Thursday, July 9, 2009

Social networking - let the list begin!

I'm a self-professed social networking junkie. Yes, it's a time sink, but I've also found ways to make it work for me and further my writing career. In fact, that's my primary reason for doing it and what got me into it.

Since I began joining and participating in these sights, my benefits have included:

Reviews for my book, interviewees for my blog, sites to list on my resource website, tips on places to publicize my book, calls for submissions, blog followers, and if you include yahoo groups, an inside track to my present FT writing job. And readers!

Here's my ever growing list of social networking sites I've found over the years. I'm not going to explain the what and hows of all these groups in this entry. That's another one, or better yet, come to the workshop sponsored by the Redwood Writers scheduled for August 4th in Petaluma, CA (more details to follow).

Many of you are already familiar with the major groups and how they work.

First LinkedIn. If you join LinkedIn, but don't join any of the groups there, you're truly missing out. Here's a partial list of mine. It's partial because the others are industry specific for the day job. I haven't linked these, but punching the names into the search groups box will take you right to them.

Fiction Writers Guild (my membership is still pending)
Affiliated Authors
Author Planet
Authors of Fiction
Authors, Writers, Publishers, Editors, and other Professionals
Book Marketing
First Time Authors
Just for Writers
LinkEds & writers
Magazine
Networking Nation
Novelists Networking Group
Professional Writers
Published Authors Network
Science Fiction readers, writers, and collectors
Speakers and Panelists
The Pen
Writing Mafia


Have you heard of Ning? Here are my Ning.com groups:

First the place to find readers:
Book Blogs. Of course you have to have a blog about books to join. But if you do, you'll find even more subgroups to join by genre or other sub-category.

Pocketbooks scifi/fantasy blog tour group
Pocketbooks blog tours
About the author - author interviews
Authors and books we love
Short stories
California book lovers (I posted here about our authors' books, including Vintage Voices)

More Ning sites for authors/writers:
My Book Place
Building 98
Published authors - and a subgroup of this one for those who tweet: Authors on Twitter
Book Marketing Network

Miscellaneous writers' sites:
Author Link
Writer's Beat
And for ladies only: She Writes

And there are International and National author organizations that have no physical headquarters. They live on the web.
Broad Universe (but only if you’re a female speculative fiction writer)
Published Authors

Just google your genre and organization and you'll find plenty. Look for regional ones, too.

A good place to connect with readers is Goodreads. I know there's also an Amazon version and Library Thing. I'm sticking with Goodreads for now. On Goodreads, if you're a published author, you can have a free fan page to aggregate all the reviews of your book and add your appearances and other info for your fans. And, like LinkedIn, this is just the first layer. Join groups or you're just scratching the surface.

Here's a list of mine:
Published Authors
SciFi and Fantasy Book Club
Sci-Fi/Fantasy Authors
Women's Fiction Authors
Authors Reading Authors

I have a page on MySpace, but spend more time on Facebook. However, some people only hang out at MySpace, so make sure they can find you there and look for them.

Facebook. This entry would automatically double in size if I listed all my Facebook groups. My experience, so far on Facebook, however is that there are myriads groups that you can join but few of them have much activity on them. It's more of a way to show your interests in your profile. You can also have a fan page on Facebook. Also, Facebook just added the ability to chose user names for people to find you easier when you have a common name.

Then there's Live Journal. It's not just a place to blog. You can friend other users and read all their entries as they come up on your friends page. And LJ has lots of groups, too.

Many of these don't have a lot of activity and some of them are mostly writers, probably 80 percent self-published, all promoting to each other. However, even those have their value. At least it's exposure. I'm a firm believer in grabbing (politely) all the cyber real estate you can. When you have really big news, you'll have more outlets with which to share it and it's more places for people to find you.

You may occasionally get a useful tip or be able to provide one. You might find an author with a similar book that you can trade publicity with back and forth since you have the same target audience. However, concentrate the bulk of your efforts on the more active sites.

Of course, make sure when you start off on this adventure, to keep track of all the sites, user names and passwords. Also, don't forget to link back and forth between them wherever possible.

That ought to keep some writers busy for a while. Please feel free to add to this list by leaving a comment with more sites.

PS - Don't get sucked into spending all your time there and not writing.

10 comments:

ET Observations said...

Wow, this post is really impressive. It will take me days to plumb its depths. Okay, okay, that's too somber a comment. Anyway, I intend to follow up on most of what you have listed. Thanks Ann.

Ron Pasquariello

Kate Farrell said...

This is a great list, Ann! Even if you've spend countless hours exploring these sites on your own time, you've benefitted us, your Redwood writer friends.

Ana Manwaring said...

Wow! What a list. Something for everyone. I'm looking forward to learning more about social networking at the first Tech workshop on august 4th. I'll try to visit some of thes places and come with my questions. Good thing semester break coming up--checking all these out is probably a full time job! Thank you, Ann

Peter N. Jones said...

Excellent list. I am on several of the Ning and LinkeIn social network sites you mention. I've met a lot of great writers and learned a ton along the way. I didn't see anything about forums on the list. I like forums because they are easy to follow particular threads. I'm on several of these author and writer social networks, as well as many of the ones you mention.

PJC said...

Great and all-encompassing list! Whew! I love this and I find that now that my book is published, 101 Author Tips: Creating A Successful Book Campaign, I haven't written anything other than press releases, comments on blogs, social networks and marketing materials. I'm enjoying the process and am trying to speed it up at the same time. Any suggestions are welcomed. I'm on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. I have 2 websites: www.pjcampbellwriter.com and theartandbusinessofwriting.com, as well as 2 blogs, theartandbusinessofwriting.blogspot.com/ and http://publishing.lifetips.com/. I'm pretty good about updates on all of the above and still there's so much to do and so many people to reach. Advice?
Congratulations on all that you are achieving!
PJ

Tricia McWhorter said...

This is quite a list and great food for thought. Thanks!

R.K. Koslowsky said...

Very comprehensive Ann. And something for everyone. Redwood Writers will find this a great resource, in addition to the other links posted on the RW website.
http://www.redwoodwriters.org/links.html
Keep on writing!

Bookpleasures said...

This is a great list Ann. You may want to add bookpleasures.com. This is a book reviewing and author interviewing site with over 40 reviewers that come from all walks of life and that review all genres.

Bookpleasures.com has been in existence since 2002 and we have posted over 4500 reviews and over 500 interviews.

Regards,

Norm, Bookpleasures.com

Eldheni said...

I would highly recommend BeYourArt at http://www.beyourart.com
This site supports artists of ALL kinds, but has a terrific writers' section, job listings for free lance writers, works with several NYC magazines to get articles by their members published. Even a brand new FREE writing contest! Check it out.

Ann Wilkes said...

Glad you've found it useful. Thanks for the great additions. And keep them coming.