Showing posts with label social networking. Show all posts
Showing posts with label social networking. Show all posts

Monday, March 26, 2012

Making Twitter Personal

I'm no Twitter expert and have never claimed to be. That being said, I always have plenty of ideas about what works and doesn't work in social networking, primarily because I use it.

A lot of the people I follow on Twitter I follow because I'm a fan. Sure, I follow other industry experts and friends, but I also follow a lot of chefs (in my case). People I admire for their culinary skills. Some of my favorites are those I've gotten to "know" through various food competitions like Top Chef, Food Network or even their cookbooks or blogs. Not too long ago I was leaving Atlanta after a great conference with the Georgia Romance Writers. While waiting at the airport I Tweeted that I was leaving ATL and was bummed I didn't have the chance to visit Flip Burger and I included chef and owner Richard Blais (@RichardBlais) in my Tweet. Just a few short hours later @RichardBlais tweeted back "not as bummed as we are."

Okay, call me a fan geek, food geek, whatever, but I was on cloud 9 all day over this silly tweet. Over the fact that one of my chef heroes tweeted me back and actually seemed bummed that he wasn't able to see me. Does it matter how truly bummed he was? No. Not to a fan. When you admire and respect someone you're excited to be acknowledged by that person. And you should be. Life is too short not to get excited over the little things.

So here's my question to you writers. Are you giving your fans the little thrills that make their days, that give them reason to spend hours, heck days, talking about you? After my Tweet from Richard Blais (which by the way resulted in a number of people asking about this Flip Burger) I went to my personal Facebook to tell my friends and then I told everyone who would listen and now I'm telling all of you. That's buzz and that's the sort of thing that sells a product. It has nothing to do with the Tweets @RichardBlais himself has made, but everything about the "retweeting," so to speak. It's about the connection.

Jessica

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Is Your Promotion Making Sense

You've been told by someone what you have to do. Now that you have a book out or coming out you need to be blogging, Tweeting, Facebooking, LinkedIn, Glad-Handing, and selling your soul. You need to add an extra 12 hours into each day just to manage the new schedule your publishing contract requires. But is any of it actually working and are you paying attention to that?

I think I've always been very open about the fact that I don't necessarily believe that social networking and all of the "have to" publicity and promotion you hear about necessarily works or should be required of all authors. I don't necessarily think that blog tours sell books, especially if you don't even know the audience you're reaching with each blog. What I wonder, though, is how many of you are actually tracking the success of the publicity you're doing.

When sending bookmarks to writers conferences, for example, do you really pay attention to how many bookmarks are taken from the table versus how many are simply tossed in the trash at the end of the weekend? When you do a blog tour do you actually follow up with the host of the blog to see how many readers (not hits) the blog gets both before and after your post? Have you ever polled your readers through Facebook, Twitter, or your website to actually learn what brought them to your book?

I guess what I'm trying to say is are you running your publishing career like a business or are you simply throwing stuff into the wind book after book, the same "stuff," and assuming because that's what you're "supposed to do" it must be the right thing to do?

Do blog tours sell books? I don't think they can hurt, unless you're spending hours and hours on a blog tour and not selling one book. Time is money and losing all that time is losing money, so in that sense then yes, I guess it can hurt. Great publicity and marketing means changing things up. It means not doing the same things book after book, and it also means that you need to understand that what might have worked for one book or one author doesn't work for another, even if you are the same author with another book.

When planning your publicity and promotion it's important to work smart. If you're going to spend time and money doing something then I think it makes sense to spend time figuring out if that something worked. If it didn't, then for your next book it's time to switch things up, think outside of the box. Just like you did when you wrote the book, it's important not to follow the crowd. If everyone is doing a blog tour, does it make sense for you to jump in and join the pack, a very full pack, or find a new way to sell yourself and your book?

Jessica

Monday, February 20, 2012

Twitter Tips

I love getting book recommendations. I mean face it, I'm a book person, I love to read and I love it when someone emails me or sends me a Tweet to tell me about something new they have just discovered. That being said, there's a big difference between Tweeting about your book release and spamming your book.

If you're a Tweeter it's perfectly acceptable, and encouraged, to let all of your followers know when your book releases, when you received your new cover, or where your edits stand. Of course, it's also encouraged to let them know where you are on vacation, what you're eating for dinner, what you're reading and other more personal bits of information.

It is unacceptable to send Tweets directly to other Tweeters (starting your Tweet with an @BookEndsJessica is what does this) to tell them about a "great new read" and have it be your book. Frankly, it turns me off. If you're telling me about someone else, I'm interested and appreciate it; if you're telling me about your own book, it's spam and it's irritating, and out of irritation I will probably not read your book.


Jessica

Monday, October 31, 2011

Social Networking Is So Easy

We live in a world where everything changes daily and changes quickly. And just as those changes happen, so do my thoughts on the many opportunities available to us. When the blog post I wrote on Twitter v. Facebook posted, it made me think a lot more about the two places, and I think some of your comments helped that as well.

When it comes to marketing I think it's pretty fair to say that everyone is looking for the quick fix. We all want to spend as little time as possible doing the marketing we know is necessary because, truthfully, we want to write our books. And of course you know how important that is because when all is said and done, the only thing that matters is the quality of your book.

Unfortunately, Twitter and Facebook, and other social networking markets, are not the time-savers we either like to believe they are or have convinced ourselves they are. Gone are the days when marketing meant taking a design to the printer, ordering a stack of postcards or bookmarks, and sending them to bookstores. Not that it was easy work, but it was a one-time deal (per book). You maybe took a day or two, or a week, out of your writing schedule to complete the job and then you moved on. Now marketing is 24/7, and if you're going to be good at it, and use it successfully, you have to do the work, which is a lot.

As I said in my earlier post, Twitter is great for connecting with new readers. It's a way to connect over publishing news, world news, or just pass along your favorite muffin recipe. It's a constant conversation with strangers, but strangers who just might find you interesting enough to want to learn more about you and buy your books.

Facebook is for fans. On Facebook people seek you out. Your status posts are not for public consumption. They are for your "friends" only. Therefore, Facebook is a way for you to connect with those who want a connection specifically with you. It's the place for you to talk about your upcoming book and connect with those readers in a conversation. It's the place for you to find out which of your characters is the most beloved or who they would like to see killed off in the next book.

I think both Facebook and Twitter can be hugely beneficial to all authors, but only if they are something you connect with as well. They aren't easy to use and they don't work if you don't use them properly, but if you do, wow, you can really find something special there.


Jessica

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Ten Rules for Twitter Success

There are a lot of amazing rules for Twitter success out there, they are easy to find, and in fact this post was inspired by a blog post by Novel Publicity.

However, since many of you read book blogs to help grow your career, I thought it would be valuable to include some tips of my own and hopefully encourage you, those of you hoping to use Twitter as part of your marketing plan, to do some other reading on the subject before diving in.

When I first started on Twitter I had no idea what I was getting into and, honestly, it took me a long time to get comfortable there and decide if it was for me. Now I love Twitter. I've connected with old friends, a ton of colleagues, and authors. I've signed authors because of Twitter exchanges, and introduced others to great books written by my clients. I've hosted give-aways and #askagent sessions in which I answer any questions writers might have about publishing. Twitter has also become my go-to source for news in publishing or otherwise. I've learned a lot from Twitter and you can too. You can also use it to market yourself and your book, but only if you use Twitter right.

These are rules based on my own frustrations with Twitter and those I follow or have unfollowed.

1. Include a bio. You have roughly 140 characters to create a bio for yourself. Use them. I can't follow someone by a name only. If I learn, however, that you're on Twitter because you're writing something specific, published in something specific, a blogger, an expert, or whatever, I might be inclined to test you out. And make your bio interesting and a little personal.

2. Personalize your photo. This is important. If I see a tweet from someone with no photo (or the "Twitter" egg photo), I immediately assume it's spam. When you sign up, include a photo. A lot of authors include the covers of their books. I get it, you're trying for maximum attention for your books. I don't like this though. I like some sort of photo or avatar because then, over time, I feel like I get to know the author and recognize the author whenever a tweet pops up, without the ever-changing cover. Don't be afraid to be creative either. If you don't want a photo of you, find an avatar that represents you.

3. Engage in conversation. You don't need to respond to everyone who responds to you. In fact, you shouldn't, but occasionally you should engage in the conversation you've started with your tweets. Or even connect with those you follow. I've found links on Twitter that I've tweeted to those I follow, but don't know personally, because it connected with something they had tweeted about.

4. Make your links make sense. I won't click on a link that's too vague. If your tweet is something along the lines of "Delicious Food [link here]" I probably won't click the link. If, however, you say something like, "Just made these amazing GF strawberry cupcakes [link here]" I will probably click the link. Like all of you, I don't have time to click random links just because someone suggested it. If I know the link is of particular interest to me I might click it, and if it looks amazing I will probably share it.

5. Be real. The best tweeters are those who allow themselves to be themselves. Sure, it's your professional face so you might not tweet every moment (and you shouldn't), but you are also going to let your passions come through. For example, in addition to a lot of tweeting about agenting and publishing, I share food passions on Twitter, as well as the occasional dog photo.

6. Be interesting. Too many people use Twitter as a regular way to post their morning blog link or to only tell about the release of their book. Boring and far too consistent. Sure, you can post those things, but you need something in between that's a little different and more interesting. For example, are you testing a new recipe to be included in the book? Don't post "testing a new recipe," post "can limes replace lemons in lemon meringue? b/c hubby bought limes instead."

7. Use Twitter. In other words, actually use it. No one is going to find you if the only time you post is the day your book releases. Why would anyone follow you for that? Make sure you post regularly. The beauty of Twitter is that you don't have to be there to post. If you know your schedule for the day you can easily set up some scheduled tweets. When I'm at a conference, for example, I often schedule my tweets based on my workshop schedule. That way I don't have to remember to tweet while I'm rushing to find the workshop, but everyone who follows me knows which one I'm speaking at.

8. If you're trying to start a contest or a conversation always include a hashtag. This way people who retweet can share the conversation by simply including the hashtag and people don't need to follow all of those who are retreating. They can click on the hashtag. Honestly, this is something I need to work on, but it's also something that will make a huge difference when your goal is to spread the word.

9. Feel free to walk away. Just because you tweeted something doesn't mean you need to now police it. Feel free to shut down Twitter whenever you need to and walk away. It's a constant conversation and you don't need to follow every single piece of it.

10. Follow others. Twitter is a conversation, not a press release. If you want people to follow you, you need to follow others, to find a purpose for yourself to be on Twitter beyond simply promoting yourself.

11. Schedule tweets. I mentioned this before, but it's worth mentioning again: If you know you're going to be doing a book signing at a certain place at a certain time, schedule that tweet ahead of time. That way your followers will know where to find you and you won't need to try to remember to tweet in the middle of prepping for your signing.


Jessica

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Only the Righteous

So here's the story . . .

I receive a message through my LinkedIn account. Honestly, I'm not sure why I have a LinkedIn account. Occasionally I've looked for clients for nonfiction projects through LinkedIn, but rarely has anything ever come of it. Truthfully, the most success I've had in social networking comes through Twitter.

Anyway, a message came through LinkedIn from someone I've never met, I'm not even sure we're connected, asking for assistance in "partnering with a literary agent." This person was a fellow alum from Marquette University and proceeded to tell me about their book. The author ended by telling me there was a book proposal ready. My response, as is my response to all queries sent through social networks (if I respond at all), was that I don't accept queries through social networks, but the author should feel free to query following the guidelines on our website.

The author, apparently because we attended the same school, felt that she was exempt from following my guidelines and was apparently put off by my response, "I'm afraid I do not accept queries via social networking sites. To query me and BookEnds you should review the guidelines on our website."

Well, not that you're surprised, that set off a sh**storm. One that I can now honestly say amuses me and I'm sharing for your entertainment only. The author corrected me to explain how, after rereading the original message, there was nothing in it to indicate this was a query and that not only was my response disappointing, but indicated I have a "lack of belief in Marquette Ideals." What?! What?! Because I stick to a company policy I am now apparently morally corrupt?

And then after explaining that LinkedIn is a professional networking site and not Facebook and that I use it to solely seek to benefit from others the author said, "While I realize you cannot instill decency into people, it disturbs me to have Marquette's name to continue to be represented in such a poor manner."

And there you have it. I am nothing but a money-grubbing, self-absorbed, indecent human misusing my alma mater. Dang, I'm a jerk.


Jessica

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Does Social Networking Work?

Do sites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social networking avenues do anything for you or your career? I guess that depends on how you use it. Three of my most recent clients came to me through just those avenues.

In one case I contacted a client of mine to ask if she had any interest in writing a nonfiction book I had a request for. She didn't have the time in her schedule, but put the word out on my behalf to a professional group she belongs to online. I found at least one new client that way.

In another case I put the word out on Twitter that I was looking for a very specific type of book, fiction, based on a conversation I had with an editor. Surprisingly only three people responded. I read the work of one, loved her voice, and so did the editor.

In a third case, through an #askagent session I held on Twitter, an author asked a question about the genre she was writing. In my answer I suggested she explore another author. She did, queried me on the work, and within a week or so (maybe longer) I had a new client.

And a fourth case, a bonus case, involved yet another nonfiction author. In this case I put the word out through Twitter, which also connects to my Linkedin and Facebook profiles, about an expert I was seeking for a book project an editor was looking for. Within days we had a deal.

While obviously these sites might not net you an agent, I think they can go very far in helping you gain an understanding of the industry and network, which in today's business world is critically important for everyone.


Jessica

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Social Media Doesn't Do You Any Good If No One Knows You're There

If you decide to open a Twitter account or a Facebook account with the intent of building your brand, then you need to let people know you're there. Add in your signature line a link to one or both and make sure to cross reference your accounts on your blog, your website, and in your book's bio. You aren't going to build a social network if no one can find you.

Jessica

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Social Networking Tip

When it comes to Twitter, one of the most powerful tools is the hashtag, or number sign, for those not familiar with Twitter. In other words: #

If you really want to use Twitter to connect with others, don't be afraid of the hashtag. It's not something that's written down somewhere, it's something you create. For example, let's say you want to take a poll to see which title might be strongest for your next book. Instead of simply polling your followers, poll all of Twitter. By allowing others to retweet and adding a hashtag, like #Fausttitle, you'll be able to see the chain of anyone who has an opinion on the title, even if they don't use your name in the Tweet.


Jessica

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Social Networking: Twitter v. Facebook

As you know, I’ve been thinking a lot about social networking and how authors can best use it for promotion, and one of the things I have been dwelling on is Twitter v. Facebook and which is really the more powerful when it comes to building a readership because, let’s be honest, that’s our ultimate goal.

As many of you know I’m on both Twitter and Facebook. I Tweet fairly frequently, especially in the wee hours of the morning and, of course, depending on how busy my schedule is. All of my Tweets are connected to Facebook and automatically update my Facebook status. My blog is also connected to Facebook, so each new blog post appears on my profile page. I have about 5,500 Twitter followers and roughly 1,700 Facebook friends. I think it’s pretty obvious where I’m going to create the most buzz.

Beyond the number of followers, though, is the ability to find followers. On Facebook you either have to request friendships or search someone out. In other words, most of the people who will find you on Facebook are already fans. Don’t get me wrong, fans are your most important marketing tool. When you announce on Facebook that a new book is available for pre-order, they are the people ordering and spreading the word to others about how much they love your work. However, it’s unlikely that these fans are going to make that news known to all of their Facebook friends. That’s not typically the way Facebook works. Twitter, however, is all about spreading the word. The infamous retweet is how you find new readers and a new audience, and it’s not just about announcing the release of your new book, it’s about telling your followers that this other person you’re following is incredibly clever, informative, and worth following.

In Twitter people might find your books because they loved your tweets first. In Facebook they are likely to find your books first.

If you ask me, Twitter is the place to be right now, the place where you’re likely to create the most buzz. Facebook is the place you want to be when honing and building those already established relationships. Both are important, but both will do very different things for you.


Jessica

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Social Networking: Twitter Tips

A must-read article by Media Bistro. Read carefully. I think we could all learn a lot.

The only thing I would add is to have fun with it. Twitter is supposed to be fun. Join in a conversation, share random thoughts and laugh while you’re doing it. The more fun you have the more successful you’ll be.


Jessica

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Social Networking: Twitter Needs Interesting People

I’m not an expert, but I do tend to know what I like in this world, and when it comes to Twitter I like to follow people who are interesting. Unfortunately, I see far too many authors who use Twitter as a way to inundate readers with their name or simply remind everyone to read their blog. I don’t think that works. It doesn’t work for me and I imagine it doesn’t work for others. Twitter is supposed to be interesting and, frankly, that’s just not interesting.

There’s no doubt social media is important in publishing. Heck, it’s important in all business these days, but if you’re going to do it do it well or don’t do it at all. The last thing any author needs is for people to think they’re not interesting. Trust me, you aren’t going to sell books that way.


Jessica

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Social Networking and Your Picture

I’ve been thinking a lot about social networking and how authors can best use it. One of my thoughts lately has been about the photos we use on Facebook and Twitter. As many of you know, it’s not uncommon for users to change their profile photo now and then. You might have gotten an amazing new shot of yourself over the holidays, or maybe that new haircut is so stunning it’s time to show it off, but is there a problem when we change the photo too much? Are we failing to brand ourselves?

Remember, as an author, the purpose of your Facebook or Twitter account is to keep in touch with your readers and connect with them on a personal level. Unfortunately, I think a lot of authors think of social networking as a way to constantly remind the reader to buy, buy, buy (a mistake, by the way) and think that way with every post and every picture they post.

One of the things I’ve been thinking about lately is the use of your book’s cover as your profile picture. I don’t think I like it. I get it. You want to have recognition so when readers go into stores they recognize the cover and remember to buy it. But could that backfire? Could it instead mean that they’ve seen the cover so much that they think they already own it? Or do they fail to immediately connect you, the author, with the cover because the cover is constantly changing? I think there’s a very real possibility that by constantly bombarding “friends” or followers with your cover they’re going to quickly forget they haven’t read the book.

Most important, are you losing the connection you could be making with your readers? Instead of identifying with their new “friend” Jessica Faust, are they not able to see beyond your cover or your book? I think, personally, this is the biggest problem. If you’re trying to become friends with your readers and connect with them, then really let them know who you are. Use a real picture, or fun picture, of you. Or maybe a picture of your protagonist, but I don’t think the ever-changing cover shots work. But that’s just me.

Jessica

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Power of Social Networking

There’s always a lot of talk about Twitter, Facebook, blogs, and other social networking sites. We discuss whether you need to join and how to best use them to build an audience for your books. Well, I have a really cool story about the power of social networking.

BookEnds technically closed December 17 for the holidays and for the year, but that doesn’t mean I fully disappear. As I said to one of my authors, I’m really just in hiding. Just to make sure I’m not going to be too overwhelmed when I return, I still check email and answer those I can answer. And, as a frequent social networker, I also tend to stay active on both my Twitter and Facebook accounts.

On December 23, just before I started a day of cooking, I logged on to Facebook and saw this adorable status by Elizabeth Lynn Casey: “I think I'm finally losing it. I just found myself wondering what the ladies of Sweet Briar are doing for this year's Christmas...” My first thought was that’s a good status. That’s something readers will love.

Apparently Elizabeth’s editor saw the same status, and her first thought was that we should all be thinking about those ladies of Sweet Briar. Within hours of posting the status, Elizabeth’s editor called with an offer for a Christmas book about those ladies of Sweet Briar. So between grating potatoes for latkes and melting chocolate for cookies I was interrupting Elizabeth’s Christmas shopping to negotiate with one of the few editors who was actually still in the office.

And who says nothing happens over the holidays?

Jessica

Monday, January 24, 2011

A Thank-You to "Trolls"

I know. You’re shocked, but hear me out.

We’ve often talked about the necessity to be careful on the Internet and to remember when writing your blog or tweets that people are watching and it’s important to keep things as professional as possible, and for each of us the meaning of that is different. Certainly if you read the tweets of a handful of agents you’ll very obviously see how different we are. I like to keep my personal and professional lives separate, and I tend to have separate accounts for those things. That being said, after a while on Twitter I can see how easy it is to get comfortable and let some of your inhibitions go. I’ve been chatting with more than a few people and I’ve gotten to know others. So it’s easy to forget the 5,000 or so other followers I have.

But thanks to the “trolls” (I could think of no other name for those who like to pop into the blog for the sole purpose of bad-mouthing me) I am reminded to keep it simple and keep it professional.

So thank you, “trolls,” for reminding me to scale it back whenever I think of letting go.

Jessica

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Thankful for Social Networking

Over Thanksgiving weekend last year I had an email crash. In the grand scheme of crashes it wasn’t that bad. I only lost a week of email, nothing else. I do have Time Machine backup, which thankfully keeps everything backed up and me less fearful of crashes.

Once my email was back up and running I did three things immediately.

I emailed all my clients to tell them about the crash and ask them to resend anything they had sent during that week that I hadn’t answered.

I did a blog post about the crash, alerting as many people as possible and explaining how lost queries would be handled (since I was closed to queries I simply asked that they requery in January). The other problem was that I had responded to and deleted queries that were now showing up in my in-box, so I did have to rework my response to explain why some people might be getting the same reply twice.

And last, I tweeted multiple times about the situation to spread the word as much as possible.

And it worked. While I’m sure there are plenty who missed the news, plenty more retweeted my announcement and requeried or resent material I had requested based on my tweets.

Social networking can be a truly amazing thing.


Jessica

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Digital Media Queries

A Twitter follower recently asked me if I would ever consider digital media submissions and sent a link to a YouTube video about her book. Honestly, I can’t see many agents embracing this type of query. For one reason, it takes way too long. Watching a video, or just getting to the part of a video that actually tells you anything, takes far longer than reading a query. For a second reason, unless the book is an “enhanced ebook” and contains a lot of video, a YouTube video doesn’t really tell me what I want to know about your book, which is what your story is about, not how you can sell it later.

Jessica

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Multiple Personalities

I was checking my Twitter account recently and thinking about the multiple personalities of authors, those who write under two (or sometimes more) names, and wondering what that means for social networking. Obviously if you write under both Jane Doe and Janet Buck you’re going to need two different Facebook accounts and Twitter accounts so that readers of Jane can find Jane and readers of Janet can find Janet. But does that mean you need to also update two different statuses each time you update one, or can you simply link all of your accounts together and only post once for all accounts?

My theory? If your fans are only fans of one of your personalities, then go ahead and link all of your accounts together, but if your fans are fans of both personalities or tend to be attracted to both personalities (let’s say you write the same genre under both names), I think you need to handle them separately, as if they’re two different people. Otherwise you’re going to end up taking over everyone’s Twitter or Facebook with the same status two, three, four, or however many times it posts.

What do you think?

Jessica

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Making the Most of Media Exposure

Like many of your readers, I've worked on novels for years, with each new manuscript drawing more interest than the last. After my most recent manuscript, which drew 7 full requests, another dozen partial requests, but no offers, I decided to take a break from fiction and start writing a humor blog. Since June, I've posted one column a week.

Of course, there is nothing unique about an unpublished writer writing a blog, and there was nothing unique (other than I hope it was good) about mine until a month ago, when I sat down and wrote a short animated film called "So You Want to Go to Law School." I wrote the 5-minute script and used Xtranormal.com's free animation website to bring the video to life. I posted it to both Xtranormal's website and to YouTube.

The video has drawn nearly 1 million hits between the two sites. I've written a couple more videos, each of which have been relatively successful by YouTube standards (one has more than 10,000 hits, and the other is pushing 5,000 hits).

Now my question is this: How should I, as an aspiring novelist, take advantage of this sudden and unexpected burst of exposure?


My first reaction was how fun! If you’re willing to reveal your name, I would love it if you would jump into the comments section and post a link to your video. It sounds fun. And of course congratulations! How cool is that?

On to your question, how can an aspiring novelist take advantage of this exposure? You really can’t. I mean, certainly you can tell agents in your query about the video and provide a link and, like me, I’m sure many will be curious enough to click on the link and watch the video, but I’m afraid a viral video and a novel don’t necessarily have a connection. Let’s look at it this way: If you received a link to a viral video, no matter how hilarious you thought it was, would you automatically think you then had to buy the novel by the same creator? Probably not.

If, however, your book was nonfiction, giving humorous advice on going to law school: Score! There’s no doubt there’s a correlation then. Presumably a lot of your viewers are people who have gone through or are considering law school and get your humor. Buying a book that relates to the video would be a natural for them.

As for your novels: Seven full requests is amazing! Keep going, it sounds like you’re getting closer and closer with each new novel. My best advice is don’t give up now.


Jessica

Monday, September 27, 2010

Working Social Media

I am no expert in social media, not by a long stretch. There are so many great people out there who are, people writing blogs and books, that if you want expertise that’s where you should go. That being said, I am frequently asked what specifically authors can do and should do to help create the often-discussed buzz. Sure, you’re supposed to get a Twitter account, blog, and Facebook account, but once you have those, what works and what doesn’t?

Here’s what I think.

You should only do what works for you.
I enjoy my blog, which is why I do it. It wouldn’t work if I didn’t enjoy it. When I signed up for Twitter I wasn’t sure it was for me. It felt like more work and I just didn’t get it. I remember having conversations with Kim that I might quit. But I persevered. I gave it time and now I actually enjoy it. I use Twitter to check in on industry news and as a break. When I finish a big project I often celebrate via Twitter, and when I’m sitting down to start something it’s sometimes nice to share. It’s not just about spreading the news, but it actually helps motivate me in some weird way.

It’s not all about you.
Updating your status and Tweeting about what you’re eating for lunch has led us to believe that we live in a world where people actually care. They really don’t. Make sure when using your social media that you are talking about more than just yourself. Retweet posts or articles of interest, and most definitely engage with others. No one wants to be Facebook friends with someone who never responds to things written on their wall or ignores what everyone else is up to, but expects accolades for their own status.

Post often, but not too often.
I’ll admit that I’ve “unfollowed” Twitter pals who seem to overtake my inbox, those who have a new Tweet every five minutes or even every hour. I think one Tweet a day is fine, maybe five, but 25! That’s a little extreme and, to some extent, goes back to my second point about the fact that it can’t be all about you. No one wants to check their account only to see that you’ve been so busy none of their other friends have room to show up.

Time management
There are so many social media organizing programs out there. Use them. Most of my blog posts are written days or weeks in advance and certain Tweets are even written days, weeks or months in advance. If I know that something exciting is going to happen on a certain day, something I’ll want to Tweet about (which also links to my Facebook status by the way, so I only have to update one), I write the Tweet and set the schedule. That way if I’m busy that day the job is already done.

Make it personal
Just as you shouldn’t always make it about you, you should sometimes make it about you. I recently “unfollowed” a Tweeter because of constant article retweeting, but nothing about her. It was tiresome and boring. I do want to know something personal about the people I’m following, sometimes I do want to know what you’re making for dinner, or that the dog just jumped in your lap and deleted your writing. That’s the fun stuff that allows people to connect with you.

Not too personal
While I do enjoy learning some personal items about those I follow (for business), I also don’t need to know what kind of underwear you wear, I don’t need to hear a political rant, and I don’t think bashing others is appropriate. Again, if it’s with friends, fine, but if this is an attempt to get buzz to sell books, I’m not sure it’s the right forum.

Those are my thoughts off the cuff. What about you? Who are you following or friending and why? Who are you unfollowing or defriending and why?

Jessica