Carol Hedges is a new friend, and I met her a few months ago on Facebook when I was asking for recommendations for books for my daughter. Actually, my daughter really enjoyed Carol's Spy Girl series, and Carol and I are discovering more things in common as we talk on social media/email. (This is what I really, really like about social media – at its best, it does bring people together.)
Over to Carol:
How Social Media Changed My Life.
Thank you, Kate. Recently I went to a meeting of the RNA London Chapter. I sat next to a not-yet-published writer, and in the course of a drink or three, got chatting about the inexorable rise of Social Media.
'Not for me,' she said, pulling a face. 'I can't imagine why anybody would want to go on Twitter or Facebook. As for having a blog - who on earth would read it?'
Now I'm a very polite person (yes, really) so I didn't bend her ear, or call her out, but I think her attitude is waay wrong. As a writer, you must embrace Social Media, or you will sink without trace, and without sales.
This is what I use:
1. My Blog: Set up in May this year. This is my personal area, where I waffle on happily about life, the universe and daft stuff that happens to me. People get to know me as a person. They read my bio. All my books are here, with links to Amazon. If you like someone, chances are you'll want to read their novels. Also, I regularly invite other writers to guest on the digital Pink Sofa, especially if they have a new book out. My blog is my shared and sharing space.
2. Twitter: Joined six weeks ago. It's a great way to meet new people - though funny things do happen: I use my e-book cover as my avatar, and am currently being followed by a couple of male writers who clearly think I am young, pretty and blonde. LOL, as they say. People you follow will retweet links to your books/blogs to their followers. Some tweeters have 1,000s of followers. Do the maths. I tweet three sessions a day, make sure I return all favours, and I chat far more than I promote.
3. Facebook: I've had a Facebook page for several years. Here I post links to interesting articles on writing, reviews of my books, and bits and pieces about how the new novel is going. Or not. People add their comments. I comment on what they're up to. Also, if a friend needs advice, or just a digital hug, I'm there for them.
I used to think social media wasn’t for me. How wrong I was. If you are still debating whether to launch yourself into cyberspace, I'd say: go for it.
You will sell books - a lot more books. But most of all, you will meet some of the nicest, funniest, most supportive people on the planet, and they will help you, 'friend you, and stand by you when the going gets tough - and I know Kate will agree totally on this.
Carol Hedges is the author of 11 published novels for teenagers and YA. Her writing has received much acclaim. Her latest novel Jigsaw Pieces has just been published on Amazon Kindle.
Carol lives in Hertfordshire. She has one grown up daughter, one husband, two cats, and an awful lot of fish. She drives a customized pink 1988 Citroen 2CV called Annie-Rose.
You can find out more about Carol at her website www.Shewrites.com
or on her blog at http://carolhedges.blogspot.com
Or talk to her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/carol.hedges.779?ref=ts&fref=ts
Or follow her on Twitter @carolJhedges