G R Matthews
Publish or Perish: Post or live in obscurity?
Straight off, I am not speaking from a point of view of success. I wish it were not so, but there it is.
However, I do my best to use social media to engage with readers, potential readers, publishing experts, agents (not the secret kind, just in case GCHQ intercepts this), and editors. Along with keeping in touch with friends, organising evenings out, my D&D group etc.
If you’re here, reading this, you found it, more than likely, on social media. You’ll also be aware that I write books (6 published, two finished but not published yet) and I write on Fantasy-Faction (#SPFBO judging as well as my miscellaneous mumbling on games and other subjects that flash across my consciousness).
If you’re not here (erm…) then you didn’t see it on social media and to a degree I failed to get my message out there. To get that message out I must rely on others who will spread the link through likes, retweets, shares, and their own posts. I need to get this word of mouth started - I need a spark that others will fan into flames. This means I need to make links through shared interests, tags, groups and different types of media.
And what I can’t do is SPAM my content everywhere and at everyone. That just gets real annoying, really fast. I see it a lot on Facebook, throughout the different groups I belong to and it turns me off, but I totally understand why people do it. You’ve got to post or your books/media will remain obscure.
It also means that when people post about your book/media, you’ve got to engage right back! A like, a thanks, or a comment will go a long way! A caveat; if they post something negative, don’t engage unless you are really, really confident anything you say can’t be, won’t be used against you - never complain about a bad review or comment. Everyone is entitled to an opinion - even if it doesn’t agree with yours.
Many writers are introverts, shy and retiring types, (though far from all) and it can be tough to be engaged with everyone, everywhere - but you can control your social media; when to engage, how to engage.
So whether your poison of choice is Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Reddit or any of the others out there, you really do have to post or live in obscurity - at least as a self-published author with the marketing budget sufficient only to purchase an Easter Egg.
Good luck! (and share every post, tweet, comment I make… deal? … Ah well, worth a try.)