Use of Social Media: Scary but Necessary
After writing my first book and self-publishing it through a company who does such things, I thought that the tough and time-consuming work was completed. Boy was I mistaken!
I quickly realized that the process of promoting my book was every bit as hard and time consuming. And, I realized that using social media was going to be a huge asset to promoting my book. Now, I must admit, at that point in time I was only using Facebook. I had begun on Twitter and had abandoned it because I did not want to take the time to learn how it functioned and Facebook seemed easier for the novice to understand. Further, blogging was a totally unknown media that I only presumed was some new swear word when people mentioned it in conversation with me. I was really not any where near the mainstream of social media: not in the ball park as they say.
So, I went back to the company that helped me publish and selected their social media program option. For six weeks, I had my own media publicist who taught me about Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, blogging and Hootsuite, a program to allow me to make some orderly sense of many of the social media sites. While the publicist was full of great information and ideas, I’m afraid I’m not the fastest learner, especially as it applies to computer technology, so she had her hands full. But with her support and information I was able to learn enough to get by. Now I have 2 Facebook pages, Twitter, LinkedIn and a blog page. I’m getting the hang of posting a weekly blog and interacting with many people on the other sites.
As a writer, I have also gained a few friends along the way. I met another author on Twitter and we have become friends, and expect to meet next summer for a beer when I travel his way. I have made many contacts directly related to the promotion of my book, but in addition, many have become personal and will likely affect me as a writer. One example is the discussion I have had with a reviewer of my book. She provided insight and suggestions that I am incorporating in the second book that I fully expect will make it a better read than I may have originally planned.
So I tell you, the reader, this process was scary to me in the beginning but I think it has been very beneficial. My suggestion to any writers out there is to embrace the social media field, as it is truly necessary to promoting your work. I would also suggest that unless you are already an aficionado of computer-based media, you should locate or hire someone to teach you the basics of the individual sites. The more you know and use social media the more enriched your writing experience will be.
John Hickman author of A Cold Snow in Castaway County