Joe’s Post #116
Ok, so there’s like twitter and linkedin and tumbler and blogs and youtube and something called vines and snap chat and *head explodes*.
Now, understand that I grew up in a world where we had to actually get up off the sofa to change the channel from Mr. Dressup on the CBC to whatever the heck the other channel was, where our phones were connected to a wall, where computers that now fit in our iphones filled entire buildings, and where we read newspapers to get our news.
So all this new technology and social media is a bit of a challenge, especially for a writer trying to figure out how to expand his online presence.
Fear not! On Friday, I had a lot of this explained to me.
I want to thank Sean Cranbury, Sarah Wendell, Chuck Wendig and KC Dyer for helping demystify it all and make it all seem possible. So let me condense what I learned. First from Sarah Wendell. She said simply, remember this is SOCIAL media. Be social. Be authentic. Be generous. Be consistent.
It’s the generous part I’ve not done a good job at. Being on social media is about connecting and I think I’ve been more about entertaining (even if I failed at it) than connecting. I’ll try to do better.
She also said that writers may have to find their readers in different areas of social media. Joining a FB group that talks about Justin Bieber would be a great place to go if you want to sell a book about the death of an annoying boybrat. Ok, just kidding, it would be a great place to go if you were writing about him, but less so if you were writing and wanting to comment about the state of affairs in Iraq.
See, every form of social media has an audience. Know who that audience is. Within that media, there are groups. Find those groups. But don’t just connect to sell a book. Connect to connect. Connect to be social.
Sean Cranbury said the same thing when I had the great pleasure of chatting with him for 20 minutes. His advice, give to the community. The writing community. The reading community. The book community. Make a difference in people’s lives.
Hard for an introvert to hear. Harder for one to do.
But I’ll try.
Lastly, when the three titans gathered on a panel, we all were given more boat-loads of great advice. Let me share a few of them.
- Be the best version of yourself online.
- Don’t ever buy mailing lists, make the connections yourself.
- Follow, watch and see how great communicators do it. On twitter, try following comedians. They’ve learned how to be funny in 140 characters.
- Social media should never be an obligation. Do it because you want to do it. If you don’t want to, then hey, don’t do it.
- Promotion is not a dirty word. Sometimes it’s nice to know when you have a book out or what you’re reading. It’s ok. Just don’t do it as your only thing – then it’s just noise.
- Talk about other people’s books more than your own. Be authentic.
- On FB you are the commodity. No problem with that, just realize it.
I hope that helps out a bit. All of this is a good place to start. I still have a lot more to learn but somehow it doesn’t seem that scary anymore.
Blogs to check out:
Felicia Day – http://feliciaday.com/blog (from The Guild). Funny. Honest.
Sarah Wendell – http://smartbitchestrashybooks.com. So much cool stuff here and a great example of a successful blog. She’ll make you lol for real.
Chuck Wendig – http://terribleminds.com. Love him or hate him, he’ll get you thinking and laughing.
Sean Cranbury – http://seancranbury.com (and a host of other links accessable from his website). A wow site.
Best Twitter recommendations… all the above. Plus John Oliver. Sarah Silverman.
New word of the day. Dickbar (thanks Sean Cranbury). Ok a second one. Doxing. (It’s basically punishing people you disagree with online by publishing their home addresses for everyone to see.)
Some of the best tweets, check out #siwc14 or siwc2014:
Information Doesn’t Want to be Free,
@doctorow‘s keynote at #SiWC14 https://soundcloud.com/booksontheradio/cory-doctorow-keynote-information-doesnt-want-to-be-free-surrey-international-writers-conference … #DRM cc: @booksontheradio @robertjwiersema
Have a great writing week!
Tomorrow I write!