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Blurred Lines

No, don’t worry, this isn’t more social commentary on the Miley/Robin Thicke VMA performance, I think we can all agreed that topic was beat to death.

The blurred lines I want to discuss are those between personal life and business. And how they’ve only become fuzzier thanks to the immediacy and perceived intimacy of social media. Seriously, half the time I wonder if I need to get my prescription updated. Ha!

But in all seriousness, I had someone Facebook chat me the other day looking for free publishing advice. Free advice! On Facebook chat! That was the last straw.

I get that it’s tough out there for new authors, hell, it’s tough out there for seasoned authors unless you’re a Stephen, James or J.K., and it’s getting harder and harder to garner the attention you need to stand out in the crowd, but what happened to showing a little respect for other peoples’ time?

When did your problems start trumping the fact that I’m trying to make a living disseminating the very information you’re looking for? What happened to the give and take? Why is everyone only about the take anymore?

Just because you can’t get The Today Show to call you back doesn’t mean you should keep tweeting your pitches to me using their hashtag in the hopes that I’ll notice you and find a way to get you your own segment.

Just because social media is there, doesn’t mean you have to use it. For everything.

Though stalking isn’t isolated to just social media, before email, FB and Twitter there was an incident where I had an author follow me into the bathroom at an event and shove a manuscript under the stall door.

So yes, there have always been brazenly inappropriate people, but social media has spawned them in droves. Now standard book promotion practices seem to include hounding publicity folks and media reps by clicking the ‘enter’ key while sitting at home in 3-day old funky pajamas, using the other hand to play with the cat.

Is the price you pay for being successful the loss of any privacy still left in social media? I work hard at my job and I work hard for my clients. Shouldn’t you have to work hard, using the appropriate channels, to get into that inner circle? Like that old thing called a phone? Not my mobile! How do they get that number anyway?

I know some of you must have this same problem. What industry are you in and what’s the most outrageous way someone has tried to get your attention and what were they asking of you? Where do you draw the line between business and personal on social media?