Well, hello again. What does this make it? Three weeks? Doesn’t time fly?
You’re probably chomping at the bit to start the writing process but I’ll let you into a little secret. You’re already doing it.
Firstly, there’s all that preparation you have to do. Oh now come on, stop your whining. We all have to prepare for something or other. For example, take builders. They wouldn’t build a house on mud, (unless you’re watching TV show Cowboy Builders), because their house would sink within a couple of years; pretty much like your novel would.
No. The builder has much preparation to do: Dig foundations. Get Building regulations approved. Add concrete. Bring up the damp course. Only then does he start to build his house. – And in case you’re impressed by my knowledge of building, don’t be. My father is a builder and I can build a brick wall :)
It’s much the same with writers. Preparation is a MUST! Without it, you’re novel is guaranteed to sink. Trust me.
Still with me? Tantrum over? Excellent. Let’s move on.
After last weeks post you should now know what genre you’re writing for. But why do we have to talk about social media now? Isn’t that something to think about after we finish writing our novel? And where do we even find a social media site?
I’m glad you asked.
What is Social Media?
Social Media is exactly what it says.
‘Social’ is the social interaction between two or a group of people. It’s similar to going out at night and getting together with friends, or meeting and making new pals.
‘Media’ is media. Just as newspapers and magazines report news, entertainment, local stories, and fashion, your ‘media’ runs pretty much the same. With your friends and ‘new’ cyber pals, you build relationships and discuss everyday life…as well as your work, writing, and upcoming releases.
Building a Brand
Remember, our name is our ‘brand’. The only way we are going to build on it is by using it…. All the time.
Decide what social media sites you are most comfortable with and plaster it ‘everywhere’. The more you use it, the more you become associated with it. You want people to remember it.
When I first started using twitter I had a random name, like most of us do. We hide because we don’t want to be ‘seen’. But that isn’t going to help us when it comes time to sell our books. Make sure it’s your name (or your pen name) that you use on the social networking sites. To my knowledge, Waterstones, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble don’t have the resources to find me if someone asks for a book by ‘EssexGirl71’.
But why do it now? Wouldn’t it be better to wait until I have written my book before I start promoting myself?
Well, you can but other than your mother and her friends at the W.I., you’ll have nobody to buy it. By building your brand now, you’ll have a loyal following of friends all queuing to read your book when it’s finished.
And, an extra tit-bit of information. I regularly hear that if a publisher or agent likes your book, the first thing they do is Google your name to see how big a presence you have on the internet. A well written book just doesn’t seem to be enough anymore.
The promotion package no longer comes wrapped in glittery paper and tied with a silky smooth bow. Here’s why:
Pre-internet: Author wrote a book. Author personally delivered, or posted, manuscript (remember those days?), to the publisher. Author returned home for a well deserved cup of tea before starting their next novel. Publisher runs around like a headless chicken promoting book.
Post-internet: Author writes a book while tackling social media. Author publishes novel either via traditional, indie, or the e-publishing route. Author works their ass off promoting and marketing the novel. Publisher relaxes with a cup of tea.
Promoting and marketing is exhausting and time-consuming and when you first start out, you’ll be doing everything yourself. Try different things. Watch what method makes the biggest impact.
Er, just to clarify, I am not telling nor condoning you take the same drastic action as Russell Brand, but if you do, send me pictures :)
Social Media Sites
So, that brings us to which social Media should we undertake?
There are many out there: Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Goodreads, MySpace,Google+, LinkedIn….. the list is endless. And you will never have the time to join all of them. You have a book to write, remember? So, pick two or three and throw them into the mixing bowl.
Although I can be found on Google+ and Linkedin, I have two main sites I frequent; Twitter and Facebook. Not surprising as they are both listed in the top ten of social networking sites.
So, you’ve chosen ‘your’ social media sites. What do you do now? How much do you update them? I try to visit my sites at least ONCE a DAY. I update my status, have a chat and a giggle with people, and generally walk away with a smile on my face. Social media can be FUN!
Still not sure? Check out my Facebook page and see how it works for yourself.
Okay, now we’ve reached that word that scares the hell out of some writers. Blogging. Take a deep breath. Hold it. Hold it. Breath out. Blogging. Say it. Blogging. See, it’s not so bad, is it?
Blogging is another way to meet the world outside your window. And it’s a wonderful way for writers to enhance their writing skills.
But what do I blog about?
Hey, you’re a writer with a fabulous imagination! Trending topics are reviews and information on gathered research. Start by blogging once a week until you find your feet. Most importantly, be consistent with the timing of your posts.
Remember, you are a writer the moment you decide to write your book. Be proud to call yourself a writer.
Need more help on the art of social media and blogging? Social media Jedi, Kristen Lamb has two fabulous books on the subject.
So, your task this week is to check out which social media sites you wish to build a presence on. And let me know in the comments section. It will be interesting to see what are the more popular sites.