At one time, publishers would be impressed with your sheer number of Twitter followers (or Facebook likes), but now their focus is more on engagement. What is your Twitter strategy to build your author platform?
Are you interacting with your Twitter followers? Do you try to connect with them, and do they appreciate the value of your tweets?
Follow people who share your mindset and fit this perspective, and don’t worry about following back the folks who don’t.
Being a writer requires giving up other things, and making it a priority requires sacrifice
It’s been said that some people really don’t want to write, they want to have written. They want to see the results, without putting in the work. Yet writing requires effort and that effort necessitates that we prioritize the things we do.
It seems everyone I know is too busy. This includes writers. We struggle to find time to write. Yet by adjusting our priorities, we can make the time. What will you give up to get there?
If writing is important to you if having written is your goal, what will you sacrifice so you can write?
Television: I don’t know anyone who doesn’t watch TV. I try to keep my viewing habits in check, but I still spend too much time watching TV. Though this often happens late in the evening when I’m too tired to write, I also know that if I watched less TV I would have more time to write.
Social Media: The lure of social media distracts many writers from doing what they need to do. They sit down at their computer to write but decide to check Facebook first. An hour later they haven’t written a single word for their project, but they have read lots of updates and made a couple of posts themselves. Next, they slide over to Twitter or LinkedIn or Goodreads or Pinterest or whatever else beckons them. They never get around to writing. Scale back on social media to ramp up writing time.
Sleep: I’ve heard of many writers who give up sleep to find time to write. Personally I wouldn’t recommend it, because if I’m tired I have trouble writing or at least writing anything worthwhile. Yet I am disciplined to get up early in the morning and write when I could roll over and sleep for a few minutes longer.
Recreation: Another consideration is the things we do in our leisure time. Call this rest and relaxation. While taking time to rejuvenate ourselves is wise, too much recreation only serves as a distraction and offers no additional benefit.
Relationships: Another area is relationships. Since many writers are introverts and in some cases, recluses, be careful about giving up relationships that are meaningful and helpful. Yet some relationships aren’t beneficial. We may persist out of habit or guilt or obligation, but instead of adding to our life, these relationships suck the life from us.
It’s been said that we become a composite of the five people we spend the most time with. We need to make sure we’re spending time with the right people and avoid relationships that warrantless attention or no attention. This then becomes found time to write.
It’s wrong to assume we need to give up everything to write, but we do need to make some sacrifices or we’ll never have enough time to write. Even worse we may never even start.
Goodreads is the premier social media site for book lovers
In past months we’ve covered Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. One social media option is especially tailored to writers: Goodreads. “Goodreads is the world’s largest site for readers and book recommendations.” Goodreads turned ten this year. It has 55 million members, 1.5 billion books listed, and 50 million reviews. (I’ve posted 91 reviews and left 133 ratings.)
Goodreads is a great place for readers to connect and share their love for books. This also makes it ideal for the authors of those books. But don’t think of Goodreads as a place to promote books, instead view it as a place to connect with readers, and potential readers, of our books.
But there are hundreds of other social media platforms to consider. While some platforms are obscure, others garner much more attention.
Though some of these social media outposts are worthy of consideration, my varying degrees of involvement on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest already takes up too much of my time. So, I’ll not add a fifth to the mix.
However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t.
Perhaps another social media platform works for you better or more effectively connects with your audience. Then maybe you should be there in place of one of the above options.
Of the four of them, I’ve done the least amount of work with Pinterest. Maybe that’s because I’m a guy and most Pinterest users are females.
Nevertheless, I do have the beginnings of a Pinterest presence, and it’s growing little by little. I pin my blog graphics and have a board for book covers. Other boards have sayings and offer encouragement. My favorite board has a growing number of church signs, from the humorous to the profound.
Aside from frequent changes that affect how things work is the reality that only a fraction of the people who like my page ever see the things I post. I suppose Facebook does this to motivate me to pay them to “boost” my post. Instead, they’re motivating me to connect with people elsewhere.
Making the most out of Facebook is on my to-do list, but right now it’s far down that list. Maybe someday I’ll get to it—or maybe not.