When I first started out to create my on-line presence, and generate some interest in my book, I honestly didn’t know where to begin. The task seemed huge and very daunting. After all, I’m just small little me in a giant sea of other indie authors all trying to do the same thing. In this day and age of social networking, there are so many sites out there than can potentially help you get noticed.
Firstly, I knew I needed my own website but I didn’t want to spend a lot of money to get someone to do this for me. I’m a graphic designer, so I knew I could put together something not too complicated. I bought my domain name and paid the extra for DNS hosting, then chose Blogger as my platform. I could have simply used a free Blogger web address, but I wanted to have my own domain, hence the DNS hosting. Blogger is very user friendly and extremely easy to customise with your own colours and backgrounds. Once that was set up, I needed a way to tell people about my blog.
Out of curiosity I Googled social networking sites and found this from Wikipedia. I almost fell off my chair! Who knew there were so many sites that are actually active? This statement in the article further added to my shock “Please note the list is not exhaustive, and is limited to notable, well-known sites.”
Well then, where was I to go from here? Admittedly, most of these sites I had never heard of before, so that immediately ruled them out. I also knew I didn’t want to spend all my time networking; I want time to write, so I decided to go with the major two that everyone knows about and have a huge amount of users – Facebook and Twitter.
I already have my pool of established friends on Facebook, so I set up an author page for myself and sent out invites to my network, asking them to please pass it on. I don’t have a huge fan base on my page yet, but with time and a combination of other things, which I’ll get to, it will come. And I am extremely grateful for the likes I do have.
Next, I moved on to Twitter. I had an old account sitting there from my graphic design business, but I was never active on it unless Facebook sent an automatic tweet. So I’d never really learnt how to use it properly. In the past week or so since I set up my Twitter account and have started actually using it, I’ve made some great connections and found some fantastic resources.
The other site I’ve signed up with is Goodreads. This is another great networking site where you can share what you’re reading, post reviews and ratings, and interact with other fellow like minded people. I love books, so this seemed like a perfect match. I can spend hours on there looking through the catalogue and checking out what others are reading. The iPhone app even has a scanner so you can scan all your own books instead of searching for them. Genius!
I then moved on to trying to find some blog sites to review my book before it goes live in the hope that I’ll have some positive feedback to go along with the launch. One lovely blogger was extremely helpful and suggested I do a blog tour. I had heard of these, and thought I could organise one myself, but when I looked into it, there is a lot of work involved. Like I said before, I would like more time to write, so I’ve decided to enlist some help with the promotional side of the equation. I ended up finding a few book blog tour companies that other authors in my genre have used. I did some more research and have chosen to sign up with Bewitching Book Tours. Organisation is in the early stages, but I’ll let you know once the schedule is up and running.
So, to re-cap, I think with the combination of Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and a book blog tour, I’ll be able to get the word out there.
What social networking sites do you prefer, and why?