This article in the Independent is worth a read:
Lots of differing opinions in the article, about how worthwhile having a strong social media presence is when it comes to getting published. Followers online aren’t necessarily going to buy your book.
It caught my eye, as I’m in the early stages of establishing my author platform, with a view to returning to self-publishing. My blog on writing is almost ready to go live, after which I’ll build a WordPress website devoted to my Cornish Detective novels.
(Me waiting for a train full of readers!)
I’ve long had a jaundiced view of Facebook, though I’ve had a personal page for 16 years and a business page for four years, which I’ve done nothing to. Facebook was once useful to promote sales by advertisements, but many writing gurus reckon it’s had its day:
Marketing experts are favouring mailing lists generated by subscribers to an author’s blog and website as the way to go to generate sales. I was mulling over how much time to devote to Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter, when the latest newsletter from James Oswald arrived. I’ve mentioned him several times before, and his success story continues to inspire me:
He reveals his attitude to social media sites. He’s removed his presence from Facebook, owing to their stance on sharing users’ data. He doesn’t see the point of Pinterest (where I started 27 boards) and admits that he became addicted to Twitter—to no real purpose of serving his writing or book sales. I’m amazed at how many intelligent creative people have admitted to this addiction, so it’s something for me to be wary of…I’ve only made one introductory tweet when I joined three years ago. Oswald has suspended his Twitter account and relies on communicating with readers directly, by a CONTACT ME email link on his blog, but, as he runs a livestock farm, the animals take precedence. He says:
‘Above all else, though, Twitter is an enormous time sink. Struggling with deadlines, I often find myself nipping back to the site for a quick look ‘while I gather my thoughts’. It’s a kind of addiction, and one I can do without.
To that end, I’ve logged off the site, and am keeping my distance for the moment. I won’t delete it like I did Facebook. My publisher would have a heart attack if I abandoned social media entirely. My daily Blipfoto uploads automatically, as will notification of this newsletter going out. I will return to posting occasional Highland cow and sheep pictures, too, now that lambing is over. But until Inspector McLean book ten is delivered, my presence will be much diminished. Newsletters are the new thing, honest.’
Interesting, that he favours an image sharing site called Blipfoto, which I hadn’t heard of…where he posts pics of his sheep and cows. I may join:
The only tactic I believe in when it comes to social media, is to link everything that you do, driving readers towards your sales points. (Makes them sound like cattle!)
I’m going to be following James Oswald’s example by giving my first novel away for free, following up with the second in the series at a reasonable price. I’ve got three more written and edited, so feel like I’m in a strong position—but that’s only so if readers like them. I favour his reliance on newsletters. I’ll use Twitter to make contacts, network and to tweet the occasional witticism.
How do you handle your social media presence?