I've been querying and have a few fulls out. Fingers crossed I get an offer of rep, but if I do, I have a question. How do I tell an agent I don't want to be on twitter?I have an account where I post sporadically, with a couple hundred followers, but I hate using the platform. It's become a cesspool of hate/negativity/people trying to ruin strangers' lives. It has never felt like a community to me. I've done my best to carefully curate who I follow, and I only post non-controversial things, like pictures of my cats/baking creations/nature walks, but it feels like there's no escaping the hate.I know things are bad for a lot of people, and I get frustrated and despairing with the way the world is, but, for my own mental health, I try not to let those feelings consume me. I've struggled for a long time with depression and anxiety, and I know the best thing for my own health is to avoid social media altogether. However, I know many agents expect a social media presence from authors.How do I bring this up to an agent? Recently, people have begun to make a lot of changes to help people feel valued and safe, which I fully support, yet we're still expected to be part of this platform I find so damaging. Does it ruin my chances of getting published if I don't want to be on twitter? I just can't imagine that the best/only way to sell a book is to bombard a very flawed social media platform with posts.
I completely understand why you don't want to be a bigger presence on Twitter.
I had the lovely experience some time back of being the target of a TweetScrum, and it was no fun. I am as tough as an old boot, and it was still unsettling. For someone not used to getting hate mail or public insults, I can see how it would have been devastating.
I'm glad you realize this is not the social media platform for you, and you're not trying to change that. Your mental health is worth more than book sales.
But, the first thing to remember is Twitter isn't the only game in town.
There's Instagram, and it's a much more friendly place.
It takes a while to build a following, but it doesn't have the cesspool aspects of Twitter.
And there's Facebook which is more problematic. I don't use it anymore. My frustration was they curated who I saw, rather than showing me everything from my "friends." I wanted to see the Rockettes, instead I saw the political rants of a writer I'd met casually at a writing conference.
The second thing to rememember is the reason an agent says "be on Twitter."
It's to promote books.
There are other ways to promote books, and the best one is a robust mailing list.
Query with "I'm not on Twitter but I have a 3000 person mailing list" and you're not going to get much pushback.
A mailing list, a curated list of people who want to read your work, is pure gold.