From Sarah, With Joy

Writer querying two novels and some other word babies. I tend to effervesce.

New post every Monday

Saturday, April 16, 2011

N is for Networking


In todays publishing world, it is vital for writers who want a successful career to do as much of the networking and marketing themselves as they can. We've talked about this before, and will talk about it in the future, because its important. Personally, I find this aspect of a writing career fascinating, and one that everyone can continually learn about and improve on, which is why I think its worth talking about every once in a while.

Right now I'm working on compiling a list of at least a couple dozen of the best websites writers can use for networking and marketing. I'll probably post that list once the April A-Z challenge is over, so get ready for that. (I'll want some advice from any of you who are familiar with any of those sites, so get ready for that too). I thought I'd start today, though, with what I like to call the Big Five networking sites:

1: Facebook
2: Twitter
3: LinkedIn
4: YouTube
5: Flickr

I know these are not author specific sites, (I will get to those in the later post) but authors can still use them to reach the widest possible online audience. Facebook and Twitter are obvious ones, fairly easy to use, with HUGE audience potential. LinkedIn is a bit of a weird one, and I'm still figuring out how writers can best use it. What I've come up with so far is connecting with people in the LinkedIn groups and using your network to connect with editors, agents and publishers. LinkedIn definitely adds a sense of professionalism to your online presence. YouTube and Flickr also seem strange recommendations for people who work in the medium of words, but they are a huge resource that it would be a shame not to tap into. Really, all you need is a camera.

*As a side note, I would not recommend using your personal Facebook or LinkedIn page to connect with people you don't know, though Twitter, YouTube and Flickr could work that way. However, a Facebook Fan page is perfect for gathering a huge audience, and LinkedIn can help you make incredibly useful real life connections.

I'm saying all of this assuming that you are using these sites along with a personal author site or blog. A website or blog is kind of like home base, the place all of these other sites are pointing towards. Like the hive, and the other sites are worker bees bringing in honey (or, you know, readers). Like those smaller dragons on How To Train Your Dragon who had to bring in sheep for the big monster dragon (except the home site is probably a bit nicer and less scary looking). Like...ok, I'll stop.

It takes effort to be successful on one of these sites, let alone all of them. But it can make all the difference, and if you manage your time, energy and resources wisely, it is definitely possible. If any of you have advice or experience on these sites, I would love to hear it.

Sarah Allen

17 comments:

  1. Some very good information on this post. I work at a conference center/hotel and we started using all of these social networking sites to bring business in. I don't know how people find the time to maintain all of these social networking sites but it seems like the hot thing to do. Have a wonderful saturday!

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  2. Oh, Twitter. You confuse and astound me. I have an account, but am terrified to start on that. Time's so limited as it is, and I'm only blogging. Yikes! If sleeping and working for a living weren't necessary, I could do it all. :)

    Thanks for sharing!

    Marie at the Cheetah

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  3. When I first started making connections, it seemed like a daunting task. It still is, I think, but it's become something that I do as and when I remember, which isn't good. For now, I mostly use Facebook and Twitter. Blogging has opened my doors to a lot of other writers, which I'm enjoying. Haven't explored LinkedIn, but I get the potential that it has and apart from my booktrailers, I don't do anything on Youtube.

    Your post made me think thought, but I feel anxiety creeping up at the thought of taking on more. :)

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  4. Great post! So far I have my blog (which will a be a year old in May) and recently I signed up to Twitter. Already, I can see how vital Twitter can be for self-promotion. I've decided to not do Facebook until my WIP is finished and accepted for publication (note the positive attitude. LOL). Like you suggest, I'll probably just do a fan page. I've never been interested in Facebook for personal use.

    Ellie Garratt

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  5. Yes, authors nowadays have to do all that. Don't forget GoodReads too - it's pretty good. It's so time-consuming though and I'd much rather be writing than twittering!

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  6. Hi Sarah! This is a great post... Very educational! I love the How To Train Your Dragon analogy (amazing movie).

    *New Follower*

    -Sarah @ Inklings Read.

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  7. Agreed. I also like the Train Your Dragon analogy! I spend time in the care and feeding of my blog, but have been ignoring my twitter of late. My twitter dragon is probably breathing fire over there.

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  8. I used to have Twitter and Facebook for personal use, and got burned out on them and closed them and hated even the thought! Now I'm back on Twitter, semi-personal and semi-...well, not PROFESSIONAL, but for promotion at least. I like it a lot more now, especially the conversation aspect compared to LOOK AT MY FUNNY TWEET! But I'm still soured on Facebook.

    I've read a lot on promotion and most people say if you're only going to have one, Twitter is a good one to have, so I hold that advice close to my heart, haha!

    - allison writes

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  9. Excellent information. It still comes down to what you choose. I will do things out of my comfort zone that are necessary but others things are not me so I don't go there.

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  10. I use twitter and Facebook. Twitter has brought photography contacts I wouldn't have found otherwise. On Facebook I have found my articles lifted and quoted word for word by others who do not seem concerned that they have not acknowleged the scource.

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  11. If you do use your personal Facebook account to connect to readers, you may want to set up a "group" for them. You can post different messages for different groups, so not everyone sees all your posts. Might be too much of a hassle, but it can be done.

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  12. More great advice Sarah! I'm also soured on fb, but I am on Twitter and have my blog address on my twitter profile, but I don't know that it does any good...it's hard to tell cause I get very few, if any, comments..so I don't really know what works and what doesn't..it is fun though and that's why I do it, so I guess it doesn't really matter..I learn so much from your posts!

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  13. I'm a big fan of Twitter and also use Facebook, but not as often as Twitter. One place I haven't even looked at yet is Linkedin. I think I may have to take the step at some point, but I am running out of hours in the day and I'm really not prepared to give up sleep :)

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  14. I love the connections side of writing. It's inspiring and uplifting, and I've met many wonderful people that way.

    It does take up a large chunk of time, but it doesn't feel like a waste because I learn from it.

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  15. I'll be looking forward to your findings as you investigate, Sarah. I've found blogging and twitter to be the best resources for networking. For some reason, I don't feel qualified to have a facebook fanpage yet :-) As far as Linked In goes, the publishing 'groups' are pretty cool and have good potential for networking.

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  16. Sounds like a cool idea for a group of posts, can't wait to see what else you come up with :)

    Hugs,

    Rach

    PS - um, have you heard about my Crusade? It's a pretty good way to network ;)

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I absolutely love hearing from you! Thank you so, so much for your thoughts and comments, they really do make my day. Consider yourself awesome. Also, I do my best to respond to every comment within 24 hours, so I invite you to come back and continue the conversation :)

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