Ane is sharing with us tips for mastering social media rather than social media mastering/controlling us. Please join us for fun and awesome information. Ane looks forward to hearing from you if you'd like to ask her advice on building your author's platform... of if you'd just enjoy saying hello. And, of course, I'd enjoy hearing from you as well.
Questions for Ane:
Sara Wannabe-Author has prepared and perfected her pitch for the upcoming writer’s conference and has built up a solid platform. Yet, she struggles with the logistics of how to work the platform success into her pitch. Does she start with a hooking story concept and then casually drop a “oh, by the way, my very active social media site BetterThanFaceBook.Com is doing gangbusters worldwide,” or do you suggest the opposite?
Always start with the hook. If they're interested then you launch into your platform, but after you've discussed the story.
|Courtesy Google Images|
Ane, I admire your Internet presence, especially how you come across enjoying the time you put into it. What tips can you share in time management: platform building vs. writing time?
It's a balance, but I spend 3-4 hours a day writing and maybe 2 on platform building.
That time can be broken into small chunks, too. During lunch, I check Facebook, coffee break gets a tweet or two. It's manageable if you don't get caught up in the social media.
With Novel Rocket, I have my days booked into next year already. During the 3rd week of then month, I email next month's guests, reminding them of their dates and their deadlines. I can take the guest post as early as they want to send it, but the deadline is 1 week prior to posting. That way, if they miss the deadline (rarely happens) I can either write something or pull from another source and schedule it.
The biggest problem is controlling your social media time. When I first got involved, I spent way too much time and deleted my accounts. A year later and lots wiser, I reopened them. Now I have my personal blog auto-posts to Facebook and Twitter, and I blurb Novel Rocket on those as well. That takes all of 3 minutes.
Is there such a creature as Over-Platform in that too many venues can work against you?
Well, too many social media can waste your time—especially if you're friends with all the same people. I choose to use the largest, and those that will return the most for my time. For instance, the largest demographic on Pinterest is of stay-at-home moms. And a huge number of those are readers.
So choose the social media or platform that will give you a large audience of readers. One of the best for that is The Book Club Network, which connects writers with book clubs.
Other than your own sites or friends or your Great Aunt Tilda’s The Lost Soul Blog (only kidding!), what are some of Ane Mulligan’s favorite sites to enjoy downtime?
I just gave you one, The Book Club Network, and others are Girls Write Out, Southern BelleView, Seekerville, Chip MacGregor's blog, A Life in Pages, and the list goes on. I join a lot of blogs and get them via email. I save them for after dinner viewing while the hubs is watching a sporting event. ;o)
If Story is King Platform is Queen by Ane Mulligan
In the court of publishing, if story is king, platform is queen. You’ve written a great novel, but so have a lot of folks. How do you sweeten the deal to increase your odds of earning a publishing contract? By having a ready-made readership before you’re published.
When I first started writing, I heard one of the things an editor will do when considering your proposal is look at your Internet presence; they Google your name. I tried it and came up with nothing. Nada. Zip.
So, my critique partners and I worked hard building a web presence. First, we started Novel Journey (now Novel Rocket), which has been listed in Writers Digest's 101 Top Websites for Writers numerous times.
The next steps were a website, a personal blog, and taking advantage of all the social media that came along: Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and a host of others.
Some cool benefits have come my way from the hard work. While I don't have a book contract yet, I'm often asked to endorse books as senior editor of Novel Rocket. It cracks me up, but there it is. Google my name today and see what you find. If I'd been trying to keep a low profile, it hasn't work.
I'm often asked, "What should I put on my blog?" Here's a few ideas:
Tie the blog topic into your writing. For example, if you are a devotional writer, have a devotional blog. If you write westerns, your blog could be cowboy focused, etc.
Romance writers could feature “how they met” stories, etc. Below are ideas of things to include:
- Your journey
- Links to other blogs or news articles
- Book reviews
- Find a niche (eg. review only writing ‘how to’ books, blog just writer’s conference information, all about your favorite writer (make sure this is a big name)
- What have you searched for on the Internet and weren’t able to find?
And here are few traffic secrets:
- Link to other blogs (networking)
- Lots of Content (this doesn't mean long posts, but lots of fresh ones)
- Feature other blogs (or give awards for the best western blog, writer’s blog, etc.) The winner will mention the “award” and link to your site
- Send an e-mail to everyone in your address book about your blog launch
- Add your blog address to your email signature
- When you write articles, etc, make sure your site is plugged
- Leave comments on other blogs. Add buttons to Tweet, Facebook, Google+, etc your blog post
A WORD OF CAUTION: Be discerning on what you put into cyberspace. The publishing world is incredibly small, and one post taken the wrong way, can come back to haunt you. When in doubt, cut it out.
You can find me hanging out at Novel Rocket or at Southern-fried Fiction, my personal website/blog. Follow me on Twitter or Facebook.
Thanks for having me!
Sr. Editor of the award-winning literary site, Novel Rocket, Ane Mulligan is a published playwright, a syndicated blogger, sought after book reviewer, multi-published playwright and humor columnist for ACFW's Journal, as well as being a three-time finalist in the Genesis and BRMCWC Writers fiction contests.