A friend of mine is a little overwhelmed by all the things writers need to do to market a book in this ever-expanding, ever-changing publishing world. To be honest, I am too most days. It seems each month there is a new social media being toted as the next best place to…to find readers who will buy your book. Blogging, Facebook, Goodreads, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Twitter, Shelfari…and the list goes on
My advice to her was to choose two social media platforms and do a great job on them, instead of exhausting her time and energy promoting herself poorly through six different venues. Aim for quality not quantity. This is particularly important if you have never used a social medium before. Start small and slowly build a web presence.
When writers feel comfortable on two networks, they can branch out into a third if they feel it’s right for them.
Social networks such as blogging and Facebook can take up a huge chunk of time, but others may only take minutes a day. Certain sites can appear active by feeding posts from another social media to them.
For example, I post to my McGyver blog once a week. That one blog is distributed automatically to the McGyver Goodreads author page, the McGyver Facebook page and the Amazon author page. I write one thing, yet it creates activity on four social outlets. If readers follow me only at Goodreads, they still receive new material weekly.
The question is: What social media provides the biggest impact when time is limited?
The general answer is: it all depends if you jump whole-heartedly into the social media you choose.
If a blog is the chosen venue, and a continual supply of new and interesting material is added, and the blogger interacts with readers (in other words, asks questions at the end of the post and replies to comments), then a blog can be very successful. If the opposite is done (few or uninteresting posts; little or no communication with readers) then a blog is bound to flop.
Personally, I don’t believe I’ve been using social networks long enough to fully understand them, and to know which has more impact than another. I’ve been at this for only a year and a half. I blog and have an author page at Goodreads, Amazon and Facebook. I don’t have a Twitter account—probably never will—yet I know others have tweeted my posts (thank you). I also don’t have a Pinterest account though my book cover is up there somewhere, posted by someone else.
If I had to choose only two social networks that appear to work for me, I’d choose blogging and Goodreads. I think they work well because I enjoy them. Loving the chosen network is half way to success, I believe.
Actual writing should never be sacrificed to participate in social networking. What is the purpose of being well-known if you don’t have time to write the first book or the next one? A balance where 80% of your time is spent writing and 20% of it networking is what I aim for. It doesn’t always happen, but it’s what I aim for.
What do you think? What social network is successful for you? Do you have more than two?
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Reviews for Shadows in the Stone can be found at Goodreads.
Learn more about the book and read the first scene on my McGyver Blog.