If the title caught you, then phase one is complete; I’ve hooked you in at least a little. WAIT, wait, wait… I’m not selling you anything, just relaying my personal experiences.
After finishing a novel, there is editing. While that editing is in the hands of other people who are looking through the chapters and giving me feedback, this is the perfect time to start the Social Media extravaganza. Yup, if you want published, you’ll have to start putting yourself out there on the proverbial street corner and peddle your wares. For me, I write under a different name, so it helps to keep my normal and pseudo lives separate.
Almost everyone has a Facebook account (shameless plug), but let’s not forget the other avenues of social media (i.e. FREE PRESS). You have Twitter, Google+, Flickr, Instagram and countless others depending on how marketable you want to become. I’ve seen some authors create a YouTube channel where they read their short stories. I am learning to Tweet, … slowly. The rest comes pretty naturally.
Oh, and Big-ups to my wife for pointing me to Word Press to start my blogging adventures. Love you, babe!
So, now you already have 100’s of friends on Facebook or followers on Twitter. Your author persona is going to rake them all in and catapult you in the spotlight and soon you will catch fire like you were bathed in kerosene and jumping over a campfire, right?? Well, if you are like me, think again.
Sadly, unless you have outspokenly been promoting yourself since you first met your friends or acquaintances, you are starting a relationship with most of them all over again. I believed that at least 3/4 of my friends would “Like” my page immediately and follow me on my journey. So far, that is not the case, but think about it…
People differ from one outlet to another. Not everyone is checking their feeds or keeping up to date with others. In many cases, people use social media to briefly check on a few close friends and family in their lives, post about their own experiences and then they’re off. The posts or requests you send out may be read or may be overlooked. Not everyone wants a barrage of alerts. You are commercializing your relationship, so tread lightly and honestly. Let them come around if they want to and if not, keep them close by. Un-friending people is not the answer.
Me, I was very impatient in terms of getting responses to what had been more than a decade in the making. Once I started, I expected magic, miracles and bending the space/time continuum to take place. The sad fact is that it’s growth and any kind of healthy growth takes time.
I wanted to have hundreds of followers, but a handful at a time is perfect. Any progress, whether big or small, is still progress. It’s painful waiting for recognition when it comes a drop at a time but think to yourself that one day, you will be too busy writing and doing your own projects to possibly keep up on social media by yourself. So, cherish this time.
And start small, if you’re already on Facebook and Twitter, you know how to handle posts. If you haven’t had a social media site since MySpace was the big thing, don’t sign up for everything in the world without a plan on what content you are prepared to put out there. You don’t want a 100 followers and then the first month give them nothing. Attention spans last roughly the same lifetime as a gnat.
For me, this blog helps me to put my ideas out simultaneously to my other accounts so I don’t have to update different fans at different times. I’ll still do special offers and small contests on Facebook from time to time, like a coffee or an iTunes gift card giveaway, but keeping it small and informal is fine. If you’re looking into the same starting point as I am then you should know your limits and what you can achieve with the time that is given you.
And since I am not under a publishing house or have a literary agent, I am indeed pimping myself out. I am trying to get you to pick me as a source of entertainment. I want followers and fans and friends, but most of all I want to relay my stories. It’s a calling and we all need to follow our own first and foremost.
If you’d like to check out a sample of my work please click here. Yup, still pimping… P.I.M.P.