Well, I just signed up for Twitter. It’s like stepping into a massive current! Shivers of something far larger than oneself (rather like Highsong, if I do say so myself). It walked me through following folks, which I selected after typing in stuff like “science fiction”, “ebooks”, and “cetaceans.” I got some pretty nifty stuff, like the Shark Research Institute, SciFi (new science fiction releases), and SFSignal.
I’m now connected to Facebook and to Twitter (Twitter will set you up with Facebook, so I’d advise anyone to have a Facebook page first if you’re approaching the marketing thing.) It’s just easier. Twitter also connects to stuff like Blogger and LiveJournal, if one is so inclined.
So, some tips:
1. Start a dialogue. Writers lend themselves to poor self-confidence, especially when starting out. If it’s not angst, it’s at best self-effacement. “Well, yeah, I wrote this book …” It can be easy to think that what you have to say is inane, or so easily lost in the multitude of social media voices out there that it’s not worth the time. Social media is about finding the people who will want to listen to you. Send out a voice. Follow other voices. You’ll find your dialogue.
2. Be relevant. The AQHA probably isn’t going to care very much about this site. I highly doubt the Miami dolphins would, either, despite a fringe relationship in subject matter. Don’t hunt for markets that don’t exist for your project (by which I mean novel, short story, or novelette). You’re probably going to have a hard enough time getting attention in related markets, so don’t make more work for yourself.
3. Be broad and brief. Five seconds of reading anything Twitter or Facebook related tells you to be snappy, and be readable. Most of the time, you get that by being short, to the point, and (as Tip #2 pointed out) relevant. Let people know what you’re offering. Grab them with a hook, some quick lines of emotional context and stakes, and let them decide to bit. It’s more about putting oneself out there than chasing others down. Let’s hope the haiku format that I used in the story for Highsong becomes intriguing for my Twitter followers.