It is one of the ironies of the writing life; most writers are introverts who must morph into extroverts when it comes time to promote their wares. This isn’t just about changing hats, it’s more like changing skin. Keep in mind though…(and in no particular order)
1. There’s a slim (very slim) line between effective self-promotion and annoying pushiness. Tweeting ‘Buy My Book’ every two hours is the latter.
2. Building a writing platform takes time - in every sense of the word.
Do you need a writing platform? Yes. However, before you strap on that tool belt, remember that the time you need to write that blog post, compose that tumblr presentation, tweet and retweet, snap that photo for sharing on Instagram, and update your Facebook and Goodreads page, can devour a great deal of the day. This can prove somewhat problematic if you also have a word count to produce and you’re not one for working into the wee hours of the morning. There's also the very real danger of falling down the rabbit hole - i.e. wandering around the internet for no reason other than 'ohhh, look at that'. But once you've constructed that platform...remember: there is no secret formula to building a following. It simply takes time. Unfortunate but true. Writing a post which goes viral isn't a bad start. Viral in this case is a good thing.
3. Accept that there is only so much you can control.
This is hard. This is very hard. You can self promote with the skill of DaVinci, but luck plays a part. Your post/picture/tweet needs to be seen by the Right People. It needs to Go Viral. Viral, in this case is a good thing.
4. You do not live or die with your Klout score.
However, if you don’t even know what this is, then I’d suggest you might have a bit to learn about social media.
5. Social media is just that - social.
You need to talk to people on Twitter, Facebook, whatever. A one note message of ‘Buy My Book Because It’s Tremendous’ will turn everyone off. Even your mother. And that’ll sting.
6. What works? Almost always, making people laugh.
My post Before You Write went viral over on tumblr. However only writing posts which are funny isn’t funny for long. See? Comedy is a serious business. Change it up occasionally. Pictures of penguins are good. Just a suggestion.
Oh - and I write murder mystery games and host murder mystery events. My newest game, The Great British Bump Off takes place during a baking competition. If you’ve ever watched The Great British Bake Off on the BBC or as it’s called on PBS, The Great British Baking Show you’ll know the setting. If you want me to write a game just for you, I can do that. Get in touch!
|Elspeth Futcher is an author and playwright. Her murder mystery games A Fatal Fairy Tale, Deadly Ever After and Curiouser and Curiouser are among the top-selling mystery games on the Internet. All thirteen of her murder mystery games and two audience-interactive plays are published by host-party.com. Her game, Once Upon a Murder, is available and published by Red Herring Games. Her 'writing sheep' are a continuing feature in the European writers' magazine Elias. Connect with her on Twitter at @elspethwrites or on Facebook at Elspeth Futcher, Author.|