A Writing Life: Keeping Social Media Social

Monday, September 12, 2016

Keeping Social Media Social

I don't know about you but as an author, I'm a little confused.

I read in blogs and articles that social media doesn't sell books and then scroll to the next list of blogs and articles that say to authors they are dead in the water without a Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram (and the list goes on and on) presence. 

So what gives? 

Well, I wish I had a solid answer. But I'll say this- I have found both views to be right. 

I'm no social media mogul or marketing guru by any stretch of the imagination, but I do read a ton on the subject and I am an author. And for me personally, the key is to remember that...

Social media is social...

I'm a pretty strong extrovert. I like people. I like talking to people. Hanging out. Which means I have to really reign in my time on social media sites. As an author, I can get caught up really fast in the ever continuing spiral of worrying about the number of followers, how many people liked a certain post, and the ever horrifying desire to look at who un-followed me at any point. (Word to the wise, don't put those apps on your phone that show you that stuff. It's a black hole of sadness and misery. Trust me.)

Being a reader is not the same as it used to be. I can say the same for being a writer. As a reader, I used to look the back of a book jacket and read the few sentences that talked about the author. That was it. That was all you got. Now, you can chat on twitter or Facebook with Susan Mallery or Nora Roberts. It's a whole new world.

I can sucked in pretty fast and before I know it, I've wasted precious time simply scrolling through sites, the little voice in the back of my head telling me I'm "working" or "marketing" or attempting to sell books. But I'm not. Because...

Social media is social...

Funny thing, when I get on my author sites and chat with people, spend some time having fun and connecting and then walk away, I enjoy it so much more. There's no stress. In the same way that I like to engage with an author on social media as a reader, I enjoy engaging with readers on my author sites. Will they buy my books because of it? Maybe. But I'd rather view it was my back porch where I get to know readers better and they get to know me.

I can sit and chat then go do what I do that gives us something to talk about - Write Books. Hope that my stories encourage women, make even a tiny difference in their world. Because that's what counts.

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