I’ve heard some authors say that you really get to know who your friends are when you have a new book released. The complaints are many and varied: those who pleaded for shares and retweets when their book was published disappear when yours comes out; those to whom you’ve offered support fail to deliver in return; even family and friends can no longer be bothered even to give you a big blue thumbs-up.
I, like many others I’m guessing, see it a different way. Firstly, we all have our own lives to be getting on with, and can’t always find time to comb through social media searching for posts we might want to share or tweets we’d be keen to retweet. Secondly, beneath the torrent of information and incidents accrued every day of every week, it’s impossible to keep tabs on every single comment made or intention indicated; and thirdly, most other people don’t light up social media by telling us they ran some cable that day, or produced a ten-page document on Health & Safety, or used a defibrillator to save someone’s life, or pulled a child from the wreckage of a vehicle collision, or stacked some shelves, or… well, you get the picture. Just because a new book release is the most important thing in our lives on the day and for a few days afterwards, doesn’t mean it figures high in anyone else’s list of priorities.
As we write, as we edit, as we submit, as we authorise covers and blurb and promotions, as we celebrate the launch of another book, as we labour over various social media platforms responding to those who have shared, retweeted, blogged or reviewed, life goes on around us. We should not expect everyone we know to drop what they are doing to make sure they focus on us instead. Neither should we expect all of our family, friends or social media ‘friends’ to even care. And certainly we should not take an absence of interest from them to heart.