Wednesday, June 1, 2011

MAXIMIZING YOUR ONLINE PRESENCE

Hi Everyone! I'm Amy McCorkle. Sorry I'm so late, generally I'm early to everything, and as a rule of thumb I highly recommend it. So allow me to extend my apologies to everyone.

Now allow me to explain my credentials, I'm an award winning screenwriter. I've directed and produced four short films. And have had the good fortune of signing two contracts with MuseItUp Publishing. Those books are launching pads for the sci-fi erotica series No Ordinary Love and the dark romantic suspense series the Lost Legacies, Another Way To Die.

Now that introductions are out of the way let me explain how maximizing your online presense can be done effectively. And while I can't guarantee you bestseller success (no one can) I can tell you how to better your odds. 

What I'm going to tell you about today is about the basics you need in order to do that. The first thing you need to have are Facebook and Twitter accounts. One drives traffic to the other. Just yesterday I was hailed out of the blue by someone interested in my books. They're now coming to Fandom Fest in July to meet me and learn more.

Next you must have at least one blog. I have over 2600 hits to my blog since February and over 200 comments overall. I love that. Considering I've NEVER had a blog be that successful. Give it a catchy and easy to remember web address and title. Someone who is brilliant at blogging is MuseItUp's LJ Holmes. They have 7 blogs and have over 50,000 hits. That is fantastic.

Of course as an author you must have an official website. There are several carriers. Weebly, Webs, ect. which will walk you through the whole thing. You can pay for a site too there are several hosts.  GoDaddy is a particularly famous one.

Then you have your email loops (yahoogroups) that you want to stay active on.

The object of all of these things is that you're building relationships with your fellow writers and potential fans. I'll now open the floor up to any questions.

40 comments:

Ruth J. Hartman said...

Thanks for your advice! I do all of that, but maybe I need to do more. Even though I have four books published, I still feel new to some of the promo stuff. Many authors, like me, can't claim self-promotion as their most comfortable trait. We're uncomfortable tooting our own horns :)

Karen Cote said...

Hi Amy. Do you have a set schedule for promoting such as certain days go here or another day, do this? Coongrats on your success by the way.

Susanne Drazic said...

Hi Amy. What do you mean by Facebook and Twitter drive traffic to the other? I know that those forms of media can help drive traffic to a blog. Maybe I'm not understanding something? I still don't understand all the media stuff. Someone tried explaining hash tags to me, but they still confuse me.

Lawna Mackie said...

Hi Amy. Hopefully you can help me, because although I have twitter, facebook and a blog, I still stare at my screen wondering what I should type in my facebook space or on twitter. I just feel lost. I would love to have more traffic.

Lawna

Susanne Drazic said...

What are your thoughts on someone having a website, if they are not yet published?

Approximately how much time to you spend on social medias per week?

Charlie said...

Hi Amy,
Great post. Awesome advice. I was at a workshop once on social media and they commented that one should plan on spending 80 percent of your time supporting others and 20 percent promoting yourself. Do you agree? I have found I try to comment on people's posts to build friendship, support and recognition. I've gained many new friends and connected with a lot people I've lost touch with. It is a fun publicty avenue, but oh, so time consuming. Any advice on how to not let it take up your writing time?
Thanks
C.K. Volnek

festival8 said...

Provide links to your twitter and facebook accounts for people to friend and follow you on Facebook and Twitter.

If you do not yet use the Network Blogs function on your FB account I recommend you do so. It will automatically post your blog for the day on FB and Tweet it on your Twitter account.

How much time, my publisher recommended one day a week or one hour a day but I confess I do more as I like to build professional relationships online which is really what the social media craze is about. Fans want to know who you are and what you're working on. They don't want to feel like you've got a hand on their wallet.

Andrea said...

I have every single one of the tools you mentioned we should have as a published author, but, like Lawna said, I'm not sure what the best way to utilize them is in order to get more traffic. Can you give us some ideas of what we should be posting to each of these? Thanks!

Andrea
http://andisrealm.webs.com/

festival8 said...

I guess piece of advice I can give is to be accessible and a little ballsy in your approach. You can't wait for people to 'talk' to you. You have to reach out to them. I found it uncomfortable at first but the way I gained twitter followers is that first I followed the people I knew then I went out to the people you should follow button on twitter. After that I followed people they were following and I would jump in on their conversations. Not rudely of course but I would just throw my two cents in. On the email loops, you can't just lurk. You have to talk to your fellow authors and if your belong to a house that has a readers group talk to them. Offer excerpts tell them what you're working on. Things like that.

festival8 said...

If you are pursing a professional writing career it is never too early to start promoting yourself or have a website. In fact you should be developing your platform (you) as you write your book (product).

festival8 said...

It will always be time consuming and if you're not careful it can be overwhelming. I remember turning to my roommate shortly after receiving my contract with Muse and asking when did I get so busy and she said--you became successful. No one said the road was easy, but Lea says one hour a day or one day a week. I have the luxury of doing more.

Lisa Forget said...

Hi Amy,
Thanks for your advice.

I've found that by downloading the TweetDeck app (from Twitter) I can manage my FB, Twitter and MySpace accounts from one place. Using this app, I can post updates simultaneously to all my social networks. For me, this saves some precious time.

I have a question regarding blogging.

Sometimes, I find it very easy to share my thoughts on a topic like an acceptance from a publisher, but other times, I'm not sure what I should write about.

In your experience, what topics do your followers enjoy most?

Thanks for offering your time and advise.
Lisa Forget (a fellow Muser)

festival8 said...

I write about anything that comes to mind and I try to host a writer a week. It's just good karma. Blogging is something I do 3-5 times a week consistently. Self-publishing is what I get the most responses too right now maybe because it's such a flaming hot topic. But I write about everyday life, film, and writing and it just varies, guest writers get a lot of hits too.

Lisa Forget said...

Thank you. :)

Rochelle Weber--Author, Editor said...

Hi, Amy:

Thanks for starting us off. I try to aim for one day a week or one hour a day, but I get "sucked into the internet vortex" and forget to come up for air. Even just keeping up with my Muse e-mail can be overwhelming. There are 150 of us and we're a chatty bunch.

What to write about? I've done everything on my blog from family goings-on to political rants to what's going on with my writing. I've done Six Sentence Sundays, Sassy Brit's Blog Hop, and I've hosted guest authors. Anyone interested? You can contact me via my Muse author page. I'm Rochelle Weber, and I'm on the MuseItUp side. I also have a separate blog for reviews.

But yes--I agree--L. J. Holmes is the winner with her seven blogs and her "stationary trailers."

festival8 said...

You're welcome Lisa.

Charlie said...

Thanks Amy. Very helpful advice. Now, it's just get out there and DO it, right? Thanks for all you help.
C.K. Volnek

Susanne Drazic said...

Thanks, Amy!

Ruth J. Hartman said...

Thanks for all the wonderful advice! Sometimes it gets a little discouraging, and it helps to connect with other writers :)

festival8 said...

No problem, that's what I'm here for today.

Kay Dee Royal said...

Thanks Amy - all great advice. I'm doing my best, but as you said, it all takes time, time well spent.
Kay Dee

Kyla said...

Hi AMY,
THanks for the advice. As a new writer I'm always looking for ways to spread the word. I really need to work on promoting myself. I will have to get on that right away.

J Q Rose said...

Hi Amy, What a great topic to start off the month of workshops. I am on linked-in, but quite frankly I have no idea how to use it. I guess I am a bit "shy" to send out promos to bug these folks. Although when I sent out a blanket email to my connections about my e-book, Sunshine Boulevard launch in March, I received some very nice comments back. Do you use Linked In? What's your thought s on it? Thanks!

S.Durham said...

Thanks Amy for sharing your social media expertise, I've mostly figured out FB and Twitter by trial and error:) It's nice to know we have another 'go to' person in the group. Do you also use Good Reads as a medium? I belong to a couple groups there, and I think it is another way to link with other authors.

Thanks again,

Sara

Jenna Storm said...

Thanks for the helpful info Amy! I'm going to check out Network Blogs on FB and see what that is about. Hearing how you handle blogs, FB and Twitter has helped motivate me to be more consistent with posting. Many times, I worry that I'm intruding on a conversation (whether cyber or not) and hesitate to comment. Great info. I'll check back soon.

Jenna Storm said...

Sara, I also belong to Goodreads and like that site.

Amy, do you know of any other sites where we might reach readers?

jabberingjo said...

dear amy,
I'm glad you are presenting this issue. I am on linkedin, but I don't do anything but accept others. How do I get on? Thank you J. Rose Knight (joan hobernicht

festival8 said...

I'm not sure about how to navigate Linkedin and Goodreads as I'm relatively new to both of those mediums.

Lawna Mackie said...

That was very helpful! I'll try my best to worm myself into Twitter and Facebook more.

lionmother said...

Great post, Amy! My problem is not so much with posting to Facebook and Twitter, but it's how to keep being part of smaller groups like SheWrites and other groups similar to that one. Lea says to do it one day a week, but until now I haven't had the time to do it. I don't want these groups to think I am only there for self promotion, but being part of them is difficult. Do you have a suggestion for how to deal with this?

festival8 said...

I think the trick to writer's groups which honestly I have trouble with is to pick a few of the people on them and build solid relationships with them. I have a handpicked few whom I trust with my work.

li said...

I've just recently gone on Twitter, and picked up a few views. As for facebook, I've never had much success with that. I've found that submitting the odd poem or story - mostly unpaid - to various online journals and newspapers has generated a lot of interest. I know a lot of people won't write "for free", but it really does provide exposure and gets your name out there if you're just starting out.

lionmother said...

Thank you, that is a great idea. I do have a few people who are friends just on those groups.

Vicki Lee said...

Hi,
What subjects should apiring authors not mention in blogs? I read somewhere not to mention agent search info and can see how that can bite if you have detailed twenty rejections and agent 21 checks your site. Any others? I just went live this week and realised my blog is too long for eg.

Wendy said...

Hi Amy,
I'd like to know how to get people to visit my blog. In the first few years I worked really hard reviewing books etc, offering tips, but rarely got a comment. Spent too much time for no response. Had 2 followers but one dropped out. I visit other blogs and leave comments. Wish I knew their secret that drew me to theirs.
Now I belong to a group blog and we comment on each other. Not the same as having traffic directed to us, though. What is the secret???

woodlandsoul said...

thanks for the blogging info. Over the last few weeks I've been creating accounts for the social media you've mentioned, but I didn't really know what to do with it, or how often. Thanks again.

Lisa

Emily Pikkasso said...

Great post and intersting conversations generated Amy. Congrats on a job well done! See you on Twitter!

Rosalie Skinner said...

Great information Amy.
Thanks for the guidance and ideas.

Nan D Arnold said...

Thanks, Amy. I have a website and that seems about all I can keep up with. I can't say FB generated book sales but you can't really tell. I twittered (briefly) and had scads of followers but again, didn't find book sales matched the effort, at least not for me. Finally, I agree with Lawna on blogs , what can I say that a zillion others haven't and said better, more cleverly, etc. And it was very time consuming. I *laude* L J Holmes and her SEVEN blogs.

JerryR said...

Great info Amy. ty for sharing, kiddo.