Hey - hope everyone had a great July 4th.
Social Media for writing parents.
I don't actually know where to begin on this one. I guess the inspiration for this post was reading this amazing/cynical/professional/depressing guest blog entry by a thriller writer who has "figured out" Twitter.
Here's the link.
It's amazing, because he's got more than a quarter million followers and he seems to actually interact with a lot of them.
it's cynical because it's not about him Tweeting what his kids do (I don't even know if he's got kids, I'm going to guess not, because he had the time to come up with a Twitter-method instead of just Tweeting what his kids do -- or for that matter, what he's writing.) Presumably he does write; after all he's got three books listed in his bio. Presumably he uses Twitter to engage with a quarter of a million people about what he's doing from minute to minute. But it still feels cynical. Taking something silly and fun and free and social and turning it into a marketing tool.
Which is professional. Of course we as writers have to use all the tools available to us. And as parents, nothing is more available than our cellphone. I don't know about you, but any time I feel close to throwing in the towel with my kids, a quick diversionary check of email or Tweet or Facebook actually gives me the mental space to not kill them. Um. I meant to say, to not shout at them.
Oh come on. Tell me you have never in your life shouted at your kid. (don't worry, they'll eventually forgive you. probably.)
Point is, parents tend to use social networking in a very social way - we post photos of our kids, we talk about the funny/silly things they did. We blog about them. But how is that helping our writing careers at all? It's not. For marketing purposes, we have to concentrate on the "networking" part of the social networking.
So what can we do?
Follow the link and maybe come up with an Author Twitter Feed that you use solely for your work. No photos of kids. Nothing but Tweets about your writing career. It is a tool, and this guy anyway, suggests that a professional writer in this networky-day-and-age should have a large Twitter following. He makes a good point about that too.
And why is this depressing? I don't know about you, but I always thought (wished, believed) that I would gain followers because what I wrote was good. Was pertinent and true and helpful and/or funny.
I don't like to end on a down note, so I'm going to go get an ice cream cone. Want one?
OH! by the way -- Here's something GREAT!! Spread the news that BOOKS AHOY: a literary celebration for little mermaids and pirates is coming up!! See you (and your kids!) 2pm - 5pm open-house style on Saturday, July 28th on the deck of the Lilac, which is permanently moored on the Hudson at Pier 25 in Tribeca (off North Moore Street). Great playgrounds with water play. Great snack bar with ice cream (that's what reminded me). Mini golf. And at our event there will be a great line-up of fantastic children's book authors (for kids 3-10) reading for the kids!! Also art, play, and nautical themed face painting! Kids are encouraged to come in costumes! (rain date sunday the 29th)