Thursday, January 17, 2013

What Is Your Web Presence?

A frequent question writers pose to editors and agents deals with the amount of web presence a writer should have. This also extends to questions as to when a writer should think about that web presence. Should it happen before or after they are published? Unfortunately, like all things with publishing, there really isn't one right or wrong answer. Along the same lines, the recommendations I might make may be completely different than those of another agent or editor. Still, let's take the time today to examine web presences.

First of all, we have to ask what the purpose is for having that web presence? There are actually two answers for this and both lead to greater success in publishing. The first, which I would recommend to all beginning authors is to use his or her web presence to network and gain information to further advance their careers. In this case, sites such as Twitter are fantastic. Editors and agents are frequently tossing out little nuggets of information. Seeing these comments might lead you to asking some questions that you hadn't thought about before. This, in turn, may add to networking.

Now, with this said, remember that networking is only as good as you make it. Just because you connect with someone on Twitter, Facebook or other social platform does not give you an automatic buy in. But, it might open that door when things do come up along the way.

For both published and non-published authors, this is a chance to really make some headway with yoru career. If I blog about something and someone likes what I have to say, my message gets forwarded to other writers. In some cases, there have been writers that have found out about Greyhaus simply by word of mouth. This is really networking.

Now the second issue for that web presence is more of marketing. In this case, I do have to say that this aspect really is for all of those published authors. We do know that authors tend to be picked up by new authors through word of mouth. You read a great book and you tell a friend about it. Having this type of web presence is crucial for all of those first time authors, and, IMHO for those authors that are venturing into the self-pub and e-pub markets. There are simply so many authors out there, you have to find a way to get your name above all of the noise of those other authors.

So, what type of web presence is best? Again, this all has to do with the type of book you are promoting, who you are and certainly the platforms you are comfortable with. In many cases, simply letting people know on your blogs and your contests you have that there is a new book out will do a lot for your books sales. You can also find that hanging out on loops and every now and then mentioning your book in conversations is a great way to keep your name on the radar.

But, with all of this said, you have to stop and think about what image you are putting out there. What do you want to be known for. If all you do is hype up your books on the social media and don't contribute to the discussions of the business and so forth in a positive way, you will go no where. Also, remember that many of the discussion groups are monitored and do watch for this. Just simply remember what image you want to send.

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