Monday, April 12, 2010

Over the weekend, I went to the monthly get together of a bunch of mystery writers here in Austin. It was nice to chat about writing and what not. The guest speaker was Kaye George who can be found online here.

The topic for the talk was using social media as a writer. Much like being a hired killer ours is a solitary profession. The web provides the means to stay in touch with fans and foes alike. A lot of you all work for good- sized publishers, so they do some marketing work for you. With the competition for eyeballs being what it is, is that enough?

With this in my melon, I wanted to ask the group this question... If you use social media, how do you use it for promotion?

Personally, I hang out on the IDW message boards and yammer with the ANGEL fans. I throw out links on Facebook. And I tweet about interviews like the upcoming one on the Spike mini-series at Buffyfest.


  1. I'm terrible at using social media for promotion. I'm terrible at promotion, period. In fact, this comment may be the most I've done online this month.

    Though I will say in my defense that it's a big month for me for in-person promotion. I went to Norwescon a couple weeks ago, and I'm going to another conference in Colombia next week, and this week I'm guest-lecturing for a creative writing class at Penn State and talking to a local writers group... all of which will probably net me less sales than if I'd just posted a lot of facebook messages.

    So, I'm all ears. What works, what's not worth doing?

  2. I am better at it than some, I guess, but only because I've carried all of my friends and fans with me over the years. Also, my extended family of friends is just dynamite about passing along anything I am working on. Having a couple of communities where I'm a big fish in the small pond (like the REH fanbase, for example) helps, too. That said, I STILL don't have a website, after all these years. I want one, I really do, just to have a "Home Base" online. But as it is, I don't feel that I tweet and blog enough, so what good would that do me?

  3. Let me give you an example...

    I have a Spike mini-series coming out from IDW this Summer that also features Eddie Hope. The first issue goes on sale in June and the cover art is showing. There are still a few days left to drive fans to the stores and increase the initial sales. This is the first part of the 'Create the Demand' stage of marketing. So, I did a long interview for the people at BuffyFest.

    There is a rabid fanbase for Spike. They took some of the things that I said to heart and continue to argue about what they think I'm getting wrong. Quotes from the interview are being parsed like a dispatch from the Kremlin. Much of that is before reading a single issue, but that is another topic for another day. There is a link with comments at Whedonesque because that is what they do. The IDW message boards have cross postings with more comments. I posted links to the interview in my twitter feed. Now, odds are that if you go to any of those sites, you know that the comic is coming out and you can make the initial decision about buying the first one or not.

    After all of that and with luck, the fans are looking forward to the mini-series. But my work is still not done. I'll need to do another interview when the book is about to hit the stands. That interview will remind the fans that they wanted to read the story and it is the second part of the 'Create the Demand' stage. Hopefully, the stores have stocked the comic in large enough numbers to 'Satisfy the Demand' which makes everybody involved happy.

    It's a lot of cloud-seeding, but it's either that or work on the detective novel.

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