Wednesday, January 26, 2011

What I've Learned Wednesday Begins!

Over the past year, I’ve learned loads about writing and the publishing industry. I would like to hand off a bit of my “tip of the iceberg” knowledge to you. Plus, writing and the publishing industry are fascinating to me, so why not blab on about something I love, right?
Today, for the first “What I’ve Learned Wednesday”, I want to share about the infamous phenomena called “Social Networking.” I started writing my novel in December 2009. It wasn’t until the summer of 2010 that I became obsessed with getting it published. With talking to a few people, they told me a piece of WAY important advice. Social Network. Social NETWORK. SOCIAL NETWORK. Being an aspiring author, no one knows you at all—at least in the publishing industry. Even though I don't have a finished manuscript yet, I can be doing something incredibly important to get my name out there, right now and not later. Therefore when I have a finished manuscript, more people will know who I am than would have otherwise.
I already had a blog that I randomly posted on about my book, but was not consistent with posting. I decided then and there that my book is important enough to take on social networking. I WANT people to read my story, and NEED it to be published, therefore I had to place myself into the industry. I started blogging on a consistent basis, loving every minute of it. I found myself thinking of new things I could post—funny stuff, writing related stuff, etc. Be prepared because you’ll become obsessed with it.
In the process of social networking, you’ll eventually fall into a routine and be thinking of new ways to attract people to your blog. I share my posts on Facebook, Twitter, Google Buzz, and via email. You’ll find yourself revamping your blog to make it attractive and user-friendly. Make sure it screams YOU! You are selling yourself, so be yourself.
But. The key to my social networking absolutely was joining Twitter (emphasis added to express major I-can’t-control-myself enthusiasm). Twitter developed into a writing forum for me. Within a short period of time, I was chatting with people I didn’t even know. We discussed our love of writing and reading, even stuff not related to writing. At the beginning, I was given some valuable advice from one of my “Tweeps.” She said, “Don’t just talk to people, talk with people.” I have tried to implement that advice into my networking, especially on Twitter. Start a conversation, open up dialogue, and be yourself in the process.
If there is one piece of advice I can offer any aspiring author, it is to social network. NOW! Don’t wait. It takes some time to get into the swing of things. You may not have many people follow your blog at first. I am still working on a consistent following. You may not have people commenting on your posts, but keep going! Be persistent. Have patience. And be consistent. If you are consistent, people will wonder what you are going to post next on your blog, or say on Twitter. They’ll be expecting it. Once you have a following, you owe it to them to post, to tweet, and—in the end, have a book people want to read. Social networking has pushed me to get to the point that I’m at now—almost having a finished manuscript in hand.
Last tid-bit of advice from me to you is: Follow. Other. People’s. Blogs. You will learn an amazing amount of knowledge from them about writing and how to present your blog. Make sure that you comment on their posts. This will get your name out to people who follow the blogs you comment on. Comment on other people’s tweets as well.
Social Networking is the way I hope to get my baby—my novel—published, and it’s way fun too!
PS: This can be useful for other things you are trying to promote. It’s not just for writers.


  1. Join me next Wednesday for something else I have learned about writing or the publishing industry!

  2. Julia, I always read your blog, you know why? Because you post your new blog entries on Facebook. Otherwise I would probably forget to take the time to look at your blog. I never miss a post and I love your writing style. Keep it up!

  3. Thanks Liz! See social networking works. If I didn't post it on Facebook or Twitter then some people wouldn't remember to look. You rock, not only because you do, but you're getting me to the SYTYCD auditions. Yipee for that show!

  4. Ahh, Twitter. I feel that if I jump onto that boat, I'll be creating an even larger time-suck than blogging already is. On the one hand, I want to finish editing my book. On the other, I want people to actually read that book when it gets out there. Quandaries...great post! =)

  5. Amanda. It's true, this thing called writing sucks a bunch of time. It's worth it though. Come to Twitter. I'm being the devil/angel on your shoulder. Thanks for the comment.

  6. Great advice! I'm in the same boat with my dolls. I have been pleasantly surprised with the friendships I have formed, and things that I have learned from Twitter. Best hopes in getting your book published.

  7. Thank you for the best wishes Knot By Gran'ma. I think the dolls on your blog are cool. Yah for Twitter too! Good luck in all your endeavors.

  8. This is very true! I tried my hand at blogging a few times and could never stay consistent with it... but I think I'm getting the hang of it now!

    It's difficult because even in our generation, there's definitely a learning curve - I simply had no idea what to do with a Twitter account. It took me a solid year to figure out how to really leverage it, and how to meet people and not just make it one big headache for myself.

    So welcome to the world of social networking, Julia! :) We're glad you're here.

  9. So true! Social networking is very important. I'm still trying to get the hang of Twitter. You've given me some good tips here. Thanks!

  10. Rick - Yep, it's all about consistency. Instead of social networking being a headache, I've made it fun! I am super excited to read what other people blog or tweet. I'm excited to open up my blog and see people commenting. I love it! I'm glad you're here to!
    Susan - Thank you for following me. I noticed your lovely pic on my followers list. I appreciate it. Glad I could help with the tips. Excited to get to know you!