Thursday, August 7, 2008

Social Networking Power For Authors
By Lacresha Hayes

Authors are often notorious for waiting. I guess we get used to it. We have to wait on our story to write itself through our hands. We wait on the first edit. We wait on the second one. Then, we wait on agents and/or publishers. We wait on printers. By the time we’re ready to market, we’ve developed a pattern of waiting. This is a detriment to your book’s success.

Social networking is the biggest thing going right now, particularly for authors. An author who is not networking is missing thousands of potential sales. Can you really afford to do that? I know I couldn’t when I reluctantly began my social networking journey. I couldn’t imagine finding time to update a couple of sites with the responsibilities I already had. Here we are about one year and 250 blogs, websites and groups later and I’m happy I made the time.

Social networking puts you in direct contact with people you’d never be able to meet otherwise. You can make an endless number of friends, share your life and your work, make money and have fun doing it all. That’s the beauty of the process. You get the benefit of major advertising from the comfort of your home and for none of the costs associated with newspapers, magazines and television.

One thing that keeps people away from social networks is the time requirement. Honestly, since I’ve began networking online, my work day has went from ten hours to fourteen hours. I find myself networking even over into the midnight hours. But, it has yielded more sales and friends.

As an author, your biggest challenge is marketing your work effectively. You need to get your book in front of as many people as possible and in a meaningful way. Remember, you get an additional 400,000 books of competition each year. It’s a fierce market that only serious authors can ever hope to make money in. That means you must utilize every tool you have, including blogs, websites, and online groups.

In closing, remember that social networking isn’t just talking about yourself and your book. It is also about learning from and finding common ground with others. While in the beginning it will be time consuming, in the end it will open the world to you and your book, giving you new territory. If you are not networking online, you are missing out on a whole new world of selling and learning.

Lacresha Hayes is the author of
“The Rape of Innocence” and “Becoming: My Personal Memoirs”


Kimberly's Book and Author Picks said...

So true. I love the article.

Anonymous said...

How does one determine which network to join?

How do you know when you're on too many to be effective?

Jeanette Hill said...

It has taken a while for me to learn to value the importance of social networking especially since I am a playwright. I always felt that people only needed to 'see my work' and not me! However, the personal connections are invaluable. Best to you!

Cresha said...


You can become ineffective if your focus is scattered with the groups and networks. In fact, I keep all of my stuff tied together in a way that helps me keep a method to all my madness. LOL!

Only you know what is right for you. Some can't imagine doing as much as I am, while there are friends of mine who do about four times as much, successfully.

K.T. said...

I believe that the social networking scene is overcrowded today with people who are doing nothing. Yes, join the groups, but don't then leave them on their own. Take the time to email and comment for others. It works. Great post.