Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The Insecure Writer and Social Media



Today is November's contribution to Alex Cavanaugh's Insecure Writers Support Group.


Why am I an Insecure Writer this month? 

Because I'll never be a social media maven--or even vaguely competent at it.


It's no secret that to be a commercially successful writer you have to be discoverable, because if readers don't know you exist, they won't know you have a book for sale. And one of the best ways to let them know you exist is through social media.

Unfortunately, I'm enough of an introvert that I'll never be completely comfortable with social media. I have gotten better at it over the past year, but I'm still only a dabbler on Twitter and I rarely remember to post on Facebook, even when I have something worthy of posting. My one and only success is this website, but how many readers find writers through their websites?  It's not that I don't care about social media.  I've collected so many links explaining the proper ways to use all the different varieties, I'll never have time to read them all. There are so many avenues out there—Amazon author pages. Goodreads profiles. Pinterest. Newsletters. Etc.

Perhaps it doesn't make much difference now, since my book isn't done, but sooner or later it will be finished, and then I'll  have to get serious about putting myself out there. But where will the time come from? I don't have enough to write as it is. My daughter has already volunteered to be my social media coordinator, but I suspect this is something I'm going to have to do myself.

How are you handling Social Media?

ChemistKen


40 comments:

  1. Funny, someone just posted about that - how blogs are viable for writers and authors because it is how people often find our books. I know my books did well because of my blog. But outside of Twitter and Google+, that's all I use. Too many social sites and I'd just drown in them.

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    1. Well, that's good to hear. Although we still have to find a way to have readers discover our site in the first place.

      Your blog is awesome, so I can see why it helped you sell books.

      Delete
  2. I think it's best to pick two, maybe three social media outlets and really focus on those, at least to start. Then maybe once you're comfortable with those you can branch out if you feel it's necessary. Right now I pretty much only focus on my blog and Twitter. I have a personal Facebook page but I barely even use that. Maybe when I actually have something published I'll try to do more.

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    1. I'm not sure I'll ever be comfortable, even if I choose only two. then again, I would never guessed I'd be comfortable writing a book, so one never knows.

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  3. I'm on Facebook and Twitter, as well as my blog, but the important thing about using social media to reach your audience is that you have to be interactive. If all you ever do on Twitter is talk about your book, people will mute you pretty quickly. One way to get better at social media is to: On Facebook, join a group with similar interests and interact with the people there. On Twitter, participate in Twitter chats on a subject that interests you.

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    1. I suspect I'll never talk about my book on social media unless someone else brings up the subject. Thanks for suggesting joining groups and chats. That's something I think I can do.

      Delete
  4. I'm not as involved and savvy as some, but I hold my own. Problem is, life is getting in the way right now (stuff I have little to no control over), and I can't keep up. :( Maybe one day, when the kids are gone and I retire, I can do it justice.

    IWSG #115 until Alex culls the list again
    (Ha! I not only stayed on the list, I moved up! :P)

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    1. When you think about it, keeping on Alex's list is just one more form of social media. So you're doing okay with at least one type of social media. Keep it up!

      Delete
  5. Problem for me is keeping up with all of them. I have a twitter, a pinterest, a blog, a facebook page, etc. My Twitter goes empty for days because I just don't have anything to say... My Facebook would too, but I schedule posts way ahead. So if I can't think of any thing, at least that's updated. I just don't give a crap about it and it's hard to force myself. *sigh*

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    1. Sounds like me. Most of my interactions involve responding to other people's tweets and Facebook postings. Not much of my own content, however.

      Delete
  6. I'm a failure at all of it, but I keep trying. I just want to know where all the readers are hiding. I connect with writers, but have failed to find the readers. Good luck, and let our daughter do what she can, I wish someone would volunteer for me, hell, I just wish one family member would read and recommend my book to someone else, at least I'd have sold 2. :)

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    1. I'll be interested to see what my family says about my book when I finally finish it. Thanks for stopping by.

      Delete
  7. How am I handling it? Intermittently! Unfortunately, I'm not consistent with any of it, not even my blog. *sigh* But I do find myself on Twitter a lot when I'm doing an online contest because that's where the judges hang out and it's a great way to get to know them and the writers in the contest. But other than that? I rarely have something to say on there.

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    1. Neither do I, which i why I spend most of my time responding to tweets instead of initiating them.

      Delete
  8. Heh, I am horrible at social media. Though I am an introvert, I find I do much better when I'm in person. It's much easier to drop a comment about writing epic fantasy and then pulling up the book cover on my phone than it is to purposely tell the world to go look at my book.

    If I ever find a way to figure it out, I'll let you know!

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    1. Almost all my social media interaction is through my phone. Facebook and Twitter are blocked at work and I'm usually doing things with the family in the evening. So its either the phone or nothing.

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  9. I used to be on a schedule. Mondays for this. Tuesdays for this. Wednesdays, etc. BUT, that all fell apart last time we moved. And I had a baby. And a book release. And another major life event. With time and effort, I imagine I'll get back to that again. For now, I'm doing what I can.

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    1. I've tried scheduling things like that, but ultimately it always falls apart. I'm usually trying to juggle too many things to hold to a schedule.

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  10. I have my blog and a Twitter account but I don't think I could cope with more. I don't have a published book to promote at the moment so I guess it isn't a problem yet. But I hope to be published one day! On the plus side my daughter has recently completed a degree in creative advertising and she works quite a bit in social media so I will be looking for some help from her I guess! Maybe your daughter will be a help to you to, Ken. All the best and happy writing :)

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    1. Sounds great. Be sure to put her to work. Maybe I'll be shooting you questions later that she can answer. :)

      Delete
  11. I too, do what I can, but fall through the "not enough time to write, live and market" hole and like you chastise myself for it. I would love to have someone "do" my social media stuff for me. I am also considering marketing in a very "hard copy" old fashioned way. Doing a book tour, not a virtual one, a real one, traveling all over the country, the way John Grisham did so very long ago and selling out of my trunk! Who knows? Maybe it will work...

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    1. I probably wouldn't mind the social media aspect of marketing if I had a clue about what I should be doing. It's hard to spend time doing something you know you're not very good at. Thanks for stopping by.

      Delete
  12. I focus on blogging, Facebook and Twitter and let the rest go. This way I can say I have a social media presence. But really I do it for myself not because "I'm a writer."

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  13. Ken, I say hire her while she's cheap and she's probably more of a master than I'll ever be. Have you linked up your blog to post on Facebook, twitter, and the others you like. You can with adjusting your settings. You can also link twitter to facebook so that when you tweet it posts on Facebook. Ask your daughter, I bet she knows all about it.

    Anna from Elements of Writing

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  14. I'm sure you've done as much research into the social media for authors realm that I have. It's frustrating for us introverted authors, isn't it? Since I host my blog through wordpress, I can post to Twitter at the same time as I post a blog. That's probably most of my twittering right there. haha. That and I do the same thing with Instagram, as I'm on Instagram more than anything else... :-)
    Kelsie
    www.kelsieengen.com

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  15. It's hard to be consistent at it, and it's just one more skill that people have to learn in this day and age. Don't look at me, I'm not very good myself, I'm just letting you know that you're not alone in your struggles. :-|

    IWSG November Post

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  16. I do a lot of reading. I think key words for search engines on the net and places like Amazon, outside of a mailing list, is one of the key elements to those who have been most successful. The social media is important, but hit and miss for different authors. Wishing you much success and viability for your future.

    Juneta Writer's Gambit

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  17. I do a lot of reading. I think key words for search engines on the net and places like Amazon, outside of a mailing list, is one of the key elements to those who have been most successful. The social media is important, but hit and miss for different authors. Wishing you much success and viability for your future.

    Juneta Writer's Gambit

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  18. If you can find places where your readers hang out and socialize with them as one of them, that can be successful. I've failed at that method. Find something you like. Then it's easier to do. You could try writing a shorter piece and offering it for free for a newsletter signup. It's a lot like blogging.

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  19. I'm overwhelmed by the online stuff. There are so many places to be! I like being social, but I sometimes feel spread way too thin. It's tough.

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  20. I'm overwhelmed by the online stuff. There are so many places to be! I like being social, but I sometimes feel spread way too thin. It's tough.

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  21. I must admit I'm not a huge fan of social media so I tend to be rather inconsistent with it, which is a big no, no. It's only effective if you have consistency. Sigh. Must...get...better.. at... it.

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  22. When my 5-book series was first coming out, I was on 25 different social sites. Way too much! 2-3 sites is best. And blogging is still a major player for authors.

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  23. You know, having your daughter help isn't a bad idea.
    My youngest really likes to help me organize my books and set-up before book events (wow, sounds like I've had lots and the reality is 6 events). Plus, she really likes to help edit some of my stories. At first, I thought, "no, no, that's kind, but I need to do it all." Finally, I let her help and she did such an amazing job with one of my book set-ups that I started paying her a tiny amount of money for her work.
    I even know a teen girl who does social media for one of her neighbors . . . and I've been thinking about hiring her to help me on a part-time, one hour a week basis. I don't have a lot of money to throw around, but I might be able to afford that, or I might ask one of my kids.

    Social media is a crazy place. The moment I feel comfortable, I feel like the sand shifts under my feet.
    Best wishes on all the social stuff and the writing!

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  24. Replicate this on Twitter, and then FB. You are successful here. I love your posts!

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  25. I'm an introvert, too, and I'm definitely feeling a bit overwhelmed with the need to constantly be online. I love Twitter, but more as procrastination than a promotional tool!

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  26. When my book was pubbed, I wasn't on FB or Twitter. They scared me and I thought "What's the point? It just wasting time." But I was pushed into it and now I'm glad. There's a whole community of writers on social media who may not buy your book, but are super helpful with advice, suggestions, and support. That's a great thing to have. :)

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  27. Introverts unite! Or not. We don't do well in groups, do we? I'm not doing well managing my social media either, but way worse than you. Numbers of followers mean nothing if you don't interact. You at least visit other blogs and get comments on yours, so kudos. If your daughter is still interested when you reach the point of selling a book, she'll be a boon!

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  28. I think it's important to pick the social media you're comfortable with, and not to worry about doing them all. This website is great, so why not share the link back to it on social media?

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  29. I feel your pain about social media. I'm an introvert and have social anxiety. When I first started this publication thing, I was able to handle social media better, but the past couple years, I've become very anxious about it all. Only on my blog do I still feel pretty comfortable. I hope I'll eventually get over the social anxieties and find something worthy of posting about on Facebook/Twitter/etc.

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