Last summer, you covered a question about whether or not someone should bother writing when they have terrible social anxiety. When you closed out your answer, you added, "And if her writing requires her to have a public presence, well, we'll solve that problem when we get there." That's where my question comes in.
What suggestions would you have for someone who does not want (feel free to add capitals and emphatic full stops between words there) to use Twitter and Facebook and those kinds of tools? My reasons are personal -- a sociopath who worked a long, twelve year con on me and my family, something along the lines of a Janna St James situation -- and have soured me on dealing with the internet, even if it means having to work harder other ways. I was a private person before, but now, it's taking a big leap just to ask this question. Thanks to words like "friending", people tend to see even people they've never met on the other end of Facebook and Twitter discussions as friends. Details shared even in comments here make people feel like they're friends. It's oddly public and intimate at the same time and something, after what I went through, I can't open myself up to again.
How would you help someone work around an internet presence to still be a worthwhile business relationship for you?
Your question comes at an interesting time. I'm having ongoing discussions with my publicist and with my clients about the utility of social media.
More and more I'm thinking that the old-fashioned tools, the ones we thought we wouldn't use again, are more effective.
And by old-fashioned tools I mean shoe leather. Visiting bookstores in person, writing a newsletter for fans, going to bookstore events to support other writers.
I think many of us were willing to discard those tools because then (as now) we weren't ever sure how effective they were. In fact, there's almost no reliable method to predict the effectiveness of publicity efforts (one of the things that drove me out of the field.)
Being unwilling or unable to do social media isn't a deal breaker, but you're going to have to be willing to do SOMETHING. If I love your book, I'll be willing to help you figure out what that something is.
Thus, the first step here is to write a really great book. I have to love it with the passion of a thousand suns cause there's going to be some heavy lifting here.