Lately there's been a lot of hating on Facebook. That movie. The money Zuckerberg donated to Newark schools. And then this latest email announcement, whatever that is. I saw someone call it Markxism in a recent post on, well, Facebook.
A lot of people I follow on Twitter hate FB--not just recently either, not just part of the anti-Zuck zeitgeist, but for a while now, over a year. I've heard it called a waste of time, an invasion of privacy, and more importantly, an ineffective way to "market" yourself and your books. Someone even asked, on Twitter, if FB resulted in sales and concluded no. And then concluded it was time to delete their account.
I completely disagree.
Part of my opinion may be because I'm not good at tweeting, as chronicled in an earlier post. (Yes, I linked to myself, mirrors within mirrors.)
But it's more than my lame tweeting. I love Facebook. First of all, my family's on it. I see photos of my sister in Miami, my mom in Virginia, my niece in upstate New York. I learn about their daily lives. I even like to hear what they're having for dinner. And I've lived all over the country, had a variety of jobs, and attended a bunch of schools. I made a lot of friends along the way, and they're all on FB. I "see" them regularly. And I'm thrilled to do it. The social networking side works for me.
On the business side, on the purely commercial side, FB has resulted in publicity for Brains. First off, most of the readers of Brains contact me via Facebook. They "friend" me and send me FB messages about how they loved the book. And photos of them and the book. That's how I found out about this fabulous couple who dressed as my main characters for Halloween.
But old friends have resulted in surprising publicity too. A grad school friend who's now a marketer in SF contacted me about a cool project, a high school friend who writes for a paper wrote a profile, and a former student made the Brains trailer. Recently I was on PBS and the producer communicated with me exclusively via FB (except for a phone call or two). My friends and family keep on reposting news about the book--signings, reviews, etc. I've gotten way more of those than retweets. Actually, it's a wonder they're not sick of me yet, but unlike the (mostly) anonymous followers on Twitter, they actually know me and so are a little more forgiving.
Maybe FB works for me because I was perfectly happy to see pictures of my friends' beautiful babies on FB, to find out where they wound up living and who they married, to reconnect with them--simply for its own sake. I was active on FB before Brains came out. That they were able to help me out after its release is a little lagniappe. A bonus.
So I say this to you writers who want to delete your FB accounts--reconsider! Especially if you keep up with old friends from your many different incarnations--fellow students, co-workers, bandmates, lovers, roommates, roommates' lovers. They might be able to help you out a bit with marketing--but even more important than that, they help you remember your life.