I digress. That is a very big thing on Reddit (where I spend copious amounts of time) and on other areas of the interwebs. But it is essentially a question I ask myself every time I set out to Facebook, Twitter, G+, Pinterest- you get the idea.
I have 4992 “friends” on Facebook and only a couple or so interact with my daily posts (I’ll get to that in a minute) and with things on writing and my successes I get more interaction. Twitter is less impressive as I spend less time there. I have 591 followers and follow 727. A lot of the people I follow are sports figures and writers that are so blown up they have tons and tons of followers. I’d be lucky to get a follow back or even a RT (I’m looking at YOU Neil Gaimain). G+? 1K people have me in their circles but I have no clue which but I hadn’t been spending a lot of time there but now, because of the AWESOME communities I keep going back to it. I have 500 more followers on Pinterest than I am following which is what the numbers need to be like.
So with all of the follows and friends and what not, what is really happening? What is really going to sell my book, if it gets picked up? That’s a good question, and I am starting to figure it out after 4 years of floundering on social networks and that is thanks to Chuck Sambuchino and the book Create Your Writer Platform.
The book is something I won’t get into here. It isn’t too much, more than most new writer ebooks but on par for books on platform and craft. I will list my experiences and maybe you too will see yourself in my stupidity.
In 2008 I joined Facebook because a school chum said how AWESOME it was and you could find old friends. Well, the friend I wanted to find wasn’t listed (that’s a whole narrative in itself that I’ve written about before. No need to get into it here) and that began my journey. No friends, no likes and a desperate, “I’m going to remove my ‘face’ from Facebook. LOL”. I wasn’t kidding. I was in creative writing classes and this was just before the whole SM for writers thing blew up.
I found Nathan Bransford’s insightful blog when he was still a literary agent and the issue of blogging came up. So I started a blog at Blogger and off I went. I didn’t know what the hell I was doing but I was getting comments and followers and it was good.
In 2009 I signed up for Twitter. I searched for writers and met some great people- Harley May, Mercedes Murdock Yardley, Don Pizarro, Eisley Jacobs and thus started my Twitter journey. Twitter was becoming big and I fell in love with the medium. I followed more and more people and then found them on Facebook.
Then I started thinking seriously about writing for realz. My second creative writing class was just as positive as the first (with a major turning point in my personal life coming with it) and I wanted to do this thing. I started friending mutual friends who had anything to do with writing. I did this and got 400 friends. I was put into numerous groups, signed up for writing groups, etc. These people saw a newbie and started friending me. In 2010-2012 my friend count exploded. By the end of 2012 I had 5,000, Facebook’s limit. I joined all the social sites in between. I got a Tumblr, got a Pinterest invite, signed up for G+.
But I was just floundering, not really finding my footing. And with the loss of a support system, I began to get extremely personal. While I am okay with that, letting people get to know me, I’ve had to dial it back a bit. I don’t do it on G+, Twitter, Pinterest, etc, I have on Facebook because I have so many caring people there that I consider real friends. They have been hella supportive, cheering me on in my many trials and tribulations. And this is the thing.
So I am now trying to find a balance of personal and promotional. I am still reading Create Your Writer Platform and while it isn’t a book geared specifically for fiction writers, the information held therein has:
1. Gotten me blogging again.
Followings don’t happen over night. I didn’t get that at first and thought my efforts and time were being wasted. As I write this, I am happy to do it because I am starting to get the ins and outs of promotion.
2. Given me courage.
I will be going on a radio show in Brooklyn soon. My friend Joe Wade…I can’t describe him to you. We were school chums. We came up together as writers and he is winning awards and fellowships. It’s unreal. He has a radio show called Sex and Politics- Literature Hour hosted by Brooklyn College and he is putting me on. I am the shy writer who writes only in her notebook and shows to friends and family. This…this is unreal.
3. Shown me HOW to promote.
I link back to blogs, comment on blogs, leave links to blog posts all over EVERYWHERE, even in my email signature, my social sites as well. I have emails waiting in my my Gmail drafts folder to be sent out to big names in hopes of getting guest spots. I am also going to be doing a giveaway (stay tuned!!)
4. Shown me patience.
His examples were really helpful. It takes time to build a following. He suggested writing a marketing plan and going from there. The more I blog, the more I enjoy it. My stats aren’t great but I’m getting likes and +1′s and this is so new. Things are happening man. It feels great.
This is a long blog post and I hope I’ve covered everything. If I figure anything else to add I’ll do a follow up. Do you guys have anything to add? Any experiences? Leave them in the comments.
Also, here is a link to my writer marketing plan template taken from a Yahoo sites post. There is a link in the GDrive doc so you can see it firsthand. You can take a look here.