I de-friended two writers on my Facebook page recently. What could they have done to earn the dreaded "de-friending" status? Did I not like their latest books? Were their covers bad? Did they change agents? Decide to go it alone and self-publish? Say the heck with this self-publishing crap and sign with a Big 6 publisher?
Nope, none of those things. What they did was far, far worse in my opinion: they smeared their political views all over their accounts and walls, which means that those same smears get wiped on my wall too. Not. Good. At. All.
Writers are, when you break it all down to brass tacks, small business owners. The business we run is ourselves, our talents, and our words. We write for a living (maybe not literally, but we do hope to make money off of these hours spent tapping away in front of a keyboard). Our words, our personalities and, if you want to be technical about it, our lives are what we sell to the book-buying public. Remember the old adage that the two things you never talk about at the dinner table are politics and religion? That should apply to a writer's facebook and twitter pages too.
If you want me to follow you, don't put your views up there. If I disagree with you, you have lost a potential reader and fan. Why? Because if I know that you will write about politics that I don't believe in on your wall, you will almost assuredly put those same politics in your books. Why subject myself to that? But what if you and I agree? Same principle applies: I'm buying your book to escape the crazy, insane, mad world we live in, not be reminded of how stupid and biased people can be.
Writing about your politics alienates half of your potential readers and customers. If you think that you don't want that half to read your books, then fine. Go that way. Hope your last name is Grisham, King, Patterson or something like that. Because last I checked, publishers aren't exactly handing out those six and seven figure advances like candy. You really think you can afford to pick and choose who you want as fans? Ok, go for it, bud. As for me and my pages, we will serve Scott Chase. Which means I welcome anyone who reads to buy my books, friend me here, or follow me here. Because I promise not to tweet, post, or link to anything political. At least I hope I won't. But if I ever do anything like that, please let me know what you think here.