Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Writing { and reading and publishing } ~

Tag Archives: social media

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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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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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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Is #SocialMedia Really Good for #BookPromotion?


I’ve certainly gone out of my way over the last 5 years to figure out what might be called “Rational-Book-Promotion”

If I’d done every technique that’s been touted to give me millions of paying customers, I’d be dead from overwork—and I may not have any more sales than I do now

Plus, I’m a firm believer in giving my book away—many are the folk who can get on-line but not buy stuff

One of the most rational posts I’ve done about advice for writers is Bad Advice for Writers = Most Advice for Writers.

And, one of the most honest posts I’ve done about book promotion is Authentic Book Promotion ~ Does It Sell?

Here’s an excerpt from that post:

“There are many things an author can do to increase the likelihood that their book will sell.

“None of those actions will guarantee sales…

“Some writers think landing a traditional publishing deal will assure book sales.

“Not so…

“Perhaps, if you’re an extremely famous person, your book will sell—perhaps…”

And, one of the most penetrating posts I’ve done about authors and social media is Selling Your Soul With Social Media.

I quote a writer named Leo Babauta:

“Converting visitors into buyers is a soul-less use of your creative energy. Reject it, out of hand.”

“I find more value in creating something of value. I find influence a better metric than sales or traffic or reader numbers.”

“When everyone yells ‘Look at me!’, become quiet.”

“When others try to pull visitors to their sites, let people find you themselves.”

“When others brag of their success, let others laud you instead.”

Advice like that may take longer to “work” but the results will be solid and sound, you will still be yourself, and your conscience will be clear

Plus, concerning social media, it may not have the impact so many “experts” claim it does.

I direct you to an article entitled Majority of Links on Social Media are being Shared Without Users Actually Reading Them.

It deals with a study by Columbia University and the French National Institute.

The study is about sharing links to news stories; but, personally, I feel, if a user shares news links without reading what’s linked to; and, the practice is widespread; we might be able to get a hint about what folks who share writer’s links are doing, too

So, one finding from the study is that:

“…only two out of five people will click through and read the story from links on social media.

“The other three will share the story to their friends and followers without having ever read the story.”

One of the study’s co-authors said:

“This is typical of modern information consumption. People form an opinion based on a summary, or summary of summaries, without making the effort to go deeper.”

So, if this study was well-conducted with a significant base of data; and, if we can assume the activities portrayed actually do apply to social media links from writers, what kind of method is there for writers to generate a following (that doesn’t cost more than an internet connection and some time) that can be done rationally, sanely, and productively?

If you’re really serious about “getting the word out”, go read all my posts about Wattpad; then, give it an honest try—I’d say, about 5 months should show you what I’m talking about………

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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