There is so much emphasis on using social media as a channel for marketing and promotion. Authors can be found everywhere these days, me included. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, GoodReads and blogs are all opportunities for authors to connect with readers, promote their books and hopefully drive up sales.
If you are focused primarily on eBooks and/or self publishing, social media is the only low cost option to promote your product. Absent the marketing money a traditional publishing house can provide, it is incumbent on the author to get the word out as widely and as often as possible. But is it possible to be too social?
Just how many social media platforms are necessary to make an impression?
I think there is a difference between having a presence everywhere and being present. To me, the key to making good use of social media is to be engaged with others - content is king (or queen). You can't simply just put stuff out there and hope for the best. The social part of social media requires the building of relationships, actual genuine interactions and a give and take. I think it's hard to do that if you're spread too thinly over too many platforms.
Currently, I have this blog, can be found on Twitter (@fosterthewriter) and can be found on Facebook here
If you're an author, where are you? How social are you?
If you're a reader, where are you looking to connect with your favourite authors? How social would you like them to be?
Tuesday, 13 March 2012
Saturday, 3 March 2012
One of the most nerve wracking things to do, as a writer, is to share what you've written.
It seems like a contradiction given that one of the key motivations in writing is to put your work out in to the world. But there is always that moment, that breath just before you press publish or send, where you are filled with doubt as to whether or not what you've written is fit for consumption.
Having a reader or a group of readers willing to provide you with honest and fulsome feedback is one of the best things a writer can do. It is easy - too easy - to get so caught up in your writing and the details of your story that you don't realize you've missed the plot until you're several chapters past it. The work to undo the knots you've written unnecessarily can be disheartening.
Some writers prefer to finish their entire manuscript but I prefer to share as I go. I also make it a point not to edit endlessly before I share. There are times when a chapter goes out that it has typos or some questionable grammatical gymnastics but, for me, those things can always be caught later. What I want to know as I go along is, is the story working? Do the characters ring true?
I am very lucky to have a handful of friends who read the chapters as I write them and let me know how things are holding together. They are generous with their praise, which feeds the ego but they are also equally generous with their likes and dislikes. Most importantly, they are unafraid to tell me if something isn't working.
One of the ways to make the process work well, in my view, is to have more than one reader but to keep the group small. Having to balance the opinions of ten or 12 people can be daunting and can distract from the actual writing. It's also important to have absolute trust in your beta readers. Feedback given is to make the story better and it's important, for the process to work, that you accept it as such.
Do you have a beta reader or readers? Do you feel it enhances your writing process?