Based on advice from Kristen Lamb’s book “We Are Not Alone” (WANA) and her blog posts I have decided to share how I’m using social media as an “author platform.” As I am yet to be what is considered an author, the social media platform is in the works, the prepatory phase for what I hope one day will be a published book.
So first of all, lets talk about this blog Uni-Verse-City. Golden rule #1 is to name your blog with the name that will appear on the cover of your books. Oppsie, didn’t know that when I created Uni-Verse-City. But now you will notice that the blog is actually called Nicole Basaraba’s Uni-Verse-City. A place where I can write a (uni) post (verse) no matter what city (city) I’m in. As mentioned on my About page, its a name that gives me, Nicole Basaraba the author, versatility to write about things I like.
Another tidbit I picked up from Kristen was that an author’s blog should be about the author not only about writing. With the title “Uni-Verse-City” I built-in some room for variety in the topics from the get go, which I think is good right?
So on the blog front I think I’m doing ok because I:
- Used my name on the blog
- Have a photo (which doesn’t have to be stellar…obviously) and a short bio about me on the homepage of the blog
- Have an About page that describes my blog, a bit about me, and has my contact info.
So far so good, if I missed anything needed for a solid blog, PLEASE leave a comment.
Facebook page: Kristen mentions in her book WANA, that you have a few options when it comes to Facebook, you can have a Facebook profile where you can have friends and/or a Facebook page. Since I already had a Facebook account with all my high school and university buddies, I decided to create a Facebook Page for my “author platform.”
What can you put on a Facebook page??? Well, I write a lot of travel posts and I thought the Facebook would be a great place to host additional photos that go along with my posts. It brightens it up, definately makes it more interesting and hopefully encourages people to “Like” it. Hint, hint. I have yet to have enough visitors over there to start a discussion or run contests. Maybe when I get to 300 “Likes” (which Kristen calls something like the magic number), I will give away a big prize or something.
Twitter: Luckily I was “uncreative” for my Twitter account and used my name, which is what Kristen recommends anyway. Score on this one! No monikers like “canadianwriterchick” because who can buy a book written by “canadianwriterchick”? Nobody, but they can buy one by the tweeter’s author name. Like Kristen I love Twitter, its adicting because all the nice “tweeps” are so friendly and supportive and fun! There’s something about the little spurts of information and useful links that gives you positive reinforcement on a minute by minute basis.
Twitter is a great way to stumble upon a great blogger or someone with similar interests or is writing in the same genre(s) as you. I know I feel some sort of connection when I find a fellow Canadian or women’s fiction writer on Twitter. Also the hastags are so powerful that I have no words. At the beginning I was tweeting to nobody, ok like 20 people, and then once I got the hastag thing figured out, BAM! Everything exploded and I immediately downloaded Tweetdeck. What’s Tweetdeck? Its an application that you can download for free to manage all our social media platforms including Twitter’s hastag conversations.
MySpace??? As mentioned on my WUVC post two weeks ago, Kristen Lamb has annouced that we can skip MySpace now. Good thing I waited on that one. Although this platform still has millions of users, its popularity seems to be slowly dying and other platforms like Facebook and now Google+ are/will be taking over.
These are the three main social network services I use. However I also use Goodreads, which I haven’t figured out to use to its full capacity yet, but I love the idea of sharing good books and having an electronic list of books I’ve read and want to read to keep me on track. I think authors might be using this platform in some ways to promote thier book(s) and get reviews. If you’re using Goodreads, please leave some tips/advice in the comments.
I’m in no hurry to jump on the Google+ train with these four platforms (plus Linkedin) I already manage, but I will keep my eye on it to see how it develops.
How have you used social media as an author platform? How do you make use of your blog, Facebook page/profile, Twitter, Goodreads, Google+, ect.?