Adventures in Social Media
This is part 2 of my series, Path to Getting Published. If you haven't already, take a moment and read Part 1.
When I started this process I didn't have a clue. Really, those that know me would argue that is still the case, but I digress. After I pulled my head out of the pages I was writing I started looking around for the next step and it turns out that step is "marketing."
If you aren't Steven King, Jack Nicholson, Ellen, or are, for whatever reason already famous or infamous, you probably don't have a huge entourage, thus it is up to you to drum up excitement for your upcoming book. It doesn't matter if you are going the traditional publishing route, like me, or indie, you need to employ liberal doses of social media.
Twitter. Facebook. Google+. Blogging. Yahoo. Blah blah blah. On and on. There is SO much it's easy to get bogged down and spend all your time working on socializing you don't leave any time to actually work on your next manuscript. I made that mistake when I first started. I tried to do Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and blogging. What I realized is you can't. It's too much.
Let me say that again for emphasis: You can't do it all.
Choose one or two and focus. I have a FB fan page I post to occasionally, and have a defunct G+ page, but my focus is blogging and Twitter.
If you don't have a blog yet, you can use www.blogger.com by Google, WordPress, or a plethora of others. Blogger.com was super easy to set up, except for the email subscription--I have outlined how to do that here-- and within 30 minutes I was posting.
Yay, right? Well, yes and no. You have to know the rules. Rules? What rules? I can post whatever I want!
Again, yes and no. There is no reason for me to go into all the do's and don'ts about blogging because it has been done ad nauseum.
So where to find The Rules?
Well, one of my absolute favorite bloggers is Molly Greene. She has posted a article titled My Ten Biggest Blog Blunders. Read this article then peruse her site and mimic. The girl is classy and a pro.
Another with great content is Write With Warnimont. Yet another is Jay Squires, who is both witty and informative. Very entertaining.
That's really the ticket to a great blog, give everything away and be a little entertaining while you do it. Your blog is not just for self-promotion!
Now you have to drive traffic to your site. That means, for me at least, Twitter.
I had a defunct account, that had like three followers. I picked it up and started following other authors. It's not hard and once you learn the rules--what? more rules?!--it becomes fun and an excellent place to network.
My number one rule that will get you bumped from my follower list every time is: don't spam self-promotion! This drives me crazy. You can check out my rantings on the subject Dealing with Twitter Megaposters if you feel so inclined.
Okay, so you need to drive traffic to your blog, socialize with other like-minded individuals, and gain a following. How do you do that exactly? Well, again, this has been written up by the experts. Below I have included four links of the best-of-what-I-have-read-so-far. You would do well to follow the advice of these pros.
Molly Greene wrote this fantastic article on Twitter Tips for Newbies. Classy, informative, and entertaining.
Jonathon Gunson wrote an article on promoting your book: The Most Effecitve book Marketing Strategy. It's simple and to the point.
Jay Squires wrote this article on the Bitter and the Sweet of Twitter and the Tweet. Informative and entertaining.
Claude Bouchard wrote this most excellent article on gaining followers: How I Really Got 1/4 Million Followers
Questions? Please, send them!