My first Laura Kaye book, HEARTS IN DARKNESS, made me want to get stuck in an elevator with a hot guy with tattoos! Now, she’s tackling classic gods and demigods in her new, HEARTS OF THE ANEMOI series. Laura is a fellow Marylander, a prolific and talented writer and an all-around great person. I’ve admired her ability to juggle so much on her plate – multiple publishers, volunteering in the romance community, and social media – she was sweet enough to agree to come to RU today and give me her outlook on an important part of the writing business – social media.
Shifting Your Socia Media Perspective.
Most authors struggle with how to balance their writing time against their social media efforts. They feel that the more time they spend promoting their books on Facebook, Twitter, their blog, or other blogs, the less time they have to devote to writing. Some even go as far as wishing they could wash their hands of the whole business end of their writing career and concentrate on what they love best—writing books to put in readers’ hands.
I’ll admit, I’ve had these feelings sometimes, too. After all, there are a finite number of hours in the day. But I’ve come to look at it all a bit differently. I’m often asked how I juggle multiple book contracts and an active blog and an active social media presence and multiple promotional efforts all at once, and I’ve thought and thought about an answer that would be more useful than “I don’t sleep very much” LOL! I think I just might have found an answer that is more useful: I don’t see social media as a burden, and I don’t approach the business end of my writing career as being different or separate from the writing end of it.
Why do you write books? I write because, well, because I have to write. I can’t not write. But I also write because I hope my words and stories will bring a few hours of joy, happiness and pleasure to my readers’ lives. I do it for my readers. After all, if they weren’t out there reading and enjoying, I couldn’t do what I do. Therefore, when I think of social media, I see an opportunity to talk to and hang out with my readers and friends, not something burdensome or obligatory I have to do. I adore seeing how readers will react to my excerpts or status updates or posts or weird observations I tweet. Online reader feedback is the best kind of instant gratification, and I find it fuels me. It’s fun and serves as a great break from writing or a way to productively fill ten minutes I couldn’t use for other activities.
Similarly, I’ve learned that the business end of my writing career is just as important as the writing end. In fact, I’ve learned they’re equally part of the whole experience. One can’t be fully successful without the other—well, not for the vast majority of us (perhaps if you have a big enough name or a prominent enough publisher you can avoid more of the business end of things, but even the big publishers are expecting more author effort on promotion and social media these days…). Social media only distracts from your writing career if you see it as not being central to your writing career. I’m not talking about basic procrastination here (I excel at that, doncha know?)—yes, of course, procrastinating on the interwebz might thwart your writing goals for the day. Instead, I’m talking about a way of thinking about how the time spent on social media, blogging and other promotional efforts relates to your career itself.
I think attempting a shift in attitudes about the time spent on social media has the potential to make it more enjoyable, more productive, more consequential, and less overwhelming. Of course, sometimes you just have to say nope, no time for Facebook today! But that’s a different thing from saying Oh, gawwwwd, guess I have to go post on Facebook and twitter now (cue long-suffering sigh). LOL
So, what do you think? Could a shift in perspective make the business end of your career easier to handle, manage, accept, and enjoy?
Thanks for reading!
How do you approach your social media? Do you think it cuts down on your writing time? What do you think about Laura’s paradigm shift?
Tomorrow literary agent, Sara Megibow, will be back with her monthly column, “Sara Megibow Sells Romance”.
One commenter who leaves their email address here will win an ebook of North of Need, Book 1 in my Hearts of the Anemoi series. Ends at midnight EST 4/16 and open to international. Want more ways to win? Check out my WEST OF WANT PREVIEW & PRIZES EVENT, which begins today to celebrate the coming release of Book 2 in my series, West of Want!
About Laura Kaye:
Voted Breakout Author of the Year in the 2011 GraveTells Readers’ Choice Awards, Laura is a bestselling and award-winning author paranormal and contemporary romance. Hearts in Darkness is the EPIC eBook Award Winner for Best Novella, Forever Freed won the NJRW Golden Leaf Award for Best Paranormal of 2011, and North of Need, the first book in the Hearts of the Anemoi series, was named GraveTells’ Best Book of 2011 and won their 5-STAR Gold Heart Award, and won Sizzling Hot Read of the Year at Sizzling Hot Books. Laura lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.
- Handling Your Social Media: Facebook Fans or Friends?
- Marketing for Authors with Jillian Dodd
- Handling Your Social Media: 5 Steps to Using Twitter
- Weekly Lecture Schedule for Nov 15-19: Sandra Sookoo, Carrie Spencer, Jeannie Ruesch & Theresa Stevens
- The Importance of Feedback and How it Can Make you a Better Author – Oliver Rhodes