To any new author – and an old one, for that matter – solving the puzzle of social media can be more difficult that writing the book you’re trying to cast light upon. I know, because I’ve had many a conversation with other authors who have said so. Much of the talk within facebook, twitter, and so on is centered on how to get the most “bang for your buck” when it comes to marketing and networking.
I’ve been at it a little over a year now, and have made a myriad of mistakes (still makin’ ’em), but I’m starting to get it – just a little. So I thought I’d share a couple.
One, I’ve tried to go too many directions. Let’s face it, the opportunities to join clubs, circles, groups, and sites are legion – and the choices you make are important. So – choose carefully, and sparingly. Your time is precious, so use a little in researching whatever group you want to join. Who’s in it? Who’s visiting it? What type of success do the authors already there enjoy in their efforts to move their work? Now, I don’t want to sound mercenary here. Many sites offer a mixed bag. Goodreads is one of those. There are opportunities to make good friends and colleagues, help others in their quest, and generally have a good time. But – and this goes for any site – if you are interested in selling your book, then the “bang” factor has to be there. Maybe Goodread’s set-up isn’t for you. So be it. If it ain’t, then you won’t be successful there. Move on. Find what works for you. But whatever site(s) you choose, you have to dive in.
See, it doesn’t matter that you belong to 7,438 author groups. It matters that you participate. Any group has members, and any group has members that don’t do squat. Get in there. Do reviews, beta reads, offer your wisdom (for me, I’m pretty much outa luck), and show people you actually care about something or someone other than you or yours.
Oh, and by the way, you gotta really care. The writers’ world in a fabulous conglomerate of wonderful folks, and we don’t have room for fakes. I came across a fabulous man once, when I was selling for a living. You may have heard of him, guy by the name of Zig Ziglar. One of the most successful and sought after motivational speakers ever. One of his famous quotes:
“To get everything you want out of life, just give enough other folks what they want.”
How much more simply could he put it?
Now. Something I’ve seen a lot. And I’m not trying to toot my own horn here, but I’ve met many many writers who don’t have a blog. Gotta do it folks. The blog is your home, your stamp, your presence, your personal kingdom. It’s gotta kick ass. From there you can broadcast any and everything you want. Now, I just said I’m not gonna toot my horn, but at this writing this site is ranked with Alexa at #584,186 in the world (yeah, the whole world), and #110,824 in the United States. I have 171 sites linking back to mine. Not what I want yet, but I’m workin’ on it. And I’ve slipped a bit in the rankings, ’cause I’ve not been blogging as much lately, due to work and trying to get my second book out. Oh, and if you don’t know what Alexa is, it’s a site that ranks the traffic of any site and assigns it a rank, compared to all other sites in the world. Get familiar with it, and download the toolbar. You can use it to obtain the ranking of any site you’re interested in. Goodreads, for instance, is #331 in the world, #149 in the States, and has 115,702 sites linking into it. Pretty hot, yeah?
To use a very old acronym from the world of engineering, “KISS”. Stands for “Keep it simple, stupid.” Join a few select sites – ones you’ve checked out – and go to beat hell on those sites.
Keep it real. Engage, get to know folks, and let your personality out. You’re not selling your book. As with selling anything, you’re selling you.
Get your blog up, and get your own beacon shining. Oh, and not o sound all knowledgeable or anything, but if you have a question , ask me. I’ll be happy to help ya.