There was once a time when an author’s only true concern was producing the best quality manuscript.
Over the last decade, that has changed drastically with the advent of social media and blogging. Now, writers are expected to have a platform—including a strong online presence—well before their first book is published.
What’s more, unless you’re of the stature of Stephen King or J.K. Rowling, no longer can published authors simply sit back and let others do the work of promotion and marketing. These days, the onus is ON US.
Enter Kristen Lamb, social media Jedi and author of Rise of the Machines: Human Authors in a Digital World. I had the pleasure of hosting Kristen as the keynote at the 2015 Write Stuff writers conference in Allentown, PA where I purchased her book. I was curious to learn more about how to properly leverage social media and my blog to bolster my platform.
In her book, Kristen divides her lessons into five sections, providing a brief history of the publishing industry, the changes that have occurred (and are still occurring), and fascinating insights into human psychology and communication. She also explains why the traditional marketing methods are no longer effective today.
Before delving into specifics about social media sites, Kristen leads the reader through very focused chapters and sections about identifying your short term and long term goals, creating your writers platform, creating your brand, the types of friends and followers who will help writers with these efforts, and what it means to “go viral.”
With those concepts understood, we then delve into specifics about a few of the hottest social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. In addition to providing advice on how to manage your time and content, Kristen also offers tips on social media etiquette, how to avoid conflict and potentially sensitive topics, and handling internet “trolls” who insult and harass rather than politely disagreeing with something you post.
Along the way Kristen’s humor and anecdotes provide entertainment along with education that held my attention and prevented the material from becoming “dry”.
Although I have worked in the IT industry for over 20 years and have a solid grasp of technology, and although I am a published author who is active on social media, I came away from Kristen’s book with insights on how and where I need to improve my approach, especially to blogging.
I only wish I had known about Kristen before I published my first novel in 2009!