It’s definitely not Iowa!
The Many Blogs and Facebook Pages I’ve Visited
By Author Donna Jean McDunn
Recently I’ve spent a lot of time on social networks. LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are places I used to be afraid to explore. I don’t know why or even what I thought could happen if I did. Steal my identity I suppose or make fun of what I had to say. But then someone encouraged me to try and I have met some very nice people.
The one thing I couldn’t quite understand about some of these sites is why so many don’t want to have their names on the site or if they do, I still had to spend a lot of time figuring out where it was. What are they hiding or trying to hide?
Many are promoting their books on their blogs, websites, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Well, okay, I don’t mind, I’ll be doing the same when I have a book to promote, but it’s still nice to know whom I’m talking too. Are you a real person or a clever machine? Without a name or a picture of a human face, sometimes it’s hard to tell.
Of course, there are certain personal things I would never put on any of the sites. My home address is one and I would never give out any of my phone numbers. The closest I would come to saying where I live is in Iowa. I know that’s not exactly an exotic place to live, but I like it.
I am a writer. An author. I write short stories and books. Someday, I even hope to get paid for writing my stories. So that means I’ll need readers, people who know my name. If they like me as a person, they’ll be more willing to read what I write. If, as a writer, I stayed anonymous and no one had ever heard of me, how could I ever expect to have anyone searching for me or my stories? If I wanted to stay anonymous I’d use a pen name, but at least it would be a name people can relate too.
I started this blog to let people know what kind of person I am. I hope in doing so, they will like me (and I don’t mean only on my Facebook page “like”) and hopefully they’ll be willing to at least check out my books when (notice I said when, not if) they are published.
Something else I’ve noticed about many of the sites I’ve visited, is the branding of the book titles. Some of the stories haven’t even been published and that’s okay if I’m self-publishing. But what if I want to find a brick and mortar publisher? Many times a publisher will change the name from the original one the author gave it and then what?
I’d have to either refuse letting them change it and possibly lose a contract or I’d have to start all over with a new blog. If I had branded my name instead of the title and gave the domain my name or a variation of it, I wouldn’t have to worry. I could add as many books as I could write to that one blog and promote them right there.
I also started wondering if I did brand just my book and story titles, how would anyone searching on any of the search engines know they’ve found the author who wrote the book they wanted to read.
Titles are not protected. Domain names are. There could be a thousand books with the same title. My name could be the difference between the reader giving up and settling for someone else’s book or blog with the same name or finding me.
Another problem I could see with branding only the book title is; how many books am I going to write. What if I write 20 books or more, am I going to brand each book separate and have a blog or author page for each one. The truth is, I couldn’t keep up with that many promotions. I’d go crazy trying. I do have a life I want to keep along with my writing.
And what if I’m lucky enough to find a traditional publisher to do the marketing for me, all I’d have to do is sit back and rake in the money. Yeah! Right! The traditional publisher is no longer so traditional. Many of them expect the author to have a presence on the social media sites, just as the not so traditional publishers do and self-publishing is an option now too. It’s becoming more and more accepted, but who’s going to take a chance and buy my book if no one has ever heard of me and the only image of me is of an avatar? They probably won’t because they will go to the person they feel they know and have a connection with.
That’s why politicians spend so much time and money on letting the people meet and greet them. If the potential voters feel they know and like the candidate, they are more likely to vote for them.
Here’s someone else’s opinion on this subject. Explore Kristen Lamb’s blog and read what she says about branding. She’s a best selling author. She’s also very honest about how she first started out and what her expectations were. She’s funny, smart, a great teacher on writing and she says she learned the hard way and felt very alone and that’s why she wrote these two best selling books. Her website: http://www.warriorwriters.wordpress.com
As always, I appreciate your opinions or questions. Please, leave a comment. If you leave your blog or website address or where you can be found on Facebook or Twitter I will follow you, leave a comment, like, or Tweet in return and do my best to get to know you.
It’s been said that writing is a lonely business and that’s true, but if we writers and readers continue to support one another, then we are no longer alone.
I was recently chosen as one of nine winners in The Young Adult Mystery Times Nine 2012 Short Story Competition. The list of winning authors and their story titles can be viewed at:
(13) Buddhapuss Ink LLC Click on “see more” to view the entire list. The winning stories will be published together sometime in September or October. I will update you then.
My first adult short story, “Saving Katie” has been published at: www.thepinkchameleon.com a free magazine. Once on the site, scroll down the page until you see Short Stories. Click on that and the list of short stories will appear. Find “Saving Katie”.
Some of my work can be found online: My children’s story “Pack Leader” can be found at: www.knowonder.com also a free magazine. Once on the site type in the title of the story in the Search Engine at the top of the page and it will take you to the story.
I also have a children’s story, “The Golden Stallion” online at: www.storiesthatlift.com. This too is a free magazine. Once on the site click on the Story Library and then Children’s Stories. There is a Search Engine on this site also.
In May 2012, my children’s story, “Gus’ Big Adventure” was published at: Bumples Magazine. http://www.bumples.com/ A subscription is required to read these stories, but if you have children between 4-10, it might be worth it.