Friday, April 27, 2012

Social Media Round-Up

LUCY BURDETTE: Don't you sometimes feel like you're in a whirling dervish of social media snippets, with no idea about how it really works or why? I sure do. I have a fan Facebook page and a personal page and a Twitter account and now I've arrived on the Pinterest scene.

I feel like I'm always a step behind on Facebook and Twitter, though I gamely march on. But Pinterest-I love it! I was a little worried about signing on because other writers warned about how addictive it can be. And it does take a little work to set up your boards, but after that, it's just fun for me. Here's a helpful link from Janet Boyer about how to think about marketing through Pinterest. But honestly it seems like it could be great for brainstorming, or sharing recipes, or remembering and organizing events and ideas that might otherwise get lost.

So I'd love to get your thoughts about what kind of social media you love (or hate) and why. And I've asked a few of our other writing pals to comment too.

: I'm enjoying Pinterest because it's one-step communication. There are no messages to return. I don't have to check to see what everyone pinned that day. If I skip it for a week, nothing bad happens. It's not like I missed anything. Yet, I can convey messages with simple images. I'm having fun adding the covers of my books as well as my friends' books. I've even started a file for photos that correspond to a book that's coming out soon. Wendy Watson had the brilliant idea of adding a Pinterest button to Mystery Lovers' Kitchen. Such a great idea. Now people can pin photos of our covers and recipes without worrying about copyright issues.

: Oh, Lucy and Krista--I don't think I could find another moment to start any new form of social media. Already in my in=box is a long line of people wanting to connect with me on Linked-in. I have yet to find the value for me of Linked-in. Or of Goodreads. Or of Red Room. But they all communicate with me, demanding time and attention.

I'm a big Facebook fan. I love the instant connection with fans and friends. When I broke my wrist a year ago I got 300 messages of sympathy within a few minutes, advice on how to scratch within the cast and ten different people offered to type my manuscript for me.

I do tweet although I've yet to see the correlation between tweets and selling more books. I write my personal blog about twice a week and of course good old Jungle Red. Oh, and when I find the time, I write two books a year as well!

LUCY: so Krista, now you're the princess of Pinterest, but you're also the Twitter queen. How's that going? Any late-breaking tips or warnings?

KRISTA: LOL! No warnings, but I'm seeing a lot of agents, editors, and publishers using Twitter these days. Authors should look up their publishers and be sure to include them with an @ on important tweets about releases and reviews. The same goes for agents and editors. They have some impressive follower numbers.

SHEILA CONNOLLY: Actually I'm finding Pinterest kind of fun, too, because you can do whatever you want with it. Although my in-depth survey indicates that the most popular items pictures. Hey, that's easy--I've got plenty of cute cat pictures, and more coming all the time.

As a battle-scarred veteran of the Media Wars, I have seen all too many
social media variations surge to the fore, with hordes of adoring fans
stampeding to jump on them, only to watch them fall by the wayside when the Next Big Thing comes along in a week or a month. It's hard to get too excited about any one of them.

Just go with the cat pictures--works every time.

HALLIE EPHRON: I know I'm in trouble when cat pictures are required. I still don't tweet, and now here's something else that I don't do. I will, I will... or so I keep telling myself. Still love Facebook.

LUCY: So tell us, how do you think about posting to facebook Hallie?

HALLIE: I think of it as the beast that needs to be fed. Honestly? It's a guilty pleasure. I post in there just about daily. The friend page AND the fan page. And catch up with what friends are up to. It's one more way that people can find me, which is not a bad thing.

DEBORAH CROMBIE: I love Facebook. I post on my public page almost every day, often just about things I think are interesting, rather than all about my books. I love getting comments and feedback, and I love keeping up with what other people are doing as well.

I am tweeting, but have to admit I don't like it as much. It seems overwhelming, and impersonal. But I keep trying, because it does seem to be the big promotional thing these days. (Although someone told me recently at a book event that their publicist said Facebook was much more important. And a fellow author at my publisher said they were told not to tweet, while I've been encouraged to do so... Hmmm.) I signed up for Pinterest, but forgot my password. I haven't looked at Linked-In for months and months, even though it seems like I get invitations to link every day. And I'm dreadful about posting regularly on my own blog.

It's all just too much, and I think you have to choose what works best for you. AND I'd really like to WRITE MY DAMNED BOOK.

: I need a tutorial on facebook public versus facebook profile. I'm dangerously close to advertising on craigslist for an expert. I like fb more than twitter. I love retweeting other people's fun tweets but don't see myself sitting aroiund creating soundbites so that people will retweet mine - and apparently that's the way to get people to follow.

And I love Sharing when other people have good news - it's such a positive thing to do!

LUCY BURDETTE: But Ro, you've got over 7000 fans--you must be doing something right! How about you all? What's your take on social media?


  1. Oh, I love Facebook, I really do..Ro, I'll share tour kneed a "fan" page?

    And I love tweeting..but ..does it matter?

  2. And now you see what happens when you post from an iPad!! Dare you to translate the above...xoxo

  3. I'll share your expert, too, Ro. Flying by the seat of my pants. Gotta try Pinterest... if Lucy loves it that's a recommendation. Can I do it instead of Tweeting??

  4. HA HA Tour expert! Kneed!! chuckle chuckle All my typos are my own doing.

  5. Hi Lucy,

    Funny timing, I'm actually writing a how-to book on Pinterest (Pinterest Power, MacGraw Hill, due out fall 2012). I would absolutely love to include a section on how writers can benefit from this site. Could I pick your brains a bit on what you're doing and the results you're seeing? I'd be happy to quote you and include a screenshot of your boards and profile. I've been enjoying Jungle Red for awhile now and it would be nice to do something for one of you all too!

    You can email me directly if that's easier,


  6. I do stuff on Facebook and Twitter, and mostly ignore the others because one just can't do everything.

    What I find is that I do different things on each platform, and often for the different audiences I have. It's not a hard and fast rule, but I interact more with writers and readers on Facebook and more with racing fans on Twitter. It's not that the other group isn't on the respective platform, but somehow that's who I'm conversing with in each place.

    I have a great Twitter success story: I met some race fans on Twitter who have become my personal champions now. Occasionally they'll tweet about trying to find my protagonist at a race weekend, and one of them must have purchased and given away a dozen hardcover books to her friends and contacts in racing. And we had a face-to-face dinner at a race weekend that we called the Kate Reilly book club meeting.

    So hey, connect with people wherever it works, right?

  7. This cat picture makes me really happy. Hopefully later today I'll get to read the actual article...

  8. the last cat is my handsome Yoda. He makes me happy too:)

  9. Cute animal pictures always make me feel happy!

    I use Facebook the most - I use but don't like Twitter quite as much. Don't use Pinterest. I'm much more interested in using google+.

  10. Love Facebook. Twitter okay, but too much to sort through. Some people tweet endlessly and others not enough to be useful.

    As a reader, I prefer FB announcements about events and publication dates. Twitter can be good for this too, but they often get lost in the tweet mist. I installed Tweet Deck - very nice - but it's like being tuned into the police-fire-paramedic-and TV late-breaking reports for all stations, all at once, constantly. Had to dump it.

  11. @Reine...that's funny about the tweet deck...

    Just read an article on how twitter was going to be huge in this year's political campaign. Ok well that's a big turn off for twitter.

    Just discovered Instagram...and I am currently masquerading as a 16 year old girl, as my boys signed up for Instagram and never mentioned it to Mom. So now I am "stalking" them, or creeping, as they call it. With instagram, you either take a picture, or post a picture, and people can follow you and comment. and vice-versa! So I'm learning...and because of my boys, signed up for Twitter, and Tumblr too. It's a full time job, creeping on their walls!

    I prefer FB...Love it, check it every day, just saw a cute cartoon. It said "Thank God for Facebook, at these gasoline prices, we won't be able to see each other anymore!"

  12. PS Have tried to Pinterest, but it's a bit too confusing for me.

  13. Yes, all of that - what Lora said. Plus have just sent all politicians to Tweet Hell or MySpace Purgatory , depending on how little I like them.

  14. It's Facebook only for me, with occasional forays into Pinterest just to look around. Of course I'm a Domestic Goddess, not a writer with books to sell. That raises a couple of questions for me, though. All my friends know I haven't held a job in over 25 years, so why is it they send me requests on LinkedIn? Having me on their profile isn't gonna do them ANY good. :)

    More importantly, why are YOU responsible for drumming up interest in your books??? Isn't that what publicity agents/publishers are for??? I'm thrilled that authors have Facebook pages and blogs, and I absolutely love meeting you at book signing events, but it seems wrong to take you away from your computers (or whatever you write on) to manage so much other 'stuff'!!

    Now that I sounded off and exposed myself as the cranky old broad that I am, I'm gonna take myself to bed, since it's after midnight. 'Night all!!

  15. Lynda, well sigh, it's a good question. But the reality is we ARE expected to publicize our books. We have to figure out how much is too much and how not to cut into our writing time and how to have a real life too!! that's one of the beautiful things about Jungle Red Writers--we help each other out spreading the word and it's a lot less lonely too:)

  16. I too am a frequent user of social media sites, but I'm careful with the information I upload. Corporations pay big money to obtain user information for marketing purposes.