I'm a writer, and I'm pre-published. (That's the hopeful, inspirational, deluding myself way of saying nobody has published my book- yet)
Part of being a writer, published or pre in today's crazed gotta-have-it-now mentality is to have a platform. No, not the 'I want world peace and harsher punishments for parole violators," Miss America type of platform, or even the "I'm a chauvinistic, racist, rich, white man, but I'm going to pretend I care about you and your blue-collar uninsured family's issues so I can be president," platform either.
A platform for a writer means a presence in readers' awareness. And in the current publishing incarnation of disappearing brick&mortar bookstores that means being a social media queen.
I'm merely a princess on:
I'm more of a lowly maid waiting for her knight in shining Armani on:
I'm a bit of a pea on:
I'm not even including small interest groups like:
Cut out and keep
Pocket After Dark
There are dozens and zillions of other social media sites out there. Flickr, FourSquare and umm, well, there are lots.
Thank goodness I missed the..wait, what was it called... oh, right, umm, MyFace, no YourSpace, no, whatever.
What's a girl to do trying to learn how to effectively use all these sites to hammer and screw together a platform tall enough and strong enough to hold her up while reaching for that Big 6 publishing contract?
Turn to books of course.
Here are some free reads I found to help get a handle on the big scary zombie (the fast running ravenous kind, not the slow-moving Romero kind) monster that is Social Media.
How to Create a Custom Email Address that Expresses the True You by Hugh Kimura
A very easy to follow, step by step process on setting up an email address at your own domain. Every professional author checklist puts having your own email addy at your own domain name (example: firstname.lastname@example.org) near the top. Get your asap using this book as your guide.
One-click this if you need to set up an email address and don't have a teenager or rocket scientist around to help you.
How to use Pinterest by Kristen Brady
A little harder to follow due to typos and writing style this book (plus, look at the cover...). Still the author gives a good introduction on how to get on Pinterest (it's invite only and still in Beta) and some great marketing ideas on how to utilize your Pinterest account to generate some buzz about your brand.
As an aside, if you're a Romance writer, it looks like Pinterest's demographics are ripe with our readers according to the charts and graphs in this book.
One-click this if you have no, or little idea what Pinterest is and want to get in on the next big social media site while it's still hot and fresh (like this morning's cup of joe)
Get More Views on Flickr by Aaron Shanty
The first half of this book is great advice for using any kind of social media, like comment on others, be social, join groups. The second half is tips and tricks on photography and the site specifically. I don't currently have a Flickr account, but have heard that some authors use it for inspiration photos and book covers. So there is potential there for writers to get some notice.
One-click this if your into photography and looking for a place to garner interest and store your photos.
Push: 50 Secrets on How to Land a job by Creating Social Media Buzz by Nelson Wong
This little ditty really is for job seekers, but trying to get a book published or bought by readers is kind of like applying for a job. If you're a really creative thinker you can apply some of the author's ideas to marketing yourself and your book through social media too.
Or maybe you can use his advice to find a job to support your writing habit.
One-click this if you think you can use job-seeking advice to get your name and book out there, or if you actually need a job.
Smashwords Book Marketing Guide by Mark Coker
While this book is directed specifically toward Smashwords authors it has some valuable tips and ideas for any up and coming writer. The first section is all about utilizing your Smashwords profile etc., but then Mark Coker (the founder and CEO of this popular self-pub-your-book site) gives us book marketing 101. Thirty-one solid marketing tools for your promo garden. He includes a relevant how-to on press releases that I personally found fascinating. Too bad I'm not listed in tip #30 Promote your book on top ebook listing sites. Feel free to include Amy Denim's 365 days, 365 Free Ebooks in your marketing arsenal.
One-click this book if you are new to this publishing gig and want the basics or if you published your book on Smashwords.
How to Profit from Social Media Trends by Praveen Kumar
Whew, this one flew a little over my head. You need a degree in marketing to understand most of what the author is talking about here, and it's mostly relevant to companies. There are a few ideas he shared that I thought relevant to writers.
Social Search - searches social media like search engines do on the internet. This could be handy for authors looking to see who is mentioning them on social media. Kumar says it's gonna be big in 2012
Measuring your social media efforts- We're all using social media, but is it doing us any good? Is it selling books? Is it getting our names out where we want them to be? The way to find out is through analytics. Google analytics (for your blog and website), Facebook Insights and Tweet Reach will help you figure these questions out.
One-click this if you have a background in marketing or, not there's no or.
I got some great knowledge about using social media from reading these books. But in the end, If you really want to be twitter, facebook and everywhere else smart I'd recommend checking out Kristen Lamb's blog (and/or her book We are not Alone: The Writer's Guide to Social Media - the Kindle edition is $4.99)
So my lovely bloggers and bloggettes, got any tips on using social media? Favorite resources, sites, books, blogs with tips and tricks? Let me know in the comments section below and if you leave your twitter name I'll tweet you and your tip for the whole twitterverse to see.