Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Making Social Media Work For Your Writing

So we are clearly living in a world of social media. We can no longer sit around and be passive about getting the news out about our books and projects. Still, it is interesting that with all of the social media that we have available to us, I find that many writers are still missing the mark when it comes to using it to truly enhance their writing.

Here are a few things to consider;

ACTIVE WEB PRESENCE This is a big one that I do believe a lot of writers miss. They eagerly put a website up, sign up for Twitter, start a Pinterest account and then do nothing with it. To truly promote your work as a writer, you have to have something that makes people want to come back on a daily or weekly basis. If you have a blog, it needs to be updated frequently. Discuss current projects. Announce when you will be out at conferences. Offer give-a-ways. The key is to keep your name available to your readers.

Now, with that said, the material needs to be something they would like to use. This might be information on how you develop characters, do your research or other craft ideas. In other words, think like a reader who might be asking, "What's in it for me?" I know that I have quit visiting many websites and blogs because the author (or agent or editor) only posted the books they had coming out. While this was fine every now and then, if this was all they offered, and I knew I had that same information in publications such as Romantic Times, then why visit?

RELEVANT WEB PRESENCE Remember that you are an author. This means that including informations about you and your dogs, the trips you took and so forth might not be that interesting to your reader who is interested in you as a writing professional. Now, please understand. If this information directly ties into your writing, then you need to include that information. If your stories are always set around ranch life and horses, AND, you happen to raise horses, then bring that information to your readers.

PROFESSIONAL WEB PRESENCE This one ties into the relevant web presence and really revolves around social media that might be a bit more immediate. Twitter and Facebook are great tools for getting and giving information, but if you abuse that tool, if you come across in a manner that is less than professional, you will lose readers. These sites are used to promote communication between professionals. Simply using it to slam those that might not agree with you gives your readers a sense that you might not be as professional as they had hoped.

REPRESENTATIVE OF WHO YOU ARE AS A WRITING PROFESSIONAL In simple terms, this is branding. The tone you have, the topics you discuss really create an image for people who only know you virtually. Do you want to promote you are accessible to readers and you honestly care about them? Then select the tone that represents it.

Although these tools are available and can be used to promote your career, they can also be used to drag it down. Think before you post!

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