Friday, 7 June 2013

Making Your Presence Known: A Guest Post by Stacey O'Neale

We're talking about social media today here at WoW (maybe I should think of another acronym...) and of course when it came time to talk about social media I thought who better than Stacey O'Neale should be the one to talk about the ever-terrifying notion of putting yourself out there in the virtual world.

Back in the days before internet and blogging, authors could exist in their writing caves and only be forced to leave for an occasional bookstore appearance. Nowadays, writers are expected to play a major role in the publicity of their books. Even traditionally published authors have websites, twitter, goodreads, and facebook pages.

In regards to social media, the most important fact to remember is: everyone is watching. With that in mind, you want to be conscience of what you're putting out there into the world. Thanks to social media, every image and 140 character thought you have is now on display. You will be judged, so you need to decide what type of image you want your potential audience to see. You've heard the term, image is everything. Well, it's as true in publishing as it is anywhere else in life. And, if you want to be taken seriously, you have to keep this in mind in all your social media interactions. But, it's not all boring. You want your potential readers to get to know you. I always ask my clients to be professional, but have fun with it too. It's not all about marketing. People participating in social media are there because they want to make a personal connection. You have to find a balance you're comfortable with. Here's a few hints to get you started.

Things you SHOULD do:

  • Use professional pictures on your social media outlets.
  • Create a website, facebook, twitter, and goodreads page.
  • Be active on your social media pages.
  • Interact with readers and let them get to know you.
  • Have fun!!! J

Thing you SHOULD NOT do:

  • React to negative reviews.
  • Talk poorly about the publishing industry.
  • Share your political or religious views unless you wrote a book about them.
  • Post buy links to your books. This is the easiest way to get unfollowed/blocked on any social media outlet.

Stacey O’Neale is a freelance writer, publicist, and book blogger. She has participated in panels at Book Expo America, Virginia Festival of the Book, and the Frederick Book Festival. In addition, she teaches social media and publicity courses through Savvy Authors and the Romance Writers Association.

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