Tip of the Day: For an editor's take on an author's online presence, check out this link to an interview with Molly O'Neill (who is also a great SCBWI presenter).
I asked Tina, Miss Delighted to Debut:
How do you decide what social networking sites to spend your time on? FaceBook, MySpace, LJ, Verla's, Good Reads, a webpage blog, The Debs, etc.... And how much time per day/week/month do you spend on those sites? Do you think they help you connect with potential readers or buyers? Or are they just a fun, rationable stalling tactic before working on your mss? Any tips on social networking?
Awesome questions Deena! It is so hard trying to figure out where to spend online time since there are so many great places to go. Let me give you my list in order of where I go the most:
3) 2009 Debutantes
These are my everyday sites. On occasion I go to Verla's too. I went a lot more when I was seeking an agent because the section on response times is awesome. Now I go just to check in and see what people are up to. I like the good news section to see what's going on. And I like the happy vibes.
I spend a lot of time on the Debs board. It's a great place to post questions and share author experiences since we're all going through similar stuff around the same time.
Very rarely do I go to MySpace anymore. I just don't think many people hang out there these days. I'll go once or twice a month just to see what's going on.
I love goodreads because there are SO MANY readers on there! And so many good books and it's really easy to post reviews. I like posting reviews on Amazon too but for some reason it's a bit more of a hastle than on goodreads. This could just be me of course. I do think if you want to reach readers for say a book giveaway, goodreads is definitely a great way to do it.
I'm on LJ everyday just because I like to blog (and it generates to the front page of my Web site and Amazon. Bonus.) and read blogs. Though, I'll admit, I skim a lot. Maybe that's why Twitter and Facebook are my favorites. I like the quick updates on what is going on with everyone. And, especially on facebook, you're keeping up with not only readers and writing friends but all the rest of your friends and family too.
All authors should probably be on Twitter now. If you want to reach your audience it's probably the way to go. I'm not saying that I'm super successful on Twitter (well yet, I'm trying!). But I know a lot of authors have 500-1000 followers. And John Green has 621,000 followers. That's a lot of people! So it does work for many. And, true story, when I was walking around Printer's Row in Chicago this summer I recognized an author based only on his tweets. I stopped and said, "Oh my god, I love you on twitter!" He's just really funny. So I think it can bring you more readers if people like you on twitter. And it's kind of fun to follow celebrities too and see what they're doing RIGHT NOW. Except for Heidi Montag (from the Hills). I think I might have to unfollow her soon because her tweets are a bit annoying. She's usually saying stuff like, oh it feels so good to be healthy! Come buy my exercise video or whatever it is she's trying to sell these days. I think if you're just trying to sell stuff then you'll quickly become annoying on twitter. So none of those come buy my book please! tweets, ok?
And you asked about how much time I spend-- well, I kind of do a drive-by of each site throughout the day. Think about how often you check your e-mail. When I check mine I'll also take a look at each site. So they are not long sessions, but brief stops. Hey, I sound like a meal plan. "Eat 5-7 mini meals..." "Check your sites 5-7 times throughout the day..." :)
So to sum up, authors should definitely:
and join facebook. :)
That's my two cents anyway.
Thanks, Tina! Wow -- I JUST got on facebook and now I realize I'm behind on goodreads and twitter -- ack! :)
Deena, Miss Subbing for Pubbing