Monday, February 23, 2009

Social Networking results in exposure/sales

I'm still adjusting to the idea that social networking sites, such as Twitter and Facebook, are important to me and my book, and thus, worthy of my time. Why are they, and how many should you establish a presence on?

I think exposure is the key: the more our name is in the great "out there" the more people are going to be interested in what you're doing, in what I'm doing. I'm tweeting on Twitter, and it feels so strange, because I'm not engaged in personal conversations with people. I do, however, realize that the more people that I follow (within reason), the more people will see about me and my work. The concept of tweeting 3 times a day or so takes some getting used to.

Facebook is fun, but it takes time. I have to admit this is the most fun social networking site that I'm on. I've met people I thought long gone from my life, and I'm trying to follow conversations and comment on people's walls that I think fall within the demographics of those I am wanting to reach with both my name and the name of my book.

I also belong to JacketFlap, and haven't really gotten the hang of that, either. I guess I need to make a more concerted effort to get there and "do something." Not sure what that is, yet.

In case you've never heard of JacketFlap (I hadn't heard of it until a couple of weeks ago, either), it is simply one in a list of sites I haven't heard of before. If you're into social networking--and we as authors should be--then you may want to consider some further social networking sites: Nothing Binding, Shoutlife, Live Journal, Authors Den, LinkedIn, Scribd and Axis Avenue. I have only made brief visits to these sites, so be sure and follow up on your own. Ning groups are also a great way to garner some exposure. These sites are not all social networking sites in the way Facebook or Twitter is, but are sites to be aware of where you can gain exposure and network.

Why are these sites important? Because, the more social networking groups we are a part of, the more varied of an audience we will have for our name/book. Do what I'm doing. Take the time to learn and participate. I am, and I firmly believe you will be glad you did.


Donna said...

Thanks for the suggestions, Katie. There are so many of these sites I've yet to explore, but Facebook has definitely connected me with old friends and resulted in sales (not that this is the main pleasure of it).

I'm a member of GoodReads and Red Room as well. The former is fun as a book review site and to see what friends are reading, but I don't go often and haven't sensed it resulted in much in terms of promotion. I'm also not a big participator in Red Room which has lots of much more famous authors.

Anyway, thanks again!

Jan Verhoeff said...

Social Networking can boost your business in more ways than one. I got a job from a contact I made on facebook a few weeks ago. The best part is, you can flaunt your style and everybody recognizes you later. It becomes a part of the package.

I've been pretty much home bound for a few weeks with sick kids, but facebook, twitter, and other social networks keep me out there in front of the market. On an afternoon run to the grocery store, I ran into a facebook buddy who asked if I could help set up a website Friday. That's two jobs this week from facebook connections. They work! They're effective, and they don't take that much time.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

I've yet to be convinced that networking has increased the sales of my book, but that's okay. I agree, Katie. I think meeting interesting writers all over the world is a good thing. It inspires me to know there are so many talented people. And it makes the world smaller and far more approachable and neighbourly.

Connie Arnold said...

I don't know if the networking helps you sell more books, but it does keep your name out there, as you said Katie, and is a good way to meet new people who possibly are interested in what you write. Thanks for your suggestions!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I'm hooked up with most of those and quite a few more...

Twitter is fun and I've made connections, but occasionally I forget. FaceBook recently exploded for me when I had a high school friend find me - and suddenly a whole slew of them found me!

We do have to pick and chose, or we'll not be effective. I vist my others about once a week or so and the only other one I am daily is Deviant Art. It was my first and I have generated so much interest and sales through that site, sending my books all over the globe.

It works if you work it!

L. Diane Wolfe

elysabeth said...

Great job, Katie. Now you are seeing the bigger picture and knowing that just having your blog going isn't enough. You have to network to hit the right group of people. I'm also on JacketFlap (which basically is for children's authors and illustrators and publishers and editors), Verla Kay's Blue Board Forums (for a lack of better word that is what everyone refers to it as), several NING sites and several yahoo forums. I only tend to my blogs as far as postings go and try to update my facebook page every so often but mostly the rest of them get kind of neglected. You can go overboard by following too many networks and get lost in the shuffle but if you limit yourself (and you know your bounds better than anyone else), in the long run, it should work for you. See you in the postings - E :)

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

I've never heard of most of these sites. I'm trying to learn about social media but can see I still have so much more work to do. Thanks for the info.

Jane Kennedy Sutton
Author of The Ride

Morgan Mandel said...

I'm on so many sites I can't keep track of them, but my favorites are Twitter, Book Place, My Space, sometimes Facebook.

Morgan Mandel

Lisa L. Leibow said...

I'm just getting the hang of the social networking on-line game -- or not. It can be overwhelming at times and take much time away from what I really want to be doing: crafting my next novel! However, I understand the importance of it from a promotional standpoint--it accelarates the word of mouth if more people are talking about you and your book.

I have figured out a way to get twitter to update my Facebook Status. Can twitter interact with any of the other sites you suggest? It would make it much less overwhelming if I could go to one place and update the status on all of the social networking places. Don't you think? Any tips would be greatly appreciated.


and btw, I'm going to follow you on twitter!

Kim Richards said...

I agree that the social network sites are a good resource. You have to balance your time though. Otherwise you'd neve get anything new written. I give myself a time limit to spend on them each day.

Donna McDine said...

Hi Katie...Social Networking is a terrific way to network and it has proven positive for me in so many ways. But it can become exhausting. Like Kim...I used to spend way too much time on I write first then go on the computer. Makes the day much more productive!

Warm regards,

elysabeth said...

I wish my writing life were that easy, Donna. You must write longhand and then do computer stuff later. I spend my life on the computer and have become spoiled in that I type everything; it hurts my hands to write for long periods of time. I also spend the majority of my day on the computer working my actual job so it makes it harder to schedule writing time.

It looks like I'll have a break this weekend so I may get something accomplished on states #3, 4 and 5, even though I'll be out of town. We shall see.

My question is how do you determine when enough is enough? How do you limit which networks to join and which aren't as beneficial as others? It's a tough job since there are so many good sites out there nowadays. Oh well, I'll have to keep on plugging away and hopefully build my readership more than it is now. Katie has a good following for this being a new blog; I'd like to know her secret for gaining the readers, at least to the blog - lol. Anyway great points everyone. See you all in the postings - E :)

Anonymous said...

You got it - social networking is key - as is building up your blog traffic and following. You're doing very well!