Once upon a time a friend of mine was putting tons of music onto his MySpace account. He said I should get one. I did. I had no idea what to do with it. I didn’t understand social media – having a place on the internet for people to find me, to see and be seen, share interests, whatever.
About the same time, I began shifting my thinking about writing and getting published from traditional to indie. I knew indie musicians, and I liked the model: play, connect with fans, sell some merch, move on, create some buzz, focus on the art without the nonsense of a label taking 98% of your earnings. Talking to other writer friends who ghost-wrote and self-published, I heard their praise for indie. Made sense to me.
What I knew nothing about was marketing. Ah, they said. Write something good and use Social Media.
Huh? How does that work. MySpace disappeared into the Internet’s great void. What am I supposed to do with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest? “Make yourself know,” I was told. “It’s like a cocktail party. Circulate.”
That was 2009. I was on Facebook because that’s where members of my family decided to post pictures – if I wanted to see them, I had to go there. I dipped my toe into the waters of Twitter, and have come to find it useful for may things, in my career as a journalist and as an indie author.
I’m not a very visual person and don’t take many pictures, so I haven’t got up to speed with a site such as Pinterest. But I’m told that’s a good place for any indie entrepreneur to go.
And then there’s blogging. I’m no fan of New Year’s resolutions, but I can tell you, I’m convinced of the value of blogs and blogging. As a longtime newspaper reporter and editor, I know the value and drawbacks to writing a weekly column. In essence, that’s what a blog is. This post, really, is a column.
My conclusion regarding Social Media: it’s never going away. It’s a vital tool to reach like-minded people, and essential for communicating information to customers, friends and fans.
If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.
To sign up for my monthly newsletter, visit my website www.josephmarkbrewer.com and get the latest on my Shig Sato Mystery series and other stories. See you there!