The Technophobe in a Modern World
Authors all around the world, and perhaps one day the universe, now face an unsurmountable problem. We must learn new social media, and its implications on promoting our work.
In a nutshell, we must learn the many platforms as fast as possible while still promoting our work on the established platforms, and pounding out our latest book. Where once we could sit complacently behind a typewriter pounding out our next great American novel, we must now remain in the public eye. The days of the publisher having a department of minions scuttling around setting up book signings, appearances, three martini lunches, and acquiring us invites to “The Party of the Year,” we must now make those arrangements ourselves.
We now live in a world where we must appear to be outgoing, available, and completely in control all day long, every single day. Therefore, those of us who brag we don’t have the latest smart phone, or even a cell phone are only creating the impression we have no respect for our fans. For those who say they don’t even understand email, we are saying to those who purchase our work that we don’t care to communicate with them.
One of the greatest sins in this twenty-first century publishing world is none other than being a technophobe.
The dictionary defines technophobe as one who fears, dislikes, or avoids new technology. These people put on an outer persona of being above such things. They have yet to program a GPS and are angry there are no longer maps at service stations. Most don’t even realize that full service gas stations have almost gone the way of the dinosaur—they are nearing extinction far faster than those creatures departed this earthly plane.
The lack of a smart phone, even a cell phone, is a bragging of for most of the technophobes that I’ve run into. They announce this lack of knowledge with a certain pride and expect all to whom they are conveying their opinion to praise them for being so in control of their lives. Yet, they never realize how much of a tool a smart phone is to the successful author for staying in touch with those they must connect with to market their books. Imagine attempting to find a pay phone in today’s world. According to Cha-Cha, the instant answering system popular with high school students, there are currently 700,000 pay phones in the United States, down from 2,000,000 in 2000. None of those current pay phones are serviced or owned by the giants of phone companies, Verizon and AT&T, but are now taken care of by independents, and the cost is far from the nickel a lot of older people used to drop into the slot to make a call. The ones I’ve seen in the last 10 years usually have a slot to insert your credit or debit card!
Ignoring Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or any of the other myriad of social media sites dedicated to assisting authors with marketing their books is a foolish maneuver on anyone’s part. You can literally reach millions of people with just a few keystrokes. Learning these social media sites usually takes only a few hours of trial and error, and asking questions of those who have successfully swum through those waters.
There is an expression in the twenty-first publishing world—Publish or Die! However, that doesn’t take into account the real job facing those who are achieving their dreams of publication—Promote on Social Media or Die!
In other words, stop being afraid of technology and start using it. That technology you’ve eschewed, or spent money to have someone else take care of for you, isn’t all that unfriendly at all, and you might like using it, once you get to know it.