Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Writing { and reading and publishing } ~

Tag Archives: social media

Starting up a New Conversation . . .


So, last Wednesday, the progressing conversation on this blog fizzled… Book Promotion

Since the idea of using Mondays and Wednesdays for conversations with my readers is a very recent shift in focus here, I don’t expect it to be instantly self-sustaining—it may never be self-sustaining; but, I’m fairly good at having conversations with myself :-)

Way back in January of 2011, I began this blog in anticipation of launching my first novel, which happened in May of that year.

The book started out costing money—I tried most of the methods of book promotion I found that made any sense to me—I eventually decided to make it perma-free…

I should mention, for those who haven’t been regulars here, that I’m a strong supporter of self-publishing…

It was only recently that I found an approach to book promotion that I felt captured everything I could get behind—7 years after I wished I’d found it… (but, I’ll still be offering my writing for free…)

Changing one of the aims of this blog, from reporting on what other blogs had to say to having conversations with my readers, was firmly decided after I discovered that book promotion approach—Be the Gateway: A Practical Guide to Sharing Your Creative Work and Engaging an Audience.

So, my attempt to re-ignite the Conversation here is to bring up and shoot down a few ideas about book promotion:

Spend Money

Do you buy your friends? Is the only way to make friends to buy ads and hope a future friend reads it? Even if you don’t think of future readers as friends, should you buy your readers? If you’re not like me, you may actually want your readers to buy your book…

Spread the Word on Social Media

I fought against social media early on, experimented a bit along the way, and now use two channels to share others’ posts and one to share my own ideas. I first saw authors using social media as a bunch of drunk folks standing on the bar’s tables shouting at each other… Now, I know they’re still out there; but, I’ve found there are a growing group of writers who share interesting ideas that lead folks to their blogs where they share more interesting ideas and where they have information on their books… There are some who do the right thing on social media; but, then, when you get to their blog, they’re up on their own table shouting at you about their books…

Put a Bunch of Books in Your Car and Travel to Hell and Back Bothering Folks at Bookstores

This actually still happens… A variation is sending a copy of the book to a bunch of book stores then calling them all up and letting them know how lucky they are ’cause they will soon have a copy of your book…

Make Friends, through Social Media and/or a Blog, Then Share Your Ideas with Them, the Things That Make You Write, Your Truths; And, Let Them Spread the Word about You…

Not gonna shoot that one down…

Do you have some book promotion ideas or methods that I haven’t mentioned?

Do you totally hate the necessity of book promotion?

Are you afraid of it?

Does it seem like Promotion is Anti-Creative?

Want to help me with this Conversation? Care to Comment?
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Best Source for “Book Promotion” Ideas
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Authorial Decisions ~ WebSite, Social Media, Blogging…?


I haven’t featured Jane Friedman (author, digital media strategist, editor, publisher, professor, speaker) for quite some time… Authors, Websites, Social Media

I’ll be sharing excerpts from two of her articles…

The first one leans toward author websites, the second toward social media…

Jane tends to conflate blogs with websites, which is perfectly understandable; yet, be aware, a blog can be considered “social media”…

And, I must emphasize that no matter how much help any of the excerpts may be, not reading her full articles will be a great loss (especially if you’re a writer…).

So…

The first article is, What’s More Important: Author Websites or Social Media?

Excerpts:

“These days, I get more noticeable results from my website and blogging efforts, email newsletters, and in-person networking than I do from social media. Not that I want to give up social media—quite the contrary—but I could walk away from Facebook and still earn a living. Not so with my website—it’s absolutely fundamental.”

Then, there are these bullet topics, as reasons a website is important (each Ripe with juicy info.…):

* Being more discoverable through search
* Offering the media (and influencers) the official story on you and your work
* Securing high-quality email newsletter subscribers
* Understanding what social media use is effective
* Monetizing the audience you have

Then (especially for those folks who won’t read her full article):

“Thankfully, you don’t (or shouldn’t) have to choose between having an author website or participating on social media. Nurture both. Choose to make your website a proud and strong showcase for your work and what you want to be known for, and don’t expect social media to always be the hub for all your branding or reader discovery. You’ll be stronger if you have a multi-faceted approach, especially if and when social media fails you.”

Article twoSocial Media for Authors: The Toughest Topic to Advise On

Excerpts (again, stressing that there’s much more meat to chew at the full article):

“Of all the topics I teach, social media is the most vexed. Even in a small class of writers, I find varying skill levels and experience, and a mix of attitudes—and these two factors play a strong role in what people need to hear or learn. I believe a successful social media strategy is driven by one’s personality and strengths, as well as the qualities of the work produced—leading to a unique approach for each writer.”

Then, she throws a critical bombshell of Truth:

“Because social media is widely considered essential to book marketing and promotion, yet it’s constantly changing, it’s become a burden and source of anxiety for beginners and advanced authors alike.”

And, the following bullet points (again, each Ripe with juicy info….):

* Your social media following grows mostly when you produce more work.
* Use social media to micro-publish or to share your work.
* People break social media “rules” all the time and succeed.

So, I’ll leave you with Jane’s summation on social media; and, one last time, urge you to read her full articles:

“So what can I possibly say to writers to help them become better at it [social media]? Well, first, don’t take it all so seriously. Look for what you enjoy. Have a spirit of questioning and discovery. Follow a daily routine that works for you. Sustainable and meaningful social media practice isn’t so different from getting your ‘real’ writing done.”

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FREE On-line Course in Self-Publishing & Book Promotion
Even though it may say “Fee”, it Really is FREE :-)

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Is It Writers Finding Readers – or – Readers Finding Writers?


If I answered my own question from the title up there, I’d have to say it’s some of both (and, the timing of which comes when is mostly incalculable)...

I’ve found yet another way for writers to go looking for readers (or, go put themselves in positions where readers can find them); but, first, I’ll share some links to past posts on the topic with a short excerpt from each:

So, How Do Writers Find Readers?

“The typical traditional way of finding readers has writers finding agents who find publishers who find book outlets who attract readers…”

How Can Authors Find Readers?

“…I don’t think any two books (except the pulps in various genres) have the same history of attracting readers.”

Authors Finding Readers

“Since I’ve been serially posting three of my works over at Wattpad, I’ve adopted, finally, one of the key methods for finding readers—reading what they wrote and commenting on it, Sincerely… 

“Of course, not all readers are writers (though, the way things are going, that may not be true in 100 years…).”

How “Should” Writers Find Readers

“One thing is for sure. There are more ways to attract readers than ever before and there could well be yet many more to come…”

That last link has a video about “Audience Development” with Jane Friedman

And, now, I’ll share a few excerpts from an article (which took me quite by surprise) on BookWorks called, Using Pew Research Stats to Find Your Readers Online:

“Lucky for authors, the Pew Research Center regularly produces surveys on social media use in the U.S., which can likely be extrapolated to many other cultures.”

And, working from recent numbers from Pew, the author provides a few potentially useful surmises:

“…where we’ll find young adults (YA) and YA readers. Well, most likely you’ll find them on Instagram, Snapchat, and Tumblr.”

“Women dominate Pinterest so it’s only natural that this would be a good option for romance writers.”

“LinkedIn is where every nonfiction author should have a profile.”

NB: Those ideas are that author’s interpretation of the data on Pew surveys

One more excerpt that needs comment:

“Once you know the specifics of your readership—and you should—then refer to the research done by the Pew Research Center and you’ll know how to economize your time on social media.”

O.K., knowing the “specifics” of your readership is something many folks talk about.

I doubt very many authors know any specifics about their readership.

Traditional publishers rarely share any data…

Self-published writers can devise various ways to discover certain readership specifics; but, it’s hard work and takes maximum creative application to not drive the readers away

It seems to me that “know the specifics of your readership” could only rationally be applied, for most writers, to the types of readers the specific writer wants to reach.

And, Pew surveys are a good place to look your “Your” kind of reader.

Pew has many kinds of surveys and the enterprising writer could easily find more than social media stats at Pew

What are your thoughts on writers and their readership…?

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For All Writers & Publishers (Curious Readers Also Welcome)


No re-blog today…

I found a recent article by Jane Friedman

In case you’re new to this blog, here’s a bit of Jane’s Bio:

“Jane Friedman has 20 years of experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in digital media strategy for authors and publishers. She’s the co-founder and editor of The Hot Sheet, the essential publishing industry newsletter for authors, and is the former publisher of Writer’s Digest. She has been interviewed and featured by NPR, PBS, The Washington Post, the National Press Club and many other outlets.”

The article is called, Book Marketing Resources for Authors: The Best of 2016, and here are the main categories of resources:

Amazon

Facebook

Social media

Copywriting

Blogging

Giveaways, reviews & discounts

Online education

SEO

Learn from successful authors

Marketing ideas and roundups

Marketing tools and resources

At Jane’s site in 2016

I doubt you’ll find as much top-notch info anywhere else…
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If you don’t see a way to comment (or, “reply”) after this post, try up there at the top right…
Read Some Strange Fantasies
Grab A Free Novel…
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Google Author Page
For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

Oh, My! How Can I Use #SocialMedia and Not Go Bonkers?


I’ve covered Social Media on this blog quite a bit—mostly because of my trials and travails in attempting to figure out if it helps me as an author…

Here are 20 articles on Social Media (if you click that link before I write another post about social media, this post will be at the top of the list).

Here are over 50 posts with “social media” somewhere in the text

And, two specific posts:

Selling Your Soul With Social Media

Is #SocialMedia Really Good for #BookPromotion?

Still, since social media is nearly constantly changing and since many authors swear by its use, I turned to one of the smartest folks I know, who specializes in helping authors promote themselves—Jane Friedman.

She has a recent guest article, by Kirsten Oliphant, called, How to Be Active on Social Media without Losing Your Mind.

Here come a few excerpts ( those with a burning desire to know should read the full article :-)

“The biggest issue I hear from people struggling with online marketing is TIME. Many writers struggle to balance social media and writing or creative work. Since we don’t have the option to go back before the age of Twitter, we are left with a few options.”

She follows with a few ideas on the options “Hire it out” and “Gripe and procrastinate”; then, she dives deeply into “Master and manage” with these bullet points:

1. Choose Your Platforms

2. Set Up Systems and a Workflow

3. Automating Effectively

4. Scheduling Effectively

5. Engaging Effectively

Here are her “Final Thoughts”:

“An effective workflow will include automation, scheduling, and interacting in real time without exhausting all your time or energy. Start with one or two platforms and set up your systems…Whatever you do, don’t wait until you’ve completed a manuscript to start considering your platform.”

She promises, with her advice, that you can “make the most of your time by working smarter, not longer.”

And, if you want more of her advice, check out her Seriously Simple Social Media Strategy…
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If you don’t see a way to comment (or, “reply”) after this post, try up there at the top right…
Read Some Strange Fantasies
Grab A Free Novel…
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* Google Author Page
For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com