2 December 2014

Social Media

As an author, I need to have a profile. The purpose of this profile is so that potential customers can find me and buy my books.
This profile has had to be constructed out of a substance called social media.
Various forms of social media are available but the most common types are twitters, facebooks and blogs.
If I Google my writing name 'd j harrison', I immediately find myself as the second item down and with a nice picture in the sidebar for extra effect. Well done Google. Or should I say 'well done me'?
You can see the result above.
Now, if I Google my name as 'David Harrison' I get the following:

i.e. not me at all.
I suppose I've created a brand 'd j harrison' which is very different to my usual name (but not very different). OK. Well done me.

Now I have to work out how I've done it so that you can do it too. That's if you want to.
I don't advise trying to make a brand called d j harrison, though. Better to think of your own. However, I would suggest that you do the same as I did and think of an author name which is similar but not exactly what you normally call yourself. This way there's a chance of separating the business, author, side from the personal side. I want people to find me as an author but not necessarily in any other capacity.
If you're committed to your own name, don't worry though. It's not that important to try to be invisible, none of us really are. Anyone who wants to can find us, it's just a matter of ease.
My experience is that Blogger has been the best way of getting up the Google rankings. I've used it for some years now and tend to blog weekly. My visits exceed 30,000 and I get about 1,000 a month. Not a lot, really, but enough to make my mark.
I also blog on Wordpress. I'm told this is the best platform for writers and so I just paste my Blogger post into Wordpress every time I post. Strangely, I have lots of followers on Wordpress and very few visits, which is the opposite to my Blogger site. I consider them complementary. An advantage of having the Wordpress blog is that my publisher website is written in Wordpress and it makes it simpler to import blog posts to the site.
So where do the facebooks and twitters feature in all this? To be honest, I'm not entirely convinced of the efficacy of either of them. Years ago, when I first started on Twitter, it seemed exciting and fun. I quickly raised my follower count to 1700 and there it languishes to this day. If I post a link to my blog on Twitter, I get several visits, so I do this from time to time to keep traffic moving. Selling books on Twitter is difficult if not impossible. If I see a book advertised on my Twitter feed I wouldn't touch it with a barge pole even if it is FREE!!!!!! I usually unfollow the miscreant as well. So I shouldn't expect any different treatment from others, should I?
As for Facebook, there are a lot of author Facebook groups that can be very useful. However, they do tend to be dominated by authors pushing their own books down the throats of other writers. Again, this can be tedious and is not likely to be effective. If you use these sites try the approach of 'what can I do to help?' rather then BUY MY FRIGGIN BOOOOOOOOOK!!!!! Just a suggestion.
I'd love to hear from readers about how they find books and whether they are as dismissive of social media as I am.

If you leave a comment on this topic, I promise to send you something.
Really. I will. Try me.