Thursday, December 29, 2011

Networking the New Year

I'm facing a VERY exciting New Year... You know why? 2012 will be my first EVER book release. That is such a huge deal to me, I can't even put it in words... But you know what ELSE it is? This stressful culmination of 'have I been doing this right?' on the social networking.

I know I've had some successes. I have over 600 blog followers (more if you count the FB set, but I don't know the formula to remove overlap, so I sort of look at that separately). I have a bizillion Facebook friends (okay, more like approaching 3000, but it's a lot). My Twitter roll keeps growing... But have I learned how to USE this stuff?

And I feel exactly like this. Slimed.
What I Know NOT to Do....

ME ME ME ME ME! *cough *

This strikes me particularly hard on Facebook, but it happens other places, too. I am a joiner. It's part of the FOMS, yeh? So I am part of MANY writing groups. And sometimes I will come on and open my notifications and see the SAME person has posted in half a dozen (or more) groups. Do I EVER go see what they have to say? No. As a matter of fact, I NEVER do. I KNOW what they have to say. SPAM SPAM SPAM SPAM SPAM. They are trying to sell their damn book.

Now I am not without sympathy for wanting to sell the damn books... In fact I will want to sell MY damn books. But that is NOT the how of it.

IDEALLY, I will have generated enough good blood through helping OTHER people out that I only need to share now and then and MY NETWORK will pass it along. It carries more weight anyway, doesn't it? Somebody ELSE promoting something?

Facebook Plans

So My Facebook Resolution is to work harder helping OTHERS promote this year. I already do this for people I 'know'--and by know, I mean people I connect with through more than one system—my blog friends, my ABNA friends. But I am going to work at helping out additional people here... Build the equity, if you will. Not so much it cheapens my notifications—probably I will stick to some metric to not overdo it... three shares a day or something...

My OTHER Facebook lesson is PACE YOURSELF. I think the people who get away with the ME ME ME ME ME (who aren't really doing that—they are also promoting others, but never mind) are people who once a day or so share a review or a signing notice. They don't just keep putting the book link. They share something new that has happened related to the book each time. So we are sharing a journey, not seeing a repeated commercial.

Twitter Plans

I just need to find a tutorial to learn how to use the darned thing. I promote my blog. But I don't read feed. I even miss a lot of mentions and messages. I just get overwhelmed. I THINK what I need to do is group people so all those people I am just following for courtesy aren't clogging my feed. I really only want to see book stuff most of the time, though I can see times fitness stuff, local stuff or art stuff might interest me. But it is almost 2000 people to sort to figure out who goes where... ACK!

I know, I know... I just need to...


Once I have a book number, I think I can set up my author profile. Then I will beg all of you to fan me... since that's how I roll... erm...

I think I need to do the same at Amazon, which means I REALLY need to figure out how this works...

Speaking of Amazon... I will do ABNA again. As Always. And NaNoWriMo... And BuNoWriMo. These events are great places to connect with people on a deeper level.


There is no question that this is my favorite social medium. I feel like the depth is SO MUCH greater, and I love that. But Blogging could suck up as much time as we would give it, couldn't it? Through the holidays, I've fallen down on visits. I think what I need to be is more organized. At one time I visited 30-50 blogs a day and I just can't do that very often, but if I was strategic, I could get to more people regularly, rather than the same ones all the time (though I love visiting the ones I do)--still... there has to be a system, yes?

My plan is to be more diligent to not neglect visitors and blogs I love. I am doing pretty good on the writing of blogs... I get them up and all. I plan to write most weekdays, but leave wiggle room to add a weekend or drop a weekday as stuff comes up... averaging that five days a week.

The only exceptions I plan are Blogging A to Z (see button in upper right if you want to do this fabulous April event), and NaBloWriMo in October. These are just both events near and dear to my heart, so I will continue to support and participate in them.

At some point (maybe March) I will need to make a more concerted effort to get around a little, though I think my actual blog tour will be in the few weeks following my book release.... oh, to come up with a clever event... I will have to see...

I guess that is all that's on my radar. Are there other places I should be? Any of you changing things up in the New Year?


Rebecca Bradley said...

It's difficult knowing how to strike a happy medium with social networking and how much is too much activity isn't it? The place I love most is Twitter, it's quick and fast and you only have to use 140 characters so it cuts down time. The easy way to master it is to use Twitter Lists. You can create up to 200 lists for varying reasons, eg; Real life friends. You can then add up to, I think it's 200 people per list. Yes it's time consuming setting them up, but it's worth it in the long run. If you're short of time, you can just check the feeds you want rather then including those you are just following out of courtesy. And when I say feed, read, lists.

I love blogging, but it's something I do find sucks time away quicker than anything. For me, I've come to realise it's about the quality of interactions on blogging rather than the quantity.

In todays world, networking is important and I wish you loads of luck and success with your release.

Anonymous said...

One of my goals is to also help other bloggers and writers. I've made it point to hit that Twitter button at the end of their posts and include relevant hash tags.

And I'll update my Review Page with newer stuff and continue to host people, hopefully giving them new exposure.

Good luck to you! The Blogosphere needs more people like you.

Rebecca Bradley said...

I subscribed to comments and just received Stephens through email so came back to hit the twitter button and saw an error in my previous comment. It's actually 20 lists not 200. Apologies.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

If you figure out Twitter, let me know.
And you know you have a tour spot on my blog for your book release, Hart!

Hart Johnson said...

Ha! Thanks for the reminders on those share buttons! I just added them for Twitter and FB.

I think you guys are all doing great!

And Alex--THANK YOU! I will definitely take you up on that!

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Can't wait for your release, Hart! And your plan this year sounds really good. For Twitter, I never read my tweet stream, only my @ mentions and DMs. You could start out by just tweeting 2 or 3 times a day...your blog post, and RT a couple of other links. I'd keep it simple not to get overwhelmed!

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Hart, you have a spot on my blog for your book tour if you want it. As for Twitter, I am the Wiley E. Coyote of it -- clueless but hard at it. LOL.

I have so little free time as a rare blood courier that my social networking suffers, hence my anemic book sales.

I found a way to make myself feel better about it. I am taking all the profits from the sales of all my books and giving them to the Salvation Army. So each sale makes me smile as my prose is helping, not me, but those who hurt all year round -- and that helps me in ways I can't describe.

I wish you luck with your release, Roland

Laura said...

See - I'm shattered by just reading your post...
Can't wait for your book release - if there's anything I can do - let me know
Laura xxx

Tonja said...

I read a lot about helping other writers. This may be stupid to ask, but how do you do that besides reading posts and commenting in a positive way? Does clicking a Twitter button really help? (I don't get Twitter - what I've seen seems like a stream of text messages.)

Mary@GigglesandGuns said...

I will be following along the rest of this journey. I don't Twitter but would be thrilled to death to host a Special Tart any time she can fit it in.

I'll be reading and linking and cheering you on as always.

Hart Johnson said...

Elizabeth, thank you! Good advice--if I just make a point of clicking that 'tweet this' a few times a day, I suppose I am in!

Roland-thank you so much! I will email you on that! And I love your philosophy--helping others is a great way to go about it.

Laura-teehee--you are doing great! It all takes time.

Tonja- I think the BIG helpers are the Tweets and Facebook shares when someone had a book release--if you can review books, that is great too, but the biggest bang for the buck is just including your network in getting the word out. I do this MOSTLY on FB, but should make a better point on Twitter, too, as the twitter system seems to spread faster (go viral)

Mary-thank you so much! I would love that!

Arlee Bird said...

I can barely keep up with blogging let alone Facebook, Twitter, and all the other social media site. Nice and easy I guess is my approach and if I learn some of it then great.

You have a place on my blog come book tour time.

Wrote By Rote

mshatch said...

completely agree with part one and the spam. I gave up on FB and no cell so no twitter. Blogging is plenty for me, especially if I want to have time to write!

Carol Kilgore said...

Yes! I know who to ask when I need to know all this stuff. So figure it out in the next few months, okay?

Happy New Year!

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

i've really dropped off in my blog reading. Mostly because my google reader doesn't work on my work PC and also because my work PC randomly blocks some blogs as "porn". I always make sure, though, to comment on anyone's blog who comments on mine.
Sigh. I wish there were more hours in the day

Missed Periods said...

Congratulations on your impending book release. I know what you mean about the social networking. I keep telling myself to start Facebooking and tweeting. But I have some weird aversion. I need hypnosis.

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

Hi Hart! Hey, thank you for putting me on your nudist approved sidebar list. I really enjoyed this post, and will now follow you on FB, and Good Reads when the time comes for that.

At this time, I just use FB for personal use (family and friends). I had a FB page for my blog, but it hasn't been active and I think they removed it. It is hard to be a prophet in your own country, and not that many of my FB friends are regular readers that I know of. Sometimes I have to post links or just give them photo albums.

Twitter just seems so demanding to me and I like my phone quiet. But, I am not trying to market anything yet, so I can afford to not worry about having it.

It was interesting to read your goals for the year. I did A-Z last year, and think that is where we met, and plan on doing it again this year. It was fun, and helped me to reorganize my blog.

I have a list of my favorite active bloggers near the top of my page, and scan them often to see if they have written anything new, and visit my commenters. Otherwise, I am promoting others as often as possible, and have links to so many on my sidebar, some that I rarely visit anymore. I have the room, so I just keep them on there and visit when time permits.

I hope that you have a wonderful new year. Take care,

Kathy M.

vic caswell (aspiring-x) said...

man alive, girl!
just wanna say this:
you INSPIRE me!

Lisa Golden said...

You've got a great headstart on this before your launch. I'm so excited for you and, of course, you can blog at my place when you're ready to do your blog tour.

I love your idea of helping promote other writers. I've had a good response from tweeting and facebook posting "Books by my friends" with a link to the publications.

Twitter seems to take some getting used to. I'm still lazy about using lists properly. I just sit and go numb watching the feed scroll by. It's overwhelming. And I'm bad about using Tweetdeck. It's part of my 2012 plan to use it more effectively to sort my lists.

Debbie Oh has a great set of resources for how writers can effectively use Twitter. You can find it here.

Looking forward to 2012 as part of your naked posse!