Tag Archives: Pinterest

The Self-Published Author as Shapeshifting Social Media Butterfly

I don’t know about you, but as a self-published author I have joined a whole damn plethora of social media sites, a great many of which I didn’t even know existed prior to this.

The name of my novel is Missing Zero. And so I’ve got the Missing Zero Facebook page, Twitter account and blog here at WordPress, too. In addition to these I’ve got other accounts, under the name of Lorem Ipsum at Pinterest and LinkedIn and a bunch of other sites like StumbleUpon and Tumblr, which I rarely use.

The reason I have these accounts ultimately is because I’m trying to make a direct connection with people. A direct connection with the greater reading public, in the first instance, possibly, but also a direct connection with people of all stations. And this is why I am currently exploring here with you the concept of the self-published author as shape-shifting social media butterfly.

Let me give you an example of what I mean. This week I have been in contact with two very different publishers, in regard to having Missing Zero published by either one of their respective publishing houses.

Now, the first of these two is a big name publishing house based in the UK. And I have so far managed to sort of get into the ear of one of this company’s head publishers. But the only way I have been able to do this was by contacting him through LinkedIn’s inmail service.

My point is that I actually joined LinkedIn for this sole purpose. As I knew of no other way of contacting this particular person, who I had earlier decided was the perfect match for publishing my novel. And this is where my idea of shapeshifting comes in.

You see, upon my joining LinkedIn, an old friend spotted my profile and sent me the following text, “OMG, you’re mainstreaming now!”

I suppose, I deserved his playful dig, because I’ve previously always stood apart from social networking practices, seeing them as an anathema to the creative life of an artist. But I’m now no longer just being a writer, you understand, I’ve shapeshifted into a she-wolf fighting for the life of one of her cubs.

Because that’s what my novel feels like to me. It feels like my offspring, and I will literally fight tooth and nail to see my progeny flourish and prosper, believe me. I will even enter the conservative, buttoned-down world of LinkedIn to promote my novel and thereby increase its chances of survival.

However, in a completely different guise again, I have also been in contact with another publisher this week, as I mentioned earlier. And I came across this particular outfit while hanging out at Twitter. Because that’s what I do at Twitter, I just hang out. Talking sh#t mostly, in 140 characters or less. My persona there is therefore not quite that of a street hustler, but certainly someone more streetwise, let’s say.

Well, anyway, I sent off a submission to this other publishing outfit. And quickly received a very favorable response. Although I’m yet to hear back about their policy regarding my novel’s currently self-published status. Gulp!

Whatever. I’m right now more interested in talking about who I’m being as I write this anyhow. Because at WordPress I believe I can just be me. There’s no need for any kind of shapeshifting on my part here. You guys get the closest thing to the real me.

And for the most part, you’ve all been totally accepting and extremely welcoming of the confusing ball of contradictions and inconsistencies that I happen to be. Really, what I’m saying is that it feels like home here for me. And I thank each and every one of you for that. Yay!

But remember, if you do happen to stumble upon me at StumbleUpon or try and pin me down at Pinterest I can be as elusive as a shapeshifting butterfly. Man, let’s simply say you really don’t want to know what I get up to at deviantART…

PS Just kidding, deviantART is one of the few sites I’m still yet to join. But give me time, and I’ll get on to it, sure enough.

PPS Just before I went to post this, I got an email from the publisher in England. Here’s what it said: “Your e[mail] made me laugh…Hope to read the script next week”

PPS Aargh! So what the hell do I do to stop going insane between now and next week? No, really I’m not joking! I’m FREAKING out here people. Anybody got any thoughts or Valium handy? Help!

Bike Butterfly

Bike Butterfly


Attack of the Bloggers – Achieving Book Sales Through Social Media

Looking Back ~ 1958 ~ Attack of the 50 Ft. Woman

Looking Back ~ 1958 ~ Attack of the 50 Ft. Woman (Photo credit: erjkprunczýk)

One Writer’s Perspective of the On-line Marketing Game

I don’t know about you, but social media is a whole new world I’ve yet to fully explore. Don’t think, though, that I haven’t already started tweeting and blogging and posting etc, because I have.

You see, as a struggling writer I’ve been led to believe the Internet can provide me with a way of connecting directly with the reading public. So I’ve started a Twitter and FaceBook account and signed onto Pinterest, StumbleUpon and WordPress, as well, to name but a few. In fact, I’ve got so many accounts now I can’t remember all the passwords and usernames I’ve had to come up with.

Ultimately, I suppose my point is that I don’t really know what I’m supposed to be doing. Once I log into the various sites I’ve signed up for, I’m immediately struck by the fact everybody else is doing the same thing. Everybody has got something they’re trying to get out there. They’re all musicians, artists and writers like myself, or worse pyramid sellers flogging their e-wares! Each site is like a virtual market place where everybody is vying to be noticed so as to promote their cause, idea or product.

At its most basic social media seems to be a numbers game. Or so I have gathered. It’s not enough to have a fantastic book, independent clothing brand or jewellery range. You have to attract followers. And you have to attract them across a range of social media platforms. Or do you? The thing is, while I have 850+ supposed FaceBook fans of my novel and 600+ Twitter followers and such, as well as a presence on YouTube and WordPress and Pinterest and the rest, I’ve only managed to sell one eBook of my novel so far. This after three months of engaging in a bloody and relentlessly ruthless viral-marketing blitzkrieg!

Don’t get me wrong! I’ve also had a bloody brilliant time doing it. Along the way, I’ve connected with every kind of person imaginable from across the planet…

But I can’t turn these connections into a profitable business. Not yet, anyway. And I don’t want you to think it’s because of a lack of engagement by my various followers/fans that’s the problem. Quite truthfully, I can report that an alarming number of them have gone so far as asking if they can join the religion that I am obviously starting. No, instilling blind devotion hasn’t been a problem. Well, other than ethically-speaking, that is.

The problem must therefore be the product itself (the novel I’m trying to sell), I hear you say. Quite possibly. Although I would prefer to think the issue is the fault of the medium I’m trying to sell it through – the various social media sites I mentioned earlier. Whatever, my novel and these sites are not a happy match.

It seems the sad fact is nobody reads books any more, I’m convinced of it. Twitter, for instance, only allows its users 450 characters at a time to get their ideas across. And I think this is a reflection of the concentration span of most people today. We’ve all got so many things competing for our attention every day that any block of words over 450 characters seems to us like an epic on the scale of War and Peace. Meaning that I can sell people on the idea of my novel (over and over again); but I can’t make anybody buy it, because they know they will never find the time to read it.

The end of Western civilisation as we know it? Not likely.The end of the novel? Who cares? Nobody but us unsigned writer-folk living in the cyber-fringes desperate for a sale. And you know what? Maybe it’s time we all learnt to lol at ourselves a whole lot more anyway, before then simply sitting back and enjoying the ride! 😉 The future is now, right?

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

Join me on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/missingzero666