Marketing interview with me at Market My Words

>> Tuesday, May 26, 2009

There's a new interview with me up at Shelli Johannes-Wells' marketing-focused blog Market My Words. Among other things, I discuss the growing importance of social networking (Facebooking, Twittering, etc.) for writers:

I'm beginning to think this vital. When MySpace became all the rage, I built a MySpace site for myself, but mostly as a link to my other existing sites--my web site and my blog. I was already blogging on my own blog and updating my web site--why update a *third* personal page as well? And MySpace seemed overrun *already* with people "friending" others not to really be friends, but to network to sell their own books. It began to feel as though everyone with a book to sell was just friending each other.

But I'm becoming a real fan of Facebook and Twitter. Both allow me to send quick, almost real-time updates about what I'm doing, reading, writing, or thinking. Again, this is a level of transparency that some may be uncomfortable with, but the power of these tools became obvious the moment I tweeted about a recent post on my blog and doubled my hits.

Twitter and Facebook allow people to "follow" you without having to go visit your web site or blog every day. And while we wish 500 people WOULD check out our web sites every day, they just aren't going to do that--but they WILL read the one or two Facebook comments we post every day. Am I selling my book on Facebook and Twitter? Not overtly, no. (Unless it's the day my book releases--in which case I feel I have license to crow.) What I'm selling is *me,* the author. I hope that if people like me, they'll support me by going out and buying my books.

I've been thinking about this topic off and on for the past few months--the tangible, practical value of social influence. The idea that who artists are (what they like, what they say, what they believe) matters almost as much as what they produce as art. The notion is that we are more likely to support the creative efforts of those we feel some social kinship with or respect for. I think it's a fascinating theory, and one that is more and more observable as Facebook and Twitter and other social media become more prevalent in our lives.

What do you think? Are you more likely to buy a book from someone with an interesting blog, or does that matter to you? Do you buy music from bands who support the same social causes you do, or do you just buy for the sake of music? Do you buy art from people who like the same movies you do? Does who the artist is form any part of your decision to buy? Leave a comment and let me know.

In the meantime, here's the link to the rest of the interview. Thanks, Shelli!

1 comments:

Sandy Shirley May 26, 2009 at 12:43 PM  

I kinda do things the other way around. I buy a book or music because of it only. Then, if I really like it, I might get interested in the person behind the item and want to know what they are all about.

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