Dear Extra Squeeze Team How Do I Balance Social Media and Writing?

December 31, 2018 by in category The Extra Squeeze by The Extra Squeeze Team with 2 and 0
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Dear Extra Squeeze Team: Social Media—I hate it. It used to be that all I had to worry about was if I needed to order bookmarks. Now, I’m spending so much time tweeting and Facebooking and Instagraming that I barely have time to work on my WIP and my deadline is looming. How do you balance actual writing with all the stuff you have to do around it?  OMG do I still need to order bookmarks?

Jenny Jensen | A Slice of Orange
Jenny Jensen
Developmental  editor who has worked for twenty plus years with new and established authors of both fiction and non-fiction, traditional and
indie.

Asking me how to achieve a balance between constant updates and creative output is like asking a Kardashian for advice on the natural look. I too, hate the treadmill of social media – so much in fact, that I haven’t touched mine in seven years! That gets you sympathy, which isn’t very useful but as this is a problem that plagues all writers, I’ve had a lot of discussion about it with my clients. I’ll share what I we’ve come up with. Every author needs to stay as much in the public eye as possible and every author needs to keep on authoring. It’s a balancing act. Whether you are a full-time writer or must carve writing time out of a busy life, you need to compartmentalize the social media vortex. Decide how much time to give it and stick to that. Your writing is the point.

Focus your efforts. Authors get stretched too thin trying to keep a presence on multiple outlets and since new ones pop up monthly it’s an impossible task. Narrow your social media efforts to fit what you want to achieve; announcements of a new release, updates on a work in progress, what you had for lunch (should your readers be interested), etc. If you feel you can achieve that with three outlets, say FB, Twitter and Instagram, then focus exclusively on those.

Schedule a block of time to devote to social media. This can be 15 minutes a day, 2 hours a week or one day a month. Whatever works for the frequency you feel is important. As an insatiable reader who is always on the hunt for good books, I welcome a post on progress, a new release, or comments on the process of writing, as long as the content is about the work. I’m not much concerned in what they had for lunch. A particular author isn’t always top of mind, but I never forget the ones whose work I love so an informative missive is great, regardless of how infrequent, and brings them quickly to top of mind.

Use this time to create and schedule a month or more of posts.

Automate with Social media management tools like Buffer, HootSuite, Hubspot, TweetDeck. If you have posts in a queue that automates the process and frees your working time to write, edit, write and re-write.

Content is as important to these publicity snippets as it is to your published work. No matter the frequency of your posts or the range of outlets you post on, if the content is empty and uninteresting or poorly written, the response will match it. Give your followers a reason to follow.

Rebecca Forster | Extra Squeeze
Rebecca Forster 
USA Today Bestselling author of 35 books, including the Witness series and the new Finn O’Brien series.

No, don’t order bookmarks. Thumb drives with your title on it will do these days. Social media is the bane of every business person’s existence, not just authors. Embrace it. Love it. I pay most attention to what I enjoy and that is Twitter and Instagram. I share what amuses me, inspires me, makes me think and then I throw in some information about my books. I also use Buffer which allows me to queue up three weeks’ worth of tweets, Facebook, linked in or whatever other media I need. Buffer releases my tweets on the schedule I set. I will be on the couch watching TV with my husband and loading up Buffer. By the time lights are out I got a few weeks’ worth. Just remember, there is no rule about how often we need to be seen on any of these platforms.

H.O. Charles
Cover designer and author of the fantasy series, The Fireblade Array

Give me some advice because I am terrible at updating my social media!!

Robin Blakely | The Extra Squeeze Team | A Slice of Orange
Robin Blakely
PR/Business Development coach for writers and artists; CEO, Creative Center of America; member, Forbes Coaches Council.

Robin was out of the loop this month but hopes to be back in January.

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About The Extra Squeeze
Ever wonder what industry professionals think about the issues that can really impact our careers? Each month The Extra Squeeze features a fresh topic related to books and publishing. Amazon mover and shaker Rebecca Forster and her handpicked team of book professionals offer frank responses from the POV of each of their specialties — Writing, Editing, PR/Biz Development, and Cover Design.

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    Ever wonder what industry professionals think about the issues that can really impact our careers? Each month The Extra Squeeze features a fresh topic related to books and publishing. Amazon mover and shaker Rebecca Forster and her handpicked team of book professionals offer frank responses from the POV of each of their specialties — Writing, Editing, PR/Biz Development, and Cover Design.
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  • This is the $64,000 question isn’t it. Social media is fun and I have made many friends and connections online. Re: automating posts, I believe that we can’t automate Facebook posts as easily now?

  • Marianne says:

    You can schedule Facebook posts for pages and groups. It’s fairly easy to do on Facebook itself.

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