by Maria C. Ferrer
You've been hearing it all last year -- an author's presence on the social networks helps to sell books. Yes, it's true! Your Facebook page, Twitter account and Pinterest files are being watched by editors and agents alike. In fact, the number of your friends, likes and retweets can guarantee you a sale.
What does this mean to us authors? It means that we need to be seen and heard on the social networks.
Here are the basic four I recommend:
1. Website -- think of this as your "business card" on the web. This is a stationery location for all your data, including bio, photos, books or works in progress, links to your blog and social networks, excerpts, etc. Keep it updated.
2. Blog -- think of this as your soap box. Chat about your writing, your research, your opinion of the latest episode of Scandal, the runway in Paris, etc. You can even do interviews with editors, agents, other authors, etc. These are very popular.
3. Facebook -- great place to catch up with friends and authors and make connections.
4. Twitter -- another great place to chat and one that forces you to be witty in 140 characters or less.
Remember that you can link all your social networks to each other and your website and blog. This way your presence is everywhere.
You need to be "heard" on the social networks. Here are some tips on being heard:
1. Start by commenting about a TV show. For example, while "Scandal" is on, thousands of fans are chatting online. Use the hashtag and join in on the "conversation."
2. Like and retweet comments from other writers, publishers, industry professionals, friends, etc.
3. Make comments of your own to what others are posting. You want to make your presence known.
4. Do interviews with editors, agents, authors and others. Post them on your blog and then promote on your social networks. Again, you want to get your name out there and people commenting on your posts.
Now before you run off and sign up for every social network in the universe, let's be realistic. Before catching up with all the social networks, let's look at our writing schedule. Some people recommend posting at least five times a day; others recommend five times a week. I recommend studying YOUR writing schedule and THEN making the best choice for you. But note that even once a day is fine.♥
Maria C. Ferrer is RWA/NYC's Blog Mistress. She is very interested in increasing her presence on the social networks, and is willing to share her findings. Maria hopes others will share as well.