I'm back to writing the next steps for the blog
Write the Darn Book! If you haven't followed from the beginning,
you will see the first 4 parts on the left hand panel in the blog archives in November.
3. Get your social media working - twitter, facebook and goodreads at least. Of course, I’m taking it for granted you already have a website and/or blog.
First I want to reiterate that you need a website or at least a blog, preferably both. You need a site where you have control and not like what happened to me when I first started out. Frightened of having to take on more than I could comfortably chew (so to speak) I found myself a webmistress who would not only design the site for me, but would also make all the changes to the site as necessary. Well in 2007, I had no idea what a website entailed, how much effort went into it and just the word scared the ever-loving poop right outta me. So I took the easy way out. And for the first couple of years when I was so busy writing for my publisher, it worked fine.
But when the time went by with no reimbursements, very few royalty checks, I knew I needed to start promoting the books myself. When I went to my webmistress to ask if she could attach a blog page to my website, one that I could be in control of, she reminded me of our original contract. No blog! If I knew then what I know now—no way would I have taken that route. Instead I would have invested in starting my own website with a blog attached and paid a designer to set me up with a stunning template (such as mine on Believe! J) I would have forced myself to learn how those sites worked because in the future, I needed to learn it all anyway. And truth to tell, it wasn't near as hard as I had envisioned…especially blogger. With so many how-to videos on utube, even a technically challenged dummy (like me) managed.
But having said that, my website is another place on the web that highlights my work and can be easily found on Google by those who want to search for me. It has a contact address, all my books are listed with buy buttons and is quite a pretty page. Certainly reflects the first series of books I wrote (Vicarage Bench Series). Too bad it's not pertinent to the two new series' I've written since because I can’t change it…I have no control!! So the moral of the story is – keep control in your hands.
Twitter is one of my favorite sites to play on and can be very helpful *once* you have enough followers. Do not wait to build this list until after your book has been released. Don’t procrastinate. It takes time to gain followers, and the more you have, the better chance this social media tool will work for you. If you’re asking me how to get people to link with you here, my best advice is link first with them. It’s a two-way street. I always follow back (unless there’s bare breasts or worse showing in the image or bad language involved.) And I've found it works like the proverbial snowball. Once you have some followers, you get more and more …
Facebook for me is too much of a time suck. I can spend hours reading all the trivial tidbits put out by my friends, and I just don’t have that leisure. Too much to do and always under pressure. Also, just when I get comfortable on facebook, they make another change….sigh!! So I admit to being a bit of a spammer there and tend to use it only for promotional reasons.
Goodreads is a site I wish I had more energy to deal with. It took me some months to pick up how it all works (I’m still in the dark over some of their finer points). I took a workshop at the RWA National Convention in Anaheim in July with Patrick Brown and he did solve some of the mysteries. Their pending changes promise to make Goodreads even better for authors. For me, it’s a good place to promote my own work and a site where I can add any reviews I’ve written for others. I have a lot of friends there, but alas, no time to communicate to any extreme. But I have made contacts on this site that have grown into lasting friendships and so I’m cognizant of the importance to be visible there.
Again, let me nag. Do not wait until you have a book ready to publish to get active in any of these places. Do it now!!!