Are You Posting Your Politics?

Why writing political posts on social media is a bad idea for novel writers.

Photo by Gayle Martin

It’s that time again. A presidential election is coming up, and people are expressing their political views all over social media. I understand freedom of speech. However, our mothers also taught us to never discuss politics or religion in polite company, (at least mine did), and our mothers were right.

Social media is an invaluable marketing tool for authors. It’s the best platform out there for driving traffic to our websites and blogs and building our brands. However, it takes a huge amount of time and effort to build a following, and by huge I mean months, or even years. That said, after all that hard work, do you really want to risk alienating your fans and followers?

If you’re a nonfiction political writer then it’s a given that you should write about politics, but not all of us are political writers. If you write novels, short stories or other creative fiction, and your sole purpose is to entertain you reader, then my advice to you is this: DO NOT write political posts on social media.

While I make no claims of being mathematician, or a statistician, I think it’s a safe bet to say that roughly half of your fans and followers do not share your political views. It doesn’t matter if you’re conservative, liberal or libertarian, they do not share your views, and trust me, you won’t get them to change their minds. So if you’re all over social media bashing conservatives or liberals, or bashing their candidate, then rest assured you’re going to piss off roughly half you fans and followers. They in turn will unfriend or unfollow you on social media. They’ll unsubscribe to your blogs and newsletters. Most importantly, they’ll stop buying your books, and if you’re made them angry enough they’ll leave scathing reviews. So, before writing that political post, ask yourself this question. “Do I really want to lose half my fans?”

I’m sure there are some of you out there who are so passionate about your beliefs that you don’t want people who disagree with you buying your book in the first place. If so, that’s certainly your prerogative. However, I think most of us really don’t want to lose any of our fan base. I know I don’t.

Over the past few weeks I’ve unfriended a number of people on Facebook for overloading my newsfeed with their constant flow of negative political posts, and no doubt I’ll be unfriending more before the election is over. Some have been people I’ve known for some time, and unfriending them made me feel sad. However, I’m honestly burned out on all the negativity, and it’s put me in a place where I’m seriously reevaluating some of my friendships.

I guess I must be old school. I subscribe to the notion that who I decide to vote for is for me to know, and the rest of you to wonder about.

Gayle Martin

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