One elf asked, “Who are you?”
“I'm Goopy Ghost,” was the reply.
“I fell asleep in Santa's sack
And had a sleigh ride through the sky.”
(“The Goopy Ghost at Christmas”)
Design a book writing website for book promotion in the digital age and learn to use social media effectively.
A Book Writing Website can change the undefined to something defined. Literary agents will scrutinize our Web presence, before they will agree to representation. Mainstream publishers also are influenced by our Web platform. A book writing website evolves with each new book, event and change in direction. We may add multimedia, games, quizzes and other advanced technologies to draw and maintain website traffic. As technology changes, we must replace outdated and outmoded elements, such as templates and video formats. Websites define brands for the modern world. By adding a contemporary flair to traditional book promotion, book marketing and book selling, a flashy website design can make books attractive to technologically sophisticated consumers of the digital age. As reading falls out of favor, book promotion must attract remaining readers and encourage reluctant readers to engage with our vibrant content. The genre of our books, the covers, inside illustrations, videos of readings, video trailers, slide shows, excerpts and reviews should help generate ideas that will make our book writing website an extension of our books. This said, we do not want to build a site that is creative but hard to navigate, or difficult to view on a mobile device. Most people are using mobile devices to navigate the Web, today.
Self-publishing also provides material to present on social media, where we have an opportunity to generate a following for our work. Those who are not celebrities often harbor the hope of building celebrity status for one or more book characters. Celebrities garner a quick and easy following. The rest of us will have to work very hard to reach the numbers that mainstream expects of us. Ten thousand is considered a “viral” following on social media. Getting there starts slowly, but momentum tends to build. Writers must be creative and consistent with content to win this “game.” A social media following offers a gauge of visibility and engagement with others. The average social media account has approximately 300 followers. Agents rarely represent creative individuals who have fewer than 3,000 followers on major social media sites, because the participation rate of followers in post activities tends to be low (1-2%). Additionally, followers often leave. When a writer’s account reaches 10,000 followers on social media, traditional publishers may accept this number as a ticket into their 'stable.' Purchasing followers for social media accounts rarely works. The “fans” that are available for purchase, and for incorporation into social media accounts, are generally inactive “shell” accounts. The correspondingly low measure of follower interaction gives clue that the high number of followers in a social media account may be bogus. Fake followers are only helpful to those who sell them. Mainstream recognizes and respects real numbers. Writers can earn a real following for creative work, but they have to do it the right way.
All “places” are not equal. LinkedIn expects activities to be professional, at all times and in all ways. It offers an opportunity to connect with important players in every industry. It also helps us keep current with news and trends in our professions. Writers who are not on LinkedIn may be hurting their careers. However, it is not a place to rant or freely promote products. Facebook controls who and what we see, and limits exposure to unadvertised content, making it increasingly difficult to gain a free following. Twitter seems to be significantly more universal and neutral than Facebook when it comes to grants of visibility. With a minimum of tweets, Twitter can result in a greater number of followers. For comparison purposes, in November of 2016, I activated accounts for my Reading Rates mission in both “places”. As of this writing, it has 13 followers on Facebook and 237 on Twitter. Google+ has been a minus for me, but we can learn a lot from each forum, which has heavy participation. YouTube offers a user-friendly opportunity to experiment with video. These are the major social networks with which I am involved. Others are available and worthy of exploration. Writers learn by watching and participating.