What is that line used in academia...something about needing to "publish to survive"? For writers these days it's "promote to survive". Gone are the days of the publisher doing it all. Now, you don't only write the book, you spend the next several months and beyond, flogging it, too. That's along with writing the next one. That's the reality. All writers know that's how it works these days.
We're told, start the promotion long before the book is published. Get your name known well in advance, if you're new to the game, and if it's another book in a series, be sure you stay front and centre in the mind of the reader. So, did all this necessity to promote start before social media came on the scene or is it a by-product? The chicken or the egg? Does it even matter? No, because that's the reality.
But the question as to what social media to be using, is a hot topic on many groups. So, I'll take the plunge. I'm on Facebook -- well, both of us are (my alter-ego pseudonymistic other half) and she's busy accumulating friends galore. Some of it is obviously blatant self-promotion but there's a definite desire to know what's going on with other writers and most assuredly, with readers, too. Does it work? We'll see.
Then there's Twitter. I tweeted one time, long ago, and I still get the odd follower appearing on my screen. You have to be committed to the daily task of tweeting, in order to be effective. I'm following only one person, and not daily, I'll admit. I chose her because her name is the same as my maiden name and she blogs in Swedish, a language I'm trying to revive in my life (it was spoken by my parents in the home when I was a child). I'm not sure why she's tweeting. I know why writers tweet -- usually for name recognition. Of course, they do have something to say, too.
This blog could be considered part of the promotional package although it was conceived as a method to impart information and promote dialogue between readers and writers. That part's not working too well. There are seldom any comments posted except by the "core" writers and occasionally, when a blog really speaks to the reader. But that's ok. I get it. Not everyone feels the need to post a comment. And the reader statistics are encouraging so I'll continue with Mystery Maven Canada and try to tempt more guest bloggers to add more variety to the schmooze and views part.
So, what's the verdict? Is the social media the way to go when promoting a book? What have you tried? Does it work?
Don't feel obliged to post a comment. But I really would like to know the answers to these questions. And, I'll bet others would, too.
Linda Wiken/Erika Chase