Everyone tells me that as an author I must have a ‘platform’. Apparently this is something I must have regardless of whether I end up being self-published or published by a third party.
Oh my God! Where do I start?
They tell me that I need to generate a following on social media sites.
Phew- not so bad then. I don’t need a degree in marketing. Hmmm! Where does one start though?
There are so many social media sites. How do you choose? What are you supposed to post about? Well, don’t look at me- I don’t have any answers. What I do have is a quick, non-comprehensive and very personal overview of the sites that I have ended up part of through luck more than design.
Facebook: Yay! I really ‘get’ this site. I find it intuitive and easy to use. I love the ease with which you can set up pages and groups and even secret groups. I like the variation in privacy settings that you can manage and I like the ‘like’ button. It’s a great way of acknowledging someone’s comment or post without having to engage fully. It’s the equivalent of a smile across a room when you see someone you know at a party. I know there has been a lot of negative stuff said about facebook; interminable postings about kittens, superficiality, and that facebook limits page posts in order to encourage purchasing of advertising, however it still works for me. I love engaging with so many people and I stick to superficiality. In a world of constant negativity, violence and very real threats my facebook is a great little bubble where I go to relax and feel good.
Find my author page if you fancy following me: Viki Meadows
Pinterest: Now I don’t really get the ins and outs of how this works fully or if it is effective as a marketing tool. However it appeals to the hoarder in me. Instead of having loads of files full of pictures or recipes or things like that all cluttering up my house, I keep them pinned to boards. I like that I can explore other interests on here. Although I’m not yet sure how to do it, I reckon it can be used as a marketing tool and for examples see Lizzie Lamb or Lucy Felthouse. At the moment I’m just learning my way around and having fun with it. I’m planning a board of links to copies of the books on my ‘keeper shelf’ at home and reviews (when and if I ever get round to doing them) of them too.
Twitter: I’m on this as well and in the beginning I tried really hard with it but it doesn’t really press my buttons. When I’m on twitter it feels like I’m one of millions of people standing in a stadium all screaming out their messages so hard that no-one’s really listening to anyone else while a large percentage of people are also throwing books at me. It hurts. I’m really still on it because it’s expected. I do tweet but to be frank even when I use hashtags and am linked with people discussing common interests I still find it a cacophony. L
Goodreads: I’m getting to grips with Goodreads and find it’s a better site since Amazon took control. It seems to have become more alive. I don’t find it very user friendly and it’s taken me some time to get used to it but I do enjoy it. What could be better than posting about books and reviewing them and hearing what other people think? Also as an author you can have a page on Goodreads and you can engage with readers and answer questions they pose to you. I think this is one of the few sites that tries to focus on interaction between readers and authors and it’s certainly engaging me.
There are loads of other sites of course but time is finite- both in terms of writing time in my life and writing time for this blog post J so I shall stop here. I made the decision to focus on these sites predominantly as too many mean less writing time and also less time to use the sites effectively. I am also on linked in and Google+ but still need to get to grips with how these work and whether the juice is worth the squeeze.
For now I’m going to try and really make the most of the four I’ve identified above. After that… well we’ll see. I’m having enough problems trying to keep up with what I’m on.
Do you have any advice you’d like to share?