Monday, October 4, 2010

Lessons From The Social Network

This weekend, my husband and I saw The Social Network. Awesome movie! Not only was it cool to learn the story behind Facebook's creation, but what really stuck with me was the way the company was built from the ground up. It was like a planned grassroots movement once Mark Zuckerberg created it and got it going, starting at Harvard and later deliberately expanding to other colleges and universities across the country. And then it went international!

I think there must be a lesson in that for us as writers.

Awesomeness Will Catch On.
Of course, we have to have an awesome product that people will want to read, packaged with an eye-catching cover and a great blurb on the back jacket to entice readers. The same also applies to blogs, and I've come across some really great author blogs!

Take it To Your Target Market.
But beyond that, we need to go directly to the people who will most want to read it. So for example, I'll be spending more time on YA forums and the Harry Potter sites I frequent to let people know about The MirrorMasters. I'll even make a pretty banner for it as my signature, including a link to my website. I've been starting to comment on blogs. And whenever I'm in a library or bookstore, maybe I'll start making it a point to check out the shelves in the YA section. Can't hurt to scope out what's current in the YA market, and to let potential readers there know about my book if it comes up in conversation.

Expand a Step at a Time
I can only imagine how easy it could be to get overwhelmed by having to keep up with a lot of social media. There's only so much a person can do in a day, and still keep up with writing and everything else. So ultimately it's about getting the word out incrementally, in stages, but keeping it manageable by focusing on maybe one or two different sites at a time as you rotate among a variety of website. Also, add in guest blogging and interviews, and you can get a lot of exposure online for free. Ultimately, you want to draw readers to your website and/or blog, and facebook page to keep things manageable. Developing a contact list for your readership and putting together a newsletter could be another great idea.

Ok, so our efforts may not catch on nearly as quickly as Facebook, and it takes a lot more effort. But it'll so be worth it! If you have some specific tips or suggestions that have worked for you, I'd love to hear them!

6 comments:

  1. Another lesson : make room for your friends on the paths you take to your dream. The top of the mountain needs to be shared to be truly enjoyed. Great post. Roland

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  2. Thanks, Roland, and the lesson you shared is so true! It's one I intend to always remember. It's what makes it all fun and worthwhile :)

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  3. I really like that part about how awesomeness will catch on! I think that's sooo important to remember when trying to get published.

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  4. Thanks, Lyndsay, and welcome! I so agree with you about remembering that awesomeness will catch on when it comes to getting published, and then selling lots of copies of our books. Here's to our awesome books catching on! :)

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  5. yep, we really do just have to keep at it. I'd add that it's a good idea not to have great expectations. When I start on that, I get so easily discouraged when things aren't moving as fast as I'd like. Actually I enjoy supporting others and there's nothing like freeing ourselves from our own struggle like helping others. So here I am Laura, thanks for your support and keep playing with that cover. I just found that mine kept getting better over time.

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  6. Good point, Tahlia! I'll remember to keep that advice in mind when I get to the point of trying to get The MirrorMasters published. I'm likely to wish things would move more quickly, too. But then, I already am because the writing is going slower than I'd like. Ah, well.

    I so agree with you about supporting others! It is a wonderful thing! Glad to be able to provide support, and thanks for your support and encouragement as well. I will keep working on the cover. It is fun to play around with.

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