When I first started my blog back on the 1st of Jan 2009, I set it up knowing it was the prelude to being published. Why should I wait until my book is on the shelves and looking at me when I visit my local store? If I want to be a published author, I need a website BEFORE my book is released. WAY BEFORE!
That then leads to the question, website or blog? Or both? Many authors, like many others, have combined the two these days. You arrive at their website and you see the front page and menu pointing to their book page, their about page, their contact page, and their blog.
Writers write to show you they want to be involved with their fans and followers, to keep up with the world around them as it’s a fast changing world we live in and life is now spent online instead of in person. The web also allows authors of any variety to stay in touch and correspond with people all around the world, so fans and followers can be involved with what’s going on with their favourite authors.
When I first started my blog I also joined Twitter, Facebook and MySpace. Yes, MySpace. With Facebook I ended up starting a page and made mistakes, so I deleted it and had to wait the three months for it to be gone. I did start my profile but alas, they did not allow me to use my name for some reason and still cannot change it to this day.
I have also recently changed my Twitter url from @jewelsdiva to @ladyjewelsdiva. I simply changed it in the setting area and that meant @jewelsdiva became available. So I signed out, signed up and claimed the name again! This year I did delete my MySpace account when they changed everyone’s layout. Since I hated the new templates I just deleted my account.
Here is a list of the social media sites I have joined and left since 2009 in my quest for claiming my name across them and finding out which ones are useful and which are not.
Twitter (2013 changed to @ladyjewelsdiva and I set up @jewelsdiva to keep)
MySpace (since deleted)
Photobucket (for your pictures to link urls on your website. I use this for the social media icons in each sidebar)
Skype (don’t use it though, except to make my EIN call)
Facebook Page – “Just Putting It Out There”
Tumblr (I just send my blog through to it)
Youtube (Jewels Diva TV)
Google+ (boring and still waiting for my url)
About.Me (2013 changed it to lady jewels diva and set up jewels diva to keep)
Flavors.Me (same kind of site as About.Me and deleted 2013)
LinkedIn (don’t really use it)
Stumbleupon (don’t use it)
Technorati (only links your web to get traffic)
Digg (made it too hard to use so I deleted 2013)
Delicious (made it too hard to use so I deleted 2013)
Contact Me (I only used this for the contacting moi page here on my site. I have since disabled it)
Add This (it adds the social buttons at the bottom of each blog post)
Facebook Official Author Page
Facebook Official Book Pages for Lotto and London
Scribd (is owned by Facebook and good for embedding documents into your blog)
HARO (help a reporter out is a great website to get your career going)
PRLOG (for releasing press releases)
Formspring (deleted 2013)
FanPop (deleted 2013 - for fans of pop culture)
Get Glue (deleted 2013 - for fans of tv shows)
Ustream (deleted 2013 - never used)
Carmine Giovinazzo’s Ceesau website (I have written about helping out with it and am still a member)
Everything Jackie Collins (deleted 2013 - forum for fans)
Linkwithin (adds the “other posts you might like” section at the bottom of your posts)
Dlvr.it (for sending blog posts through to Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, LinkedIn)
Wibiya (deleted it 2013 - social media bar for your website, it was a pain and made everything too slow)
YouSayToo (deleted2013 - connects blog to its website and is useless)
Box / Huddle (deleted 2013 - to do with LinkedIn didn’t need)
Slideshare (still have it on LinkedIn)
Facebook Official Book Page for Vegas
Facebook Page – “Carers need help and support too”
Pinterest (have started changing and adding boards with one each on my books and book trailers)
Instagram (don’t use it)
So what it comes down to is you need to ask yourself these questions.
What websites do I need/want to be across?
Do I want to hassle with too many?
Do I have the time to be across them all and interact with everyone?
Do I want to limit the amount to a handful?
Then you need to decide which ones are right for you.
A website is a definite. With a blog! A Facebook Author Page is essential and many recommend individual pages for your each book. I currently have three and am wondering if I should do just one for all of my books. Only use Twitter if it appeals to you. You can always set it up and use a company like Hootsuite, Tweetdeck or Dlvr.it to automatically send your blog posts through to it. Instagram if you love taking photos and sharing your life, and Pinterest for making boards of your books, inspiration and favourite authors. You can also upload your book trailers from Youtube.
If you like doing videos then you need either Youtube or Vimeo which is gaining popularity. Google+ and LinkedIn are hit and miss and I find quite boring. I only send my blog posts through Google+ and don’t do much else with it. LinkedIn is only for people who want to be on an employment network.
For bits and pieces for your blog I suggest Linkwithin and Add This.
As for the others, so non-essential! Unless you like that kind of stuff and are on them for pleasure not networking your books.
So that equals five. Website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest if the last two appeals to you. Google+, Youtube/Vimeo as maybes, and LinkedIn as a “meh, I can give or take it”.
That’s a possible total of 4 (web, FB, TW, Pin) or 5 if you add Inst. 8 websites in total if you do all of them just for social media. Given that many of the book sites you will be across will also have blogs, Facebook and Twitter pages, it's a definite safe bet to have those. Many also have a YouTube channel and Google+ and Pinterest pages. And I’m sure you could find them all on LinkedIn (which I think is a bigger deal for Americans than Aussies).
So, anywhere from 4-8 social media websites surely is enough for any one person (says she who has many more). From late last year I started cutting and culling sites I was over to streamline it all and it’s a whole lot easier, let me tell you.