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Saturday, February 09, 2019

 

Hello! Making Sure People Can Find You Online

If I Googled your name, what would I find for you as an author? I’m not talking vacation pics with your kids or the cobbler recipe you got from Aunt Ona Mae.

When I write how-to’s on writing, I frequently interview other authors. How do you research your historic fiction? What steps do you take to assure that your secondary characters are three-dimensional?

But I’m surprised at how many authors I can’t find. I Google their name and get . . . nothing. No website. No Facebook page. No Twitter.

You may think that because you don’t have a book yet, this is no big deal. But I’m not the only one looking for you. I’ve had editors tell me that I made a sale or got the job because they Googled me and found my on-line presence. 

For published authors an online presence is important in a different way. If a librarian, teacher or professor can’t find you, they can’t invite you to speak. A reader? They can’t find out more about you and your work.

If a website feels too intimidating, don’t start there. Start where you already are on social media. 

I set up my Facebook author page in about 30 minutes. All you need are a profile photo (my headshot), a cover photo (a book cover), and a first post. Your description can include your e-mail addy so right away people know where to find you. Post once a week and soon you’ll have several screens of content. 

I also had my Twitter account ready to go in about 30 minutes. Actually, if someone more proficient like my son does it, it takes less time. But in 30 minutes you or I can have a Twitter listing up that identifies you as an author. 

Follow your favorite authors and illustrators. Interested in breaking into a specific publisher or signing with an agent? Follow their Twitter feed. I've found work this way. And when someone looks for you on Twitter, they’ll see what you are checking out and see that it is professional content. 

Retweet and like other people's Tweets once or twice a week. Tweet something original every now and again. Like Facebook, it doesn’t take much time for Tweet and Retweets to add up. Soon you’ll have an online presence and people can message you through Twitter. You can be found!

A blog or a site is great but they can be a big time commitment that not everyone is prepared to make. That’s understandable. Your focus should be on your writing. But if people can’t find you, you may not be making the connections that you need to get your work in front of the right person.

--SueBE

To find out more about Sue Bradford Edwards' writing, visit her blog, One Writer's Journey.  Sue is also the instructor for Writing Nonfiction for Children and Young Adults. The next session begins March 18th, 2019.

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6 Comments:

Blogger Sioux Roslawski said...

Sue--This question is from a ignoramus when it comes to Facebook: Do you have 2 Facebook pages--one personal one and one author's one?

Also--the book cover... Is that your most recent book cover?

I know this is something I can manage.

Thanks for the reminder about the importance of an online presence. You've provided the nudge I need.

5:44 AM  
Blogger Angela said...

Thanks for the kick in the butt, Sue! This is on my list this year. I'll probably do a website/blog and Instagram. I don't enjoy FB or Twitter.

Sioux ~ Stay tuned for our marketing issue, which should go live in a week or so. We have step by step articles about some easy ways to use platforms like Twitter and IG. We don't cover FB in this issue, but we have covered it in depth before. Check out this article by Darcy Pattison: Facebook for Authors: Best Practices for Profiles, Pages, Groups, and Posts. It's old but we updated the links a couple times, and it covers the basics.

5:18 PM  
Blogger Nicole Pyles said...

Yessssss, so this!!! I'm always amazed by the lack of presence too. Although, I just decided to google myself, some competing Nicole that works as a case manager comes up BUT my Twitter account comes up as well as my blog, so that's cool. :) Page 2 is my writing portfolio! For the longest time someone's prison photo came up when you googled me, so at least there has been an improvement. I find if an author has an alternative non-author self, that makes promoting your writing name online hard. Or least, that's how I felt sometimes.

6:55 PM  
Blogger Sue Bradford Edwards said...

Sioux,
On Facebook, I do have both personal page and an author page. The book cover is my first book. I should probably update it!

Angela,
Looking forward to the marketing issue!

Nicole,
Had to laugh at the prison photo comment.

--SueBE

10:06 AM  
Blogger Angela said...

Oh! I forgot, we don't have an article, but we DO have an interview about Facebook--specifically, an author who spent $100,000 on Facebook ads and made $850,000 in profit from those ads. Margo interviews her, and it's not to miss. You'll want to take notes for sure!

4:14 PM  
Blogger Renee Roberson said...

Wow, the marketing issue does sound like a juicy read! $100,000 in Facebook ads? Wowzer! I have to admit I've been writing so long I have a pretty good online presence. But unfortunately it also set me up for my scary hacking incident last fall where someone tried to take over my Instagram account and website. I felt like I had a little too much out there for awhile. There is also a Reverend Renee Roberson out there so it's always funny when her name pops up!

6:24 PM  

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