As a child of the technology generation, I can’t tell you how important it is to learn everything you need to know about sites like Facebook and MySpace. I know, I know, some people don’t see the importance. I myself can’t get around to using Twitter. It’s like texting was ten years ago. No one really used it when it first came out. Now all we do is text and experts are afraid people are losing their ability to interact with one another.
Most beginning writers do not realize that there is another side of being an author. The commonly held belief is once the book is written and handed over to someone to publish, the writer’s job is done. However, this isn’t true. In today’s publishing world, it is not enough for an author to be talented. They must also be business savvy. One way to enhance the business side of your writing is to gain connections in the industry.
So why do I think Facebook, MySpace and Twitter are important? They are a great way to market yourself. (Remember it is you and your potential you’re selling to someone!) These are high-high tech networking. The traditional methods in the publishing world was to attend conferences and do certain met and greets with those who hold the clout to get your book published or with readers who will buy copies. Today, an author must combine both in order to get their name out there. Many author’s like Stephanie Julian have their websites linked with Twitter updates and Facebook feeds/fan pages to provide information about their books and build readership. You can, also, make friends with other writers who are trying to publish and set up a critique group.
Another way to be noticed is to create a themed group with other writers. Themed groups help sell your books and also give you another source of promoting your book through word of mouth. An excellent example to check out is Hope Ramsay’s The Ruby Slippered Sisterhood. It’s a group of authors who have teamed up to help promote each others books on their web pages and give each other a hand when it’s needed. Often times, they become great friends.
So all in all, the web is becoming an extremely important tool in marketing and writing. I would caution, however, that you keep your business as a writer separate from your personal pages on Facebook or MySpace so you can maintain a level of privacy.
If you haven’t checked any of this out or aren’t currently considering it, you should. And remember, always act professional!