Whether or not writers are following the traditional route of being ‘managed’ by a publishing house or agent or whether they choose the path of self publishing, being ‘seen’ is important. So we’re told.
What I find particularly difficult is the plethora of social media sites which have mushroomed in such a very short time and choosing the places to be seen can often be as scientific as pinning a tail on the donkey, blindfolded. Unless you are a very successful author and can afford people to help you, keeping on top of this (one of many) marketing musts can be time consuming and take over precious minutes, hours, days away from the writing process. Time which for many is tight enough.
Am I bothered how many follows or unfollows I have this week? Do I care whether I have hundreds of friends or how many likes my author page got? Does it matter that my weekly reach has dropped by x%?
Truth be known, No. And in the most part I prefer the company of my feline and canine friends and would much rather have a conversation with my characters than I would ‘real’ people.
As you can tell I’m not very good at this marketing malarkey, although it’s an area I’ve had to deal with in other parts of my working life. I’ve just never felt comfortable with selling myself. I’m not sure that I ever will.
But I know I have to try, if I want to be taken seriously in the writing world, if I want to reach out to readers, if I want my books to be read. If not, why am I writing?
So I’ve decided to concentrate on two forms of social media, so I can build up my ‘writers’ presence. One is Twitter , mainly in part because you have to be brief but largely because I can plan posts in advance. So twice a week, I prepare two tweets per day on different aspects of writing and include some personal stuff which I think is important in engaging with others. I’ve had quite a few people follow me since I’ve been ‘regular’ and it’s not too onerous a task.
The other avenue which I have just discovered is Google+. I don’t know enough about how it works at the moment, but it does include my friends and family all of whom can be very helpful in extending my reach.
Don’t allow it to eat you up. Don’t let the tail wag the dog. Take control and keep a tight leash. Then you might just see some benefits. But as in all things writing related, nothing is guaranteed. And if you’d like to join me, please do but no obligation. Honest.