Social media for writers #EWF12

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Presentation to a workshop on social media for writers as part of the 2012 Emerging Writers' Festival (with slight amendments to reflect discussion)

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PowerPoint Presentation:

Social media for writers Emerging Writers' Festival Yarra Libraries Kelly Gardiner

Social media for writers:

Social media for writers Overview Twitter Facebook GoodReads Pinterest Hands-on tweeting Tips Management tools

What is social media?:

What is social media? A network of online communities Different platforms for different tasks and audiences Free professional development Source of filtered and trusted information An engagement tool An ongoing conversation Part of our writing practice Where the readers are

What social media isn't:

What social media isn't Advertising Direct marketing (No matter what anyone tells you) Use it badly, you become the 3am shopping channel. Use it well, it will have a positive promotional outcome.

Your platforms:

Your platforms They are myriad, but let's start with: Twitter Facebook pages Goodreads Pinterest.

Other options:

Other options Blogs (WordPress, tumblr, Blogger) YouTube or Vimeo for vlogs, speeches, trailers or interviews Booksellers (local and global) Libraries (local and global) Book groups and reading websites LinkedIn Join existing communities where they are (eg education, local area, genre)

Which solution?:

Which solution? Who are you trying to reach? Where are they now? In the future? Do you want to connect with peers or readers or industry? What do you want to achieve? (Professional network? Reader engagement? Industry updates?) How do you best communicate? How much time can you commit?

Twitter:

Twitter Broad demographic, not so many kids Yes, you can read what celebrities had for lunch Twitter is a powerful professional development tool Conversation with other writers, book people, readers Follow people who post useful or interesting stuff: writers, booksellers, publishers, journals, bloggers, festivals Follow conferences, events or themes via hashtags Have links to great resources delivered to you Keep your stream interesting and readable

Facebook pages:

Facebook pages Demographic broad, especially young people Different to your personal profile Think about setting up a professional profile Pages allow people to engage with you, and get updates on your work They also allow people to engage with each other You choose what people can and can't do (eg post) but it's great for Q&A Ensure your own privacy and security

Goodreads:

Goodreads Millions of books and readers Reader discussions can be robust – be gracious (see the Q&A with Emma Donoghue) Most communities moderate themselves Reviews can challenge and praise but also provide direct reader feedback Never argue with a review of your own work Includes author dashboards, blog feeds To star or not to star other writers' books? If you use it as a reader too, think about separate profiles

Pinterest:

Pinterest Greater proportion of women users Visual pinboards Great resources in many areas Readers create bookshelves Source books/scrap books of ideas Themed categories or search Bookshops, publishers, readers are there Some copyright issues: acknowledge sources See how Jackie Collins responds to her readers

How to tweet:

How to tweet 140 characters (including hashtags or names) Search for people or organisations eg @emergingwriters, @yarralibraries Replies go to your followers and the person Retweets go to your followers Hashtags are themes or events eg #EWF12, #qanda, #steampunk Hashtags are arbitrary and can have dual meanings

Let's test Twitter:

Let's test Twitter Use a meaningful handle plus your name Profile photo or avatar Profile blurb that makes sense (you can edit your profile at any time) Search for an author or topic Follow some good people Search for #ewf12 Tweet!

Who to follow:

Who to follow Search for writers you admire Search on related hashtags or keywords (eg scifi, #YAlit, #writing, #litchat, #fantasy, ) @emergingwriters EWF Artists 2012 list members Your local bookstore, your favourite publishers, agents, media and journals See who they follow and who follows them Look for Twitter or Facebook follow buttons on blogs or websites Check their feed for quality – try them out

How not to annoy people:

How not to annoy people Don't spam, don't pitch, don't be pathetic Be gracious, be human, be polite Use a consistent voice for each platform Post as consistently as you can, as feels right Retweet/share good stuff Share your own thoughts Announce good tidings judiciously Hourly updates on wordcount not required

Managing others:

Managing others Don't think you have to follow back (or that others will follow you) Follower/subscriber numbers don't matter: quality matters, engagement matters Housekeeping of who you follow is ongoing If someone is boring, unfollow or hide them Try not to mix personal and professional feeds Support others: retweet or share, post encouragement, join groups, converse

Legal issues:

Legal issues All usual legal issues apply: defamation, copyright, privacy, intellectual property Social media is publishing: you can be liable May be covered by Victorian law but also the jurisdiction in which the servers sit (eg privacy) Read the boring terms and conditions before you make extensive use of a platform Other laws or rules may apply: your employer

Management tools:

Management tools Allow you to manage several profiles in one place Allow cross-posts (use judiciously) and scheduling Better for following hashtags and lists Tweetdeck Hootsuite iGoogle (Google account for log-ins) Use Tweetchat for events

What next?:

What next? Play, explore, engage Find the platforms or services that suit you Find the communities that support or inspire you Have fun – but don't let it distract you from writing. Any questions? Ask me any time: @kmjgardiner kellygardiner.com

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