Saturday, March 27, 2010

Social Media - The Fun, The Work and The PayOffs

I was inspired to write this posat after reading a post by author Karen Gowen on her Coming Down the Mountain blog about what she likes about social media.  My comment was so long I realized I needed to address this topic in my blog as well from a whole different perspective.
As a small press publisher for years, I'm so thankful the internet is available to advertise for free. When I published my magazine The Howling, over 14 years ago, we had to print posters and advertised on a grass roots level. Among stories, poetry and art, Fissure featured local music reviews and the night clubs and musicians spread the word like wild fire. But it still can't match what the internet has done for my current magazine, Fissure which went international in one issue.
While I was writing my first novel, I used Myspace a good bit to talk about the books I was publishing with my small press, Shadow Archer Press. It was an incredible free way to get the word out and I sold a good many books because of that one site.
Then everyone switched to Facebook. I took a long time, but now find it helps to send folks to my blog. I don't write long on there but use it to link up. Twitter is helpful too, but less so. I use it more to keep tabs on what other folks are doing, as well as to invite folks to my blog.
I do find blogger harder to navigate as far as finding bloggers with the same interests because I find the search feature aren't user friendly.  But I like the ease of posting photos and writing at length.
For readers and writers, I love Goodreads because it's such an easy way to find books in your fields and then read honest reviews.  Plus it's easy to network and hold conversations. 
WEBS is also another great tool.  It's what I use for my personal website Gail Gray Studios and the servier I use for the Shadow Archer Press website, (you can build and keep a  free website forever, or pay to have your own domain name and more features)
 When I discovered Clicky through is a web analysis site which tracks how often, where by country and site your traffic comes from in real time.  It offers graphs and all kinds of detailed info so you can target your market.  It helps me fine tune my chapbook release announcments, discover what works on my end as far as content and even more importantly, which social media networks people currently use the most.  And  let's face it.  People jog from one social site to another in trends, just like they try out new restaurants.  Clicky helps me stay aware of which sites I need to focus my energies at any given time, whether it be Myspace, Faceobok, Twitter ot Blogs.  And it's free.!


  1. I've never figured out Twitter, either.

    However, my top two social sites are blogging and Deviant Art, through both of which I've sold books!

  2. I'm just learning the whole social networking thing and began with blogging.

    Thanks for following my blog.

  3. I think it's great there are so many resources out there which are free and ready to use for writers. I'm going to be doing a website soon, so that's something to add to my social media file. Right now Twitter, Facebook and Blogger are all I can keep up with. Gonna have to check out GoodReads soon, though. Thanks for posting about this!

  4. Yes, Diane I should have included Deviant Art. I never thought of it as a way of selling books though and I have to admit since I've focused on the writing I've neglected my deviant art page. Thanks for the reminder!

  5. Have you ever looked at Google Analytics? That is what I use (free) for tracking stats on my Mad Ink blog. I've reserved a twitter space too, but haven't figured out how I want to use that yet . . . it's only time--right?

    P.S. I forgot to mention the other day that I'm a Boston transplant too - - Northborough, Ma - to be specific. Most of my extended family still lives in that area. I miss it, especially in the fall.


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