A little lesson in social media

My last post was about Louise Penny, who is now one of my favorite authors. I like her so much I’ve even pre-ordered her newest Inspector Gamache book when it’s released next month, something I rarely do. I wrote about her books to express my admiration for her skill at getting her readers to care about her characters and to share the lessons I’d drawn from that. It was a fun post to do. It was written, polished, and published all in the space of a couple of hours. And then I forgot about it.

Forgot, that is, until an e-mail showed up in my inbox saying that someone at St. Martin’s Press had re-tweeted my tweet about the post. Three things instantly popped into my head:

  1. Gee, when exactly did I tweet about my post?!;
  2. Wow!; and
  3. Oh no!

You see, I’d completely forgotten about having set up WordPress to automatically tweet my posts. (Trust me, I am very mindful of it now.) And I was surprised but also pleased and honored that someone had seen my tweet/post and shared it.

But I have to admit also being a bit embarrassed. Embarrassed not because of what I’d written but embarrassed because my website isn’t as polished as it should be, nor have I given as much thought to marketing and overall social media presence as I ought to have done. With two writers’ conferences coming later this summer and my novel manuscript now topping 95,000 words, it’s long past time for me to tackle this. And so I am.

I’ve started contacting website designers to talk about their services and how one goes about the whole process of working on a redesign and developing a better social media presence, from the website and blog to Twitter and Facebook, as well as to describe for them the goals of my site and my intended audience. It’s a bit daunting, but it’s also exciting to finally begin thinking more strategically about what to share about my novel and how best to share it.

I have many more questions than answers right now and a lot of thoughts swirling around in my head, but I’m looking forward to what comes next. It’s even been a bit of a psychological boost that, oddly enough, is giving me more confidence in my characters and my story and my ability to tell that story in a way that’ll keep readers interested and wanting to read more. I’m still very aware of how difficult it is to get published and have no illusions about that, but moving ahead on a new website is making me feel more optimistic and positive about tackling those challenges. So stay tuned — I hope you’ll be seeing something new and different soon!

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3 Comments

Filed under General, On Writing

3 responses to “A little lesson in social media

  1. Hi again, Donna Gough. 🙂

    I understand your trepidation relative to privacy and anonymity. I’ve been grappling with that, especially because some of the stuff I write is . . . oy.

    I used to teach Kindergarten. People have no clue.

    So I’m trying to decide if I should just put it out there, or use initials with my last name, or use my maiden name. Our names can be a powerful brand, if we’re lucky. You hear King and know what to expect, pretty much. So I want to be really sure that the name I choose is the name I can live with, and stand behind.

    Again, thank you and I shall be checking in to see how this endeavor of yours transpires.

    🙂 -kk (for now, anyway)

  2. Very cool that the publisher referenced your tweet. Very cool. Cooler yet is that you are thinking ahead now. Thinking like a professional writer.

    I really admire what you’re doing, GoughPubs. I’ve been dragging my feet, not quite ready to take that leap, so I shall be watching from the sidelines for now, cheering you on and wishing you a lot of luck.

    -kk

    • Thanks, kk – appreciate the kind wishes!

      The biggest change of all will be that Donna Gough will emerge from behind the shadows of GoughPubs. I’ve thought about making that switch off and on over the past couple of years but never made the move, in large part because I liked having my privacy and anonymity. But this made me think long and hard about whether that’s still the right choice, given where I am in revising my novel and getting ready (soon!) to start querying it. (Answer: no, it doesn’t make sense, not anymore.)

      I’ll be sure to let you and everyone else know how this evolves!
      –Donna

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