I have met many people who are writers, some I know well and have met in person, and others I have never met face-to-face. I read their contributions to our online discussion forum through our Word Guild discussion group.
Later I met Elaine, Janet and Violet, to name a few, at Write! Canada. I continue my connection with them through twitter and facebook as well as private email messages and, in some cases, a phone call.
In Canada, we’re rather spread out geographically, and we’re a good distance, in most cases, from our neighbours south of the border. Online discussions can take us anywhere in the world, depending on who we connect with.
Through the Saturday Snapshot meme on At Home With Books, I’ve become acquainted with Alyce Kreese, a book reviewer from Oregon, as well as fellow writers from Canada, the US, Australia, Scotland, England and Australia. We’re all avid photographers.
I connected with Jill Kemerer through her presence on twitter. I liked what she had to say, and she clicked the follow button for me too. How would I have met all these interesting people otherwise?
I’ve learned that Jill, who writes inspirational romance, enjoys a cup of coffee in the morning and has a good sense of humor. While I have not read any of her books yet, who’s to know that could be in my future? I’ve connected with her on several levels, one having similar concerns as a writer and author.
Why does all this matter? When publishers do less for us as writers, regarding promotion and marketing, we need to do more of it by ourselves, just as business owners must promote their brand. The way to do this, of course, is to engage with people in our target market, those who would read our books, articles and blogs.
As a consumer, I can understand that; I prefer to do business with people I know, wherever possible, whether it’s searching for an editor or speaking coach, even hiring someone to put new shingles on my roof. Alternately, I may act on a friend’s recommendation.
Jill Kemerer wrote in her blog last week, “We already struggle to find time to write; adding all of the social media responsibilities takes even more of our precious minutes away. The tug-of-war between doing what we love, writing, with something that feels vague and at times uncomfortable, social networking, exhausts us.”
Jill considers writing as a business and compares it to a person opening a restaurant because he loves to cook. If no customers come to sit around the tables and taste the food, why bother cooking? It’s like that with writing too. Who will taste the offerings we writers present if we are not known?
We’ve had this discussion on our Word Guild discussion forum too. Many fellow writers agree with Jill; they find it exhausting to cast the net so wide, and a few have given up on social media. While I’m more diligent some days than others, I have often wondered just how much time to spend on it and how long it will take to get results.
For people concerned with return on investment (ROI), know that it takes time. In a seminar I attended more than a year ago, Scott Stratten reminded us to choose two or three social media platforms and do them well, whether it’s twitter, facebook or some other platform. While we may not agree with all of Scott’s methods, there’s one thing we need to remember—the social aspect.
Author of Once Upon a Sandbox