Monday, February 13, 2012

How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love Social Networking

Facebook. Twitter. Pinterest. Tumblr. Blogging.

You just stabbed yourself in the face, didn't you?

It's OK, I wanted to do that at one point in my life too. Luckily, I did not. I learned that I was looking at the entire experience of social networking in the wrong light. I thought I didn't have anything to say. I thought nobody would care. I thought my follower list would be small and that would be embarrassing.

Here's the thing. If you want to make a big bang, it takes time. Building relationships in the e-world is no different than in the real world. You can't be pushy. You can't always talk about yourself. You have to make it clear you're interested in the actual person, and what they have to say. There's a great way to learn about social networking, and have a built in follower base before you even jump into the larger world of social networking.

Join a writer's forum.

Oh yeah, sure, one more thing I have do to, right? I'll tell you flat out I wouldn't have a decent query, an agent, or a deal, without the spectacular community over at AgentQuery Connect. No, really. I wouldn't. I learned so much over there, I can't even begin to break it down. These are the people that helped make my query better as a group. This is where I met my crit partners who helped mold my novel into something attractive to an agent. This is where someone finally said, "Dude, start a blog already."

My first followers on my Twitter and my blog are from AQC. And I think that says a lot.

I admit that I love social networking. Love it so much that I am now contributing to three group blogs. The fantastic From the Write Angle - a blog that offers multiple perspectives on writing and publishing industry, The Lucky 13's - a group of MG and YA authors who are debuting in 2013, and launching TODAY is the newest group endeavor of which I am a part. Book Pregnant - a group of 30 debut authors who are dedicated to helping you understand what to expect as you bring that first book baby into the world.

And THEN you know what I went and did? I'm on Pinterest now.

I know, I'm insane. But I do love that bomb.


Elizabeth May said...

Oh my god, I'm a social media addict, too. I know there are authors who drag their heels and stick to one or two sites, but I have some serious love for it. I'm all over the place!

Anonymous said...

Couldn't agree with you more re the importance of developing/maintaining relationships. I'm not a 'serious' writer and therefore probably easy for me to say - people are seeking a connection with the author of any piece of work - otherwise, no matter how beautiful the words are (and I do think words are beautiful), there will still be a void that cannot be breached. I am amazed at how connected I feel to people I have never met and ponder what it would be like to have that sense of connectedness to the people I physically meet everyday. Social networking often receives some bad press (and obviously much of this deserved), however, it is also a means for many people to experience a connection when it would not be otherwise possible.

Mindy McGinnis said...

E May - Lord, I know it!! I think you and I need to seek counseling. We'll go together, get a Lucky 13's discount or something.

Accidental - Agreed completely. And therein lies the rub of social networking. You're selling yourself, but you can't *oversell.* It's tricky, but sooo worth it once you figure out that tightrope walk!