Facebook has been something of a Rubik’s Cube for authors. Even if you take a look at some of the most famous authors’ Facebook Pages, you can tell that the teams pulling the strings have a pretty poor understanding of how it all works.
In my quest for authors who use Facebook effectively, I first came across the Facebook Page of E.L James, the author of Fifty Shades of Grey, and talked about why that Facebook Page worked.
But now, I’ve finally found Inglath Cooper, who has over 18,000 Likes and a really active fan engagement.
What’s her secret?
When it comes to blogging, nothing is ever easy.
Creative people who are blogging as a way to show off their work have it even harder.
You can upload as many art pieces and short stories as you want, but it seems almost impossible to get the kind of traffic you want.
In many cases, your pieces may get no traffic at all.
So, let’s fix that.
When it comes to the word “marketing,” writers get squeamish.
Call our books a “product,” and you’re likely to catch a fist to the face.
Okay, maybe not a fist. But at least a curled nose and some whispered muttering about the evils of capitalism.
Well, unfortunately for your sense of social justice, capitalism is here to stay. That means that marketing is a key to getting anyone to read your stuff and, well… your book is a product.
Your book is a product.
I know, I know. It doesn’t sound right. It doesn’t feel right. So let me tell you a little story that involves some mountains, a national park, and the inescapable crowd of Humanity.
You know the guys in the museum that show people things behind the glass and then tell them why those things are significant?
When you post some funny thing on Facebook, that guy in the museum is you.
Sure, you may be sharing stuff about a dog wearing a hat instead of showing off a dinosaur skull, but you’re still a curator.
Curating content has grown increasingly important as the demand for content itself grows exponentially. But there’s something that’s even better than curating any old content… curating your own content.
This means giving your audience what they want in the way you want them to see it.
But before we get to that, let’s talk about plain old curation.
When authors talk about promoting their books, the “S” word isn’t far behind.
Everyone knows social media is important for writers in some abstract context, but they’re not sure how it actually works.
That includes me.
I’ve tried investigating it all month, first by interviewing author Holly Robinson about how she uses Twitter. Then, by taking a look at the Facebook Pages of famous authors.
Now, I wanted to talk to someone who runs a magazine to see how Facebook is working as a marketing platform.
Here’s my interview with Shane Collins, the editor-in-chief of The Speculative Edge, a sci-fi magazine that’s just five months old.
There’s a territorial dispute afoot, have you heard about it?
French newspaper publishers have accused Google of deterring would-be readers by displaying the first sentences of an article in “Google News.”
The working theory is that, rather than clicking into the website for the full article, readers graze and move on, like information-hungry cows wandering a pasture.
In an undeniably Napoleonic flourish, the publishers argue that Google should pay to show those appetizing sentences in Google News.
Let battle be joined.
My last blog post, which talked about the merger between Penguin and Random House, reminded me of an important lesson that, as someone who enjoys the notion of “being creative,” I shouldn’t have forgotten.
On the internet, you can’t make art for art’s sake.
If you do, that’s more or less assuming that your art is so good and so compelling that it will radiate through the deep infinite space of online content like a burning sun of genius.
I was guilty of this notion for a while. I took pride that I didn’t “blog” in the traditional sense, I just generously gave away my masterpieces to the unknowable masses.
That’s the biggest misconception among writers, artists, and musicians who are trying to use to the internet as a platform for their pieces: