I finally finished my first YA novel, Hanging in the Stars, and took the courageous, costly steps to self-publish. So, I should have been able to kick back and enjoy, right?
Marketing my book through social media was the next scary step. Though it’s not cool to admit in this day and age, I‘m terrified of my computer with good reasons; with a myriad of passwords I often confuse each by one numeral, or the mouse cursor that plays hide and seek with me, or the hour glass icon when the computer slows down that reminds me that the computer is controlling so much of my time!
I knew I could not launch into cyberspace alone, so I hired a young, intelligent, computer-savvy marketer who masterfully organized my social media campaign (which involved creating this website & blog, a Facebook Page, and a Twitter account to publicize my book). Sounds easy enough.
It’s a pixel jungle out there, even with my social media marketer. My pixel guardian angel. For example, the ever changing and often confusing Facebook recreated the noun friend into a verb. Moreover, it took intimate relationships into a fishbowl of acquaintances who often talk about nothing. Then there’s the pressure to “Like” it all. However, my website talks about me as an author and about my book. For teachers and librarians there are tabs that display study guides and group discussion questions.
Hanging in the Stars touches on many issues that concern today’s teens such as cross-cultural romance, single parents, and domestic violence. I discuss these issues in my blog. Sometimes I wonder maybe talking about nothing would be more brilliant? I don’t like the sound of that word blog. Say it aloud. Your ears will agree with me. What exactly is a blog, but a place to give out information, discuss what matters to your audience?
I think of teens, YA authors, and teachers as my audience. Maybe that is too broad a range? I have tried to include advice from professionals on adolescent behavior to give it more weight. Perhaps, that is another mistake? Maybe, I should season my blog with gossip or examples of outrageous teen behavior to boost traffic at my site?
Speaking about increasing my cyberspace friends, I now not only tweet, but retweet and reply, mostly to YA authors. It all boils down to expressing my thoughts in 140 characters or less. What are the short cuts to being more clever? Is less really more? Then there is the fear of making a mistake publically to worry about. One tip I can pass on is never tweet and drink wine at the same time. Your loss of inhibitions connects your hidden feelings and anger with your wiggling thumbs. Also, the chance of hitting the wrong key can easily make your private messages public.
Then again, going public – isn’t that what social media is all about?