IreAnne Chambers on Using Social Media, and a Giveaway!

IreAnne ChambersToday’s guest is my friend and NEORWA chaptermate, IreAnne Chambers.

Welcome, IreAnne! We are delighted to be your first foray into guest blogging!

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EXTRA!  EXTRA!  READ ALL ABOUT IT!

Getting the word out has come a long way since the early 1900s.  For a new author, finding a readership can be challenging.  Using all the social media available today may feel like these words are screaming out across the internet.  Many avenues are available, such as websites, social media, book trailers, author interviews, podcasts, book readings, to name a few.  All of these are created with the hope of attracting readers.

I have found the quest for readership both fun and sometimes a bit discouraging.  If you are an author reading this, no doubt you have too.  If you are a reader, maybe you didn’t know about all the places you may be able to connect with your favorite authors.  Below are some things I have tried and my experiences on my journey so far:

  1. Wattpad – This was the first place I went. I found it a great place to interact with other writers and readers.  It is also a way to get feedback on what you have written.  As it turns out, my first draft of my debut novel still gets votes and reads.  Yes, I actually posted my first draft and for now, it is still there.  I decided to leave it up until the final is published.
  2. Facebook – I love Facebook. There is no limit to the number of characters you can post in a comment.  You can post videos and pictures and I find it to be the most commonly used among authors.  The drawback with Facebook, as many of us know, is the lack of control on who we reach.  Facebook only allows us access to about 10% of friends.  So, I find myself reaching out to other forms of social media.
  3. Goodreads – My experience with Goodreads is really just limited to sharing what I like with others and sharing some reviews. You can choose to belong to different groups of interest as well.  I have found some “good reads” here.
  4. Website No. 1 – The design of my own website using WordPress. This first attempt at a website revealed the need for a more professional look.  More on this below.
  5. Twitter – Twitter is much different than the Facebook realm – trying to figure out what works and what doesn’t. Keeping tweets to only 140 characters is challenging.  Learning the significance of hashtags is also challenging.  I’m still learning those.  I found out the hard way you can only follow 2,000 people before Twitter doesn’t let you follow anyone else if you follow more people than follow you.  I tried to find help on Twitter.  Of course, there are no email contacts for exactly what I was looking for help on.  So, I tweeted and emailed different help contacts.  No one from Twitter responded.  A Facebook friend recommended Manage Flitter.  I tried the free version.  So far, this has been wonderful!  Manage Flitter helped me get my Twitter account under control and manage it.  I found out it is important to keep your follow/following ratio close and follow less people than follow you or Twitter will consider you a spammer.
  6. Google – I have been told this is the place to be for the future. I have a profile.  It seems similar to Facebook and for now I am just posting updates on blog posts.
  7. Website No. 2 – Adventures in Guernsey Interactive Blog Series. As noted above, I took on the challenge of designing my own website using WordPress.  This was a learning experience.  But, clearly, as time went on, I realized I needed a professional.  So, I hired one who helped me get the job done.  This, by far, is where I hope to interact the most with my readers.  Here is where I will feature new releases and book trailers as well as continue my current Adventures in Guernsey blog series.  I want to encourage readers to comment on what they think will happen in the next chapter of this series.  I want to incorporate some of the ideas and keep the story going.  I thought it might be a fun activity for readers to suggest what they think happens next and then see if it does.
  8. Guest Blog Posts – This is the newest addition to my quest. My first guest blog post is here at Heart-Shaped Glasses!  To celebrate, at the end of this blog I have a rafflecopter giveaway set up for a $25 Amazon gift card.  It will run through the weekend.

I have also joined Tsu and, as noted above, Google, but I have not been able to cultivate those yet.  There are so many ways to reach out and find people.  The question is, does it work?  I have had some tell me absolutely yes and others tell me no, not so much.  While I have a presence on the major social media networks, I am focusing on my Website, Twitter and Facebook for now.

So, what have I concluded?

  1. If you want to find readers, you need to write a good book. If you write a good book, readers will find you.
  2. It will rarely be an overnight success. Building a readership will take time, patience and perseverance.  Focus on writing and don’t underestimate the power of word of mouth.
  3. There needs to be balance when it comes to social media. As authors, you need time to write that good book.  Find the balance that works for you.

So, my friends, if you are a reader, where do you like to connect with your favorite author?  Writers, what have you found to be the most successful way to connect with your readers?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About Marin McGinnis

About Marin McGinnis Clevelanders are tough, a bit cynical, and just a little crazy, and Marin McGinnis is no exception. When she’s not chasing after big dogs or watching tweens skate around hockey rinks, she is immersing herself in Victorian era romance. She lives in Northeast Ohio with her husband, son, and two standard poodles named Larry and Sneaky Pete. You can find her here, at marinmcginnis.com, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and Pinterest.
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17 Responses to IreAnne Chambers on Using Social Media, and a Giveaway!

  1. Beverly Ross says:

    I follow you on Wattpad I have been a fan for a long time I see that you are spreading out! I hope what’s coming next is a published book I’ve noticed that giving arc copies is a good way to grow a fan /reader base . And blog tours and release day parties generate a good number of invites and it grows from there . I hope to see more of you in the future !! Good luck!

    • IreAnne says:

      Thank you! Yes, I have found Wattpad a very good experiece and I do plan on posting Adventures in Guernsey there as well. Arc copies, blog tours and release day parties are good ways to connect with people. My debut novel is Storm Chasers of Wentworth Hall. It is the first of a planned trilogy and it is the final and much expanded version of the Wattpad book currently posted. I also have another series planned to start soon after Storm Chasers is released. Don’t forget to enter the contest 🙂

  2. Carol Roddy says:

    You are so right: the key thing is to keep writing books people want to read. Easier said than done.

    • IreAnne says:

      Yes, Carol, very true. I believe it’s important, too, to have fun doing it and enjoying the experience. Let’s face it — social media can be fun and really pull us from writing that book. Must find the balance 🙂

  3. Thanks so much IreAnne!! Great advice and tips for all of us newbies! Look forward to seeing more!

    • IreAnne says:

      Thanks Maggie. It is an ongoing learning experience to keep up with the changes I’m sure will continue 🙂

  4. Barb Heintz says:

    IreAnne, you’re making me crazy with all this. I don’t have time to write now. How do you follow so many places? I have a twitter account, but don’t use it. I don’t know about wattpad or TSU. I’ll never get anything done. Good luck with all that. Great post though. When I need to learn more, I’ll contact you.

    • IreAnne says:

      Hi Barb! I know! There are so many places to interact with readers. Believe me I don’t have the time either to truly work at all of them. That’s why we need to find a balance that works. But, for myself I felt it was important to just have a presence there. Some have used tools that can manage all of them like Hootsuite. I’m not thrilled with Hootsuite. I don’t find it very user friendly (at least the free version isn’t in my opinion). I had planned to only be a Facebook user with my website, but we all know where that is going, unfortunately 🙂

  5. Onisha Ellis says:

    You forgot Pinterest!

    • IreAnne says:

      Onisha, you are absolutely right! There is also Pinterest. And, I do have a couple boards on that too. Talk about time, I haven’t had the time to populate it the way I want to. One thing I learned about Pinterest, and there is so much you can do with it, is that if you want your pins in a certain order, you need to pin them that way because if you don’t you can’t move them. So, that is why currently my boards are on hold. I need to get the pins in the order I want them 🙂 I have seen authors do some wonderful things with Pinterest. I definitely want to learn more about this one 🙂

  6. Amy B says:

    I’ve never heard of Wattpad but am excited to check it out! I tend to follow my favorite authors on twitter, facebook and tumblr.

    • IreAnne says:

      I have not attempted tumblr yet although I may go for it at some point 🙂 I know a few people on it. Amy, I think you will like Wattpad. It is one of my favorites 🙂

  7. IreAnne,

    Some very good advice. I hadn’t heard about the ratio aspect of followers vs following on Twitter. Thanks for the tip!

    As to the rest, it all comes back to writing a great book. Sometimes it is so easy to get caught up in social media and the importance of writing trickles too far down the priority list. Great post.

    • IreAnne says:

      I agree Christy, sometimes I won’t even open my browser until I have written so I don’t get side-tracked 🙂

  8. Marcia James says:

    Great post! You really are social-media-savvy! Among the “old school” marketing/promotional options, I think first-chapter or excerpt booklets are one of the best PR giveaways, since sales can come directly from readers checking out an author’s writing. They’re expensive to have printed up or even homemade, however. Other logoed items and print items are good giveaways, but they are the first in a two-step process: 1. Reader gets the item and hopefully checks out the author’s website. 2. Reader reads book blurb and excerpt on the website and hopefully buys the book.

    • IreAnne says:

      Yep, I agree Marcia, book blurb is very important and I think the goal of a lot of the marketing techniques is to drive traffic to the website so readers can find you, your books and other information. I also just listened to a talk at by HM Ward at IndieReCon called How to Sell a Bazillion Books. She said the three key points are: Cover, Blurb and Sample. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t mind selling a bazillion books 🙂

  9. IreAnne says:

    Thank you all who entered and commented for my very first guest blog. The rafflecopter is complete and the winner is Katrina Brockavich!

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