Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Social Networking and Marketing

Hello all.  How are you? I've decided that a daily blog post is too frequent, or rather that I simply don't have time to do one every single day. I will, however, try to post  every two days.  The reasons for this are quite simple and form the backbone of today's post.

First of all. have managed to spit out 1000 words today - nothing yesterday - I was like the Tasmanian devil yesterday and at one point I thought my head was going to spin clean off from the amount of things I was trying to do. I am hoping to do another 1000 words this evening, after dinner, but we'll see.  That would keep me on track for 1000 words per day, every day.

Why am I so busy? Two words - Social and Networking. Back in the olden days when we wrote our novels on paper and counted on abacuses, there was no Facebook/Twitter/blog to distract us or to buy into. Now if you want the world to know about your book(s) you would be crazy not to use the platforms at your disposal.  That's the good side. The bad side is it is exceedingly time-consuming. I had what we colloquially call here in Glasgow a 'flaky' yesterday at the amount of effort and time I expended trying to get my Facebook Author page set up - www.facebook.com/susan.buchanan.author 
Please Like it, if only for my sanity and the blood, sweat and tears that I gave yesterday trying to get it to play ball.
But having a Facebook Author page means it's another place I need to update. I realise that there is probably a way to link all of these things together, adding buttons etc, but I will need to look into that more, before I have it all sussed.  By the time I finish all this, I should be able to give masterclasses in it!

Twitter - I was very anti-Twitter I have to confess, but now I am Mrs Twitter, Tweetie-Pie in fact. Soon my friends will be tweeting me in order to be able to communicate. I will become to Twitter what my editor Fi is to Facebook (I have to Facebook her to get her attention- email and texts don't always work!)
But you have to maintain your followers and your followed. Plus no-one told me there was a limit to the people you follow. When I get into something, I tend to get carried away. I was following authors and readers and review sites and then Twitter burst my bubble by telling me to stop. It wasn't letting me be pals with anybody else right now. You could probably have spotted my pet lip from Mars! Apparently there is an undisclosed secret ratio of followers to followed that you must have.
Then you have your Lists to maintain, which you can set up and define by whichever categories you want.
And you of course want to thank people who follow you - and find out a bit more about them, it's only polite!
Plus my Discover # isn't working and hasn't been for a few days.  This is very frustrating.
I am, however, loving the whole Twitter spirit of community.  Readers and writers and reviewers and people tweeting interesting articles and quotes etc. But it is addictive.  I have a default position now, where my laptop (actually my boyfriend's laptop) is surgically attached to me as I sit on my sofa, from 06.30 to 00.30, excepting loo and coffee breaks!
I could go on and on about Twitter, but it will have to wait for another day. 

Then there's the blog post, review sites to contact and guest spots and author interviews to do (and  I love it all - I do, all of it), but it is labour-intensive.

I suppose what I am trying to say is if you thought that to be a writer you just had to write, think again!  Writing is the easy part!
have a good afternoon, Sooz


  1. Suggestions - cut the blog post down to once a week. Who said you have to blog even every two days? Don't forget, people have to find time to read all these things, too. I certainly don't read all the blogs I see posted. Maybe one or two a day, if that. Reviews? 5 or 6 is enough. Author interviews? I wonder how many people actually read them. I doubt the public do. I only had about 6 comments on the ONE that I did, and no guarantee that it sold me any books. Twitter 'lists' are for people who have time to do them, they're not essential. You can link your FB author page to twitter with the 1 or two clicks. Nobody notices if you're not 'around' for a week or so. There! Saved you at least an hour a day already!

    1. Hi Terry - thanks for that insight. All valuable stuff. My only bugbear about reviews is what the 90daysnovel guys said about the way the Amazon rankings and behind the scenes promotion of your novel works. Your reviews have to be relatively recently apparently to help you. This in turn helps you get on Amazon recommends lists etc, all of which makes you more visible to readers. It's good to know I will be able to take a holiday at some point though! Maybe you could stand in for me? We could do a blog swap! Task for later in the week is the linking up of everything and maybe in a few weeks, making the blog more all-singing, all-dancing. But thanks for helping me save an hour. I might finally make the soup I have been trying to for at least a week now...

  2. 5 or 6 reviews are fine for readers, but 20+ is best for Amazon metrics from what we've been able to discern (but remember, Amazon don't give out the algorithms, so it's educated guesswork).

    I agree with the twitter point - easy to link to facebook.
    You can also syndicate this blog with your goodreads author profile which will get you a bit more exposure too.

    On the point of Amazon, try getting onto some Listmania lists - few authors exploit them, but they do make a difference to exposure. It's also free to do, so nothing to lose there.

    Re twitter lists - they take more time than they're worth. Instead, pick an author with a similar audience to you - and follow their readers. A certian portion will follow you back. Unfollow those that don't (after a tweet or two to them to evidence humanity!) then repeat. Twitter doesn't like too much follow unfollow churn, but a little is inevitable.

    Also not removing the spambots that follow you for a few days can help you go over your twitter limit (then remove them). It's only a loan of extra followers really, but can help.

  3. hi
    agree re reviews. Have added a Twitter button now and soon will those for Facebook & Goodreads. Thanks for pointers re Listmania. Have already done the similar author followers thing, but thanks and yes, apart from reviewers, the Twitter lists take too much time. Not sure which spambots are following me, but I like the way you are thinking. Thanks again for all your input, Sooz - PS Glad to see you have some nice reviews already and well done on completing the challenge in time.

  4. I do wonder if there is room for a Listmania exchange among indies - KindleBoards do a tag exchange for cross promo, as do World Lit Cafe... Quite possibly a lacuna to exploit?

    Also re twitter - Rachel Abbott has some really useful stuff up on her writing blog if you have 5 minutes spare - http://rachelabbottwriter.wordpress.com/