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View Full Version : MySpace, Facebook and Blogs, oh my!



CBumpkin
05-31-2008, 07:50 PM
I started a thread in the Novel Writing forum for those who have published novels to ask what their publishers expect of them for marketing plans. Do they want/expect you to blog? Vlog on YouTube? Join MySpace or Facebook?

That got me wondering how many writers here are actually doing these things already and how many aren't.

Personally, I don't do any of these things and have no desire to. I've left it anonymous, but feel free to comment on what you do and where it is or post whatever else it is that you do that I didn't list. Check all that apply.

Thanks for participating! I'm anxious to read the results!

MrWrite
05-31-2008, 08:19 PM
I have a facebook account and share a myspace account with my wife. When the time comes I'll be happy to promote myself on these sites. Anything that gets me noticed has to be good right?

Lyra Jean
05-31-2008, 08:20 PM
I have a myspace and a blogger blog but none are personal or writing related. Although I am thinking about starting a writing related blog.

MrWrite
05-31-2008, 08:21 PM
How do you start up a blog anyway?

coneflower2001
05-31-2008, 08:27 PM
I have a myspace, mostly personal, but I do post about the writing I'm working on and such on my blog there. It's nothing special just keeping my friends updated. If I was asked to keep a professional blog, I would in a heartbeat. I'd also have chats with any readers willing to drop a few lines...anything to help sell my work.

Cranky
05-31-2008, 08:31 PM
I have a livejournal blog.

blueobsidian
05-31-2008, 08:32 PM
I love my Facebook account. While I have a Myspace, I really hate the layout (and most people's hideous user profiles).

WendyNYC
05-31-2008, 08:37 PM
I have a myspace account and I have a writing related blog. I'd be willing to do whatever else a publisher requested to sell books.

WendyNYC
05-31-2008, 08:39 PM
How do you start up a blog anyway?

It's so easy. Set up an account with blogger or any of the others and it walks you through.

williemeikle
05-31-2008, 08:58 PM
I have Myspace, Facebook, website, blog, a newsletter, and also personal boards at Permuted Press and Horror World, all focussed on my writing.

I work them all in conjunction with each other.

Willie

website: http://www.williammeikle.com
newsletter: http://lists.topica.com/lists/willie.meikle/subscribe/?location=listinfo
blog: http://williammeikle.blogspot.com/
myspace: http://www.myspace.com/williemeikle
facebook: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=710443032
horrorworld: http://www.horrorworld.org/v-web/bulletin/bb/viewforum.php?f=19
permuted press: http://permutedpress.com/smf/index.php?board=45.0

Soccer Mom
05-31-2008, 09:01 PM
I have a myspace page and a blogger account. My poor blog has been untouched since March or April. I need to give it a little love and attention, but I've been too busy.

Soon as I have something to promote, I will.

Memnon624
05-31-2008, 09:26 PM
I have a website and a blog (on Blogger). Though the blog began as an ancient history/writing releated thing, it has since morphed into pretty much a catch-all: rpg-ing, console gaming, books, movies, writing, history, and observations on the world at large. It's in need of a makeover at the moment, though.

Scott

RG570
05-31-2008, 10:15 PM
I have none of these and won't ever bother with them. I have never read a "blog" (besides Andrew Keen's, and he is against such stupidity) that wasn't incredibly boring and narcissistic, and Myspace is tedious and stupid.

I don't read or care about any author's blogs or youtube rants or anything. I read their books, and that's it. I don't care about their favourite type of potato chips or how horny they are at any given moment or why they hate crosswalks. Blogs are such a waste of time. Actually, the internet is mostly a big waste of time.

joyofcooking
05-31-2008, 10:43 PM
In real estate, the mantra is: Location, location, location.

In publishing, I think: Content, content, content.

It seems to me, maybe with facebook and myspace...you want to use those as part of a total promotional campaign...not BE your promotional campaign...I mean, what will drive people to look you up on myspace and facebook anyway? Have you got a catchy slogan or a freebie or any of the "traditional" traffic generators (cyberspace and brick'n'mortar as they quaintly put it). If you are already a published author or publishing professional, that's one thing...people will Google your name...but what if you don't "have a name" yet, you are building one? I think in a publishing deal, maybe you'd want to ask for: X number of hours with a "cybermarketer," and they are dedicated to helping you configure and manage your TOTAL web presence...not just the bits and pieces of it...and how it fits in with your other promotional efforts...I consider myself a serious writer, a crafter of language, etc...but I love creating promotional campaigns! Loads of fun, much more fun than the sometimes grinding agony of writing. Oh yeah, speaking of which...

lkp
05-31-2008, 10:48 PM
I have a facebook account, and I'd be happy to "friend" anyone else out there --- just mention AW. My name is on my webpage which is linked below.

I'm using facebook mostly for friends, rather than "friends" but I have made some good connections with other people who write historical fiction, so I think it is worth it.

joyofcooking
05-31-2008, 11:19 PM
Lucy Pick, I went to your blog, I was very impressed - and a little overwhelmed!

I just got inspired and created a Myspace account - and now I wonder, how DO Myspace and Facebook interact? As far as the "friends" thing - I've never done that before.

I have an MFA in poetry, I'm always delighted when someone throws poetry into the mix. Cindy Pon has a great blog too. I realize what a "blog dud" I am - I have a good excuse though - finishing up the end of a novel, a measly 15,000 more words to edit (out of 100,000). Yes, it's time to stop goofing off online...

tehuti88
05-31-2008, 11:25 PM
I tried MySpace to find likeminded writers or readers (nothing professional), but all I got was a bunch of Spam friend requests. Total waste of time. :(

I keep a few journals/blogs around the Web, but nobody who reads them seems terribly interested in reading any of my actual work, no matter how much I link or write about it. Ditto with other networking sites I join; people friend me, but none of them are into writing or actually corresponding! So the whole "friends" function seems pretty pointless. :/

maestrowork
06-01-2008, 12:27 AM
Here's mine (http://www.raymondwong.com). You can access my blogs from there. I'll soon add links to my MySpace and Facebook.

Polenth
06-01-2008, 02:35 AM
I fiddled with Facebook today, but it seems pretty lame as a networking tool. People can only see my profile if they friend me, and they're only going to friend me if they know me. MySpace doesn't look as slick, but at least anyone can see my profile.

JJ Cooper
06-01-2008, 03:39 AM
I have none of these and won't ever bother with them. I have never read a "blog" (besides Andrew Keen's, and he is against such stupidity) that wasn't incredibly boring and narcissistic, and Myspace is tedious and stupid.

I don't read or care about any author's blogs or youtube rants or anything. I read their books, and that's it. I don't care about their favourite type of potato chips or how horny they are at any given moment or why they hate crosswalks. Blogs are such a waste of time. Actually, the internet is mostly a big waste of time.

That's the spirit. I'm guessing you're not joining us with this month's blog blitz.

I have a blog and facebook. I'll start working on a website soon.

JJ

JJ Cooper
06-01-2008, 03:41 AM
I fiddled with Facebook today, but it seems pretty lame as a networking tool. People can only see my profile if they friend me, and they're only going to friend me if they know me. MySpace doesn't look as slick, but at least anyone can see my profile.

I'm fairly sure you can adjust the settings in facebook to allow anybody to view your profile if you wish. I have also found a few groups in there for networking.

JJ

Polenth
06-01-2008, 04:22 AM
I'm fairly sure you can adjust the settings in facebook to allow anybody to view your profile if you wish. I have also found a few groups in there for networking.

The best they have is 'friends of friends'. It's possible once the ball is rolling, that could mean a fair few strangers, but we'll see.

Matera the Mad
06-01-2008, 04:23 AM
I was hoping you would include some decent bloggage -- I had to answer truthfully, but could only tell half the truth and the other half is distorted or untold. Silly poll :tongue

I'm not much of a blogger, but I have a website and a sparse little forum, and I do blog minimally (but I hope interestingly) here and there.

Blondchen
06-01-2008, 04:48 AM
I'm a Facebook junky, I'll admit it. (You can PM if you want to join my freakshow). MySpace never did it for me, but I love keeping up with people on Facebook.

I've also noticed that a LOT of lit agents, especially the younger ones, are on Facebook and list clients among their friends, so perhaps there is some merit to using Facebook as a business tool.

Blondchen
06-01-2008, 04:52 AM
I have none of these and won't ever bother with them. I have never read a "blog" (besides Andrew Keen's, and he is against such stupidity) that wasn't incredibly boring and narcissistic, and Myspace is tedious and stupid.

I don't read or care about any author's blogs or youtube rants or anything. I read their books, and that's it. I don't care about their favourite type of potato chips or how horny they are at any given moment or why they hate crosswalks. Blogs are such a waste of time. Actually, the internet is mostly a big waste of time.

I gotta ask the obvious... why are you reading this forum? The internet must have SOME redeeming qualities.

Aside from porn, of course. ;)

nevada
06-01-2008, 05:06 AM
If I remember correctly, Odd Ducky got an agent because ducky had a facebook account and the agent found him that way when another agent mentioned him. So yeah i think there's value to facebook. I have a facebook account but I really don't get it. But I know it's useful. lol

C.bronco
06-01-2008, 05:30 AM
My blogs are for my writing needs, and Myspace is just for keeping in touch with my brothers.

SPMiller
06-01-2008, 05:50 AM
At various times in my past, I've maintained:

1) personal website on university webspace,
2) personal website on ISP webspace,
3) personal website on private webspace,
4) LiveJournal blog,
5) Facebook profile.

Only #5 currently applies, so if a publisher were to ask me to do my own marketing, I'm afraid Facebook and AW would be my only reasonable outlets.

Perhaps I could revive and abuse my ArsTechnica account for a bit of marketing. I donated five years of time to helping noob coders. I'm sure they'd let me get away with a little something ;)

Saanen
06-01-2008, 06:18 AM
I've got a website (http://www.randomsoftware.com/kshaw/fiction.html) and a blog (http://kcshaw.blogspot.com/). The blog is mostly about writing (although I don't shy away from including non-writing stuff) and I update it at least every other day. I doubt I've attracted many new readers via my blog, if any, but it amuses me and gives me a little bit of a web presence.

My website is much more important. At the very top I have links to stories available to read online, and under that is information about stories available in print (with appropriate links). Someone who's read a story of mine and looked up my website can then read more stories online for free; if they like them, they can order copies of print magazines to read even more. That's the theory, anyway.

I need to get my own domain name, though.

Mandy-Jane
06-01-2008, 06:31 AM
I have Facebook, but really only for fun. I also have two blogs, but they are also just for fun. I've toyed with the idea of a website in relation to a small business idea I have, but I'll probably never get around to getting it together. I've looked at Myspace but I find it quite messy.

CBumpkin
06-01-2008, 06:52 AM
You folks are great. Thanks for all of your responses and sharing your thoughts on each site. I'm starting to see the value of participating in them a bit more clearly.

I appreciate the links everyone provided, too, and I will be checking them out to see your style and how you manage.

How do you blog but not make it personal? I mean, what do you write about if you just want it to be a networking tool? I hate journaling because I don't like writing about myself. Do you put portions of your novel on it (before it's published)? I can't see doing that, either. I guess I'll find out when I start checking out your links!

Polenth
06-01-2008, 08:16 AM
How do you blog but not make it personal? I mean, what do you write about if you just want it to be a networking tool? I hate journaling because I don't like writing about myself. Do you put portions of your novel on it (before it's published)? I can't see doing that, either. I guess I'll find out when I start checking out your links!

You'll find a wide range of levels of sharing on AW blogs. Some stick to story extracts and news (which seems to be what you're thinking). Others delve into their love life, medical problems and other deeply personal stuff.

I think many blogs are in the middle ground. The blogger mentions themselves and a bit about what they're up to, but it isn't written like a private diary. There's nothing too personal.

CBumpkin
06-01-2008, 08:33 AM
You'll find a wide range of levels of sharing on AW blogs. Some stick to story extracts and news (which seems to be what you're thinking). Others delve into their love life, medical problems and other deeply personal stuff.

I think many blogs are in the middle ground. The blogger mentions themselves and a bit about what they're up to, but it isn't written like a private diary. There's nothing too personal.

Thanks, Polenth. If I started a blog or a networking site, I wouldn't want it to be cold and impersonal but I really don't care to share what my favorite flavor of potato chip is. I think I'm allergic to celebrity-ism. I had a taste of it when I lived in California and absolutely hated it. I left the industry because of it. I had celebrity friends and couldn't believe what they had to go through, either. (The ones that weren't publicity hogs, that is.)

But, with some studying of other people's sites, I'm sure I'll learn to differentiate and will do just fine. I would loathe being on MySpace or Facebook, so I don't know if those will ever happen, but at least I'm at the point where I won't say "never."

SPMiller
06-01-2008, 08:45 AM
Facebook has changed an awful lot from its original purpose. As should be evident from its name. Used to be only a tiny fraction of people could join. That's not the case anymore.

CCE
06-01-2008, 08:58 AM
Hi all. I'm a member of MySpace, Facebook, Inked-In, Linked-in, & AW (of course). On each of these sights, I have links (and/or signatures) to my Author's blog and some to my publisher's author page or my online writing portfolio (for my non-fiction newspaper/mag articles).

I can see the effectiveness of these networks with a Stat-Counter account. I can see the # of hits and in some cases, referring pages. More than a third of my hits come from MySpace; next one up is from my publisher's site; others come from AW, emails with signatures, and google searches. There have been a few from Facebook as well.

My Myspace and Facebook accounts are more social than business but I definitely talk up the writing (remember if you are being social, you also want a sort of professional and yet friendly air). Oh, I also have a Friendster account but never use it.

CBumpkin
06-01-2008, 09:06 AM
Facebook has changed an awful lot from its original purpose. As should be evident from its name. Used to be only a tiny fraction of people could join. That's not the case anymore.

I've never visited Facebook. It always sounded like a "Hot or Not" site where people posted pictures of themselves and other rate them on a scale of 1-10. I was surprised to learn that it isn't that. I still have yet to visit it though.

What exactly is Facebook and how is it different from MySpace?

SPMiller
06-01-2008, 09:16 AM
I've never visited Facebook. It always sounded like a "Hot or Not" site where people posted pictures of themselves and other rate them on a scale of 1-10. I was surprised to learn that it isn't that. I still have yet to visit it though.

What exactly is Facebook and how is it different from MySpace?It used to be a social networking site designed exclusively for college students and alumni. Kind of like MySpace, except without the uneducated teenagers and the horribly garish, poorly-designed profiles.

That's no longer the case.

scope
06-01-2008, 07:55 PM
I am shocked by the current results of the poll that show only 8% of respondents have a personal marketing and networking plan! IMHO this number should be about 75%.
I'm curious to learn what others believe.

Arisa81
06-02-2008, 02:20 AM
I use Facebook. I have a blog, but am taking a break from blogging.
I used to use MySpace, but prefer Facebook, because I can see updates of all my friends on one page. At MySpace I'd have to check everyone out individually.

I don't like all the silly applications Facebook has, but it's easy enough to ignore all invitations.

Anyone interested, can get to my Facebook page from the link below.

kimmer
06-02-2008, 07:42 AM
I agree with scope. The tools you use may differ but I was shocked by the number of people who didn't have a marketing/networking plan in this poll.

Some people write books or write poems as a hobby, with no intention of selling their writing to the public and therefore have no intention of reaching a mass market or even a niche market so I guess maybe that's their response. That is a wonderful creative freedom but I can't imagine launching a nonfiction mass market title (my kind of book) without a marketing plan. Some things "take off" on their own through serendipity but most commercial success is calculated and most literary success has years in the making. If you do not care to reach the masses with your work then the need for marketing probably isn't important to you; if you do intend to reach the masses, it is essential, in my opinion.

By the way - it's a serious time commitment for me to keep up with my own website, facebook, linked in, blog, member websites, videos and new (!) blogtalkradio but that's where my market is and I feel compelled to share my message where they gather. As an aside, I was mortified by a few youth I knew, and found, on MySpace and I had to let it go for personal reasons...but I know that's not my only venue and I chose other options.

I enjoyed this thread! Great question!

Polenth
06-02-2008, 08:00 AM
I agree with scope. The tools you use may differ but I was shocked by the number of people who didn't have a marketing/networking plan in this poll.

It might be down to interpretation. I have a plan in my head, but I took that option to mean the sort of thing a marketing company would produce.

PastMidnight
06-02-2008, 12:17 PM
I have Facebook, MySpace and a personal blog. I use all of these for personal/social reasons. If I ever get to a point where someone wants to sell a book of mine, I would be more than happy to do writing-related websites, blogs, etc., but really don't see a reason to put my energy into that right now. I'd rather put my energy into writing really great books that someone might want to sell!

TrickyFiction
06-02-2008, 12:59 PM
I only have a Live Journal. It's mostly for keeping in touch with old high school friends (we don't have to pay for the reunions that way ;)). I also have a YouTube account, which I use for keeping lil' videos of my dog and kitteh. Nuthin' special.

But I LOVE reading author blogs, agent blogs, and the like. So I would probably keep one were I to find some success. I think it's a great way to connect to people you would never get to know any other way.

mscelina
06-02-2008, 01:20 PM
I have a website totally focused on my writing (several different websites if you count all the pseudonyms.) I have a blog--again, mostly about writing. Myspace--I haven't been there in a long time but I think I still have my account there. Maybe I should update it...--it never served any useful purpose for marketing at all as far as I could tell. Facebook is still very new--like two days new--and it may prove a better tool for what I'm trying to do.

I do have a very specific marketing plan which has already gone into effect for my book release this week. it includes the sites mentioned above as well as Authorsden (I want the Google hit source) numerous Yahoo groups (like 16?) several message boards including AW. I also have a book trailer on Google, Yahoo, Flickr, Youtube, and several other video sites. I'm hosting a couple of author's chats this week and spreading my omnipresent signature all over other chats because I'm just that nice. I have three guest blog/author spotlights in the next three day. I've sent out two rounds of press releases and have two more set for this week. ARCs are headed to the review sites that gave Asphodel raves--as a courtesy of course. I have a few interviews with newspapers in the region, and a super top secret marketing subplan that I'll spill the beans on if it works.

Yeah...I think that's it. Total publicity expenditure to date: zilch.

cletus
06-02-2008, 02:49 PM
I've recently opened a MySpace (http://www.myspace.com/dletus) account for the sole reason that I found an old friend on there I wanted to get back in touch with. I've found a few more old friends and a niece since signing up. I've also added some of my favorite thriller authors, a few of the people on here, and a couple of bands as friends and plan on adding more as and when I get around to it. For friends I use it to send messages back and forth. For authors and bands I use it to keep informed of their latest releases and tour dates. None of them have told me their favorite flavor of patato chips or indicated how horny they were at any given moment.

I'm not on Facebook, but will likely sign up soon as I know a few people on there I would like to keep in touch with that are not on MySpace.

When I do eventually have something to sell, I'll create a website and maybe start blogging again. I can see where sites like MySpace or Blogger could be good marketing tools and for the price are excellent value for money.

Richard White
06-02-2008, 03:03 PM
I have a web site, a blog and go to several conventions a year.

That's about enough time taken away from family and writing for marketing.

Some good friends are trying to talk me into podcasting, but we'll worry about that once the house remodeling is done and I can figure out where I might be able to set up a studio. However, podcasting is a time-sink, so what do I give up to make room for it? That's the biggest question right now.

Blondchen
06-02-2008, 07:53 PM
I am shocked by the current results of the poll that show only 8% of respondents have a personal marketing and networking plan! IMHO this number should be about 75%.
I'm curious to learn what others believe.

To go along with my personal philosophy of life:

I'd hire a PR firm.

:D

Shadow_Ferret
06-03-2008, 12:25 AM
I have a myspace and a blog, but no personal website and haven't even looked into facebook.

It's all personal and has little writer related stuff on it and I'm thinking of chucking it all and starting something using my proposed nom de plume.

scope
06-03-2008, 01:01 AM
I have Facebook, MySpace and a personal blog. I use all of these for personal/social reasons. If I ever get to a point where someone wants to sell a book of mine, I would be more than happy to do writing-related websites, blogs, etc., but really don't see a reason to put my energy into that right now. I'd rather put my energy into writing really great books that someone might want to sell!


I completely agree. Finishing your book must come first. However, thereafter I firmly believe that we should all develop a comprehensive promotional plan geared to reach ou audience--over and above what the publisher may or may not do. In most cases agents and publishers will expect this of us, even though they may not demand it. For me the bottom line is that I want to do all I can to expose my work to its intended audience. My hope is that by doing so I will increase the books exposure and sales.

scope
06-03-2008, 01:04 AM
mscelina,

What you have planned sounds terrific, and as you go on you will find many other ways to promote your book. I think those who rely only on websites and blogs are truly short-changing themselves. They are just two of many ways we can aggressively promote our books. But to each his own.

I wish you much success.

scope
06-03-2008, 01:11 AM
To go along with my personal philosophy of life:

I'd hire a PR firm.

:D

The only thing a PR firm can guarantee you is a large bill.

scope
06-03-2008, 01:13 AM
Richard,

Agreed. We each have out own priorities, and no one has the right to intrude upon them.