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Thursday, 6 October 2011

Getting Noticed Offline Is Harder If We DONT Have An Online Presence - Deb Nam-Krane

If an author was well-established in possibly 2002, he or she can probably get away without having a big huge, internet presence. However, that person is going to need at least a minor presence, even if it's only a website listing his or her books. For everyone else- especially those who aren't currently well-established- we need more. It's good to have at least a simple blog, but at the very least, they need to get on over to Twitter and start making some contacts. Social media, whether we're introverted or extroverted in our real lives, is essential for anyone who wants to gain notice for the simple reasons that 1) a lot of people are looking online and 2) getting noticed through offline venues is a lot harder now if we don't have an online presence.

So... no kidding; your four-year-old knows this. Social media is not a yes or no question, but I think all of us are still trying to figure out the best way of going about it. From what I've seen, writers face the same problem everyone else online does: avoiding the echo chamber. Many of the people I know- writers and non-writers- have talked about how much they enjoy finding a group of like-minded people. It's a big wide information super highway- there's someone for everyone, trust me. But when we start hanging out with those people exclusively- and when we're all talking about the same things- the conversations we're in and the knowledge we can generate together becomes stifled. It's the same problem the politicos, vegans, fashionistas and yogis have, but in our case it's a little worse. If we are, to some extent, responsible for recording and discussing the human condition, shouldn't we take all of the opportunities we can to thoroughly study it? What are we learning if we hang out with people who are more like us than not? And, oh yeah, for those who are really online primarily to sell some of their work, it just doesn't seem like selling to other writers almost exclusively is the best strategy, you know?

The only other thing I would say is that all of us- whether we're going the traditional or self-publishing routes- should approach our interactions with some professional decorum. I've seen a lot of things that have made me cringe: whether it's someone who started writing a few years ago bitterly complaining on their blog that they haven't been signed by an agent yet, an agent publicly accusing a publishing company of withholding royalties from a client, an author attacking someone over a negative review or someone on Twitter shilling their book every ten minutes (that is not an exaggeration). Social media- whether it's our blogs, Twitter feeds or Facebook walls- are public, and with very few exceptions, people want to see mature interactions there. Save the rants for your best friend- if you're going to be in business in public, be professional.


  1. spread our interests - good - I try to follow those with the same other interests as myself - garden- crafts- anthropolgy etc sometimes its hard to find the time with all the writing stuff - but thye are such nice people can't resist!! good post thanks

  2. You're welcome- and tell me about it! But it's funny- what I've been finding is that the more I read about the various things I'm interested in- economics, politics, history, e-privacy, feminist studies, environmental policy, whatever- the more I find similar underlying themes and even the same books in bibliographies. I'm not sure whether that means I'm on the right track or that I need to diversify more. But hopefully it's at least making me more interesting to read ;-)

    Thanks for reading!

  3. Thanks for another great read Deb!

    I think the problem with using social networking for busines is finding that nice even balance between overkill with the promotion and the being too informal as you've pointed out...

    For example: Do we really need to know when you're "eating apple 4 lunch" what's the significance with this tweet? Now if said apple was extra sweet, extra juicy and you'd picked it from the tree you planted at the bottom of your garden when you were knee high to a grasshopper... AND you could give me these extra details in less than 140 characters you're on to a winner. I'd get so much information about the person you are from those 140 characters than I'd get from "eating apple 4 lunch".

    Thanks again for a great post Deb.

  4. Oh Erin- I smell the beginnings of a tweet competition: "Make your inane tweets meaningful." I'd get more out of that than all of the haikus :-D

    Thanks for having me!

  5. Deb, that sounds like sooo much fun!


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