Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

Tag Archives: social media

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 (as well as offering it for sale)—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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There Should Be Only One Way to Promote Your Writing ~ Your Way!


I’ve written a lot on this blog about book promotion, author platforms, and social media. Alliance of Independent Authors

And, you can scroll down in the left side-bar to find all of it (in the Top Tags area)

But there are two posts in particular I’ll point out:

Breaking The “Rules” of Book Promotion ~ 6 Different Views

Authentic Book Promotion ~ Does It Sell?

I mention those because I’m going to excerpt from an article at the ALLi Author Advice Centre —> Opinion: Promote Your Self-Published Books Your Way, by Debbie Young.

You’d think that any self-respecting writer would consider their own abilities and proclivities before they tried some promotion program from some “expert”, even if that “expert” has sold gazillions of books.

There’s nothing wrong with reading what the “experts’ say—we just must pay attention to our own unique needs and abilities

From the ALLi article:

“Just because we can tweet/Facebook/Pinterest/Instagram etc around the clock, it doesn’t mean we should.”

Followed by:

“Too many of us believe that if we don’t put in a significant amount of time, effort and budget into doing so, we’re failing.”

Thankfully, followed by:

“Drop that thought right now.”

I started promoting my novel nearly 5 years ago (before I published it) by beginning this blog.

I’ve tried the other popular social networks and found all of them wanting (though other folks do find them useful…)

Recently, I started using Wattpad and I’m still wondering what took me so long to find out it fits in with my abilities and needs

So, back to Debbie’s article, with some teasers that can be satisfied by reading the whole thing :-)

“So, if the idea of staging online conversations in fewer than 140 characters makes you cringe, avoid Twitter….

“If you’re going to be irked by people posting cat videos and games requests in front of you every day, forget Facebook….

“…I found that the pressure to add affiliate bookstore links every time I mentioned a title put me off posting at all. So I’ve ditched the links.”

And, with another strong encouragement for you to read Debbie’s full article, I share this last excerpt:

“…I will try not to feel the need to justify my actions every time I turn my back on a marketing trick. Instead, I’ll take inspiration from the eponymous character from Herman Melville’s Bartleby the Scrivener, who, as I remember from high school, quietly declines opportunities with the refrain:I would prefer not to”. My English teacher, Mr Campbell, (who I think quite often fancied using Bartleby’s line in staff meetings), would be proud of me. Even if, in the story, Bartleby does eventually die of starvation.”

And, after you read Debbie’s whole article, look around on that page, ’cause you’ll be in the How-to for Authors section of the Self Publishing Advice site of The Alliance of Independent Authors
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