Tuesday, December 2, 2014

IWSG: The Social Media Puzzle, IWSG Guide to Publishing and Beyond, This Week, Prizes

Hello and welcome to  the IWSG blog hop. 

What is IWSG? Founder of IWSG and author Alex J Cavanaugh explains the group's purpose is "to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!" You're invited to become a member of this supportive group.

The group blogs the first Wednesday of every month, The list of bloggers is always available so you can hop around to the author blogs filled with humor, advice, and thought-provoking topics on writing and publishing. You can find the list of participants at Alex's IWSG page


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This information-packed guide written by members of the IWSG is filled with advice for writers. Find it at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Smashwords,Goodreads.
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Photo courtesy of  Stuart Miles Freedigitalphotos.net
The Social Media Puzzle by J.Q. Rose
Social media is like a box filled with puzzle pieces. Somehow one fits those pieces of colored cardboard together to form a beautiful landscape, cute kitties, or an arrangement of beautiful flowers. All are quite pleasing to the eye. 

At this stage in my writing career, all I can say is that social media is a puzzle, for sure, the box full of jumbled pieces. How do I fit my blog, G+. Facebook, Linked-In, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, and so many other opportunities into a picture filled with friends as well as book sales?

No one has the master plan for creating the finished product as far as I have discovered in my research. Mostly there is no plan as to how much of G+ and Facebook will balance out with Goodreads and Twitter or any other program to make the most of the opportunity for selling books.

I've been studying book marketing by taking classes this summer and fall and finding out all the "secrets" offered by those in the know. Even the folks who offer the classes can't guarantee what actually works.

At this moment I have decided to try to keep up with Facebook, G+, and my blog. But is that enough? Is it too much? I know social media is really meant to "build relationships" and build a network so people will learn about the author and decide to actually buy a book because they like the person. So, I understand it takes time to build a following and to sell books. All I'm asking is "what is the sure-fire way to build a following? Huh?

Have you put the pieces together in your social media puzzle to get results from all your hours spent at the laptop? Do you have the "secret" to how to approach and incorporate social media into your book marketing plan which results in sales? Please leave a comment to let me know your plan, if you have one! Thanks.
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This Week:
Wednesday, December 3--ISWG Blog Hop


Thursday, December 4--Author Marsha West shares her writing tips dialogue, settings, and editing on the Romance and Mystery Authors on Writing series. Subscribe to Marsha's blog to win the drawing for her romance/mystery, Truth Be Told.



Enter to win prizes through December 13!
12 Lucky Holiday Winners 
from MuseItUp Publishing

a Rafflecopter giveaway

20 comments:

Tamara Narayan said...

I don't have a grand plan yet, but then again, I'm still working on getting a novel published, though I do have short stories on Amazon. Yet, if building an audience takes time, I should get started now. With blogging, I feel like I'm taking baby steps in marketing, but it's better than nothing.

J Q Rose said...

Hi Tamara, yes blogging is a great way to start building relationships. Good for you. Best wishes on reaching your goals in your writing career. Thanks for stopping by.

Melissa said...

I'm struggling with the same things myself. I've been blogging for a while, but there, I mostly interact with other writers. I need to reach out to readers. I'm trying to do that with my website and a couple of Facebook groups.

One thing I've decided is that I can't spread myself too thin. I chose a few social media venues (blog, FB, Twitter, website), and I'm sticking to those.

IWSG #151 until Alex culls the list again.

emaginette said...

I have three main pieces -- twitter, facebook and my blog. That's all I can handle. How other's do it and write is beyond me.

If you ever, ever figure it out I'm counting on you to share :-)

Anna from Shout with Emaginette

Loni Townsend said...

I'm not very social on social media. I mainly consume, but I fail in the interaction dept. I interact on blogs, meaning I'll visit back those who visit me, but otherwise I'm apathetic about the whole social thing. I know I should be better, but I would rather do other stuff with my time. Ah well. :)

Conda Douglas said...

Trouble is, no one knows how social media works--or if it really does work as a marketing strategy. So what I do is the things that I enjoy and try to remember that the writing always comes first and foremost. They do know that the more "product" i.e. publications you have out there, the more chances for success.

Unfortunately, too often, I get sucked into too much social media--what a minute, what am I doing on this great blog?!

Chrys Fey said...

Hi, J. Q! The IWSG guidebook is fabulous! The key with social media is to devote your time to 2-3 sites than to try all of them at once. I think what your doing is just enough. One way to get likes on Facebook is to like the authors/writers you know and let them know about your page in a message. They'll most likely return the favor. :) Good luck!

J Q Rose said...

Melissa, I finally decided to just do the social media I enjoy doing. Then I don't feel too guilty dropping the other stuff.

J Q Rose said...

Anna, I will definitely share. I'll write a book about it and make a million dollars to reveal the secret!!

J Q Rose said...

Loni, I completely understand how you feel. Sometimes I just want to junk it.

J Q Rose said...

Hey Conda, I have you hypnotized to come here, don't you know? Your first line is scary. Nobody knows if social media works. I think THAT is the crux of my whole whining about it. What if it doesn't really work? You have the right idea to keep writing great stories. Thanks.

J Q Rose said...

Hi Chrys, Thanks for your input. I have a peculiar problem with FB. I have a personal account in my real name and then I have an author page in my pen name. I cannot comment with the author page and can't like pages either most of the time with my pen name. So when I do interact, I need the person to know that Janet Glaser is J.Q. Rose. Oh, I guess I just told that to everyone who is here anyway. It's very frustrating and I don't know how to fix it. Thanks for stopping in.

helenafairfax.com said...

Hi JQ, what an interesting post. Does social media really work as a marketing tool? I think it does, eventually, but you have to put a lot of hours in. Hours when you could be writing :( I use Twitter, FB and my blog the most, as these are what I enjoy. Someone else recommended G+ to me, but I don't really know how that works. Studying it would take up yet more time! And another person swears by Pinterest. I have an account there and have begun building it up. It's quite fun - but again, a total time suck! If you find the answer to juggling all this and write a book about it, you'll make a fortune! Thanks for the great post. Plenty of food for thought.

Elsie Amata said...

I know! Social media really is a puzzle and we have to somehow have to figure out the right balance. I used to keep up with Facebook, G+ and my blog but it was just too much. Now, it's just my blog. And, I'm lucky if I do one post a week. ;0

J Q Rose said...

Helena, saying you think social media works is so re-assuring. Even if it doesn't, I enjoy blogging, Facebooking, and G+ ing. (I think I just made that up.) Pinterest is fun too, but I tend to get distracted from the plan to use it as a marketing program. Too many interesting images to pass up on it so I lose track of time.

J Q Rose said...

Elsie, I hear ya'. When is there time to write? And enjoy life outside of writing and marketing? We need 36 hour days, eh? Thanks for stopping in.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

At one point, I was involved in 25 social sites. (I don't recommend that.) It is about relationships and unless you are active every week, you don't have time to build those friendships. I advise people to stick with three. You can have extra ones, but you just won't be effective there. (LinkedIn is the exception - it's very low maintenance.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I limit myself to blogging, Twitter, and Google+, with a presence on Goodreads. I feel stretched enough, so I won't jump into any others. So far those seem to be working.

J Q Rose said...

Hi Diane, you have no idea what a relief it is to hear you say restrict yourself to 3. Thanks so much!

J Q Rose said...

Thanks, Alex. Good to know.