Is your life an open book?
As writers in today’s hi-tech world, we’re expected to be accessible to our readers. They want to get to know us.
But how do we go about setting up a web presence?
Dealing with online publicity issues is one of Twelve Troublemakers that plague me as a writer. I’m exploring one a week. This is the ninth in the series.
Three years ago I dipped a trembling toe into the swirling cyberspace sea. I’d spent my first two years writing in isolation and valued my privacy. Little did I know I’d become an eager participant in social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. At that point, I didn’t even know they existed. Heck. I didn’t even know what a blog was.
In the span of a few months, I set up two blogs and joined Facebook and Twitter. Following are the steps I took to overcome my social networking shyness.
Three Steps for Establishing an Online Presence
1) Accept the need to maintain a public profile. Gone are the days when a writer can hole up in her office. If we hope to sell a book, we have to realize that we have two primary tasks: writing and promoting ourselves.
Whether we’re anticipating a contract or already have one, we have to establish an online presence. There’s no way around this. In fact, one section of a proposal package deals with a writer’s marketing plans. Publishing houses want authors who will participate in the promotion of their books.
2) Adapt your plan to your present needs. If you’re seeking an agent or are awaiting your first contract, your needs will be different from those of a published author. Good first steps are setting up a Facebook page and starting a blog. Joining Twitter is another option.
You’ll have to decide when the time is right to establish a website. Generally, that isn’t necessary until you’re sending your work out. Once you are, a website can provide a place for agents and editors to learn more about you, your writing, and any awards you’ve won.
The goal at this stage of the journey is to establish connections and build relationships. Writers are some of the most supportive and generous people I know. We can learn from one another while having fun.
Once you have a contract, your needs will change. Since this is where I’m at in my journey, I’ll be sharing my findings in upcoming posts as I go through the process.
3) Embrace the benefits. For those who aren’t used to the public aspects of writing and might be a bit hesitant, it can take time to get over the jitters. Start small and build your social networking skills. Interacting online becomes more comfortable with practice.
One of the biggest benefits of establishing an online presence is the friends we make. I count you among mine and am grateful for you. 🙂
Your Thoughts . . . and a Drawing
Were you hesitant to get involved online, or did the process excite you?
Do you have difficulty choosing how much to share, or are you an open book?
One person who leaves a comment by Sunday, April 10th will win the opossum Folkmanis finger puppet pictured above, along with a small surprise. I’ll include the winner’s name in my April 11th post, when I introduce the next of the Twelve Troublemakers.