Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Buccaneer Blogfest - Social Media Myths

I'm a day late on my social media post for the Buccaneer Blogfest, sorry about that!

When I started my journey to become a published author I wasn't big on social media. I'm not a very social person and I'm not a fan of sharing every little thought that comes into my head (or listening to other people who do). But I didn't really understand what social media was and how it's useful. Here are some myths I used to believe and what I've learned since:

MYTH - Social media is just a stream of random inane thoughts that no one cares about.
FACT - Social media can be whatever you want it to be. It certainly can be a stream of random inane thoughts that no one cares about, but it can also be a stream of helpful information related to your writing career. Follow other professionals who provide information that you need and provide information that will be useful to your readers.

MYTH - The only person who will read your blog is your mom.
FACT - Not even your mom will read your blog. Just kidding. The truth is that anyone can have a blog that people read. Maybe not thousands of people, but you can get a following simply by providing information that other people would find useful. Remember, you must create posts for your readers, not yourself.

MYTH - Blogs are like an online diary.
FACT - Blogs can be whatever you want them to be. Successful blogs are not gush-fests about the author's every little thought and feeling. They are hubs of expert information.

MYTH - Social media is all about self-promotion.
FACT - Social media IS a great way to promote your books, but it's not your own personal advertisement forum. At least it shouldn't be. There is nothing more annoying that someone who only posts "buy my book" all the time. Being active on social media will get you sales, but you do that by building a platform for yourself, which means interacting with people, making connections, and promoting others.

MYTH - Being on social media will violate my privacy.
FACT - It all depends on what you post. Don't posts things you don't want people to know, simple as that. And be careful about posting anything that might give potential identify thieves useful information. There is some risk to doing anything on the Internet, but if you're careful, it's a small risk compared to what you'll gain. Besides, being an author means you're a public figure (if a minor one) and that means that something should be there when someone Googles your name!

MYTH - People will steal my book idea if I post about it.
FACT - It's certainly possible for someone else to steal a high concept idea, but the risk is minor. For one thing it's hard to write a book and get it published. It's not like someone can copy and paste your query and start sending it out. Or if they did, they'd be stumped if anyone asked for the full. Even if someone used your idea, no one can write your exact same book. And if you think it could be easily copied...that's a bad sign anyway. Just don't post more than short excerpts of your manuscript, not only because it could be stolen, but also because posting the whole thing can sometimes count as publishing it and most agents and publishers want unpublished work. 

At least that's what I think. What about you?

I will also be guest posting on social media for authors on http://strandsofpattern.blogspot.com/ tomorrow!

And now...I have my first treasure hunt question. How many likes does the Curiosity Quills Facebook page have? It changes all the time, so you only have to be in the ballpark. A random commenter with the correct answer will win a free digital copy of Automatic Woman by Nathan L. Yocum, which will be released on Aug. 6. I will award the prize next week so you have plenty of time to comment.

Automatic Woman is the second novel from award winning screenwriter Nathan L. Yocum. A volatile mix of steampunk, noir, historical fiction, and two-fisted action, Automatic Woman takes us to a place that never was yet we all know so well… the London of Jules Verne, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Jack the Ripper and Bram Stoker with a pneumatic twist.


  1. Yeah, I don't think my mom reads my blog - in fact, only one member of my very large family reads it which just goes to show you ...

    like your mythbusters :)

  2. Great mythbusters! Um, I think we're approaching 40,000 likes, right? My hubby checks it daily and tells me b/c he's pretty much fascinated by it, lol. He thinks we really know magic;-)

  3. When I first started blogging, I didn't think anyone would read it (they were just reviews, after all). Then I found the blogfests. I think I'm addicted. ^_^ No, I don't need help.

    And, right now, there's around 38,140 likes.

  4. 38,714...as of right now. What a lovely post, thanks for sharing. I am just getting me sea legs, so to speak, with this social media thing. Thanks for hosting this here grogfest, er blogfest. I've met some great mates and learned some mighty fine things over the past month!

  5. Hi Sharon, just followed you over here from Jeff Hargett's blog. Thanks for the informative posts today.

  6. Everything you said makes perfect sense. Your social media is what you want it to be, and don't reveal anything you don't want to get out. I'm heading over now to check out your guest post:)