Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘social media’

Emoji blog postLike many other writers on the internet I’m busy trying to create awareness of my book, and in doing so, hopefully build a fan-base. ‘Marketing, marketing, marketing,’ that’s all I’ve lived and breathed leading up to the launch of my latest novel, Saving Anna. I’ve read blog posts on how to become the best blogger, Twitterer, Pinterester, Facebooker and Instagramer: none of which comes naturally to this hermit-like author. It’s a challenge, but it’s also a call of duty. Valiantly I have pitched into battle, fighting the inner demon called shyness with vigour and determination.

As a photographer as well as an author I recently decided to try my hand at Instagram, a new platform for me. I’m @Listansus First I had to learn how the app functioned, then I had to decide what kind of photos to post. Everyone says that an author is supposed to sell the author and not the book. Hmm, tricky. I hate having my photo taken (Yeah, I know, seriously weird considering I’m a photographer), so selfies are out of the question. Okay, so what about photos of my books? Lots of authors and review bloggers do this, and their Instagram feeds are truly delightful and very creative, but there are only so many times in a day that I can get excited about seeing the same book cover over and over again.

The other marketing tool on Instagram, which appears to be very popular, is to post an image with words – lots of words! They take the form of a short poem or a passage from a novel. These posts take time to read, whereas a photo is instant gratification. I love words, I write thousands of them, but on a visual platform I prefer an emotive photograph, or informative words, such as an inspirational quote from an author. Here’s one that writeHackr magazine, which will launch next year, posted today: “You create the world, blink by blink. It is entirely yours to discover and yours to create,’ by Sophia Amoruso. I like this, it inspires me.

So, what images am I posting? Apart from a sprinkling of book promotions, I’ve chosen to post photographs that I’ve taken, especially scenic ones that relate to locations in my novels. The question is, does anything I post inspire or interest other people? At first I was uncertain, but recently I’ve had loads of likes per photo, and an increasing number of complimentary comments, which has boosted my confidence.

Some of these comments have come via the universal language of emoji. Yes, you guessed, I’m a newbie at emoji as well as a newbie at Instagram! This is a steep learning curve and a very high mountain. What do these symbols mean?

Laughing Crying EmojiRecently ‘face with tears of joy’ was voted by the Oxford English Dictionary as the word of the year. Word!? It’s a symbol, and believe it or not, I’d never seen it before it hit the news and had to read up on what it meant. It’s a completely new language to me.

Emoji symbols

On Instagram I instantly understood the thumbs up, the clapping hands and the smiley face, but stupidly posted a symbol believing it meant ‘water’ when in fact it’s officially ‘splashing sweat symbol’ used in comic books to show that someone is working hard or stressed. Ooops!

Night sky emojiThis is one of the loveliest comments I’ve received. It’s from a guy whose photos are technically amazing, hence to receive an emoji from him meant a lot to me. I don’t speak Turkish, and he probably doesn’t speak English, yet we found a way to communicate and complement each other’s work. Now, when you’ve finished laughing at me, thinking, rightly so, that he’ll never read my books, let me outline the bigger picture. For every comment on Instagram, even an emoji, my profile rating goes up. This is good. I’m also feeding all of my photos through to Twitter, via a clever app, and this has helped strengthen my Twitter profile and gained me more followers. Even though I’m posting photos, my hashtags say #amwriting and #writerslife, which has encouraged people to add me to their Twitter lists of interesting writers. This is a win-win situation and is boosting my social profile.

I haven’t acquired many followers yet on Instagram, and I refuse to cheat and go and buy false friends, but the people I am connecting with are genuine and we’re building a warm rapport with each other. If you’d like to come and join me, I’m @listansus

To my amazement people have taken this photo to their hearts, if you like it, heart me ❤

 

Read Full Post »

As an author I’m advised to participate in social media and project myself out onto the world as a human being. Promote the person, not the book. The consensus of opinion is that if I appear to be a caring, thought-provoking, fascinating…insert adjective of choice…person, that this will help me grow my fan base, and build interest in my writing.

This is all well and good in theory, but I happen to be an intrinsically shy person. I don’t like talking about myself. I don’t feel comfortable posting images of my friends, family and the plate of food I ate for dinner. So, what am I supposed to do? What are other introverted writers blogging, Facebooking and generally yapping about in order to build their audience? Or, are they too shy to come out and play?

My Book Manager at Booktrope has encouraged me to be myself, find the platforms that I feel comfortable with, and concentrate on them. Apparently there’s no need to venture into danger zones that make me cringe and fear being spotted in the crowd. Phew! The next question is, which platforms do I feel comfortable with? And what is my theme? A theme, I’m told, is important; it helps to identify my brand.

 

As a lifelong photographer, social media sites that are image rich would appear to be my best bet. Pinterest is ideal. I can spend all day pressing the heart button and pinning to a variety of boards. Job done. Not quite. I’m supposed to be letting people know who I am. Maybe my art board says enough. Maybe my choice of paintings lets you know that we share the same aesthetic taste and therefore, if we ever met in person, might find something to sit down and talk about.

I’m getting there, we’re now connecting, relating at a more personal level. You won’t know what to feed me for dinner, but you will know which art exhibition to invite me to.

Then, a few months ago, I revolutionised my ability to stay on top of social media. I knew I had to become more spontaneous with my postings, so went out and bought a smartphone! Yeah, yeah, prior to this I was a Blackberry girl, a much faster, more efficient system, but, quite frankly, rubbish for the likes of Facebook and Pinterest. This new phone was going to transform everything, make it easier. Once I got my head around the darn thing!

It came ready loaded with loads of groovy apps, one of which was Instagram.
Now, I’d heard of Instagram, but never used it, or understood its value within the social media network. Like all enthusiastic self-promoters, I scurried around reading as much information as possible. Okay, the literature says that all I have to do on Instagram is upload a photo, choose whether to add a fun filter or not, write loads of hashtags and post. Easy peasy. Apparently Instagram will make more impact if I stick to a theme. Theme, theme, what is my theme? Everyone says I must have a theme. But, what do I post? We’re back to the three f’s, friends, family and food. To hell with that!

This is my platform and I can post whatever I darn well like. I take photos. I take photos of anything and everything that interests me. So that is what I will post. Insects, reflections, wildlife… “People don’t like scary bugs,” my partner says. “Post cute stuff, people like cute.” I don’t do cute, cute isn’t always available. I do life. This is my life, this is me. Colourful, observant, creative. To post anything else would not be true to myself. At last, I have found my theme…being myself!

Come and join me on Instagram.

Autumn splash #abstract #photography #amwriting #autumn #reflection

A post shared by Toni Allen Author (@listansus) on

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: