When I saw the lead item in Jim Warren‘s daily media coverage round-up on Monday, I was tempted to celebrate by holding a hashtag burning party. “Journalists, beware: Twitter is less potent than you assume,” read the headline on this absolutely terrifying story that suggests that Twitter generates only about 1.5 percent of traffic for typical news organizations. Whoa. You mean thousands of people aren’t hanging on our every Tweet? You mean I could actually get back to reporting for a while? And more to the point of this blog, why am I bothering tweeting about my mystery novels? Who’s reading my daily doses of 140 characters, anyway?
As anyone who’s dipped their toes into the rushing waters of modern book marketing knows, an active social media presence is either an engaging perk or necessary evil of getting the word out about your writing. Either way, it’s mandatory. It’s about building a brand, which sounds hokey but like it or not is part of the new reality in publishing. And despite its echo chamber qualities, Twitter is part of that process. Twitter, and so much more. For those of you who, like me, find the marketing aspects daunting at time, Killer Nashville guest blogger DiAnn Mills recently ran down a checklist of the must-dos when publishing a book, and it’s a must-read. While these aren’t writing tips per se, they’re tips every writer should consider before, during and after putting pen to paper or keyboard to pixels.
As she says, “So let’s crawl out of our cave mode and discuss ways to approach the scary monster called marketing and promotion. I think you’ll find it can be easy and even enjoyable.” Even, let’s hope, something we can tweet about later.