Monday, June 8, 2015
Social media: a blessing and a curse
by Meredith Cole
Talk to any writer these days, and they'll tell you they're stretched pretty thin. Deadlines for books are bad enough, but nowadays publishers expect us to be everywhere at once. Facebook, Twitter, Good Reads, Pinterest, Instagram... Every time you turn around, there's a new social media platform. And every single one of them takes away valuable time from your writing. But are any of them worthwhile?
I've heard mixed reviews from them all. Facebook is great for letting people you know that your book is coming out. Have I sold any books to anyone I don't know through Facebook? Not sure. But I've certainly been able to get people out to my book events. And that's something.
Twitter is a little harder to pin down. I know I sold one book to a follower on Twitter because she sent her son to my book event to buy it (and he told me that she saw my book event info on Twitter). But I don't have any proof that I've sold anything else since. I know some people love Twitter and some people hate it, but it's only worth doing if you're going to participate (retweeting other people and responding, rather than just posting marketing messages for your books over and over again).
I'd love to hear if anyone has had a good experience on Instagram or Pinterest, because so far I haven't tried either. I tried out Good Reads but never spent the time to figure it out.
My advice though is to pick a few things and do them well. Find a place where you feel comfortable and supported. Social media gives you a chance to communicate with readers, other writers, and people in publishing, and it's important to put your best foot forward. And if a social media platform isn't working for you, drop it. Go write your book instead. That, in the end, should be your focus.