Category: How to use Social Media for Self Publishing

The Free Rooster is alive and well


I recently listened to a back episode, Episode 36, of the Rocking Self-Publishing Podcast by Simon Whistler where he was interviewing Beverly Kendall about her writing, publishing, and the survey she had done on what self publishers are earning.

Beverly said that she had purposefully targeted places where “committed self publishers and writers” gathered in order to get the best responses for her survey – responses which completely trashed the popular idea that self publishers were earning nothing.

It was this distinction of “committed” that was the real key. That caught my attention.

What was the difference between a self-publishing dabbler and a committed self publisher?  Well, for one thing, the income.

I had been serious about my self publishing and certainly had the time commitment dialed in, but I started to think… and read… and listen… and follow… and like… and pin… and subscribe… about what I could do to really commit to my writing and self publishing. About what that would mean.

I took a simple first step. I went (online) to the places where “committed self publishers and writers” gathered (twitter, hashtag #selfpublish, find and follow the industry gurus)- and I listened.

Hundreds, maybe thousands, of voices were saying the same thing – which made it astonishingly easy to hear amidst the crazy babble that is twitter.

Engage: with readers, with industry gurus, with other self publishers, with my local community. Maybe writing is an activity that an introvert can successfully do all alone in a garrett – but publishing requires connecting with this huge peopled world. And self publishing means personally connecting.

Publish Great Content Constantly: blogging, tweeting, pinning… my content has to be out there and it has to be valuable, interesting and preferably accurate. If I can’t do “constantly” I can do AFAP (as frequently as possible.)

Pick a Genre and Stick With It: because readers do not generally leave their favorite genre to follow you, the author, to your next book. I muffed that one already. My aviation history biography is mysteriously not as interesting as I thought it would be to the fans of my family memoir chicken-raising homestead adventure. Aviation history fans love it – but chicken moms are meh. The income lies in an excellent and riveting series within a single genre.

Do All That While Still Writing All The Time: ah, jeez. (screeching tires on pavement sound.)

The unspoken, “and don’t quit your day job” was not as prevalent in these streams because many of the authors had actually quit their day jobs. These were the full-timers, the mid-listers and more who were making enough or more at self publishing for it to be their day job. So I was going to have to improvise in order to do all this while nurturing my day job.

My biggest challenge was going to be managing the time it takes me to write and self publish my books. The two I already have on Amazon, which sell even though I still need to market them, each took over a year to produce, and that’s too slow for where I want to be as an author – and what I want to earn.

I needed to find out How To Get More Efficient In My Writing And Self Publishing, and that answer was out there in the twitter stream as well.

Which brings us to SCRIVENER, and my next post.

Self Publishing Advice Tulip Field

In an endless field of cool things to do with my website, how do I choose just one? And which tulip is the right tulip for me?

The wonderful thing about the internet is that there are so many things you can do!
The terrible thing about the internet is that there are so many things you can do.

Which things are worth my time?

Learning how all of this is going to help me sell my self published book is a massive time-sink, so I have to be very sure that doing something is worth it.

Based on my research, my observations, my workshop attendances, my groups, my mentors, my website classes, and my habit of listening in on Starbucks conversations – having your posts show up on your Facebook page is worth it.

Posting regularly to my blog – (which is the same as my website)… is worth it. And making sure those posts show up on my Facebook page (page, not profile – tho I could do both) is worth it, because I can make the Facebook page updates happen automatically. I can include automatic tweets with the same process, so that’s worth it too.

You can set up your Facebook page to have your blog posts flow automatically each time you post fresh material using the Networked Blogs app, done through Facebook. The same app will push the posts to your Twitter account.

I first set up HootSuite to do this, one of many free services that will do it automatically. But HootSuite would not let thumbnails of my post images show on my Facebook page and that was a deal breaker for me. I think people are more likely to click through if the picture shows, so I switched to Networked Blogs. I’d gone with HootSuite first because I’d read that Networked Blogs would count my click traffic as their own… but in the end, the thumbnails issue was more urgent.

Any specific details on how these services function goes out of date super fast, because everything is so dynamic on the web. Most of the tutorials I viewed about how to set up Networked Blogs were using the old Facebook interface – although they all still worked. The screenshots were out of date. So the info in the paragraph above may no longer be an issue by the time you are reading this post… but regardless, pick one and move forward so that your posts flow to both your Facebook page and your Twitter account.

Google “How to setup Networked Blogs” or “How to post blogs to my Facebook page” and follow through. Then keep posting regularly, because the heart of all the “How to use a website for Self Publishing” advice is to keep posting regularly, and then make those posts work for you.

If I’m wrong about Hootsuite, let me know!  (And if it would take a massive HTML hack to make it show thumbnails… that doesn’t count.)


self publishing advice for social media peacocks

Social Media, in my eyes, is a dazzle of alluring content… all looking back at me with big blue eyes. Where do I start with it all?

As an author, I am a self publisher because I want to sell my book… and write and sell more books. Because I want to make a living at it.
It’s important to keep telling myself this so that I can stay focused on WHY I am doing all of this… the website, and the research, and the learning, and the contacting people, and the blogging…
Especially as I start reaching out into the noisy, distracting, alluring, challenging, fast moving, and fast changing world of social media.

My purpose for using social media is the same for any other business… to get my product and brand to more and more and more people. And to create a dialog with my customers – which enhances everything I want to do with my business. It’s more than traditional marketing, because the responses from people through the medium of social media will influence how I do business. It’s modern marketing… it’s relationship building.

And now that I have my purpose firmly in mind… I’m ready to take the plunge,
But there are HUNDREDS of social media sites… literally.
So I will start with the ones with the biggest market share… because there my efforts will reach the most people.

I’ll start with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Pintrest.

The determination of who has the biggest market share is big business in the big business world, and in June 2012 Forbes Magazine said that Experian Marketing Services said that Pintrest was #3. But SEOmoz doesn’t yet agree, and I like their approach better. But more than all that… Facebook and Twitter are undeniably number 1 and 2 and they are pretty easy to get started. LinkedIn is where I’m supposed to be spending a lot of time polishing my resume to get or keep a real job. And YouTube is movies… I can make movies. Pintrest is on my list and it’s important, but it’s a brain bender because it is a totally new social media approach.

I’m an author. I’m a writer. It’s not a stretch to imagine that I’m kind of an introvert. The social media work is challenging for me – both to understand for my business, and to take the plunge and interact. It’s also so very very tempting to go clicking away for hours as I see bright shiny object after shark-eating-whale-carcass clip… (just. so. tempting.)…. and I’ve noticed that this effort is one of the things offered by self publishing helper companies. They offer to establish your platform on some of the major sites, populate it with your content, and link you up with the right kind of groups and people. And that might be worth the money. I won’t suggest any helper companies by name because I haven’t tried them… have you?

I’ve got to Do It Myself because that’s part of my mission. Do it, learn it, understand it… but
…. those shark videos……… so distracting.


Hello to my new Facebook Page!

I held out a long time before making a fan page because, frankly, I was worried about inadvertently posting my underwear on the internet via Facebook. But now I’m getting ready to roll out my new book and so I am braving the granny-pants exposure risk. And if before I had a fear of not being “liked” well, it was nothing compared to now. Now there’s an actual public counter showing the whole world how many people “like” me… sheesh! (I liked myself right away, of course…)

And I waited just the right amount of time, because things are curiously linked and automated between WordPress and Facebook and other social media tools, so it’s a new experience to use it all at once – and a lot easier than it used to be, which does not mean it was easy.

So Hello Facebook!

Col. C. J. Tippett in the cockpit

Col. Cloyce Joseph Tippett in the cockpit

Coming Real Soon is the biography of my grandfather, Col. C. J.  Tippett who was an aviation pioneer, dashingly charismatic kind-of-spy,  civil aviation leader, and big-game fisherman who caught granders with Glassell, Farrington, and Hemingway. It is in Advanced Draft now… and the red ink is flowing.











Copyright 2012 Corinne Tippett & The Westchester Press
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