My name is Sharon and I am addicted to online social networking. It has been 5 minutes since my last log in on Facebook, 2 minutes since my last look at Inkpop and one second since my last Tweet. I am usually on my iPhone on either Facebook, Inkpop or email last thing before I go to sleep at night and the first thing when I wake in the morning.
My husband has scandalous suggested that my self promotion skills are at a par with my writing... I know I would way prefer to be cracking my head opening and catching the ideas that pour out by transposing them into written words that marketing for someone else. But I tell you what, if I get published I will have a ball with an agent and the publisher coming up with marketing for myself.
Somehow my Facebook page has ballooned to 2,400 people! I have a strong profile on the YA writer's community Inkpop with more than 1,000 friends, Top Pick Star book status (my story Mishca was picked as one of the best five books in June out of more than 25,000 pieces on the site), been Inkpopper of the Week and am now a Top Trendsetter. Hmmm but my Blog and Tweets needs more traffic (note to self - start promoting these more).
Well it seems my husband is right - I love promoting, marketing and networking. And in the current competitive book market it makes sense to have a strong online presence. Many debut authors already have followers before they even have a book on the shelf. This is great, as long as you strike the balance between promoting yourself and spending time writing. Just don't get caught up in your own hype and neglect your writing.
For newbie writers, there are also great ways to network and promote yourself offline too. Joining writer's centres, attending conferences and participating in workshops gets your face out and about in the writing community. Even if you are geographically challenged like me (a regional Aussie), you can make these things happen.
Your writing can always speak for itself, but a little self promotion can go a long way.