After I sold my novel, I had a great conversation with my editor. We talked about future edits for the story. We talked about a possible sequel. And we talked about the importance of social media. #dontforgettotweet
My editor told me I “need to have an online presence.” She said I “need a Facebook page, a website, and a twitter account.” So I went ahead and set them all up, promising myself that I would maintain and update these three different platforms regularly. But this task hasn’t been easy. #suckattwitter
To be candid, I’m a bit baffled about how to integrate ongoing social media updates into my life. I understand that these updates, in particular stream of consciousness tweeting, is what keeps authors present in the their readers’ minds, so that when we DO have a big announcement, our readers will receive it. I get it. What I can’t quite figure out is what to blog / update / tweet about and when! Most days I’m grateful if I get in a few hours of writing and actually remember to brush my teeth. #notenoughtime
I follow many authors who tweet all day. Their tweets are frequently pithy and entertaining. If I tweeted all day, my feed would look something like this:
Dropped kids off at school
Went to dog park
Picked up kids from school
Drove kids to activities
Helped kids with homework
Put kids to bed
Tried to write
Went to sleep instead
Do most readers really want to read tweets about an author’s sick dog? Do they care if a successful author’s kid has a fever? #Boring. Right? I mean, seriously, who wants to read THAT in my twitter feed? If I actually tweeted my daily existence, I’d lose followers not gain them. When my dog or kid is sick … I’m usually #strugglingtosurvive the day … not tweeting about it.
And there’s something else that people don’t really talk much about. Sometimes Twitter makes me feel blue. Cliques form on Twitter – groups of authors band together and form alliances. They participate in “private” discussions that I’m not invited to join, but I can read verbatim. They share their success and promote the success of others. I know I should be happy for every single author whose book wins an award or reaches some huge publishing milestone, but as a struggling, poor, author who’s put in years and years and still needs a day job, I admit that sometimes being reminded of other people’s success is hard. Something about being that kind of voyeur frequently just makes me #feelinadequate.
I won’t even get into how baffled I am about how these online contests and giveaways work. I’m sure if I had the time, I could do more research and figure it out, but clearly, all these other authors have figured out something I haven’t. #timemanagement perhaps.
Still, regardless of my own virtual insecurities, having an online presence is critical in marketing books to YA readers. #igetit I guess what I really want to know is: How do authors find the time to write AND maintain such a strong online presence? How do they find the time to post clever Facebook updates and write regular, consistent blogs about the writing process?
I don’t want this blog entry to sound like a mad rant about social media, and I hope it doesn’t. Really, I’m venting about the disconnect between current social media expectations and the reality of my own life. Is it possible to find the balance? Is it possible to master social media and write my next book? #whatdoyouthink
Share your comments here or with me @sharirbecker. Then you can follow my bi-weekly tweets about #mydog, #mykids, and oh yeah! #mybooks.