I’m happy to welcome Pamela Mason to the RU campus! I met Pamela last year through her on-line group, 5 a.m. Writers. Today, Pamela talks about finding your comfort zone in the ever changing world of social media.
Great to have you here, Pamela!
You’ve emerged from your writing cave and followed all the advice. You’ve opened an account on Facebook, Twitter, Google +, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr or any of the other social networks… you’ve set up a blog….
And you can’t conjure up a single original post, pithy tweet, or humorous – if not brilliant – status update that will attract an agent or editor, much less readers and supportive writer friends.
The pressure’s on. What to say? How to tweet? What on earth do I write about day after day after day?
And whose crazy idea was it to do this social networking and online promoting anyway?!
If you’re like me, you’re in the “Double Decker Sandwich Generation”. Not only are you sandwiched between teens and aging parents, but you’re also wedged between Jane Austen’s quill-in-ink-on-parchment-handwritten romances and Jane Jetson’s voice-recorded-digitally-uploaded-to-the-cloud fiction.
As much as we want to shrink back into our writing caves and create our own worlds, we have to accept what Neil Gaiman said at the Digital Minds Conference – “Amazon, Google and all of those things probably aren’t the enemy. The enemy right now is simply refusing to understand that the world is changing.” (PWDaily, April)
If a Spirograph or Etch-a-Sketch were your space age toys instead of a smartphone or Apple iPad, welcome to —
WriterMason’s Guide to Making Yourself At Home in the Digital Age, or Virtual Girls’ Night Out can be Fun … and Without the Work of Finding a Babysitter!
Make yourself comfy, and let’s just start with some basics here:
Well, actually it’s a collection of cultures, but let’s talk OUR culture – Writers and Readers. We relish digging into the guts of characters’ motivations, crushing our heroes‘ spirit beneath our heroine’s stilettos, and then resurrecting our stubborn couple to a glorious happy ever after – preferably after they’ve rocked their world once or twice!
We prefer to leave the endless hamster wheel of Facebook updates, social media management, book promo, and blog posting to someone else — ANYONE else. We don’t even really care that much about the stiletto heeled boots – except for how perfectly they fit our heroine.
Authors are readers’ Rockstars.
Lucky for writers that our readers feel the same way! Give us comfy sweats, a rainy day and an ereader fully loaded, and we’ll just imagine the stilettos on our heroines, thanks. Readers love their authors. When you’re down to one name like Cher, or better yet, only your initials – like JRW and KMM – you know you’ve made it.
>>> 2 winners of $5 Starbucks giftcards via Facebook to two unique commenters who correctly spell out the authors’ names from the initials above!
Readers want interaction and conversation. Being open to making friends equals S A L E S … Eventually
Readers crave making connections with their favorite authors. It doesn’t take much to offer up a Good Morning Monday! or TGIF – It’s 5 o’clock Somewhere post… or to ask a simple question like, “How do you like your coffee?” You might feel like you’re talking into the Black Hole of Network Nothingness, but a consistently upbeat attitude and persistence are key to finding the friends and readers you’re looking for. The positive energy that can explode from a fun conversation or online party results in book sales. It just takes time and patience to cultivate those friends and to let them discover you and your books.
Transparency and authenticity are necessary to success. The trick is how to do this without giving Hannibal your home address and daily schedule.
Transparency = Honesty. Don’t copy others’ posts – share them and credit the source. A simple “thanks Jane!” is all it takes – and you’ll attract her friends and followers to your post if you link Jane’s name.
Authenticity = Be Yourself! Show us your smiling face in your Facebook avatar… a recent one please. Like… no more than five years old. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting several people I have regular conversations with online… and guess what’s one of the first things everyone likes to do? Out comes the camera and in two minutes our on-the-spot meeting is uploaded. It’s a good idea to have the same color hair as you have on your profile pic.
As for the Hannibals out there…
Remember the Jetsons episode where Mrs. Spacely called on the videophone early one morning, and Jane was still in pre-coffee mode? She had to pull on her “Morning – Mask” to look presentable for her husband’s boss’ wife, and as it turned out, so had Mrs. Spacely, because she sneezed and her Morning – Mask popped off! Okay…so I preferred the Jetsons to the Flintstones…. Who wants a dinosaur licking their dinner plates clean? And admit it! you wish you had a Morning – Mask too! My point is – keep your online presence professional, just as if you’re at a speaking engagement, booksigning, or conference. There’s no need for your Morning – Mask to fall off and land in TMIville. DO post a picture of your latest adventure in the kitchen… DON’T post your latest adventure in the bedroom! DO post your new hairdo … DON’T post the stylist’s phone number!
This is just a Netiquette Primer for you aspiring Jane Jetsons. What can you offer today’s readers on how to attract friends and readers on social networks?
And don’t forget – 2 random commenters who spell out the authors’ initials above will receive a Starbucks gift card via Facebook!
Author Diane Vallere joins us on Wednesday, May 1st, to talk about her method on tackling that difficult scene.
Bio: Pamela Mason is the ‘Jane Jetson of Digital Publishing’, the founder of The 5 a.m. Writers Group on Facebook, and can also be found on WriterMason.com, Twitter, Google +, and Pinterest…so far. As a member of RWA and Georgia Romance Writers, she gets plenty of opportunities to meet her online friends in person. She contributes to BetterAfter50.com and Five For Fiction. Her company WriterMason Productions is an online promotions business for romance authors. Her southern contemporary romances and N’Awlins paranormals are yet to be published. Married for over thirty years to James Bond’s clone, their two sons are divided between Apple and Android and are spending their inheritances at colleges. In spite of her business achievements, her primary function is minion to a dowager duchess reincarnated as a shelter rescue cat – who quickly recovered her royal cat-titude.
- Weekly Lecture Schedule – April 28 – May 3
- “Listen to the Silence” Combatting distractions and keeping the focus on your writing with Pamela Mingle
- Building an Author Platform with Carole Jelen
- Branding Yourself. Be Careful Of The Hot Pokers. Handsome Hansel
- How to Use Social Media to Your Advantage as a Writer with Carrie Smith