Will Tweetin’ & Postin’, Updatin’ & Discussin’ Get You into Your Readers’ Hearts?

Guest Expert: Laurel Marshfield

“Wishin’ and Hopin’” — the hit pop tune that iconic blonde soul singer, Dusty Springfield, made famous in the sixties — offers a familiar resonance, these days, for authors hoping to attract readers. (Need a little memory boost? Here’s Springfield: http://bit.ly/gLyiq5)

Hear it? The connection between authors and Dusty Springfield’s hit song lies in a certain longing-filled “unobtainability.” But, as the song lyrics advise, a proactive approach will dispel those feelings and help you get what you want.

For authors looking for readers (as opposed to teenagers looking for love) a proactive approach means tweeting on Twitter and, among other social networking sites, posting on your blog and others’ blogs; updating your Facebook profile and fan pages; and starting discussions on your LinkedIn groups.

What should you tweet, post, update, and discuss? Like the song says, “do what he wants to do” – write what your readers want to read. And what they want to read is informative content that’s exciting, entertaining, engaging, and, perhaps, startling — but always inspiring.

Book-Driven, or Book Business-Driven?

To structure a framework for tweets & posts that meets those core criteria, most authors adopt one of two online postures. Either they churn out content about their book and its creation. Or, they churn out information helpful to other authors (on writing, platform-building, publishing, promoting, and the like). In other words, their online presence – through their site, blog, and social networking accounts – is either “book-driven” or “book business-driven.”

Who Drives What?

Very well-known authors tend to use a book-driven approach for their reader attraction efforts (as you might expect). But not so well-known authors — perhaps believing that what the famous do is what they should do, too — may decide to frame their content around a book-driven model, as well. Some of those authors, though, realize that interest in their books isn’t yet strong enough to support that posture. And they turn to the book business-driven approach, instead.

It’s an approach that borrows heavily from the info-preneurship model that has exploded online (in the last decade, especially). And it has the added advantage of inspiring authors to become expert in areas they need expertise in, anyway, in order to promote their own books.

A Few Book Business-Driven Authors on Twitter

Here are a representative few of the many authors on Twitter who’ve made (or are just beginning to make) a name for themselves that’s supportive of their authorial career — by offering useful and informative content for aspiring authors:

• Carolyn Howard-Johnson (@FrugalBookPromo)
• Debbie Ridpath Ohi (@inkyelbows)
• Diane Holmes (@pitchuniversity)
• Georgia McBride (@Georgia_McBride)
• Joanna Penn (@thecreativepenn)
• Julie Isaac (@WritingSpirit)
• Mark David Gerson (@MarkDavidGerson)
• Roz Morris (@dirtywhitecandy)
• Tony Eldridge (@tonyeldridge)

Are you, or your favorite author-experts, missing from this very short list? If so, please add your and your favorites’ names in the Comments box below, keeping in mind that the focus here is on authors of fiction, exclusively.

Then, click on over to Twitter and peruse the tweets (also visit the sites) of each author listed above. You’ll soon see how each one offers a very individual perspective on book-related subjects — one that will attract, if not mesmerize, fellow authors.

So Where Is That Author Payoff, Again?

If you feel drawn to the book business-driven approach, you’ll find that helping aspiring authors helps you build a following of “content consumers” as well as friends “in the industry.” And when you’re ready to get the word out about your own book, you’ll be able to call upon your friends and contacts in the author-expert world.

In the spirit of mutual support that is social networking at its best, they’ll be eager to help “get you into” potential readers’ minds, if not hearts, by joining you in tweeting & posting, updating & discussing content that’s exciting, entertaining, engaging, and, perhaps, startling — but always inspiring, about your book.

Laurel Marshfield is a professional writer, developmental editor(aka “book doctor”), and ghostwriter who helps authors shape, develop, and refine their book manuscripts for publication. She offers manuscript evaluation, developmental editing, co-writing, collaboration, ghostwriting, book coaching, and consultation for authors.
Her blogsite publishes inspiration and advice for the author’s journey: Blue Horizon Communications And her free eBook, available for newsletter signup (see the upper right-hand corner of her homepage) is titled: I Need to Be a Bestselling Author – Is That True?: The Five-Destination Roadmap to Authorship.
On Twitter, you can find her at: @BookEditorLM

Guest posting on BookBuzzr blogs will definitely boost your business and possibly earn you more clients. However, your writing must be unique and engaging to the audience. If you have an article or even just a topic in mind, relevant to writing, publishing, selling, or marketing books, we would love to see your proposed content! Feel free to submit Here!
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22 thoughts on “Will Tweetin’ & Postin’, Updatin’ & Discussin’ Get You into Your Readers’ Hearts?

  1. I frequently post links of literary/publishing interest on Twitter (with particular attention paid to author marketing, the craft of fiction, and digital/self-publishing trends). I also Tweet about the occasional personal tidbit, but I try to follow the 80/20 ratio of meaningful content to fun minutiae.

    My (decidedly obvious and uncreative) Twitter username: @jenncrowell

  2. This is an adorable post. Readable. Fun. And useful! Yay!
    Glad to be on your list with many I know. I naturally followed all the ones I don’t already know. Thank you so much, L.

    Carolyn Howard-Johnson

  3. Here’s another author-expert whose site is a wonderful resource for aspiring and published authors: novelist Jody Hedlund.

    Her twitter handle is: @JodyHedlund
    And her website address is: http://www.JodyHedlund.com

    Please DO post your own or your favorite author-experts’ Twitter handles and site urls — so we can expand upon this list and make it as useful as we can for authors to reference in their search for helpful information. Thanks so much.

  4. I author the weekly blog, The Unknown Author, discussing issues about the process of writing, what it’s like to finally write your first manuscript and traveling down the road to publication. On my facebook I am in the process of helping to promote author’s whom I meet via twitter or my blog and showcase their work to my followers. Both my twitter handle and facebook account are under my author name, T.K. Millin.
    Great post and thank you for showcasing the above author’s and the great work they are doing. I have spoken with Diane Holmes of Pitch University. She is so engaging!

  5. Here’s another author-expert who offers a free promotional venue to authors, The Lit Chick Show, a virtual TV blog. Owner Sylvia Massara lives in Australia and is a novelist.

    Twitter Handles: @SylviaMassara @TheLitChickShow
    Website Urls: http://www.SylviaMassara.com

    Please do add your author-experts, or yourself, to this list — novelists who assist fellow authors with information or services helpful to their book career.

  6. Laurel —

    This is such an important guest post for fiction authors. Really, unless you’re already famous, it is unlikely that people want to constantly hear on social media sites all about your book.

    You are much more likely to create fans by providing information that can help all fiction authors, including yourself.

    I’m reading a brand-new book, THE THANK YOU ECONOMY, by Gary Vaynerchuk that explains how important it is for all businesses to use social media effectively — and this advice pertains to authors also.

    As you know, I’m the author of the novel MRS. LIEUTENANT (can be read in its entirety on BookBuzzr) and I’m also the co-founder of the social media marketing company Miller Mosaic LLC.

    My blog has lots of social media advice for fiction authors as well as businesspeople — http://www.MillerMosaicSocialMediaMarketing.com — and people can follow me at http://twitter.com/ZimblerMiller for tweets about social media.

    Phyllis Zimbler Miller

  7. Hi, Phyllis — Thanks so much for adding your information to this list, and for resources and insight, too.

    It’s no doubt a much strategy to think of social media as a “Help & Be Helped” vehicle for promoting your book as an author, rather than a mere “broadcast” vehicle — in the style of older traditional media.

    Most authors realize, sooner or later, that promoting and selling their books is as much if not more work as writing them. By offering something other aspiring authors can use, the likelihood of creating promotion partners as well as readers is far greater.

    Best to you,

  8. I have recently started doing this as well. I look for resources to share regarding fiction writing, publication, agents and editors, contests, and the best tools and tips for using social media to advance an author’s readership. My twitter account is @michelledkeyes and website is http://www.michelledkeyes.com. I’m relatively new to this within the publication industry but my day job is a social media/marketing expert. I simply wasn’t published enough previously for there to be anything worthwhile to post about but after my short story “Seeking Redemption” was published in the Drastic Measures anthology, I decided it was time to take my career more seriously and bring it to the next level. I enjoy sharing resources with others and that’s a large part of my focus. I’m more of a ‘giver’ than a ‘taker’. Enjoyed the column very much and am glad to see some of the authors I follow on this list.

  9. Since June 2004 \A Writer’s Edge\ has offered all writers help and resources to improve their writing and become successful. It began with a blog and blossomed into a full-blown website with author interviews, book reviews, one of the longest-running writer’s blogs, articles and more at http://www.writers-edge,info

    For more than a year, as @GLHancock, I have tweeted similar information, comments and retweets, especially in chats for writers. Although I am now known as a nonfiction author, my writing career began in the first half of the 1960s with the publication of a poem in an anthology. Several others followed suit through the 1970s. One of my 2.5 novels made the rounds of major publishing houses in the early 1980s, while I built a career freelancing to magazines.

  10. You have an interesting site there Georganna. Thanks for connecting. :)

    Have you checked out our Book Marketing Technologies? You should; at BookBuzzr.com we have a large number of both free and paid technologies authors can use to market their books with ease. Authors can also use our site Freado.com where book-lovers can win over 300 books to market your book through games!

  11. Oh good! I see Roz has mentioned @elizabethscraig – she’s the queen of helpful writer links. :) I’m not quite as prolific as Elizabeth, but I do try to share things I find helpful and/or interesting: @JamiGold

  12. Hi, Andy — Thanks for sharing your varied experiences in the world of social media / social networking.

    What makes it all work is that “social” aspect, the new connections you can make for mutual benefit and education. It’s a wonderful new tool that was not available to authors in decades past, and it tends to create a more egalitarian atmosphere than the old publishing hierarchy, too. It rewards those with good advice and a generous spirit, as you seem to have discovered. Good luck with your authorship journey.

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