Never before has a writer had the ability to influence her career like she does today. In the past, authors relied on their editors and publishers to help get the word out about their books. The writer might do some book signings or a few other things to promote themselves, but basically, there was not much they could do.
However, today, writers have the whole world at their finger tips. Literally. Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, MySpace, Blogs, etc., allow a person instant access to millions.
Of course, it takes time to build up a following. And, you have to do it correctly or you’re wasting your time. One of the best resources to help you build your online presence is Kristen Lamb’s blog. If you’re not already a fan, you really must check it out if building your platform and brand is important to you.
Kristen takes the mystery out of social media. She blogs each week about different aspects of building your online presence and branding. And, best of all, she does it all in simple English and with a sense of humor.
As I’m sure you can tell, I’m still learning (and trying to improve) and there is no way that I could even touch the subject of social media with any level of comfort. So, I’m just going to refer you to Kristen’s website and her best selling book, We Are Not Alone — A Writer’s Guide to Social Media.
I will, however, give you an example of something that I have found to be true. Kristen said that one of the most important things you should do is interact with people. Don’t just use your facebook and twitter accounts as advertisements/promos. Take the time to “like”, re-tweet, make comments on other people’s posts. Be genuine.
I have found myself buying books from writers I’ve made “friends” with because they take the time to interact and play nice with others. I’ve even found myself buying a new person’s book instead of a favorite author when funds are limited.
Why? Let me share some information about a favorite best-selling author I always buy in hardback because I add those to my shelves. I know I’ll not likely be disappointed in the book because she’s a great writer.
My mistake was “liking” her fan page on facebook. I routinely see messages she’s posted about how wonderful her current book is and how fantastic other people think her book is. But, that’s it. Nothing more.
Even if someone makes a comment on her post or on her page, she doesn’t respond. She’s simply not a presence. And, the non-stop marketing of her books with nothing of substance is a real turn off. At least for me.
So, I’d rather give my reading money to those who are actively involved with their peeps and seem to be enjoying the conversations rather than those who just use social media as a tool for advertising.
What do you think? Have you experienced the same things? Or, are you okay with blatant self-promo with no interaction? And, does it depend on the author?
(NOTE: I’m still trying to figure twitter out, so I’m not as active there as I want to be. But, I’m working on it and will be soon. I hope. So, don’t give me too much grief about that,yet. <g>)