By Kat Dodd
Social Media: It isn’t just for volunteering your own privacy anymore. In many ways, social media has become synonymous with the internet itself. Without social media, you might as well be utilizing only a fraction of the internet. I think that you can agree that not using the internet to promote your work is all but impossible for anyone but the most established writers. After all, many writers are even skipping formal publishing and simply self-publishing online. More and more books are digital and many people would rather meet you online in the comfort of their homes rather than venture to events to meet you in person.
As writers, we can have a tendency to be a little introverted at times or “lost in our heads” so to speak. That isn’t to say that we are anti-social beings, but we can tend to over-analyze things in general and be a lot better at focusing on our craft than having the ability to promote our work to others. However, Social Media provides the perfect outlet to network without the pressure of trying to find people to share your work with out of thin air.
In a previous post in May, Rex Hurst described the importance of networking in general when it comes to being published and promoting your work, but I would emphasize the importance of social media in particular. Utilizing social media to promote yourself and your work is the most cost effective way to network.
Before I began writing fiction again, I simply wrote reviews and articles and promoted myself with Facebook, Twitter, and other sites such as Tumblr. I followed other people that wrote similar articles and got attention from them and their readers by commenting on and sharing their work, as well as gaining inspiration from their writing styles. Inevitably, I got noticed and had a following before I had really begun my own website. Once I had my website, I was able to use cost effective advertising on social media that was targeted towards those with similar interests and my notoriety flourished for a while.
Similarly, I would recommend that you begin using social media for your fiction in a similar way. Find similar writers on social media with Facebook groups and pages, pay sincere attention to them as well as their readers and watch yourself grow as a result. Promote yourself with your words and actions to them, more than by directly mentioning your work. Advertise your page separately and only volunteer knowledge of your page after you make those initial connections. Share some of your ideas freely, like samples of food at the Supermarket. People want to be freely interested in you before they make a true investment in your work.