Social Media: Time Suck or Valuable Asset?

By Posted in - Randomness on April 30th, 2010 2 Comments

There’s a guest post by Alyx Dellamonica at the Writer Beware blog today mentioning me as an example of a writer responding to the current market pressure to build a social media presence online in advance of publication. Alyx was a teacher of mine at the UCLA Writers Program and is the author of a wonderful new book, INDIGO SPRINGS. I hope you’ll pop over to Writer Beware and leave a comment, whichever side of the fence you’re on.

For me, the decision was a no brainer. Getting a handle on social media before publishing is not only a good idea because it takes time to build a significant enough following, but because it’s an important part of understanding what it takes to be a published author, as a career. Once your first book is published, you’ll never again have the luxury of ‘just writing’. You’ll have to organize your day so that you can write your next book, and blog, and tweet AND promote your first book in person.

It makes sense to find out if you can handle that pressure from the outset, in my opinion.

What do you think?

(2) awesome folk have had something to say...

  • Liz H Allen - Reply

    April 30, 2010 at 3:23 am

    I guess I take the middle ground. I do think social media before publication is somewhat important. You can get support along the way and the friends you make will probably buy your book, even if it's just to be nice. However, if you are spending more time on Twitter and your blog than you spend writing your manuscript, then it's pointless, right?
    .-= Liz H Allen´s last blog ..Waiting for Something Better =-.

  • Lia Keyes - Reply

    April 30, 2010 at 6:50 am

    Right!! But we have to balance writing with life in general, as writers. The need to promote won't disappear once we're published. It'll only intensify. My agent's husband, thriller writer Barry Eisler, admitted recently that he spends about 80% of his day on promotion, and 10-15% on writing. Shocking, huh?

    The thing is, it takes a long time to establish any online presence, and six months prior to publication is about average, but not necessarily the most effective strategy. Building it slowly, over time, is the easiest.

    I probably wouldn't be so active online if I didn't already have an agent, but I'd still have a presence of some sort.

    Most important of all, I organize my day so the writing comes first. Playing on the internet comes second. 🙂

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