So I’ve been struggling with the reality that I have to figure out a way to use social media to market my forthcoming self-published novel, tearing my hair out in the process. I have very short hair too.
Suddenly just today a few things came across my radar about how Facebook and Twitter are, or can be, exploited successfully. Two are in Blaise Lucey’s blog (great name for a character, by the way), who popped up on a simple search of “writers on Facebook.” The first takes a cursory look at a few Facebook pages of famous writers and concludes that Facebook is something of a bust. For one thing, it’s pretty clear that the authors themselves aren’t working the sites. It’s the publishers, or maybe paid assistants — who knows? In any case, the absence of a real human being seems a drawback. Now, it may be different for unknown writers, who are just trying to establish a presence online and want their old high school classmates and long lost cousins to buy their books. In that scenario, I imagine that you want as many serendipitous connections as possible. A Facebook page probably can’t hurt.
The other item looks at the success of a writer named Holly Robinson with Twitter. Holly lays out what seems like a viable, and manageable, Twitter strategy that won’t eat up all your time or make you look like an asshat when you Tweet a picture of your osso buco from some upscale Italian restaurant. It’s all about following other Tweeters with your interests and building relationships. The less direct marketing of your own stuff the better. This I can understand.
A lot of advice about how to use these tools strikes me as overoptimistic cheerleading, and since much of it comes from people I never heard of, I can’t think that social media’s helping them all that much. But the game is niche marketing, right? And one man’s “who he?” is another man’s idol.