A recent post by Robin Hobb got me wondering about the importance of an online presence. Robin was saying that to get her manuscript delivered, she disconnected from the Internet and wrote. And wrote and wrote. And for her it was a wonderful experience of immersion, with no little ‘pings’ interrupting the flow.
All good an well for an international bestselling author, but what about those who are just starting out? Can they ignore their online presence? Erik Qualam says no, they can’t. ‘Social Media isn’t a fad, it’s a fundamental shift in the way we communicate . . . word of mouth has now become world of mouth.’ Like many others, he urges authors, artists and businesses to get connected online. How much time is ‘enough’ to build an engaging presence? I asked my Facebook and Twitter friends their opinion on the topic:
@jolantru Twitter shouldn’t become just a platform for self-promotion. We are real!
@mlvalentine People are online to engage, not to be barraged with BUY MY BOOK.
@AnonymousAuthor Please buy my book.
@Angus Robertson Edwardstown . . . it does pay off in the long run. We have generated a lot of interest we wouldn’t have had before.
@roguemystic you don’t need one (online presence) but it’s nice to have so fans know what’s happening and see you as a person not just a (brand)
@Lisa Mayers My marketing/PR/networking time on social media sites adds up to hours every day . . it’s easy to get distracted here. . .
@Melanie Hope Greenberg it does take time away from creativity. Yet, I was selected for things that I would not have gotten otherwise through being on Facebook.
@Tani ‘Thunderballs’ Teschendorf I run a boutique, and on average I spend an hour a day. Ps, Shoppe At Blue Attic! ….
@Mary Victoria An hour a day? Two? It depends on whether I’m in ‘new release’ mode . . .
@Bhadrena Rose (I spend) too much x but is a great source for links. Personally I love your availability …
@JodyHedlund it’s not all about us. Rather it’s about socializing—communicating and building relationships with others.
@KimFalconer I find it supportive to connect, otherwise it’s so isolating as a writer. But I also make sure I unplug for my daily writing sessions. #bestofbothworlds
@J_Dalgliesh LOL can’t believe I went offline & missed the convo! Amen re engagement, not barrage! #bestofbothworlds
If you really want to know what some of us professionals tweet about, listen in on a little conversation between bookseller, author, editor and reader:
@fangbooks *snort* it says something about my life that I receive an email titled ‘Die for Me’ and automatically open it
@KimFalconer That’s so funny! You probably thought it was from Eric Northman . . .
5 minutes later . . .
@timorene phwoar – I wouldn’t mind a bit of Eric …!
@KimFalconer me 2 . . .
@J_Dalgliesh Waiting sucks . . .
What about you? How much time do you spend on social media and why? I would love to hear your views. Comments welcome!