Friday, January 10, 2014

Social Media & Building Your Author Platform

Hi all,
I thought I’d write down a few basic thoughts on social media, and building your author platform. I hope you’ll find this of interest, and if there’s anything you’d like to add please do, we’re all still learning.
All of the below may sound daunting at first, but when you're on top of it all you'll manage all of this in about 15/20 minutes a day.

I use social media, daily, I work for myself so luckily I have the time. The main ones I think are Facebook, a blog (I use blogger), Goodreads, and Twitter. It is all about interacting with other writers, sharing articles and interesting snippets you find. The more information you share the more people will be interested in you and what you have to say, including your own writing. 
I think this is what Facebook works at best. It is packed full of writing groups for you to join, it’s visual and easy to use. There are so many writers using it, it can be a mine of information and people willing to help. A lot of people aren’t comfortable with strangers adding you as a friend on Facebook and seeing your holiday snaps or pictures from last year’s office Christmas party, so set up an author page and use that instead of your own for posting links on Twitter etc. But remember don’t get stuck on Facebook too long, there’ll be no time left for writing. 
Blogging, I started off with quotes, and the odd bit I found interesting, it builds slowly, but it does build. The key is to post something on your blog regularly, leave it too long in-between and people will lose interest. Any blog you find an article about writing, post a link on Twitter and Facebook. If people find it of interest, they will share it. 
Goodreads is a place for writers and readers where you share your reviews on books that you've read. You get the opportunity to give it a star rating and a brief review. There are many writing groups on there, search them out in your genre and join in. It's all about getting your name out there. Goodreads also offer a book giveaway, you register your book and set the dates you want the competition to run, and people enter who'd like to win. Goodreads pick a winner and you post it off. I did one a few months ago, I put up a signed copy of The Eleventh Hour, and over 800 registered to win it. Also on Goodreads, lookout out for the opportunity to review someone else’s book, people are often looking for reviewers and you could get offered an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) to give your review on. This benefits you in a few ways - It gets people looking at your Goodreads page and your blog, they may follow you on Facebook and Twitter, plus the person may do a review for you come the time. Also get people you know to add your book to their 'To Read' list and you offer to do the same to theirs. If someone searches your book, it'll show there are plenty of others that are interested in reading your book.
I've left twitter to last - I feel none of the above work without twitter. Think of it as your advertising board, a way of bringing people to look at all of the above. You build up your followers list by interacting and following others, again like Facebook you share their tweets etc. Post the links to your Facebook and blog, and anything else of interest. It does seem a bit as if you're repeating yourself across the social media outlets. But you need them all to make each of the others work.
The most important lesson in social media - You may have noticed I haven't mentioned your book. Nothing puts people off more than someone repeatedly pushing their book. People want to be interested in you and what information you post first, then your book. So fill your pages with writing info and titbits slightly peppered with info on your novel.
As your release date comes closer, see if you can find people who are interested in your genre to review your novel. Pick and choose carefully, you want someone that has a good following, check their Goodreads/Facebook/Twitter/Blog and make sure they're active. It's a waste of a book if they don't have all or most of these.
Also, create a buzz about your book near to its release date. Don't just post a picture of your cover, try to think of someway of releasing it, such as an online jigsaw or a way in which the more people click on the link the more of the cover will be revealed. Organize giveaways, bookmarks/postcards etc. (Also known as Swag). I'm also toying with the idea of making a short video clip using MS Moviemaker. There's a lot of discussion on whether or not these work, but to be honest, I think it'll be fun to do. 
When you have these set up and going, there is Linkedin, Instagram, and Pininterest, but I'm always here and if you need help or any info please message me, I'd love to know how you get on.

By the way I'm on: 

Facebook Author Page 

All the best,
Daniel Kaye.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Try to Write About the Darkest Things in the Soul

I talk about the things people have always talked about in stories: pain, hate, truth, courage, destiny, friendship, responsibility, growing old, growing up, falling in love, all of these things. What I try to write about are the darkest things in the soul, the mortal dreads. I try to go into those places in me that contain the cauldrous. I want to dip up the fire, and I want to put it on paper. The closer I get to the burning core of my being, the things which are most painful to me, the better is my work.