I got tagged two weeks ago on Facebook by a publishing rep regarding my series Femitokon. I sent them the outline and the final-final edit of the Suffocation manuscript and expected nothing to come of it. They publish print and online sci-fi and were looking for a series to run on their website. I was excited when she got back to me this morning with interest. It was going well until we got to chatting about my ‘online presence’.
I’m not a nice person all the time. It takes work for me to maintain a healthy social life, and being social online to the extent I was back when I wrote comics brought out the worst in me. I can’t go back to that, and I won’t. When I tweeted that I was taking the Pynchon approach as a writer online, I wasn’t kidding. It’s why when my Twitter gets too many followers; I cut and run. I’ve had about three Twitter accounts.
This morning I put my desire for publication aside and just told them my terms: I’m not promoting online, doing interviews with bloggers, making writing101 blog posts, or becoming a tweet marketing machine. I know small presses need this, but these guys are bit bigger than that, but I get it: the literary landscape has changed; it’s a big web out there, and I need to have readers online know who I am.
I won’t do it.
My mental health comes first, and if being a constant online presence is now part of the writer’s toolkit to success, then I guess I’ll be in the corner continuing to write for myself.