I think this link is pretty self-explanatory: “I Will Be Your Friend, But I Will Not Be Your Fan: A Rant About How Authors Use Social Media For Self-Promotion.”

Ideally, I think, social sites are for friendly conversation and debate, for sharing good news and bad news, for meeting new friends, for posting amusingly captioned cat pictures. The community we’re building is a community based on friendship. Now, we humans have verrrry sensitive antennae when it comes to our social interactions. We can tell when somebody is being friendly versus when they’re trying to sell us something. When authors intrude on social spaces with their self-marketing it can make our antennae twitch like crazy.

The best writing advice I ever heard was from an extremely successful writer of MG and YA books, and it was about self-promotion. The advice was, essentially, this:

Don’t bother. Just write the next book.

There was also an excellent follow-up: “Solutions: One Way to Deal with the Self-marketing Frenzy, Plus a Shout-out to Publishers.”

(Both of those came to me via Erin — thanks!)

Also, did y’all know that Dr. Seuss’s GREEN EGGS AND HAM is now 50 years old? Man, hearing that makes me feel 50 years old. I remember my mom reading Dr. Seuss to me as a kid… I also had a video of ONE FISH, TWO FISH, RED FISH, BLUE FISH that I absolutely loved!

Anyway, to celebrate the anniversary, Random House is sponsoring an adorable Ham It Up video contest, going on between now and Nov 3rd. Prizes include $2,000 and a year’s supply of ham (probably not the green kind). I watched at least one really cute entry that could be stiff competition, but in general the odds are pretty good, so check it out!

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