Friday, June 19, 2009

What's social media done for you lately?

A writing friend and I were talking about this the other day.

Her position was that these days, unless you have a famous friend that's willing to blurb you, some 'in' with a publisher or some other way of getting a lot of notice, you're basically screwed in this business. No debut, no nuthin'.

My basic position was that I saw her point, but I felt like through social media we had a unique opportunity to promote ourselves; even if we're debut authors, even if we don't know anybody, we now, through this medium, have a way to join the conversation and prepare for the opportunity that comes our way.

To this point, I have facebook. I have twitter and my blog. I have xing.com, (a German linkup) and linkedin. I chill at AbsoluteWrite and the VerlaKay boards, and answer/help where I can make a difference. I write on this blog, and others, and make a point of visiting new blogs and carrying it forward to meet others. I believe that through my actions on these social media networks, I bring myself closer to my goal: publication, and friends and colleagues that are interested in the same sort of things I am. (As well as have fun.)

So here's my question for you, as we're still moving but I wanted to make sure I had a 'proper' entry this week (:-)): What is your position on social media, as an author? Because if you're reading this blog, you are certainly one of those.

(And, while we're on the subject, I'd like you to give me the opportunity to follow your conversation. Leave me your blog, your twitter name, your facebook - or friend me - and I'll be adding to your comments, too!)

8 comments:

  1. Dear JKB: I'm with you; I think the technology today allows for excellent social interaction that helps "Jumpstart our Publishing Goals" to steal a phrase from Terry Whalin.

    My challenge is time. Since I work 35-40 hours a week, it leaves little time to blog, surf the net, etc. I haven't even started a Facebooking or Twitter life, because I know once I do those will eat up precious writing time.

    My question is to those who work full time, have families and are also writers. Is the social networking working? Is it worth the time you spend? And, how much time do you spend each week vs. actual bottom on chair writing?

    Thanks for the thought provoking post! I would be honored if you visited my blog,
    Jeanette
    http://jeanettelevellie.blogspot.com

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  2. Good topic. I only started my blog two months ago. I knew I would 'someday' but kept thinking I'd wait until my first novel was complete. But then I read that some agents suggest building your network platform a year before you send out a book, so that agents and editors can see your writing style and how professionally you present yourself. That also allows time to make friends of other writers. I have found that to be invaluable. In this short time, I have picked up many tips, had interesting conversations and met people whose books I'd like to read. Win-win for me as writer and reader.
    Please do visit my blog, welcome all.
    http://triciajobrien.blogspot.com

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  3. Social media has been pretty good for my writing. It's how I found the group of writers for this blog, it's how I found the artist for my book, and it's how I've sold a number of books.

    You can find me on Twitter as @thenextwriter, and on facebook as Douglas L. Perry. I have a Myspace page, but I don't really use it anymore. My personal blog is at http://douglasLperry.wordpress.com

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  4. I use blogs and twitter more as a tool to meet other writers, than as a marketing tool. It annoys me greatly when people twitter links to their books, with the line "a great birthday present!" or similar. It's just so pushy.

    However, I do visit the websites of twitters who are friendly and chatty, and check out their books if they're published. So I think twitter works to help build traffic, and maybe attract interested people.

    Just don't shove your book down my throat, please!

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  5. Social Media is everything to me as a writer except the actual writing.

    But it even impacts that!

    As with any community, you get back what you put in.

    The fact that I have books sitting right next to me, right now, is way COOL. I would have never found them except for social media.

    Oooo, that sounds like a blog topic! :-)

    http://anthony-pacheco.com

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  6. Jeanette, up until next week I commute four hours a day by train to a job in another city, am married, and although we don't have kids (yet) we do have a couple very demanding cats. I would be interesting to see how somebody does it that has a family, but I suspect it's the same as someone who doesn't" make a time and stick to it. If it's 5:30 am, then it's 5:30 am. I imagine they have it *much* rougher than me.

    Tricia, I agree with the others. Having a blog is super important (IMO, *lol*). I've marked your blog and it looks great! Thanks for leaving the link!

    Doug, I just clicked through and added you to my profile. How long have you been using Twitter?

    Merrilee, I agree. I really dislike too much self promotion in any event: twitter, facebook, etc. In fact, one of my huge pet peeves right now is an author on Facebook who made *herself* a fan of *herself* and then goes and wants me to become a fan too. Um, no.

    Why Anthony, yes, it does. *impatiently taps foot, waiting for the blog post to appear* :-)

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  7. Great post! You are certainly involved in a lot of things! It's great. I am on Facebook and have several blogs. You can find me at http://literarylab.blogspot.com and http://theinnocentflower.blogspot.com

    Technology today makes it a wonderful opportunity to be a writer! So many chances to reach out to people. Thanks for all your wonderful posts. I have been enjoying them here, just don't always have time to comment. :)

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  8. I hope that social media turns out to be a good way for me to get the word out about the story, but I absolutely refuse to participate in social media solely because of that reason. It has to be worthwhile in and of itself.

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