Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Social Media... The Nessary Evil

With my book coming out in a month, I have been reflecting on the five year long journey that got me to this point. In all reality it started way before that, back in elementary school really. But for arguments sake I will focus on these last five years that have been the creation of Hunting The Moon as you will get to know it. And hopefully love it.

Writing the novel is the easy part. Well not easy, but the part you can accomplish in solitude and peace. The hard part is selling it. Because really it comes down to selling yourself. This past weekend I took a class with the amazing and talented best selling author, Kimberly Karpov Kinrade. She is one of my heroes on so many levels. Literary and personal. The girl is amazing. And it was so worth it. I will be posting some of what I learned over the course of the next few weeks. But I wanted to start with social media. The monster lurking in the closet.

For the last year people have been asking me just how I cam to a publishing contract. They have children's books, cook books, amazing ideas yet to be written, but no contract. Just yesterday a friend of my mom's posed me that question. My answer. Social Media. She looked at me like I had two heads. Yes social media.

I pose the question how do you want to be published? Small press, indie, self publishing? Let's face it those are your viable options, especially today. The word is running on these platforms, and no matter what some might have you believe, they are gaining creditability every day. Just ask Kimberly. They look at me again like I have two heads. You don't know about these things unless you research your craft and network.

I spent countless hours on social media. Researching, making connections, building my reputation as a blogger and a writer. And I'm not saying sit on Facebook all day and surf. I'm saying make personal connections that will help you.

Social media is where I have met some of my best friends, my publisher, my editor, and  made countless connections big and small. It's where I made mistakes, and made leads. The options are endless.

But yes there are pitfalls. You have to have your wits about you and watch out for scammers, frauds, and time wasters. If you educate yourself, these will be easy enough to spot. A little common sense goes a long way. The old adage; 'if it's too good to be true, it probably is',  stands as a perfect rule of thumb.

Than there are the personal pitfalls, I fell pray to these far more often. This blog started out as a personal diary type thing where I aired every gripe and depressive thought I had. Thank god over time it has evolved to a book blog. I still have personal posts, but I'm not spilling my guts. The same goes for Facebook. It's easy, very easy, to have a depressive, why me, look at me I'm hurting attitude on Facebook. Hell I did it. Still do it, and want to change it. Manipulating in subtle ways to try and make people feel bad for us, to lift us up, can only hurt in the long run. Especially if we are trying to brand our self as authors.

Social media is wonderful, advertising runs on it now more than ever. But so does those little monsters of jealously, bullying and self pity. Be gone monsters! Every thing you put on line stays for years and lifetimes. Be watchful of what you post. If you want to be a New York Times best selling author, act like you already are one. Trick yourself to believe.

I'm not saying not be you. Not have feelings, but do so in a way where you are putting your best foot forward. You are branding yourself along with your work. Plus positive thoughts breed positive energy. The old fake it to you make it thing really can work. Hell, it took me twenty something years to learn that.

 Don't be afraid of social media. A little education on it can go a long way. Check out all your options in publishing, and make sure you hire a professional editor. I can't stress that enough.

So, I am off to go back to writing my next master piece. Or my little self indulging missive. Who knows. The clock is ticking down till  you guys get to meet Lilly and Daemon....

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