As much as we’d like to think that someone will magically discover our talent and shove millions of dollars into our faces, the fact is that the real world doesn’t work that way. Writing a novel is actually the easy part – getting folks to read it is hard.
That means we have to find ways to market ourselves to our potential audience. The advent of social media networks like Facebook and Twitter make that a lot easier than it used to be. There are even writer friendly social media outlets like Goodreads or associated writing forums. And the temptation can be great to plaster yourself and your work all over these things.
Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t know the difference between getting your name out there and coming off as a spotlight seeking douchebag. I’ve seen writers – and painters, and computer programmers, and fashion designers, and prep football prospects – lose no opportunity to tell EVERYONE THEY KNOW that they’re a writer and that they’ve written a novel.
“Hi, glad you joined my friends’ list – did you know I wrote a novel called Firestruck?”
“Hi, I know we’re talking about your family’s vacation photos, but I’d like to butt in and remind you to go on Amazon and review my new novel, Kick ‘Em In Da Nuts.”
“Hi, everyone else on Twitter and Facebook are talking about that terrible Paris terrorist attack, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t take this opportunity to let you know I’ve started to write a new book called Giggles of Sadness.”
Yes, at this point, nearly everyone is picturing you at the end of a rope, preferably while dangling over a pit of hungry alligators.
On the main social media accounts, set up a page specifically designed for your writing career, and update it at least once a week, but don’t go shoving it in people’s faces. Maybe on your personal page, mention it once a month. If someone asks, obviously be ready to talk about it without seeming like a cult member. If you comment on a message board about a writing topic or a novel, put your website on your signature, but don’t make it the main thrust of your post(let the strength of your argument intrigue others).The last thing you want to do is create a backlash to your work, and annoying people could do that. If people feel revulsion when they see your name and/or picture, you’re doing it wrong.