Wednesday, April 6, 2011

F is for...

Facebook.

It seems this is being considered more vital to writers in promoting their books and themselves. Authors use it for various purposes, including reaching new people and speaking to those who already know of them. Authors can easily reach their fans who have "friended" or "liked" them on Facebook, depending on what kind of page or account they create. They can announce book tours and signings, book details, releases and various details. They can also have giveaways and contests via Facebook. Thanks to the photo option, they can post pictures of book signings, even allowing fans to tag themselves in them. They can upload book cover photos and author photos. It's a great tool for self-promotion and marketing, in an era where publishers are doing less in the way of promoting their individual authors, thus making it so authors must do their own promotion.

It can also be a time drain. Between keeping up with others' status updates and news items, as well as replying to those who have left them messages, it can draw them in for a longer period of time than intended. Any time spent on marketing can be considered time not writing, though marketing is important, as well.

In honor of "F" day, I have created a Facebook page for my blog. It can be found here: http://www.facebook.com/?ref=logo#!/pages/The-Warrior-Muse-Blog/157021684357742. Please stop by and "like" it if you have a Facebook page! Eventually, I will take the time to figure out how to put the Facebook link on my sidebar.

F is also for...

Family.

Finding the perfect combination of time to write and time to spend with my family can be tricky at times, especially when I have some good writing mojo going. Sometimes I am more drawn to family time and have a hard time sitting down to write, using my mother's guilt as an excuse not to write. Other times, I am pounding away at the keyboard, but that same mother's guilt seeps in, because I should be building Lego castles with my son or playing My Little Pony with my daughter. I try to make a point of spending time with them around my writing schedule. I play first, write second, and then we take a break together for lunch. During my writing time, while my son is in school, my daughter likes to "work" in my office with me, which is incredibly helpful, much of the time. Yes, she's playing and talking, but I find that when things are going well, I can keep going. It's when I'm stuck that it's an issue, and that means I need to take a break anyway in order to let things percolate.

I don't write through dinner, even if I'm doing well. I like having dinner as a family, though the older they get, and the more activities they take part in, the harder that gets. Still, I work at it until it no longer makes sense, because they are important to me.

Writing can be quite a job of juggling. Sometimes we have the time to write, but not the inspiration/urge/will power/muse. Sometimes the story is pushing to get out, yet we don't have the time to sit down and work on it. We have to figure out the best ways to use our time, to accomplish everything we need, but our minds and our creativity don't work on our time line.

So, do you have a Facebook page? Is it business related, personal or both? If business related, how do you utilize it? Do you feel Facebook is useful, just a time suck, or a bit of both?

Happy Writing!

12 comments:

  1. I just started going on FB last summer where I reconnected with a high school friend who told me about the A-Z Challenge. I don't plan on posting all of these blogs on FB, but will do 2 or 3 per week. I think you'll find it useful too!
    Julie

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  2. Am I the only person not on facebook? feels like it sometimes.
    -mood
    Moody Writing

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  3. I only have a personal facebook page, but I'll have to stop by yours and see what you've created for your blog. You'll have to keep us posted about your facebook page - if it seems like a time suck, or if it's a useful tool to interact with people about your writing/blog.

    Finding a balance - work, family, friends, writing - is always a struggle. But I've heard creativity thrives when up against 'limits', so I like to think all of this judging is good for my writing!

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  4. I actually have two Facebook pages. One is personal and the other is, I guess, my business one. It's my "writer identity" page. Not that I have a whole lot to promote at this time. So I guess that makes it more a wishful thinking page.

    And yeah, it is a time suck. I'm just hoping it becomes a useful time suck some time in the future.

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  5. Social networking can gobble time like nothing else-- but a useful tool for marketing.
    I use it for keeping in touch with family and friends now-- but I do intend to harness its powers when I get published.

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  6. Oddly, I can't think of a single author that has a Facebook page I'm impressed with (haven't checked out yours, though). :) Maybe because they are not as versatile as blogs and personal websites?

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  7. Julie, I figured I would annoy the heck out of people if I had a daily post on there, but I will likely post something on there after the challenge.

    Mood, I know a few who aren't there. I was resistant at first since I didn't like MySpace, but it helps me keep in touch with out of state friends and family.

    Alexis, I like your thinking. I'm going with that. As far as my FB page, I just put it up and haven't figured out quite what to do with it yet, as I don't want it to just be repeating what is here. But what to do then??

    M.J., I have a personal one and now this one for the blog as a tester sort of. If I can figure out what to do with the blog one now, I figure it will help when I have an actual author page up there.

    Jo, I agree. Sometimes it is more of a suck, others I can stay away from it.

    Margo, I doubt mine was impressive either, as I haven't figured it out yet. LOL. It is just for the blog, though, as a tester. I liked what Kelley Armstrong had done with her page: http://www.facebook.com/#!/KelleyArmstrongAuthor?sk=app_125505577461963 . There's not much one can do with the pages, BUT she seems to have figured some things out.

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  8. I have my personal page, and I made one for my book. I think I set it up incorrectly, though, and it doesn't really have anything on it, yet. Mostly, though, that because I'm not tech savvy enough to know what I'm doing with it. At some point, I'll just hire someone to help me with a webpage for my book and tie my book's FB page into that. My blog is linked to my personal FB page, because I have friends that link through to it from there.

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  9. Oh, that's a great idea to have a FB page for your blog, I will check it out.

    I have kind of mixed feelings about Facebook, I like keeping in touch with family and friends who don't live nearby, but a lot of it does just seem like a time drain to me. I just kind of pop on and off there. Looking forward to checking out your blog page though!

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  10. Finding a balance can definitely be tricky. I've only recently been learning my way around the whole social networking thing. I mean, I've been social networking for a long time, but not as pro-actively as I should have been. It takes a long time, and I still feel like I work on that balance of finding time for everything.

    I have a Facebook page, and my co-author and I already have a separate Facebook page for our book series, but as I'm going to have a book that I wrote alone coming out, I probably need to do a separate author page for myself.

    Thanks for visiting my blog, and I look forward to seeing what you do with the rest of the A-Z challenge!

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  11. I have a FB profile but I don't really do much with it. I do post my links in a few places but beyond that nothing really.

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  12. Murg. I had technical difficulties and it deleted my responses to you guys, so instead of typing it all out again, I will just say thank you for your comments! Good luck with figuring out your own accounts and pages and whatnot. I'm not sure I'm up to the day and age of social networking everything.

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