Procrastination and Social Media

As an author it’s sometimes difficult to decide where to concentrate your marketing efforts.

Facebook is probably the first choice, but then you need to get to know your readers so should your personal page include fans, or be restricted to actual physical friends and family? If you have a business page, should it constantly have new content or be mainly static with an update only when you have a new book release?

Then what happens if someone from one of the groups you follow sends you a friend’s request? Should you be picky and only confirm once you have browsed their profile, or accept all and sundry, hoping you don’t pick up a few scammers on the way. Is it better to have a few hundred friends where their name instantly puts them in a setting, whether it’s writing related, favourite music or ‘The pretty in pink crochet club?’ (which might, or might not exist.) 😀

Or have thousands of friends, often picked up on a like-for-like basis, whose name means absolutely nothing and who you are never likely to hear from again.

That’s another problem; if you are browsing friends of friends lists, do you disappear down rabbit holes when you discover they used to live in the same road as great aunty Aggie, and divert to a local forum site to see if they are members? Is it an author’s inquisitive mind, or is it just that social media has made it so easy to be nosy when you can instantly see what someone you’ve never met, who lives on the other side of the world, had for breakfast on this date five years ago?

Research is important and has its advantages in that you can use contacts to check things such as the latest buzz word used by teenagers, how many words would the typical two-year old understand, and is your dog cuter than theirs? Strangers are an asset for testing whether a common expression used by Londoners would be understood elsewhere, and with a wide variety of friends of all age groups and cultures, there’s usually someone who can help you out with information for a particular stumbling block.

This was intended to be a marketing exercise but already I’ve meandered off onto different tracks and thoughts. Back to business. The other necessities for authors are presumed to be a blog and web site, which as you’re reading this you’ll know I have, although I’m not sure which category it falls into. Again, should it be a static shop window display or a social club? I’ve been told authors must have a newsletter. That makes sense but what would I put in it that I don’t already show to a wider audience on my existing outlets?

Thanks to the ‘Val’s Tales’ team, I’m trying to keep ‘with it’ by having my stories and books available in paperback, digital and eventually audio format. Then there’s Twitter and Instagram and Apple and Google and Podbean and Amazon and Uncle Tom Cobley and all. Okay, I made the last one up from an expression I remembered from childhood but it probably exists somewhere in the world.

In the midst of all this I should actually be doing what I started out to do – you know, writing books – which tends to get neglected as I battle to keep up with the latest trends. My brain hurts so may I borrow a bit of yours?

Do you only read/buy free stuff?

Do you follow links?

Why do you follow the blogs you follow?

What would you like to see/hear/know about from this blog?

Do you dislike blogs which ask you stupid questions?

Answers on a postcard. Now there’s a thought – can you still buy postcards?

To save you looking it up, some of the places you’ll find me are listed below, unless I’ve managed to escape to Narnia and actually got on with WRITING something.

See you next week and thanks for dropping by.

© Val Portelli June 2021

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