- Books, Literature, and Writing
How to Stay on Top of the Social Media Game for Writers
Twitter, Facebook, Blogging. What to choose.
After months of hard work you have finally finished writing your book.
Alongside of that you have spent time developing an online presence because as most writers know these days you will need to do some serious book promotion to get people interested in your writing, especially if you self publish and even if a publisher offers you a deal.
You've joined HubPages ( a user generated content,revenue-sharing website )where you write articles on various topics including writing for writers that interests several hundred followers; you've got yourself a twitter ( an online microblogging social networking service ) account where you tweet insightful words of wisdom (or not) or re tweet info on writing and other interests to your 100 + followers; and a Face Book ( the worlds most popular online networking site ) where you catch up with your 30/50 family and friends. You've started your blog ( a personal journal that is shared online )and add a post every now and again and your following is slowly building week by week.
You've started pinning on Pinterest ( a visual online pinboard ) and upload and edit photos on Instagram ( an online photo sharing, video sharing and social networking service ) regularly and now spend your days flicking between each of your social media sites in between writing short stories, novella's and books.
Your labor of love has been entered into to a competition or two, pitched to several publishers and a few rejection letters later by chance you've been picked up by a publisher who tells you that they are impressed by your online presence and that it is important that you keep building into it.
If you -
Have a blog. Have created a web site; Write for Hubpages or the many other freelance sites like yahoo, sqidoo, etc follow authors to find out what's happening in the world of writers right now on twitter; Pin things of interest on Pinterest; Connect to family and friends on Facebook; Share awesome photos on Instagram, add people to your circles in Google plus etc etc and are having a little trouble keeping up, then this hub may be for you.
Whatever you need social media for whether it’s just an interest and fun, or for serious book or business promotion, it is an exciting game to play and can keep your attention for the better part of your day. Which can leave little time for creative writing or freelance writing.
Staying on top of your social media sites can be quiet a challenge, regardless of age or know how. The time energy and dedication needed to maintain your sites can be more than a little daunting at times and quite overwhelming often to say the least. That is of course if you don't have a plan or a social media manager to help you manage your sites.
Social Media for Book promotion.
There is no doubt that using social media to promote books and get your name out there is a savvy thing to do. Most publishers appreciate and take notice of an author who is prepared to put in an effort and help promote their books, and many authors have been offered a publishing deal almost entirely on that fact alone. Of course it does help to have an interesting manuscript as well.
But when you are starting your writing journey it can help to think about how a writer trying to make a living by creatively writing can manage to stay on top of it all?
Careful Planning is the Key.
And I'm not necessarily talking about a daily, weekly, monthly schedule. Although keeping an overall plan of the sites you have been on can be of benefit in your working week.
Making good use of your time. Post on the go - while you wait : If you write part time and are a busy mum/dad, work full time, shift work or simply work long hours then time is limited, and precious. Posting on the go saves time and keeps you up to date online.You can post at the school pick up line; at the doctors surgery; if using public transport to and from your daily commute; while waiting for the jug to boil for coffee/tea; on the toilet; or anywhere that you have to wait for more than five minutes. Remember that posting to your blog, twitter, pinterest, instagram or facebook sites all only take a few minutes of your time.
You might need to challenge and change your thinking. If you went to school before computers were part of our DNA and established in every classroom.When Pac Man or Super Mario were the only computer games around then learning to navigate your way around social media sites may be a slight problem.
Most of us have a smart phone these days and with the advancement of Applications, a quick and easy download of your chosen social media apps is a savvy way to manage your sites. Get some help if needed. Ask a tech savvy friend. Read from some of the tech savvy hubbers here at HubPages, many can be found. Take a class. If you are an Apple fan ask any of the consultants in store or make an appointment at their Genius bar, they are always most obliging. Don't be proud it helps no one, least of all you.
Posting and share between several sites at one time. You can install an app for just about any site. I chose to install six sites on my Iphone; FaceBook, Pinterest, HubPages, Twitter, Blogger and Instagram. I keep them all in the one folder on the first page of my phones wallpaper. I also keep alongside of them my mail so that I can keep a check on emails; safari/ firefox/etc for quick access to google (our online answer for every question these days); my messages for essential texting; and notes to jot down that all important creative idea and somewhere to write down important info that you want to remember or contacts that you don't want to put in your contact list etc etc.
Keeping all your social media sites in the one folder on your phone makes it easier to access and go between them. For instance if you post photos on instagram you can immediately share your posts on Facebook, twitter, tumbir, Flickr & by email.Then it's easy to check and edit if needed. It's easy to use the HubPages app to post a hub to twitter, Facebook and pinterest. On blogger apps you can share each blog post by clicking the share button under each post to twitter, FB, Google + and your email connections. On Pinterest when you pin to one of your boards, click the symbol with the curved arrow in the right hand corner of the pin that looks like the return email symbol on an email, and it can be shared immediately onto twitter and FB.
Recently I attended a seminar on Social Media for writers, where each of the above social media platforms were discussed as a means to promote an authors writing and establish a unique online voice. It was an interesting seminar with many ideas on how to use social media to promote your books and it discussed the pros and cons of website versus blogging for writers.
Two main concepts stood out for me;
1 Developing your own unique writers voice
When you tweet/pin/blog your followers need to know what you are on about. They need to be able to associate a tweet to your own brand. If you write romance novels your blog readers need to be able to know that. For example you might want to decide if your lovers are going to have sex in your novels or if your plan is to build sexual tension between protagonists. Your readers will come to know what to expect from your work. And they will be a little confused if you talk about other genre's often ie crime, sci-fi. That's not to say that you can't cross write genre's as long as your readers know how to identify you. It is about originality, being authentic, different from others, it is the voice your readers hear when you speak, your own unique sound.
It is heard from your tone of writing; your choice of words; and the types of imaginative language ie imagery, simile, metaphor, humor that you use and the sentence structure that goes into your work.
2. Choose the 2 or 3 social media sites that work best for you to promote your writing.
You need to ask yourself how many sites you think you can manage well and be able to work/ write/ parent and stay sane.
It was suggested that you decide between a website or a blog. Some authors think that a website looks more professional and some save time effort and cost and go with a blog. It's your decision.
Decide on 2 or 3 sites to promote your book. This avoids spreading yourself too thin and leaves you time to work at building up your following on them. Say for example you go with a blog, Facebook and twitter. Post your book details on your blog and FB and link both to your twitter account
3. Download Social Media Managers Applications. If you find that your book sales flourish and you have more comments or posts on your sites than you can manage leaving little time for writing you might find it necessary and get to a stage where you need an app such as HootSuite or Tweetdeck (social media managers) to manage it all for you. They can post return comments, for you in multiple posts to your chosen sites leaving you with more time on your hands and less stress.
I divide my sites in the following way;
Social media for Freelancing - Blog - Twitter - HubPages - Pinterest
Social media for personal use and keeping in touch with friends - Face Book - Instagram.
But you might choose to to use your social media sites differently. A lot of authors use their Face book site solely to promote their writing.
Believe me I am no expert? I do however understand the useful role social media plays to market your brand. If you need further help there are many tech savvy people here at HubPages. And a quick google search will provide much information. These are just a few things I have learned along my journey. If all else fails the book from Amazon may help.
How to make a folder on your Iphone - Hold your finger down over an app until all your apps start to wiggle and a x appears on the top right hand corner. You can then move the app on top of another app and your phone will automatically create a folder with a name such as Social or Lifestyle in which you can add other similar apps. You will be able to rename the app if you choose to as a bar pops up underneath where you can type in whatever you choose to name your folder.
To Make a Folder on your Iphone begin by holding your finger down over any Icon until the screen looks like this. Then drag one icon on top of another.
If all else fails.
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