Jana Richards: I could probably live without social media quite happily. I’m not on Twitter and I haven’t looked at my MySpace page for months. I am, however, on Facebook and I admit it’s fun to hear the latest news, and check out people’s links. But really, just send me an email, and I’ll be fine.
There’s no doubt social media has had a significant impact on society. You only have to see grainy video coming out of Syria to understand that. As far as promotion for writers, the impact is less clear. I read a very interesting article written by indie writer Lindsay Buroker who believes that writing her next book, writing books in a series, and having lots of work available for readers, has far more impact on sales than promotion on social media. I’m starting to believe she’s right. But the thing is, if nobody knows about you, how are they going to read your books? J.A. Konrath, promoter extraordinaire, says social media such as Facebook and Twitter will get you more sales than if you didn’t do anything at all. But they may not be the best way to get sales.
I occasionally find myself getting lost in Facebook as I check out interesting links that others have posted, so I can certainly understand the time sink it can become. I know some people are obsessive about checking FB and Twitter, and if you have a smart phone (which I don’t) it’s easy to do. But posting that funny cat video isn’t going to get your next book written.
Karyn Good: Oh, mercy. Social media. For personal stuff, I enjoy Facebook. I loved wasting time on Pinterest, until the whole wait a minute, what are the actual rules thing came to light. I find it handy and entertaining to be on Goodreads. I like knowing there’s a list of the books I’ve read somewhere. As a writer, honestly I don’t think I’ve gotten the hang of Twitter. I haven’t been on there more than a handful of times in the last couple of months. I prefer Facebook and like posting and sharing there. I can see the advantage of Goodreads. But that’s it. I’m taped out. That’s absolutely all I have time for, and not even then.
A friend recently landed an agent, and one thing she had to supply was her social media stats. This worries me. I’m pretty sure mine would classify as ‘low’. If I knew them and could supply them!
Joanne Brothwell: Social media is something I equally love and hate. Facebook has been something I've grown to enjoy, mainly because it is fun to have the instant feedback of friends and family. Is this a useful marketing tool? Not sure. I think it helps, little by little, seeping our names and books into the consciousness of everyone we know.Unfortunately, I simply do not have time to do all of the things that would benefit me as a writer. For example, I heard once that for twitter to be a useful marketing tool, a person needs to tweet twenty or more times a day! I don't have time for that, nor do I have anything interesting or funny to say!
Me: We've all heard that as writers we should be out there in cyberspace - interacting and creating a following (readers). Even well before a book is published it is recommended that you start to build your platform. Well, building that platform requires time - and that's where I have issues! I have a Facebook page - I rarely sign in because once I'm in there, I'm busy catching up on friends and family. I signed up for Twitter and tried to be a good little bird - gained some followers, tried to use # to expand, tried to be 'available' all day. I got bogged down in creating lists to keep track of all my varying groups of friends, columns for my interests, and daily 'trends' in the publishing industry! But the little box keeps popping up in the right hand corner of my computer screen every time someone tweets and then I have to go and check it out! Talk about time consuming - and headache inducing!
The Husband thinks it's crazy - all these people needing to know what everyone is doing every minute of the day. The impact on society is amazing - I hear the word "Tweet" or "Twitter" or "Facebook" (and don't get me started on the use of 'facebook' as a verb) every day. We are run by social media! Does it help with promotion? Perhaps if you had a book out! I know that it ends up being hugely time consuming for me - I'll stick with my lowly blog as my means of social media...for now!
Your turn! What say you, People of Blogland?