Three months ago I ranted about my confusion and dilemma when confronting head-on all the social media options out here to help an indie, self-publisher author to market her work and reach her potential fans/readers (A New Author’s Reflection and Dilemma in Promoting Books (https://junyingkirk.wordpress.com/2011/03/). Now still relatively new on the scene but with two full length novels on Amazon Kindle, and a contribution to a short story collection, I feel I am on more solid ground and no longer as disorientated and overwhelmed. The newly acquired confidence partly comes from picking my way through the giant maze of options, hence a massive learning curve, partly derived from the generous support of fellow writers I’ve come to know, respect and learn from.
Through Facebook and Twitter I’ve met many individuals who are in a similar position to myself. For the last few years since I opened my Facebook account, my circle of friends had remained around 30 with whom I had maintained regular contact and face to face interactions at some stage of my life, now three months after my ‘status’ changed from a normal human being to a ‘published author’, the numbers of my Facebook friends have doubled many times over, and will continue to grow no doubt. These new faces are, guess who? … all published authors of one form or another. While some have been in the game for ever, others are just starting out or have yet to publish their debut novels. If back in March I was pushed into the water trying not to sink in the oceans of writers, in June I have learnt to do the basic doggy-paddle and take a much needed breath above water.
I enjoyed being a member of GoodReads, where I was just a regular reader for a couple of months before I realised that I could actually have an author’s page there with details of my books on. It was a wonderful place for book lovers to share their enthusiasm and passion for literature and movies. I have made the acquaintance of quite a few avid readers who have similar tastes to mine, and I was glad to be able to write reviews on the books I truly loved.
Another group I’ve been invited to and have benefited from was #asmwrite, set up on Facebook by a social media expert Phil Bowyer. So far, I have read two books written by Phil which I’ve found extremely useful, in making sense of all the different sites and constructing my own platform. His Introduction to Social Media Strategies for Small Business is an overview on how small businesses, I guess as self-employed authors, we are small businesses, can use the Internet to market our products/books. It is full of tips, “dos and don’ts” and ideas that we can make use of for our online marketing campaign, employing the likes of Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and others. There is also information on blogging, internet radio, video and other useful resources and links.
Phil’s recent book guided me a step further. In Anti-Social (Media) – How To Break The Rules & Think Different To Create A Powerful Social Media Platform, it explores the different networks in more depth and how they can help we individual authors/musicians to find our audience, and how to build a plan that will work for each of us. The important lessons I have learnt from my readings and navigating my way through these networks have been: I need to know who and where my audience are and what they can get from me? Based on this premise, I am in the middle of building my unique author platform with the grand plan of reaching millions of my readers/fans out there on this planet Earth. Well, maybe not quite in its millions, as that sounds a bit ambitious and perhaps grandiose. But at least a few years down the road, I hope that I would have reached more than just my family and Facebook friends :-).
Here is the link for Phil Bowyer’s books on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Phil-Bowyer/e/B004HV8UVE/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1307372028&sr=1-2-ent. Go and check them out.
Thanks for checking in and do leave a comment if you have learnt anything useful from this week’s blog.