|Picture courtesy of Sarah Forgrave! Thanks, Sarah!|
My Amazon page for The Doctor’s Lady says this at the top: The Doctor's Lady and over 950,000 other books are available for Amazon Kindle.
950,000 books available on Kindle? I mean think about it. My book is just ONE out of nine hundred and fifty thousand currently available.
Yikes! The numbers of writers and books seems to be constantly growing. And if the numbers are increasing, how can writers ever hope to stand out amidst SO much competition? Is there any hope?
Most of us are coming to terms with the fact that modern authors need to develop a web presence in order to help our books stand out. But even when we make an effort, it’s easy to get lost in the crowd of all the other writers who are jumping onto the social media bandwagon.
Recently, @ellebethmiller asked me a question on Twitter: “What is the best way for an author to get noticed on the internet? There are so many options . . . it’s overwhelming.”
What is the best way to get noticed on the internet? What social media sites can help the most? And will the social media efforts really pay off?
I’ll tackle the questions and give you my opinions based on my experience so far. But make sure you chime in the comments with your thoughts.
What is the best way to get noticed on the internet?
First, the most important aspect is to use social media to SOCIALIZE. And second, the socializing must be in a GENUINE, AUTHENTIC, and FRIENDLY way.
And no, social media isn’t a high school popularity contest. This isn’t about how much attention we can get, or how famous we can become, or how many friends we can accumulate.
Rather, we can approach social media with the goal of blessing others. We can take the focus off ourselves, stay humble, and look at how we can help, encourage, inspire, and pay the love forward to those we come into contact with. In doing so, others will begin to appreciate and respect our presence.
At the same time, our efforts must be consistent. We need to move outside of our comfort zone and meet new people. It WILL take a great deal of effort to regularly and genuinely interact.
What social media sites can help the most?
I don’t’ believe Twitter and Facebook alone are enough to build a vibrant web presence. They’re both great ways to chit-chat and begin to form relationships. But short comments are not enough to solidify friendships.
I also don’t think having a standout, knock-em dead website is enough either. While a website is a necessity for every author, it’s not designed for the back and forth exchange that people long for.
Of all the social media sites, I believe that my blog has helped me the most in standing out. Our blogs can be our home bases for socializing. We can engage people by sharing issues we're passionate about. But we need to do that sharing in ways that solicit interest, inspire, educate, and encourage, etc.
And yet, even if we have THE best content ever written, we still have to work at promoting our posts. That might mean visiting, commenting, and mingling with other bloggers (especially at the beginning). We can also share links to our posts on Twitter or Facebook. And if people appreciate and enjoy our blogs, they’ll usually keep coming back.
Will social media efforts really pay off?
If writers go to all the work of building a large social media presence, will it really help our books to stand out?
Yes. And no.
Yes, I believe writers who put forth the effort to develop an authentic and vibrant web presence will eventually help their books stand out. Maybe our books won’t hit Amazon’s Top 100 sellers. But we’ll give our books a slight boost in the right direction.
But no, social media efforts can only take us so far. The most important factor is and always will be THE BOOK ITSELF. If we rustle up all the social media attention in the world, it will fall flat if we don’t back it up with a book worthy of the attention.
If we want to see our books succeed in today’s market, then we’ll really need BOTH—an engaging web presence AND an engaging book.
What do you think? Do you agree or disagree with my opinions? What do you think is THE best way for an author to get noticed on the internet?
Check out these blog tour stops for your chance to WIN signed copies of my new release!
Monday 9/12: Book reviewer Christy Janes interviews me in sassy Southern style on her blog!
Monday 9/12: I'm visiting with Susie Finkbeiner on her blog and sharing when I was little what I wanted to be when I grew up.
Tuesday 9/13: On Marji Lane's blog find out what event from Narcissa Whitman's diary I wish I could have included in the story but wasn't able to!
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