, Chris. If not for you, I wouldn’t have seen this blog post! It’s funny how often life’s lessons show up at just the right time. Serendipity, I suppose!

          Liked by 2 people

        • April 23, 2015 at 7:35 pm

          But do they even read your responses, I wonder? I can imagine a lot of sighing going on in the jungle 😉

          Liked by 1 person

          • April 23, 2015 at 7:41 pm

            Not a problem if they don’t Tara, I’ve had the satisfaction of giving them a taste of what they gave me 😀 😀 😀

            Liked by 1 person

  19. April 23, 2015 at 7:04 pm

    The mute button! Fantastic! I’ve joined twitter recently and at the moment it feels as though I’ve walked into a room full of people I don’t know and most of them have run at me screaming ‘I published a book!’ There is one book cover I’ve seen so many times in my feed I’m ready to rain fire on it if I ever see it in person – buying a copy is the furthest thing from my mind. And the messages exhorting me to buy books from people I’ve never met and don’t know – one said they would drink Drano if I downloaded their book (I was tempted). As you say, the things I want to read are lost in this endless cycle of tweets and retweets about books and reviews and quotes, none of which make me want to buy. So thank you, a thousand times thank you, for sharing the news of this miraculous button with me 🙂 xx
    PS I’ll have to look you up on Twitter myself

    Liked by 2 people

    • April 23, 2015 at 7:58 pm

      That’s fantastic, Helen, I’m going to have to quote you on that room comment! Love it. That’s to say, eh, love your take on it, I don’t love what’s happening on Twitter, I mean, eh… oh, you put it so much better, I’ll shut up. Happy muting and please do come find me @tarasparling, I play nice 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • April 23, 2015 at 9:06 pm

        Thanks Tara, you can quote me anytime 🙂 And I’ll definitely come and find you, I’m @AuthorHelenJ xx


  20. April 23, 2015 at 7:09 pm

    I must be the last person on the planet to understand what muting means. I think your points are so right on. I always wonder what gets into people who asked me to do things because I followed them. I never respond to a DM that says anything other than thanks for the follow and No, I don’t want to like anyone on Facebook I don’t know if I like or not. Nice post. I came from Chris’ site

    Liked by 2 people

    • April 23, 2015 at 8:00 pm

      Great to see you here, John, thank you for visiting and taking the time to comment. I’m not as nice as you – I don’t even respond to DMs thanking me for the follow. In fact, I hate those DMs too. Any automated DM is not welcome in my account. See: told you I wasn’t nice!

      Liked by 2 people

      • April 23, 2015 at 8:48 pm

        That’s okay. You have a right to be as nice as you wish.

        Liked by 1 person

      • April 23, 2015 at 9:22 pm

        Tara, I was just asking how to do those DMs thanking people for following. After reading what you said, I won’t bother. To be quite honest, I don’t really get what Twitter is for. How does it help? At the same time, my social networking expert is increasing my numbers as I write this.
        Maybe we are just all crazy! Do we really need 5,000 “Friends”? How does it make us better people or advance us in any way?
        Well, I guess that’s another post!
        See ya!

        Liked by 2 people

        • April 23, 2015 at 9:32 pm

          It took me a long time to get my head around Twitter, Sherrie, but any time I have a funny back-and-forth with another person there, i.e. any proper interaction at all, or find a great article on another blog, newspaper or magazine which has been tweeted by someone I trust and follow, I get what it’s for. As a tailored newsfeed for literature, it can’t be beaten (once the dross has been muted, obviously).

          The problem with auto DMs is that they are automatic. No effort required, let alone proper targeting or personalisation to the recipient, so they are meaningless because the author doesn’t actually mean them. Who wants an automated message – from anyone? As for numbers, unless you’re really famous (and in One Direction), only a very small % of your followers will actually read what you tweet, but even they are worth it. Honest!


    • April 23, 2015 at 9:18 pm

      John, although I get the idea, I have no idea how to do it. Maybe I should find out, huh?

      Liked by 1 person

  21. April 23, 2015 at 7:29 pm

    Thank you, Tara. Unfortunately I had to learn this the hard way. My friend helped me see what I was doing & how I was sabotaging myself. I am grateful for her taking the time to listen to me as I catastrophized my life, then with all the love of a best friend and sister lovingly told me why it doesn’t work and makes it hard for friends to even talk to you.
    Thank you for taking the time to explain this to authors. I hope they don’t have to go through what I went through to learn their lesson.

    Liked by 3 people

    • April 23, 2015 at 8:07 pm

      Sherrie, much as I make a thing of ranting and raving about things that drive me barmy, I would hate to think that anyone felt as bad as you said. That sounds absolutely terrible and I’m sorry you had to go through it. But anything coming from your nearest and dearest is always bone-deep, whereas Twitter has all the depth of a sheet of rice paper. I don’t doubt that the twitterbugs I deplore here couldn’t care less if people don’t read their tweets! I hope you’re having a good time on social media these days and I thank you very much for visiting and making time to comment.


    • April 23, 2015 at 9:17 pm

      I just came back to see if I had added my link with the words “Check out.” I didn’t! I have achieved the first step! Okay, I need to take this One Day at a Time.
      Thanks for your help in my recovery.

      Liked by 1 person

      • April 23, 2015 at 9:19 pm

        I like your style! Thank you Sherrie for your kind comments.


  22. April 23, 2015 at 7:29 pm

    I spend almost no time on Twitter, and have the paucity of follows and followers to prove it. I’m just too long-winded to communicate in short bursts. I prefer blogging.

    Publicize is set up to tweet when I publish a blog post, but that’s it. The few folks who follow me on Twitter also happen to be the ones who already follow my blog, which I take as a compliment – meaning that they’ve enjoyed what I’ve blogged, and because they’re not always logged in to WP or their e-mail, they’re willing to receive a Twitter notification when I occasionally post something.

    Because I’m not a tweeter, Twitter clutter is a blessing in disguise: The people who, in the old days of computer comms, would have been filling my e-mail with chain letters and silly jokes, have re-engineered their spam factories to tweet, instead.

    Liked by 1 person

    • April 23, 2015 at 8:10 pm

      That’s a really great point, Christine – I never thought of that! Shunting all the spammers to one platform is like throwing the troublemakers into a cage at a music festival. Everyone’s safer when they know where they are!

      Liked by 1 person

  23. April 23, 2015 at 7:39 pm

    Tara, maybe you could do a post on Author Etiquette sometime soon (since I need it badly). My social networking expert has been telling me to stop tagging my novel on to articles even if the article is related in some way. I wasn’t listening and am now paying the price.
    Hopefully, sometime in the future, I will be able to write about the incident, but right now, I am just crawling out from under the rug where I was hiding from utter and total embarrassment!
    P.S. I haven’t even told my husband who always manages to put a spin on things that make me feel better.
    P.P.S. Someone should start a 12 step group: Fear of Rejection & Unrealistic Expectations Anonymous! I could be a group leader!

    Liked by 3 people

    • April 23, 2015 at 7:50 pm

      Sherrie-We are all learning the ropes as we go. Don’t be so hard on yourself.

      Liked by 3 people

      • April 24, 2015 at 12:09 am

        Thanks, Michelle. You are right. That is part of what my dear friend is telling me. I guess because I knew for more than 30 years, I was going to write some kind of story of the Salvadoran war, then it took another 9 or 10 years to make that happen (partly because I was getting my MFA thinking that would force me to write it). I think I am very emotionally invested in this novel, so I was out there pushing it (or spamming, is what some are calling it). I want the world to read my novel. It’s not that I want to make a lot of money. It would take years to recoup what I have invested and I’m okay with that.
        Anyway, like you said, we are all learning. We all make mistakes. In these times those, our mistakes are out there, never to be forgotten. And since commenters don’t know us as humans, it is very easy for them to be unforgiving. And it draws more people in to criticize.
        That’s the hard part. I keep going back & saying how sorry I am but they won’t accept it. I guess I just need to stay away.
        You guys here are a great bunch. I’m glad I found you.
        P.S. Sorry to go on and on about this. I am pretty sure the authors here can guess what has happened though.

        Liked by 2 people

    • April 23, 2015 at 8:16 pm

      That’s an idea, Sherrie, I might well do that – although my cultural take on it is probably a lot harsher than others. I saw from a great post on

        Nicholas Rossis’ blog

      last week that people’s attitudes differ a lot depending on their locale.

      My feeling is that I don’t want to see unsolicited marketing for anyone’s book anywhere at all, particularly on other people’s articles and blogs. I really only accept it on publications or guest posts written by the author themselves, which then include their books in a short bio which accompanies it. But a lot of people would say this is too harsh. I suppose the main thing is that you have to do what you feel is right for you but allow people to avoid it, if that makes sense?

      Liked by 1 person

      • April 24, 2015 at 12:12 am

        Yup, I get it now. And I also see that it didn’t help increase sales so why waste the physical and emotional energy?

        Liked by 1 person

  24. April 23, 2015 at 7:49 pm

    Reblogged this on Michelle Eastman Books and commented:
    An interesting read for indie authors…

    Liked by 1 person

  25. April 23, 2015 at 8:05 pm

    Oh, wow, I didn’t realise I could mute! I’m going to be busy…
    I usually unfollow any DM message that tells me to ‘buy my book’ or ‘look at my site’…and tweeted that just yesterday!

    Liked by 1 person

    • April 23, 2015 at 8:20 pm

      Oh, you’re going to be so busy, Lisa! But it’s fun, I promise you. It’s the only task on social media that gives you such a gorgeous feeling of “done-ness”!

      Liked by 1 person

  26. April 23, 2015 at 8:43 pm

    I don’t have a twitter account. But now I see I must get one! I’ve been missing out on all those buy my book ads! Egads!

    No, wait, I’m not sure I’m really missing out. But when I publish my book, I’ll have to get one and be all spammy and stuff.

    (As a side note, the side bar says you won the “Best Newcomer at the Blog Awards Ireland 2014”; does this mean you are Irish? If so, I read your post with an Irish accent in my head. If you are not Irish, or do not have an Irish accent, I just read your post completely wrong.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • April 23, 2015 at 9:11 pm

      I am most certainly Irish, Matt, with the address and the accent to match, so you’re dead right. I’d love to know which Irish accent was in your head, there are about 67 of them on this small island alone. Let’s just pretend it was a gorgeous one and keep both of us happy, eh?!

      Do let us know how you get on, on Twitter. If you overspam on the first day you get biscuits, apparently.

      Liked by 1 person

      • April 23, 2015 at 10:58 pm

        The accent was a Cathy Jordan of Dervish accent, which is… County Roscommon. Is there a famous person with your accent? Then I can reference that and get the voice right when I read. There’s also James Galway from Northern Belfast, but a male voice wouldn’t sit right.

        Guessing by the island reference, is it a Cork accent?

        Fah. Just looked at the “about”– West Ireland. Thus, the island = Ireland, not a specific island. I just learned way more about Ireland geography than I ever knew before.


        • April 24, 2015 at 12:19 am

          Definitely not a midlands accent, Matt. Not southern either, although I did live in Cork for a while, and anyone who even goes near a Cork person in a tantric sense gets a Cork accent for an indefinite period of time, it’s something worthy of seriously funded scientific study, honest to Blog. I’m glad you got to explore it today and take the blame gladly. My accent is a hybrid of westernmost/easternmost, depending on how sober I am. Sounds like an awful stereotype… but aren’t we all??


          • April 24, 2015 at 12:45 am

            It sort of boggles my mind. Since I live in Los Angeles, and our accent has infected and subsumed many other accents for years in a sort of accent imperialism which comes from newscasters in the US wanting a “neutral” hollywood accent, I figure my accent… isn’t! See? I hope other cultures find my accent charming. A friend of mine went over to live in London for a few years, and she remarked that folks there found her accent lovely and charming and thought it was fantastic.

            She has a boring accent like mine.

            The idea that 100 km of distance takes you to another distinct accent is remarkable. People in San Diego sound the same as people in Los Angeles who sound the same as people in San Francisco. If you manage to go a few states away from California, you begin to encounter different accents after you’ve gone about 1500 km. Texas has a distinct accent, as does Oklahoma to its north, and the further east you get on the southern part of the US, the weirder the accents, until you get to Florida, where they apparently sound like California in some sort of strange weird circumlocution of accents.

            When I visited London, I lived on Strongbow. And food. There was food. I’m not normally a beer drinker.

            Liked by 1 person

            • April 24, 2015 at 7:21 am

              Ah yes, you see, one man’s boring accent is another’s dulcet tones of attraction. Perhaps the locals of London liked your Strongbow accent the best!


              • April 24, 2015 at 4:28 pm

                “You’re a yank.”
                “Not really. I’m from California. We didn’t fight in the civil war.”

                Liked by 1 person

                • April 24, 2015 at 10:05 pm

                  Touché! Did they get it?!


                  • April 25, 2015 at 1:07 am

                    Nah. It’s a semantic issue related to internal affairs in the US. It’s not like we study anyone else, like Canada or Mexico. I’ll bet hardly any of the high school graduates know when we last went to war with Mexico and what we got out of the war?

                    I’d never expect a Brit to know or understand the hair splitting about that. It’s funny to me, but that just makes it internal humor. Or Humour.

                    Liked by 1 person

              • April 24, 2015 at 4:34 pm

                Yes, the relativism of accents. If you were here, people would either ignore your accent, or make all sorts of noises about liking it. OTOH, there’s a lot of accent around here, only they’re pretty polyglot. Where I live, it’s Armenians and Koreans, so we hear those accents a lot, and down the road it’s African Americans, which is another local regional accent depending on which part of soCal you’re in.

                I found one of those quizzes that asks you how you pronounce certain words and what you call certain things (e.g. the opposite corner of a street- Kitty corner, catty corner, opposite corner, something else) and because certain terms and pronunciations are used by local populations, the program can locate where you grew up pretty accurately.

                It said I was from Oregon/Washington.

                Since I grew up in Los Angeles, it was wrong, sort of.

                My mom was from Oregon. Program was right.


                • April 24, 2015 at 10:06 pm

                  That sounds like a great experiment. But if it’s very heavily based on slang, it’d be pointless trying to do it from this side of the pond. We’ve so many different dialects and slang they’re thinking of taxing it.


                  • April 25, 2015 at 1:15 am

                    No, that test would reveal nothing about people in the UK. There is one for England, but it said I was Spectacularly South East. I had to fudge the answers, since some of them I had no answer.

                    Liked by 1 person

  27. April 23, 2015 at 9:00 pm

    Reblogged this on Author Matt Bowes and the Dog's Breakfast and commented:
    Apparently everyone else knew Tara. Did they tell me? Nooooooo. Wait, Chris, the Story Reading Ape gave me a steer. Thanks, Chris. The rest of you: Booo! And now on to the starchy post. If you’ve ever tweeted, “Buy my book,” you must read this post. It will help you. Really.


    • April 23, 2015 at 9:13 pm

      We know each other now, Matt, so I’ll ignore that mistake on your part. And thanks most heartily for the re-blog 😀


  28. Les Bush Poet
    April 23, 2015 at 9:23 pm

    Reblogged this on ldbush21.

    Liked by 1 person

    • April 23, 2015 at 9:35 pm

      Thank you for re-blogging, Les – same problem on the other side of the world, then?


  29. April 23, 2015 at 11:39 pm

    At risk of appearing to be self-promotion Tara, I wrote something similar on my own blog back in December.


    I still feel obligated to reciprocate in some way someone who has “like”d or followed me, but I think I can tell those who are blindly doing so for that reason.

    Liked by 1 person

    • April 24, 2015 at 12:24 am

      Nope, not self-promotion at all: the sad fact is that no matter how many of us harp on about this, it still occurs! So you should feel free to draw attention to your own take on this, and get thanks for it. My dear hope is that someday, somebody will withdraw the attack marketing dogs and make my social media experience somewhat serene. I’m not holding my breath, though.


  30. April 24, 2015 at 2:51 am

    #wellsaid 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  31. April 24, 2015 at 9:01 am

    The mute button is up there with smallpox vaccination and smokey bacon crisps when it comes to great ideas. I’m still searching for those rare Twitter accounts we’re often encouraged to find: ones with interesting content. Impossible. Nothing but gobbledegook, external links, shouting and tweets saying things like ‘a thought shared is a gift to mankind.’

    And can we also add those unwittingly contradictory blog posts like #buy #ANOthers new #indie #book #TheYodellersFairground #99c today #Kindle that are ironically placed under blog posts about not promoting your book on Twitter. Some blogs (not yours Tara) don’t seem to be aware that all those hashtags can only mean one thing: the book adverstising blog post is going straight up on Twitter along with all the other nuisances.


    Liked by 1 person

    • April 24, 2015 at 10:01 am

      Those so-called inspirational quotes drive me BATTY! Cannot stand them. 99% are completely charmless and the other 1% are tired. Like me. I am very, very tired, Chris. Can you just fix it please?


  32. Sue Bridgwater
    April 24, 2015 at 9:49 am

    Thank you Tara – I don’t use twitter and don’t understand it – have been thinking I should now I’m self-publishing [No, please don’t look at my book!] but now i don’t feel so feeble for not getting into it.

    Shall try instead to learn to exploit blogging properly.

    Liked by 2 people

    • April 24, 2015 at 10:07 am

      I think people who don’t see the point of Twitter should simply avoid it, Sue. It’s good as a personalised news feed, but it takes a lot of work to get it to the right point. The blogiverse is a much more flexible space to do stuff, but again, if a blogger’s only purpose is to self-promote, people know this and will avoid you: the key is to promote on the back of something else entirely which engages prospective readers. That would be my take on it, anyway.

      Liked by 1 person

  33. April 24, 2015 at 11:01 am

    I chat to people on twitter but only, really, when I ‘know’ them from somewhere else. I’ve followed back too many people who’ve followed me and now my feed is full of 4, 5, 6, 11 and 12. Which is a blow. I must find this mute button and fast..I loathe 4, 5 and 6, along with 11 and 12, I think it was,unfortunately most of my twitter stuff is notifications of my blog posts, but the rest is conversations so I am very guilty of 8 and 9. Every now and again I post reviews I’ve written of other people’s books and some kind folks big me up to their followers or post links to reviews of my books. I’m not sure that makes any difference to my sales or theirs but I want to seem willing and polite.You probably muted me ages ago.

    If anybody sends me a DM asking for something I automatically unfollow them.



    Liked by 2 people

    • April 24, 2015 at 11:56 am

      How could you accuse me of muting you just because of a long and harsh rant saying I was muting everybody!! The very thought of it. No, MT, I never would have muted you because of our interaction on other platforms, for starters, which overrules everything else.

      Plus, there is nothing wrong with book reviews, as long as they are honest, and about books the reviewer actually read. I’m constantly surprised at the sheer torrent of the other kinds.

      Liked by 1 person

      • April 24, 2015 at 12:39 pm

        Mwahahahaargh aah cheers. I know what you mean though, about shill reviews and general crap. There’s so much of it out there. Being an indie author is a minefield sometimes.



        Liked by 1 person

  34. April 24, 2015 at 12:24 pm

    You can MUTE people on Twitter? Holy shit, why did no-one tell me? That’s my whole afternoon taken up.

    Liked by 1 person

    • April 24, 2015 at 1:59 pm

      Glad to be of service, John. Don’t say I never do anything for your diary.


  35. April 24, 2015 at 1:55 pm

    Guilty as charged, but still learning the art of what to post, how often and when to best post. The problem is, there are now few avenues available to reach your audience without seemingly flooding the internet with snippets of your craft. I now limit myself to ten or so tweets per day (it varies) and try to match my hashtags to the post itself and keep the audience in mind and not overuse other people’s hashtags, sticking mainly to the ones I have claimed (by virtue of the fact no one is using them lol) myself. Anyway, there is an art to this. I rarely block people or mute their tweets because I understand how tough it is to reach your readers. I think variation and something interesting go a long way. (Same as my response on The Story Reading Ape). 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • April 24, 2015 at 2:12 pm

      I think you hit the nail on the head, there, Paul: “variation and something interesting”. It’s a source of constant amazement to me how much of Twitter is made up of “same old” and “mind-crushingly banal”!

      Thank you for dual-commenting here and on Chris’ site, you get tons upon tons of brownie points for that with which to abuse Twitter with impunity 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • April 24, 2015 at 2:17 pm

        lol thanks. I enjoyed the article and we can all learn more about what to and not to do. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  36. April 24, 2015 at 4:19 pm


    Liked by 1 person

  37. April 24, 2015 at 4:25 pm

    Reblogged this on The Bingergread Cottage and commented:
    YES! And on FB too. Well said, Ms. Sparling xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  38. April 24, 2015 at 4:28 pm

    Couldn’t agree more. I’m the one to whom people say “what? you write books?” because I don’t flog them to death. I have nearly come out of Twitter since it became a bazaar with everyone shouting “Buy Mine!” but a few jolly souls keep me coming back. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • April 24, 2015 at 9:45 pm

      I’m glad the few jolly souls managed to come through the noise. If only we could out-jolly the rest of them…


  39. April 24, 2015 at 5:36 pm

    Thanks Tara for this post. I’m new to twitter (and social media in general) and sometimes just don’t get how this stuff works, so the advice is helpful. I actually agree on many of your points. I also balk when people tell me what to do (buy this, like this, follow me). On the other hand, I just can’t get excited about what someone had for dinner or that they’re at the dentist – I get enough of that on FB already.

    I tend to tweet interesting blog posts that I come across. But when I’m browsing through twitter what I like best is seeing what other authors are working on, the books they have out there, the great covers (the images capture me in the sea of one-liners). I tend to retweet that stuff and try to reciprocate when someone does the same for me. But now I don’t know…Is that bad? Is that too much promotion of other people’s work? I browse twitter twice a day, so the tweets happen in clumps. I’m probably one of those clogging your feed with ten tweets within five minutes! Ugh. Feeling discouraged.

    Liked by 1 person

    • April 24, 2015 at 10:01 pm

      No, of course it isn’t bad, if you’re tweeting things you find genuinely interesting. Nobody should have an opinion that except you! It may not be immediately apparent to people reading your tweets, but why should you worry? I would say however – and this is only my opinion – to avoid clumping all your tweets together. If you send everything out at the one time you’re more or less guaranteeing that your tweets won’t gain any traction – and if you don’t get any engagement with your tweets, there’s really not much point in putting them out there.

      Liked by 1 person

      • April 24, 2015 at 10:09 pm

        Once I stopped hyperventilating (ha ha) I reread your post and processed a few great suggestions without having a melt down. (I think I’m having a over-sensitive day). Anyway, I feel like I have a game plan that will actually work better for me time-wise as well. Thanks so much for the reply. It was incredibly helpful.

        Liked by 1 person

        • April 24, 2015 at 10:11 pm

          I’m going to have to start sending out paper bags with my posts if that’s the effect!! Oh dear. I’m glad it was helpful in the end 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  40. April 24, 2015 at 5:48 pm

    Shortly after I joined Twitter (as you do), I was visiting Arizona and went to a restaurant where there was a tree outside laden with a mass of birds who were all squawking their heads off. It was one of the loudest and most obnoxious things I’ve ever hear. I sweat to God they were all screaming the same thing… “Buy my book! Buy my book!”

    Who, in their right minds, does this and doesn’t expect to be found a nuisance? Funnily enough, I was just checking on some feedback I got in a LinkedIn group who are discussing an interesting topic and the most recent comment in the group was some idiot whose sole purpose for posting was to scream “Buy my book!” I was ‘this close’ to reporting them for spam.

    The sad thing is, as was mentioned here before, that the ‘twits’ who are doing this will never understand how they are damaging themselves because their ears are too full of the sounds of their own screaming.

    Rant over… 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • April 24, 2015 at 10:04 pm

      Ooh, don’t get me started on LinkedIn. I stopped posting in groups there some time ago because of the relentless and irrelevant self-promotion, let alone the complete lack of any sense of humour in 95% of cases.

      I have no objection to twits deafening themselves – I just wish they would do it in a sound-proofed box 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • April 24, 2015 at 10:40 pm

        I hear you loud and clear on that, Tara! I only started joining groups recently and already there’s a few I’m thinking of jettisoning. Way too serious and full of their own self-importance. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  41. April 25, 2015 at 8:03 am

    Lol, just retweeted this and I love you #buymycrappybookwhenipublishwithyourhelp

    Liked by 2 people

    • April 25, 2015 at 7:20 pm

      Oooh, firing on all cylinders there, Conor. You’ll be pleased to know that I’ve already set up 78 fake social media accounts in your name in anticipation – I know – I’m on fire! Just tell me when to press the red button.

      Liked by 1 person

  42. April 25, 2015 at 11:50 am

    Oh yes. Oh~ yes! You have no idea how long I have wanted to write something like this, but in the end have decided that simply using the time to mute more people on Twitter was the better use of my time. It’s so annoying because I never actually see anything interesting on Twitter anymore. The whole “Thanks for the follow, now go repeat it with my other 11 social media profiles” DM is especially egregious.

    You hit the nail on the head with all of these and I would only add my rules for which people I don’t follow to begin with. If in the profile the first thing the person mentions is, “I’m a wife” or “I’m a (insert religious affiliation)” then chances are high they’re going to Tweet nothing I’m interested in reading, and don’t get a follow back. “We promote your book!!” profiles get left in the dust too, as well as,”I post inspirational quotes/author quotes/quotes from the beak of my parrot.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • April 25, 2015 at 7:23 pm

      I’m glad to find like minds! Although I must say I wouldn’t be too harsh on the parrot. Truth be told, parrotisms can be a hell of a lot more interesting than some of the dross I’ve read. And when they tell mother-in-law jokes, they’re an absolute riot.

      Liked by 1 person

  43. April 25, 2015 at 3:35 pm

    Reblogged this on Wendy Anne Darling and commented:
    Thanks, Tara Sparling, for a great post that has spawned a lot of wonderful responses!

    My own initial foray into the world of Twitter wasn’t very auspicious and I probably made a lot of rookie mistakes. Two things I have never done and never will do though are auto-respond or direct message people demanding they ‘buy my book!!!’ or ‘like’ my FB page. Those tactics were abhorrent to me from the start. I DID, however, tweet a lot and RT everything. So sorry, everyone! I am a reformed Twit now and I have just come up with a term that I think might cover a lot of people’s initial use of this social media phenom:


    Liked by 1 person

    • April 25, 2015 at 7:25 pm

      Bird barf! I love it! You should patent that, and charge everyone a nominal fee when they spew out substandard guff all over the Twittersphere. Think of the riches! Not to mention the satisfaction of taking money from the terminally annoying!


  44. April 25, 2015 at 5:36 pm

    Reblogged this on Write Dorne – Putting life into words. and commented:
    This is spot on.
    I may have been guilty of clogging up feeds with doingTwitter admin in blocks; instead of dealing with tweets as they come… sorry fellow tweeters.
    I’m reblogging .
    Thanks for reading and have a great day.
    I’ll be back on Twitter later on cluttering it up.
    Er… like now!


  45. April 25, 2015 at 5:38 pm

    This is brilliant and I’ve reblogged on Write Dorne.
    I’ll be back for more. 🙂


  46. April 25, 2015 at 5:42 pm

    Oh, I agree with every single thing on your list, Tara. What I really, really hate is when you get an automated direct message, which you can’t reply to because the buggers aren’t following you. They just want you to buy their fecking book. I’ve read one book, so far, because I read the author’s tweet, and it was more because I was interested in how she came across, than her book. (She was really nice, we had a great conversation, and then I read her romance, which was great – which, I think, is how it should be.) Thanks for the post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • April 25, 2015 at 7:28 pm

      In all of the offences I’ve encountered, Elaine, I can’t believe I haven’t come across that. How utterly and viciously annoying – if they’re not following you how can you fire-bomb them with the necessary feedback? I hope at least you blocked them. And brought a screenshot of their profiles to the local witch doctor.


      • April 25, 2015 at 7:38 pm

        I used to get loads of them. The DM pane should be set up so that you can see immediately if they’re a follower or not.


        • April 25, 2015 at 7:41 pm

          Yep. The mute button was inspired added functionality but I think they still have some way to go when it comes to abuse on the site. We might be giving out about the marketing, but when it comes to harassment, Twitter is no. 1 in all the wrong ways.


  47. April 26, 2015 at 1:05 pm

    I don’t blame you. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  48. April 27, 2015 at 1:37 pm

    Unfortunately I didn’t know about the mute button until I had almost 3000 followers. It would take forever to mute the 2950 who are completely uninteresting if not downright annoying. You didn’t mention in your list the teenagers with their little slice of teenage life quotes. They don’t even have the pretention of being universal truths. Just very very specific. Navel-gazing brought to the masses.


    • April 27, 2015 at 2:52 pm

      It would take forever, Jane, but it’s a job worth doing, and it’s rewarding at least, because you only ever have to do it once.
      Ah, yes, teenagers… the other side of Twitter…

      Liked by 1 person

  49. S. Paige Reiring
    April 28, 2015 at 9:33 pm

    Reblogged this on break the system.


  50. April 29, 2015 at 3:26 am

    Reblogged this on Eric Lahti and commented:
    Twitter is, for a large part, a vast wasteland of broken thoughts and hollow dreams of 140 character fame. There are some genuine geniuses out there, but there’s also a lot of schwag.


  51. May 14, 2015 at 6:30 pm

    I have flat out unfollowed a couple authors who tweet 30 Buy-my-book tweets a day. It doesn’t matter that they were using 3 different methods, it was annoying and clogging up my feed. Gah!
    I’ve never used the mute function, though. It could be helpful for similar, but not quite as extreme, Tweeps.

    Liked by 1 person

    • May 14, 2015 at 11:59 pm

      The Mute function is nothing short of a blessing. They should canonise it and make offerings to it. There’s nothing that will shut people up half as well as being able to pretend to listen to them… while actually not.

      Liked by 1 person

      • May 15, 2015 at 9:23 am

        Pretending to listen to people…huh, I could make a career out of that skill alone. Anyone want to pay me to only listen to 1/10 of what you say? Anyone?
        Oh, well. It was an idea. :/

        Liked by 1 person

  52. May 17, 2015 at 11:05 am

    You know, I’ve never used the mute fuction because 1. I wasn’t awere it existed and 2. Usually I only check out my lists, I never really look up my main feed.

    I’ll confess, I’m guilty of the more than 10 tweets in 24 hours, becuase I RT quite a bit, though I try to RT intersting stuff. I occasionally write my own tweets, but I’m not witty enough for Twitter, I’m afraid, so normally I shut up and just respond to others.

    You know, as much as I like Twitter (and I do like it), I think that, as all social media, it’s a very strange place. I’ve met some awesome people there and I like to interact with them, but I also feel some kind of cloud lingering around me, a cloud of people that I feel I should know (because they follow me and I follow them) and instead are just ghosts.
    It’s kind of sad…

    Liked by 1 person

    • May 17, 2015 at 7:37 pm

      Sometimes when I’m having a to-and-fro with someone I’ll exceed the 10 in 24 hours myself. That was a harsh benchmark, I know! But I think it’s obvious when someone is spamming the bejesus out of it. We know when people are retweeting for the sake of it, too, without even following links or reading what they’re sending. Really, the ghosts of Twitter remind me of Cybermen on Doctor Who.

      Liked by 1 person

  53. May 31, 2016 at 1:28 pm

    Following a link to a link to a link I landed here, just over a year since you wrote it. I agree with it all, and it is especially relevant, as I joined an author promotion site earlier this year, and now I want to un-join! I don’t use Twitter as much as I did at first, so I thought this site would keep my name out there. But although I had some noce posters made, I’m getting a bit bored with constantly seeing my name RTd. If I’m bored – what must others feel? I don’t follow many people, don’t follow back – unless I know the person from elsewhere – and tend to be withdrawing more and more into my social media shell. I’ve even more-or-less given up blogging. I hope you don’t mind if I share this link on my Twitter feed, even if it is old!

    Liked by 1 person

    • May 31, 2016 at 2:41 pm

      I just don’t think those RTs work at all, Lesley. The only people who see them are other authors. It’s just noise. The whole point about sharing things on social media is supposed to be that you’re technically curating news or information which other people will see, if they trust you. Nobody trusts somebody who retweets mindlessly no matter what’s being said, and they’re the first people I unfollow or mute.


      • May 31, 2016 at 3:42 pm

        That’s a relief. I’ll stay put, then, because the bloke who runs it does lovely posters! And I’m not on there much apart from that. Thanks, Tara.

        Liked by 1 person

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