I've just finished reading We Are Not Alone - The writer's guide to social media by Kristen Lamb. I wasn't sure I'd pick up anything from this book. I already blog, twitter and mildly Facebook. I know what I'm doing, right? Hah.
I believe EVERY writer should have a copy of this book (or the ebook). I downloaded the Kindle version and found myself reading it on my daughter's iPad, on my Kindle and when I was sneaking a minute or two at work (I'm a teacher) on my iPhone (and I had to be reminded by student's in the playground about our 'off and away' code).
This book is accessible (that's one of my big measurements for a nonfiction text - get too tech jargon on me and I switch off) and detailed in its advice. Lamb lets you know what you need to be doing to build your market online, why you need it, and how to do it. Here are just a few tips I picked up - there are so many more, you really do need to read it yourself:
- When Tweeting about your new book, use positive language that lets the reader know what you want them to do. Never say 'don't forget to check out my new book', instead use active verbs, 'make sure you check out my new book' or 'buy my new book here'.
- You are not just connecting with people online, you are building a brand. Make sure your author name is linked to all your content. In all social media you should be using the name you plan to publish with. (When I first started tweeting, I was 'hotdoggy' because this is the name I had when I was a dog groomer - some people thought I was some weird sex spam, so I changed it to charmaineclancy) You can even link your field with your name, I regret not setting my blog name as Charmaine Clancy Writer, but it started out as Wagging Tales, so that has stuck. Also adding to the confusion is the fact that my URL address is clancytales.blogspot - time over, I'd use charmaineclancy.blogspot. So if you are calling yourself writerchick451 - rethink that.
- Don't brand the title of your novel before it is published. If you set up your Facebook, blog and Twitter all to say 'Death in the Shallows' - you might find your title changes once it's published, then you need to rebuild the name - best to work on the author name.
- Are you using Twitter to its best advantage? Have you searched for publishers, agents and well-known writers? You can let their tweets guide your web browsing and you can gain relevant followers from their follower list.
Lamb will show you exactly how to set up a Facebook page, and explain when you need a Fan page. I've only just started my writing Facebook page (I did have a family/friends one) - so feel free to friend me! All the way through this book I kept thinking, oh, that's clever! My only question was Lamb's interest in MySpace - is anyone using this platform, or perhaps it has shrivelled since the publication of this text?