As an author, I’ve heard both opinions on social networking, and I find myself wondering if social networks are invaluable, or if they aren’t worth the time put into them. Can those extra hours, or even minutes, you spend posting on a site here and there make the difference between building a brand and getting lost in the shuffle? Let’s list the pros and cons of social networking, consider them, and see what answers we come to together, shall we?
Con – Time to write another book.
I’ve always been a firm believer in the write another book method of brand building. I put a lot of effort into writing the next book, and the next. I figure that the readers will come if I can keep a steady flow of well written stories coming out, and in some ways that has been true. I do spend some time networking, obviously because your reading this blog, but if I spent hours on sites like twitter, facebook, and so many others, would I really have the time to write? Especially with all the other things that come along in life to take up our time.
Con- If you’re shy, you might not be able to think of things to say.
This tends to be my biggest problem when I try to social network. I don’t always know what to say. Conversations are going on all around me, but I feel like I’m intruding because everyone else already knows each other. So I lurk a lot, and that doesn’t build a social network. It just means you’ll know everyone’s name, but they won’t know yours. lol
Pro- Friends to cheer you on.
These networks of friends can help to cheer you on or cheer you up when life becomes hard. Be it a rejection from that agent you’ve had your eye on, a bad review, or an illness in the family. You’ve always got a place to go where you can talk to someone about it. I’ve often envied this about other authors on yahoo groups I frequent.
Pro- Groups of authors to help you out.
Even looking beyond the obvious connections that you can get from other authors, endless groups of author friends to network with can be a valuable resource. Contests where voting comes into play is one example where social networks come in handy. For example, right now A Librarian’s Desire received a 5 heart review from Sizzling Hot Books, and is up for book of the month on that site because of it. I have received some votes, but because I do not have a large network, I probably won’t win, even if my book might deserve it. It’s a numbers game. (By the way, if you’d like to vote, go here.)
Another way a large social network helps an author is by getting the word out when you have a new release. I’m happy to say I have a core group of readers who seek out and read each new release, but still a wider network means a bigger reader base that I can touch with my writing. For example, A Soldier’s Woman comes out in September, and if I had a supporting network of authors, I might have the potential to spread its release to a far wider number of potential readers.
I still haven’t made up my mind. I think it’s obvious that social networking can be helpful, but how helpful? Personally, I’m not sure how much more social networking I will do, though I will increase the amount some. I decided to do a blogtour in August. (Check out my website for details.) But I think I’m still too shy to be a network queen, on a social network chatting every day.
What about you? What do you think about Social Networking? What Pros and Cons can you list? Do you have any helpful tips for those of us who are less than comfortable with networking? Feel free to share or start a discussion and we’ll see if we can get to the bottom of the best way to build your brand and if social networking is really worth the time and effort put into it.
The Fetish Club Series, The Homecoming Series, and (Coming July, September, and November) The Beginnings Series.
Look for them on Kindle, Allromanceebooks, and many other places where ebooks are sold.