Inching my way toward a platform in cyberspace,

I’m taking the cautious path.  One social media site at a time, and the important word here may be time.  Time to set the planks up, and time to tend them.

I’ve just finished reading a helpful book on the subject, We Are Not Alone: The Writer’s Guide to Social Media, by Kristen Lamb.  This book from Bob Mayer’s Who Dares Wins Publishing offers to guide the social-media-challenged writer onto WordPress, MySpace, Facebook and Twitter.  It does all that and more.

I’ve been here on WordPress since April, and I may well venture onto Twitter soon.  I’m still hesitant about Facebook, and MySpace, while Lamb says it is essential for the Young Adult writer, may be one plank farther than I want to climb on my platform.

Long before she gets to the instructions, Lamb covers a wealth of information and advice on the uses and usefulness of social media for writers.  (I was happy to learn that I’ve gotten off on the right foot with my baby steps, using my own–and only–name for what little I’ve done.)  She piles on more information on marketing and branding than most of us could absorb in one reading.

And before she gets into the nuts and bolts of signing up for accounts (or polishing existing ones), Lamb covers content, from head shots and bios to topics and tags, and networks, what they are and how to build them.

Lamb advises establishing all the planks of your platform at the same time (even if you leave your fledgling Facebook fan page unpublished for a while) and bolting them firmly together, and she gives detailed instructions for doing so.  She ends with a much-needed section on time management.

I do have a complaint or two about the Kindle edition.  The illustrations are unreadably small at their normal size and fuzzy when zoomed, and the table of contents is not hyperlinked.  I plan to use the book while setting up more of my own planks, but I may grumble while searching for the information.

6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jo Eberhardt
    Aug 23, 2011 @ 15:12:12

    Good luck with it all!

    I assume you (like me) hang out at Kirsten’s blog a bit, but just in case… She regularly reminds people that MySpace is no longer a social media platform worth having. In her words, “it committed social suicide 2 weeks after the book hit the shelves”. So there’s one less thing on your to-do list. 🙂

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    • Kay Hudson
      Aug 23, 2011 @ 15:22:39

      Hi, Jo! I’ve just started looking at Kristen’s blog. I’m not surprised she’s discounted MySpace (although I do know some YA authors who still keep up their presence there). What does surprise me is that she hasn’t updated at least the e-book edition–or made the TOC interactive. But then I haven’t tried my hand at e-pubbing, so revising may not be as simple as one might think.

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  2. gerrybartlett
    Aug 23, 2011 @ 17:31:02

    I bought Kristen’s book at Bob Mayer’s workshop when he came to the West Houston RWA. I still haven’t cracked it open but now I guess I’d better. Yes, Myspace is DOA. It started doing wonky things to my computer and I got out fast. Now Facebook is it for authors but there’s the problem between an author fan page and personal page. Watch for a discussion about that on blogs. Nothing is simple any more. What is cool is that your fan page has a twitter feed so it’s dual purpose. I love that.

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    • Kay Hudson
      Aug 23, 2011 @ 17:39:39

      Gosh, I’m still proud of myself for getting this blog/site going, Cheryl mentioned GoodReads; I looked at that and it might be fun, but I haven’t had time to play with it. And I’m a little bit afraid of Twitter–the time-suck factor scares me. I was going to ignore MySpace anyway (having heard that it’s terminal), but it’s good to have confirmation. As Jo said, something I can take off the mental To Do List.

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  3. Cheryl Bolen
    Aug 24, 2011 @ 13:06:11

    So, do you recommend the book?

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    • Kay Hudson
      Aug 24, 2011 @ 13:20:25

      On the whole, yes. As Jo pointed out, the MySpace references seem to be out of date. The book was published about 2 years ago, so some of the technical stuff for Twitter and Facebook may have changed, too. But she gets you started, and actually the bulk of the book has more to do with branding and how to use social media without driving yourself nuts or spending eighteen hours a day on line. A lot of useful information. I intend to go read Kristen’s blog (there’s a link above) for current material–when I have some time.

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