Ah, social networking. The key. The golden ticket. Open a Twitter account, shoot out your book’s purchase links, and sit back and watch the money roll in.
Don’t misinterpret me. I think social networking plays a huge role in getting the word out about your writing. If you figure out the fine balance between promotion and spamming, you’ve got it made in the shade.
But it’s not just about sharing purchase links. The online world offers so much more to enrich your experience as a writer. You can connect with your favorite authors, and even have legitimate dialogue with the ones who enjoy interacting with their fan base.
My favorite moment came when I took part in a “twitterview” and not only managed to have people chiming in, but someone bought my book mid-event. Sometimes, I find a plea for purchase tinged with the right amount of snark yields a random book sale. Personal interaction is always key.
Social media, it is a wonderful thing. But there are a lot of hitches I never considered. And a lot of hurdles I can’t always figure out how to clear.
See, the online world has a good side and a bad side. You have so much at your fingertips. You can link. You can blog. You can tweet. You can have a Facebook fan page, your own website. You can wear the letters off your homerow keys with all the ways an author can network online.
But how the heck do you get anybody to listen to you?
Ah, there’s the rub. Talking to the virtual brick wall. Believe me, some days I feel like that’s all I do.
There are so many authors online. It’s great. You can network with thousands of people who feel the same as you about writing and reading. You talk shop. Commiserate about writer’s block. Cheer along as someone makes fantastic progress on their manuscript. Cross your fingers as someone else sends a full manuscript to an agent for review.
It’s a giant online crew of people in the exact same boat you’re in. You love it. You want to hug all the authors surrounding you.
But then a nagging question starts to form: Am I marketing to other marketing authors and that’s it?
And then the next nagging question bullies the first one out of position: How the heck am I supposed to do this and keep my day job?
Sometimes, the despair sets in. I’m a blue collar girl living in an easy-access-to-the-internet world. I don’t have a desk. I don’t have a work computer. I don’t have a system for getting around my duties and getting online during the day. So how do I find a way to get readers to hear me when I can’t always be around to do the self-promotion?
I love social media. But how do I get it to love me ? The question I pose, kind readers, is this: How do you make the internet work for you ? What are the pros and cons you’ve discovered about the fine art of social networking?
J.M. Kelley's debut novel, Drew in Blue , is a contemporary romance available from Lazy Day Publishing. Drew in Blue was nominated for Best Contemporary of 2010 by The Romance Reviews, and is a TRR and Night Owl Reviews Top Pick. Drew is available for download from Amazon, B&N, All Romance, and OmniLit. J.M.'s dabbles next in the paranormal realm with her short erotic romance, Laws of Attraction , included in the Lazy Day Publishing anthology, Indulgence , available on Amazon on October 19th. For information and news, please visit http://www.jmkelleywrites.com/