Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Social Networking and the Writer

When I first started writing romance the internet was a fresh new world, full of unfulfilled potential. We knew it would be useful for research eventually, but I don't think anyone could ever have pictured the absolute explosion of social networking that has now occurred, and how it complicates our world.

Writers, for the most part, really enjoy connecting with readers and other writers. Many of us work lonely hours at the computer with nary a sound but the neighbor cutting his grass or the birds chirping outside to disturb us. It is lovely to hear from readers, and I value the many supportive emails I receive and I'm happy to answer questions. That is the personal touch.

But in the larger internet world, we interact in a bigger global sense. Social networking. We all do it, I'm doing it now by writing this blog. But I thought I would share the ways I network, and ask a little about how you all do the same.

First, I blog here, and I have my own blogs, two of them now. I am at:

I am, inevitably on Facebook and MySpace:


Mind you, I haven't updated my Myspace page in so long, I should be ashamed of myself. I AM ashamed of myself!

However... there are only so many hours, minutes, and seconds in a day. I am also on several other networks, among them Goodreads, BookBlogs, and Published Authors.

Published Authors Ning:
Book Blogs Ning:

On a whim I joined Storycasting:

...and likely a few others I've forgotten.

I've been invited to join others, among the most attractive a romance writers network:

But... where does it end? Sometimes I wonder where I find the time to write, and when I do devote myself to writing I feel like I'm letting down the social network!

Please, somebody... stop me before I join again!!

I know, I know, I need to prioritize. Does anyone have any suggestions?

First, how many social networking things do you belong to online?
Do they help your business, whatever it is?
Do you do it just for fun?
Do you limit yourself?
How do you respond to new invitations?
Help me out, here! What do you do to keep yourself from going nuts with all the scattershot of invitations and proliferation of social networking opportunities?


  1. One and only one. Facebook is all I can handle!

  2. Oh, Donna, I feel for you. I'm unpublished, but I hear all the time how important networking is. But then I hear from other sources how you need to totally focus on writing. I wish, as wanna be published writer, there was an easy answer.

  3. Cheryl... you rock! What iron will!

    Renee... I don't mean to whine... the social networking is often fun... too darn fun! And it is a distraction. How much is enough?

  4. I love going online with my "Wombats" on Gather. I do FB and GoodReads and three blogs, but all of that is promo. The Wombats, however, are fun. That they also buy my books doesn't hurt. :)

    I tweet, which luckily updates FB, but not a lot. I find tweets negligible b/c a lot of people don't respond to them.

    And I, too, have an un-updated MySpace page. I think it will stay unupdated. THere are only so many hours after all...

  5. I think it's important to think about what each social networking tool is doing to benefit book promotion. I also think it's important, when you do have multiple accounts on different networks, so give them all some amount of attention--or, like Cheryl, pick one and stick with it!

    Twitter is still the one I just don't get... but I do know that facebook and the communities popping up on Ning have been great tools to connect in new ways.

  6. It is a tough question. I try to limit myself, but it is difficult as I really do enjoy chatting with online friends! I remember, once upon a time and long before I began writing, when I shook my head at the idea of having a blog or being on MySpace. I just did not get it at all and never in a gazillion years thought it would be something I would do! Now, of course, I am somewhat obligated to be "out there" due to my writing. But the thing is that I love the socializing in and of itself! And that creates a problem!! Oh, so little time....

    Cheryl, you must share with us your secret or bottle up that iron will so we can drink it. On mainline it right into the vein!

    And, gee thanks Donna, for giving us even MORE places to go to!

  7. I'm here, Witchy Chicks. Wickedly Romantic and my own personal blog at my website, MySpace, Facebook, was invited to StoryCasting a year ago, Twitter plus Fluff and Puff have their own MySpace and Twitter account. And I try to manage my time on it.

    When I began there was absolutely no social networking and I didn't meet another author for more than a year after I sold. So this great, but yes, exhausting!


  8. I'm sure I'm in way too many places, and it's comforting to think a real author might lose count too. But maybe I ought to join Facebook. Everyone seems to be there.

  9. I'm with you, Donna!


    Besides here at Casa, I can often be found over on Romance Bandits, or my own personal blog Aunty Cindy Explains It All.

    I'm on MySpace and Facebook. The latter is far more user friendly IMO. And the biggest time sink of all is my groups and loops (I'm currently on 20! ACK!)

    Yes, Cheryl, please pass the will power. I NEED IT!


  10. Judi... Myspace is kinda clunky to update, isn't it?

    Danielle... I really do love the Bookblogs Ning... you're really targeting people who write read and review books!

    Sharon... No problem!! I looove to help! LOL.

    Linda... exhausting doesn't cover it!

    Sheila... as much as I hate to admit it, Facebook seems to be where everyone congregates, but it doesn't seem very effective to me. But then, I haven't learned how to use it properly, not sure why.

    Aunty Cindy... if only we could bottle Cheryl's willpower, I'd corner the market!!!

  11. Donna, whine all you want. I can learn from all the whining.

    Ning is new. Is it only for publishing professionals?

  12. Donna,

    I've never had problems updating my MySpace page. And the calendar feature is great to post where I'll be for my readers.


  13. There's a calendar on myspace? :) I have friends and fans on both myspace and facebook. I twitter alerts to facebook, and often get comments. And I blog on myspace, try to fairly regularly. Some are the same people, but some are only on one or the other. I'm on Ning but never remember to update it, and I'm on Wickedly Romantic, my own blog, Redroom for Authors, Shapeshifter Romance, Fierce Romance and Casablanca, and Goodreads. All get a little different audience. :)

  14. Renee,

    'ning' is, I think, just the platform used for both BookBlogs.ning and publishedauthors.ning, IOW, a software application that creates a space online for 'pages'.

    But don't quote me on that!