Over the last few weeks I’ve written about using social media to connect with potential readers and to promote our work. Believe me, this has been as challenging for me as it is for you. I am always astonished by the things I learn. Recently I’ve been trying to build my “brand,” whatever the heck that is, and I discovered something interesting. For years I have been creating content for my blog and for other social media which, when taken together, shows something interesting—I apparently have particular fascinations for:
folklore, legends, and mysterious places
handcrafts, particularly, sewing, knitting, and working with beads and shells
cooking—especially baking and making relishes and preserves
I am a fiction writer and most of my stories involve components of those things. Many of my stories incorporate folklore and legends. From The Old Mermaid’s Tale to my Marienstadt Stories and The Crazy Old Lady’s Secret, I have built these stories on a foundation of legends. In most of my books my characters do a lot of cooking—from Syd Jupiter teaching Tempest how to cook catfish in Depraved Heart, to the Dumpling Contest in The Whiskey Bottle in the Wall. And many of my ladies knit, quilt, and sew—especially the ladies in The Monday Night Needlework and Murder Guild! So, though I’m not sure what an author’s brand actually is, those three themes show up consistently as I write.
As I try to improve my use of social media, I have been trying to figure out how to better use Pinterest, which is a deliciously visual medium, and Twitter which is great because it is quick fast and easy to use. So, I started going through my files and I realized that I have close to a thousand of the little Inspirational Quotes for Writers (like the one on the left) that I have posted daily on Facebook for years. I post them on Facebook and then they just sit on my hard drive. So a couple weeks ago I started posting them to Twitter. Almost immediately I saw an increase in Likes and Retweets. People started adding me to lists and I even started picking up followers.
Giddy with the success of that, I went to my blog for which I have written over 2,000 posts. Some of them are silly or dated, but within a short time I had culled out over 30 posts I’d made about the subjects above—from less than a quarter of my posts. I crafted Tweets for them, including a picture, a link, and some hashtags and Tweeted those. Again, people responded. I checked my blog stats and my recipe for cooking a roast in my Ninja 3-in-1 had over 6,000 visits.
I started a DOC file that I keep on my desktop and every time I create a Tweet that people seem to like, I save it there. I can Retweet them periodically along with my writing quote memes and my normal Tweets. By using TweetDeck, I can schedule a days worth of Tweets in twenty minutes and then not think about it for the rest of the day.
Will this help market my books? It’s too soon to tell. But one thing it is doing is gathering Followers and getting me on lists for people who love the same things I do and since my books are full of those things, who knows? Next I have to conquer Pinterest but I am enjoying this and finally feel like I’m getting someplace.
Take a look at all those files you have been creating for years and see what may be lurking on your hard drive—there may be gold that you can use to attract like-minded folks.
Thanks for reading.