1. Veloci-Rapture

    Veloci-Rapture Member

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    New Media/Blogging Tips on creating a platform?

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Veloci-Rapture, Sep 14, 2020.

    I'm in the "researching" phase of getting my manuscript published while I wait for beta reader reviews to come back, and one thing I keep seeing over and over from agent websites and articles about writing as a career is that an author needs a social media presence.

    I do not have one of those, and have been avoiding it, hoping that tip just somehow doesn't apply to me. Which is dumb, I know. The world changed; a platform is a big advantage now. I just don't quite know how to go about building one.

    I was thinking of finally signing up for Twitter, and starting a blog (if for no other reason than to have somewhere an agent can see other samples of my writing). Is that the right way to go with this, or am I still a decade behind the times? What is a good way to start getting a presence out on the internet?

    The most terrifying thing about this step isn't the stuff I don't know, it's the stuff I don't even know I don't know. For people who have a platform, what did you wish you knew before you got started making it?
     
  2. More

    More Active Member

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    I wish I could give some encouraging and useful advise . Unfortunately the internet is a very big sea and if your bobbing about in the middle of it ,hoping to be rescued, it probably will not happen. To have significant internet presence takes money and time . That not say you should not think about promoting yourself . Making a web site can be interesting and satisfying , but to get everybody to look at it, is hard . Have a look a Creative Penn on YouTube . You might find it interesting.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2020
  3. TWErvin2

    TWErvin2 Contributor Contributor

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    Another item you might consider establishing is a newsletter, and begin getting people to sign up to receive it. That can be a challenge, but it is one of the best ways, especially long term, to interact with your readers/audience. Unlike FB groups, for example, you are not exposed to the whims of FB for what is acceptable, what you might end up having to pay for, or if your account, for some reason gets cancelled.

    Sure, you might only garner 10 or 15 people to start with for your newsletter, and content might be tight (but could be similar to a blog, and not sent out really frequently, at least initially). Agents/Publisher would love to have a new author with a massive and effective platform. It makes their job easier, and your initial success more likely, but it is also true that most new authors are not in that position.

    You can only do the best you can. If, for example, you enjoy blogging, or interacting via Twitter, or a FB author groups, (for example) use those options. Try to gravitate toward something you can at least tolerate, if not enjoy, especially as you're probably going to be doing it for years.
     
  4. Mckk

    Mckk Member Supporter Contributor

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    I've heard you shouldn't use too many platforms - eg. you should only use as many as you can maintain, so be selective. Also, it's good to use the ones you'd normally use anyway. I'm doing Facebook (because I'm on it all the time), Twitter (because I have limited experience with it and there're lots of writers, agents and publishers on it), and Instagram (because I've been told by a graphic designer friend who used to be in marketing that Insta is the way to go. People want visuals these days).

    So I've got FB because it's what I use anyway, and then Twitter and Insta in order to keep with the times. If you let me know your handle, I'll follow you, and would appreciate a follow back of course!
     
  5. KevinMcCormack

    KevinMcCormack Senior Member

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    I remain interested in this type of thread because after about 2 years of taking stabs at it, I'm still drawing a complete blank on social media platform modelling for a fiction author.

    I literally don't get it, and that's the barrier at this point. I'm very tech savvy, I've operated social media strategies for other companies where the model was very clear.

    But for fiction authoring where I'm the brand, I don't have any ideas.

    Books, I can write. Tweets, not so much.
     
  6. KevinMcCormack

    KevinMcCormack Senior Member

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    OK, I have finally heard some advice that might work for me in this interview:

    Strategic Authorpreneur Podcast: 008: SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY FOR WRITERS WITH LIZA PALMER

    The recommendation is to post fiction snippets based on my works. For example, an imaginary recipe that one of my characters tried.

    It's actually something I do under one of my pseudonym's blogs, which is a 'play' blog where I post short fiction work, mostly parody pieces like the Onion. The tweak being that I can try to do it In Universe.


    Just to explain why this appeals to me... The debate in my head about marketing on the various platforms involves concerns about privacy, and concerns about the fact that I just don't get it and therefore don't know how to provide interesting content as a fiction author.

    This model helps a bit, because I can still offer content that's anonymized and interesting and on brand.


    One element of this approach that makes me unsure about it is that it's eliminating my personal stuff as any part of the equation. This is not consistent with a lot of the canned advice I hear along the lines of "Just be yourself," - this doesn't compute if the model is a pseudonym issuing mini stories about fictional characters.


    So I'm looking for thoughts about this approach and whether it's worth committing to, and if there are any examples out there. I've never seen anything along these lines.
     
  7. pyroglyphian

    pyroglyphian Word Painter

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    Interesting. I suppose if this helps to find people who may connect with the kind of story you write then it’s worth experimenting with.

    With social media, it should be borne in mind that organic reach has decreased considerably over the last 18-24 months as the companies behind the platforms seek to increase advertising revenue.

    In the name of science I recently spent £10 sponsoring two (crappy) lines of poetry on Instagram. In 5 days the post racked up around 4000 views, 800 likes, 60 instances of people saving it to their accounts, and 10 new followers. This level of engagement grossly outweighs what it’s generally possible to achieve via a modest following and any amount of hashtag use — regardless of how well researched.
     
  8. KevinMcCormack

    KevinMcCormack Senior Member

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    Just so I understand what you're saying...

    It sounds like you're detecting that the platforms - or at least IG and FB - are evolving into more of a straightforward visibility-through-paid-advertising platform rather than a visibility-through-follower-engagement vehicle?


    FWIW, though, I think what I've struggling with is not so much the vectors for visibility as a "What exactly should I post in the first place?" question.
     
  9. pyroglyphian

    pyroglyphian Word Painter

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    Indeed @KevinMcCormack. I suppose writing is so niche and diverse that what works for one may not for another. Generally, it’s good to keep the intended audience central to considerations. Once you’ve decided who you intend to reach, the answers to how to reach them? and with what? should become clearer.

    I liked your idea of the imaginary recipe because I’ve seen people out there who get off on investing themselves in fictional worlds; escapism I guess. If those are the readers you’re looking for, i.e. if your stories might facilitate escapism, then luring people in with nuggets and snippets could be worth trying.

    I’d like to try that too so thanks for the suggestion. A step-by-step guide with diagrams: How to care for sausage plants.
     
  10. Mckk

    Mckk Member Supporter Contributor

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    I'd read an insta post on how to care for sausage plants. That sounds cute and hilarious! I think your advice on following the interests of your followers is very sound. So if you're writing crime, some true crime snippets from time to time might be good bonus material.
     
    pyroglyphian likes this.

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