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  • March 15th, 2009 | 10:14 PM
Survey - Social Media & the publishing world


I'm working on a presentation for authors about Social Media & the publishing world. I'd love to get some feedback on any of the following questions:
 


#1 What is your connection to the publishing world? 

Author
Illustrator
Editor
Agent
Publicist
Other. Please explain.

#2 Which of the following to do you participate in?


Blogging?
Facebook?
Myspace?
Twitter?
Linkedin?
JacketFlap?
Goodreads?
Other? Please explain.

#3 List your favorites from above and explain why and/or how you use them.

#4 Has Twitter/Facebook/Linkedin helped you in any way with your job? Research? Finding a job? Making an important connection? Please give any examples.

#5 What is the best and the worst about Twitter/Facebook/Linkedin?

#6 How to do you manage to participate in social media and still have time to write/edit/do your job?

#7 Have you ever made a mistake in the social media network and wish you could take it back? Can you share?

#8 How important do you think it is for authors to utilize Twitter/Facebook/Linkedin and why?

Thanks in advance! And please, if you can, help spread the word so I can get as much feedback as possible.

If you would rather not respond online and want to email me, you can send your responses to: susantaylorbrown (AT) gmail (DOT) com
 
   Follow me on Twitter @susanwrites

(Tags: )
There are so many stories only you can tell.Tell them, please.



Comments

( 43 comments — Leave comment )
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desayunoencama
March 15th, 2009 06:10 pm (UTC)
Who is the presentation for?
susanwrites
March 15th, 2009 06:44 pm (UTC)
Good point, Lawrence. I added in that this particular one is for authors but I hope to do an article and perhaps an online class as well.
beckylevine
March 15th, 2009 06:48 pm (UTC)
1. Author
2. Blogging, Facebook. LinkedIn a tiny bit. Still trying to figure out JacketFlap. GoodReads, but I just narrowed that list down a lot.
3. I love blogging--I always wanted to write a column, and this feels like it--without the deadline. :) And I love connecting with other writers online. I also have fun with Facebook, but mostly reading updates & linking to my blog posts. I'm sure I haven't maxed out on its possibilities yet.
4.I think Facebook has brought more people to check out my website/blog, which--yes, will hopefully help sell a few books.
5.The worst about Facebook? Can't think of anything. LinkedIn, to me, doesn't seem to do much good for writers--it seems set up much more for people networking on more traditional-type jobs.
6.Ha! I try to separate the two, but it doesn't always work. Always open to new suggestions! I'm lucky, right now, because I think being online is tied to the book I'm writing and to getting the word out about it/me. But that's probably just an excuse.
7.Not in many, many years, since I sent a (justifiably) rude email to the wrong person. I learned my lesson then. I don't put anything out there, online, that I wouldn't be comfortable with EVERYBODY reading.
8.I just don't know. I think, with the book I'm writing, I may be an exception because my market is writers and that's who I choose for my friends and want to connect with, anyway. For writers of novels--I'm not sure how they'd find their audience and how they'd tailor what they're posting, etc.
susanwrites
March 15th, 2009 06:54 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Becky.

Yikes on that email! Oh and you reminded me to add JacketFlap and Goodreads.
norda
March 15th, 2009 07:12 pm (UTC)
My answers...

1] Bookseller and retailer - http://www.mikescomics.com/BOOK3.html for non-genre books; otherwise please check out the Mike's Comics main index for media tie-ins.

2a] I am most active in blogging on LiveJournal - booksbynight and WordPress at http://booksellerbynight.wordpress.com.

2b] I have a MySpace account that mirrors my blog[s], but I have connections there that do not automatically cross over.

2c] I have a Facebook account, but my professional interactions there are equally divided between the comic book industry and the traditional book trade.

2d] I have a personal Twitter account and several separate ones for my business pursuits [the BLAKE'S 7 audio adventures, for example].

2e] I have just started on LinkedIn and have not really explored its social-interaction potential; it's a resume-builder / networking tool to me.

3] See my breakdown on #2.

4] Twitter and Facebook are actually starting to get the bookselling side of my business more attention than the science fiction merchandising side [that side seems to sell itself; bookselling needs more hands-on help]. MySpace and LiveJournal have helped me more directly with author-to-bookseller interactions.

5a] Twitter can be annoying insofar as opening one up to being spammed.

5b] MySpace has too, too many ads and too many people thinking that graphics-heavy backgrounds and Flash animations make them stand out.

5c] LinkedIn seems very static as far as interaction, but that's just me learning the ropes there.

5d] LiveJournal, with its true interactive community feel, can breed a false sense of security and lull one into sharing too much, which flares up into "drama" all too often... the recent highly charged discussions of cultural appropriation being a prime example.

5e] Facebook has too many trivial applications that can become timesinks for the undisciplined.

6] I set hard and fast time limits to how long I spend on social media. I also actually schedule my times for updating my own sites and reading others' sites.

7] No, because I'm very, VERY cautious about what I say or do online. Always have been, from my earliest experiences in 1996. I'm probably TOO cautious; I second-guess myself so often that I end up being silent, and that may have cost me opportunites for business growth.

8] I think it's very important for authors to spend some time on social media, but not an excessive amount. I like reading about the writing process; I like having some accessibility to authors, but I don't expect them to be online so often that they never get anything written! The most important thing I get from authors when they participate in social media is awareness of their works. They are sometimes better than my book trade sales reps at putting their work into my hands, so that I can handsell their work to my customers.

Edited at 2009-03-15 08:22 pm (UTC)
norda
March 15th, 2009 07:14 pm (UTC)
p.s. I will point folks in your direction for this survey, both on LiveJournal and elsewhere.

Do you have a deadline? When is your presentation?
susanwrites
March 15th, 2009 07:18 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the answers and helping spread the word.

The presentation is this coming Saturday but I am hoping to pull this into an article and possibly an online class so all info is good.
seaheidi
March 15th, 2009 07:16 pm (UTC)
Heidi R. Kling, Author, SEA Putnam 2010

Blog, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, GoodReads

I'm a moderator for The Tenners (www.TheTenners.com) which is on live journal, it's a debut group for YA/MG debut authors. We have about 30+ authors now, so I blog as the creator of that communitiy.

I use my personal blog, SEA HEIDI WRITE, to connect w/ friends/writers/readers. Facebook seems to be about connecting with people who knew me in junior high. Someone posted a picture of me in my 7th grade volleyball uniform. Oy.
Twitter is just silly and the 'in' thing right now. I follow Ashton Kutcher and Neil Gaiman. He actually wrote me. Not Ashton, but Neil. So Twitter is all good. I'm on twitter as 'seaheidi'

Goodreads, reviews. I'm not on their much and only review my top top faves.

My blog has helped me enormously with connecting with the kid-lit community. I can't imagine life without it. It would be like writing in a damp dark cave reaching for the light from my sad, wet, lonely keyboard.

I don't *have* time, I *make* the time. For me it's worth it. (As the laundry cries for attention.)

YES! I believe it's extremely important for authors to be connected online. It's where everything happens these daze. And I'm grateful for it.

Hope this helps!





Edited at 2009-03-15 07:20 pm (UTC)
susanwrites
March 18th, 2009 04:59 am (UTC)
Thanks so much Heidi. It can be a time drain, I know, but heck, laundry can wait, right? :)
(no subject) - seaheidi - March 18th, 2009 05:51 am (UTC) - Expand
abouttothunder
March 15th, 2009 07:46 pm (UTC)
1. I am an author, as yet unpublished. I'm revising my first novel and hoping that it will eventually be worth submitting.

2. Twitter, Facebook, blogging, Goodreads (just joined), Plurk, and Ping.fm to post status updates to all except Goodreads.

3. Twitter is a fave. I recently found #queryfail day to be entertaining and a little scary. Facebook is just plain addictive. I love being able to stay in touch with people that would otherwise slip out of my life.

4. Facebook has helped me reconnect with a load of people and I few new ones. A lot of my acquaintances now know that I have written a novel, and several want to read it. It's a start. And the Facebook ads can work. I just clicked on one last night for a book called Breathers. Now I want to read it. I expect blogging has the potential to be useful, but it requires more energy and time right now than I have.

5. I have no complaints about Twitter. Facebook is highly addictive.

6. It can be a problem, but if I weren't doing social networking, I would find other ways to waste my time. Before Facebook, internet research surfing would suck away hours and hours, but at least it usually turned out to be productive. Writing is very intense and I need to take breaks.

7. Not yet, and/or not that I am aware of.

8. I think it's important, but I think time will tell. Those who are creative with their marketing will benefit the most.
susanwrites
March 18th, 2009 05:00 am (UTC)
Thanks for participating. You also taught me something new. I hadn't heard of Plurk. :)
anghara
March 15th, 2009 08:25 pm (UTC)
#1 Author (Alma Alexander, latest works the Worldweavers YA trilogy from Harper Collins)


#2 Which of the following to do you participate in?

Blogging
Facebook
Myspace (only sporadically)
Twitter?
JacketFlap (registered but barely have time to dip in)

#3 List your favorites from above and explain why and/or how you use them.

I blog - I like blogging, it keeps writing muscles stretched. So my LiveJournal, as well as my guest blogs at SFNovelists.com and Storytellersunplugged.com, are something I keep up with regularly. Facebook and MySpace were both suggestions by my editor, to get my profile out there. MySPace... hurts my eyes. I don't linger there much. Facebook is a time-stealer which I am trying to cut back on.


#4 Has Twitter/Facebook/Linkedin helped you in any way with your job? Research? Finding a job? Making an important connection? Please give any examples.

I've got a few interviews and review requests via Facebook. research? Not so much.I don't do research on Facebook.

#5 What is the best and the worst about Twitter/Facebook/Linkedin?

They Steal Time (or at least Facebook does). I've had to be forceful about Facebook apps. It was fun in the beginning to play around with them but they avalanche and then they take over. I'm kind of done with that now.

#6 How to do you manage to participate in social media and still have time to write/edit/do your job?

There's the million dollar question. I don't know. SOmehow. I suspect that when I curtail Facebook I'll have a bit more time left over for the REAL work.

#7 Have you ever made a mistake in the social media network and wish you could take it back? Can you share?

Not so far, thank the gods of the Internet.

#8 How important do you think it is for authors to utilize Twitter/Facebook/Linkedin and why?

Well my editor seemed to think that it might be important. Particularly so for the YA crowd which hangs out in such places. I don't know about how much impact it has really had though.




Edited at 2009-03-15 08:26 pm (UTC)
susanwrites
March 18th, 2009 05:10 am (UTC)
Thanks so much for participating. It is hard to know, isn't it, if it is all worth it?
lindajsingleton
March 15th, 2009 08:44 pm (UTC)
Linda Joy Singleton's reply to your questions


#1 What is your connection to the publishing world? YA AUTHOR

#2 Which of the following to do you participate in?

Twitter? YES
Blogging? YES
Facebook? YES
Myspace? YES
Twitter? YES
Linkedin? NO
JacketFlap? YES
Goodreads? YES
Other? Please explain. ALSO: http://thespectacleblog.wordpress.com/
& www.verlakay.com Blue Board group

#3 List your favorites from above and explain why and/or how you use them.
FACEBOOK is fun & interesting
MYSPACE keeps my in touch with teen fans
TWITTER is new and evolving for me
LIVEJOURNAL is where I find out what's happening in publishing and with author friends
BLOGGER connects to other sites but doesn't result in very many friends following me
GOODREADS is fun for a big reader like me
JACKETFLAP has lots of potential but I don't really know how to use it for promotion
WWW.VERLAKAY.COM (bulletin board) is an amazing resource and writer community.

#4 Has Twitter/Facebook/Linkedin helped you in any way with your job? Not really but I enjoy them and feel less alone at my computer.

#5 What is the best and the worst about Twitter/Facebook/Linkedin? Addictive. Hard not to check in to see what's going on.

#6 How to do you manage to participate in social media and still have time to write/edit/do your job? I don't manage it well. I should be writing on my book now instead of on LiveJournal. But I do make myself write regularly most mornings and if I have a tough deadline I forbid myself to go online until after I achieve pages.

#7 Have you ever made a mistake in the social media network and wish you could take it back? Early on with LiveJournal I occasionally posted something too personal but I quickly learned to delete and keep it professional. I will rarely post about bad moods, heartbreak, rejections or family drama. I keep it focused on sharing upbeat information.

#8 How important do you think it is for authors to utilize Twitter/Facebook/Linkedin and why? It helps to get the word out when you have news like a new book. Will it make or break a career? Unlikely. Bottom line it's about sales; publisher distribution and print-runs. My teen fans haven't found me on Facebook or Twitter. But I have great conversations with them on MySpace.
susanwrites
March 18th, 2009 05:11 am (UTC)
Re: Linda Joy Singleton's reply to your questions
Thanks so much Linda Joy!
leewardlaw
March 15th, 2009 09:23 pm (UTC)
survey
#1 What is your connection to the publishing world?

Author


#2 Which of the following to do you participate in?


Blogging
Facebook
Linkedin
JacketFlap
Goodreads


#3 List your favorites from above and explain why and/or how you use them.

I love blogging (although I'm not dedicated to doing it all the time) because it's a way for me to post recent info about me and my books. I can't yet do that on my website, and have to pay my brother to update things for me.

I've enjoyed Facebook so far because I've been able to reconnect with old, old friends.

#4 Has Twitter/Facebook/Linkedin helped you in any way with your job? Research? Finding a job? Making an important connection? Please give any examples.

No, not yet!

#5 What is the best and the worst about Twitter/Facebook/Linkedin?

I tend to spend too much time exploring them, reading, connecting with people, updating, etc. That's time I should be writing.

#6 How to do you manage to participate in social media and still have time to write/edit/do your job?

One of them ends up suffering. Right now, the sufferer is the social networks; my writing still comes first. I'm working now on setting a time limit that I will spend each week doing the social promo stuff.

#7 Have you ever made a mistake in the social media network and wish you could take it back? Can you share?

I haven't, although my sister-in-law posted a picture of me on her Facebook profile and tagged it, so everyone can see it. It's awful of me and one I would rather not have teachers, parent and my readers see. Nothing embarrassing or revealing, I just look like I had surgery about ten minutes before the photo was shot.

#8 How important do you think it is for authors to utilize Twitter/Facebook/Linkedin and why?

I think it depends on who their audience is. I write mostly for kids ages 12 and under, and from my experience they don't spend as much time on Facebook or reading blogs as teens do. It's possible, though, that I don't really know how to utilize these social networks to their full advantage.

slwhitman
March 16th, 2009 03:20 am (UTC)
Re: survey
Just so you know (if you didn't), you can un-tag yourself on Facebook or even make a tag private, I believe, and even specify who can see tagged pictures of you. I make heavy use of the friends lists on Facebook, and when someone tags a picture of me, only people I've put on my "personal friends" list can see those pictures (I think--I might have changed it). At any rate, you can keep your personal and professional lives pretty separate on Facebook using those filters. It's great--and something I love about LJ, too.

(In case you're wondering where to find how to change this, it's in the privacy settings.)
Re: survey - susanwrites - March 18th, 2009 05:12 am (UTC) - Expand
(Anonymous)
March 15th, 2009 09:36 pm (UTC)
1 -- Author (and blogger and volunteer librarian, if those count)

2 -- blogging, Facebook, JacketFlap, GoodReads... and soon, Twitter

3 -- I like them all, but for different purposes. Jacket Flaps is an amazing resource for the publishing side of things (and for reading blogs, too). GoodReads is social and a good way for me to read about books. Blogging and Facebook are about community, but in different ways at times (My blog gets new visitors all the time, but not so Facebook). All are useful for promotion.

4 -- Facebook has helped me make connections. It's amazing who's on there if you search for them!

5 -- the best and worst are probably the same: the immediacy AND the permanence!

6 -- I view the social networks as PART of my job, but there are certainly times it impacts my writing time. I constantly have to re-evaluate and make sure that I keep the balance right. As an author, it doesn't matter how much I'm "out there" if the writing isn't happening and isn't good!

7 -- not yet, thankfully. But give me time :-)

8 -- I think having an active presence is very important (though NOT in the writing side of things). But I also think it's a personal decision. Simply being on a network doesn't accomplish much if you're not willing to explore it, figure out how to use it, and then followthrough. I couldn't imagine NOT being online, but again, that's just me!
gottabook
March 15th, 2009 09:37 pm (UTC)
1 -- Author (and blogger and volunteer librarian, if those count)

2 -- blogging, Facebook, JacketFlap, GoodReads... and soon, Twitter

3 -- I like them all, but for different purposes. Jacket Flaps is an amazing resource for the publishing side of things (and for reading blogs, too). GoodReads is social and a good way for me to read about books. Blogging and Facebook are about community, but in different ways at times (My blog gets new visitors all the time, but not so Facebook). All are useful for promotion.

4 -- Facebook has helped me make connections. It's amazing who's on there if you search for them!

5 -- the best and worst are probably the same: the immediacy AND the permanence!

6 -- I view the social networks as PART of my job, but there are certainly times it impacts my writing time. I constantly have to re-evaluate and make sure that I keep the balance right. As an author, it doesn't matter how much I'm "out there" if the writing isn't happening and isn't good!

7 -- not yet, thankfully. But give me time :-)

8 -- I think having an active presence is very important (though NOT in the writing side of things). But I also think it's a personal decision. Simply being on a network doesn't accomplish much if you're not willing to explore it, figure out how to use it, and then followthrough. I couldn't imagine NOT being online, but again, that's just me!
susanwrites
March 18th, 2009 05:14 am (UTC)
Thanks Greg. Yes, I agree, it is part of our job. And you're right, just being on there doesn't do it - you have to figure learn the ropes and make it work for you.

I can't imagine being unplugged either!
(Anonymous)
March 16th, 2009 06:09 am (UTC)
Survey
#1 What is your connection to the publishing world?

Author

#2 Which of the following to do you participate in?

Blogging? Yes
Facebook? Yes
Myspace? No
Twitter? No
Linkedin? No
JacketFlap? Yes
Goodreads? No -- but this one is new to me -- I'm going to have to check it out!
Other? Please explain.

#3 List your favorites from above and explain why and/or how you use them.
I'm on Facebook because I'd heard that authors should utilize Facebook in their marketing efforts. I'm still somewhat of a Facebook "newbie," so the jury is still out as to the professional usefulness of this social networking tool. However, when you get a mix of Facebook "friends" that includes people from every aspect of your life, past and present, you just never know what kind of magic might happen. Also, I've recently started blogging, and I'm looking forward to utilizing that avenue of social media to both increase my writing output and hopefully promote my career as an author.

#4 Has Twitter/Facebook/Linkedin helped you in any way with your job? Research? Finding a job? Making an important connection? Please give any examples.

Not so far -- but as I've mentioned, I'm relatively new to this whole arena. I'm encouraged by the growing number of authors who are on Facebook -- I feel like I've made a good decision to "get on board," and hey, it's increased my "cool" factor with my kids!

#5 What is the best and the worst about Twitter/Facebook/Linkedin?
The best thing for me? It's the unknown -- you never know who is going to find you on Facebook -- and what door it might open. The worst thing? It's a time sucker -- time that might be better spent working on a manuscript.
#6 How to do you manage to participate in social media and still have time to write/edit/do your job?
I try to limit the amount of time I spend participating in social media.

#7 Have you ever made a mistake in the social media network and wish you could take it back? Can you share?
Only once -- it was on a listserv a number of years ago. I'd rather not share, though.
#8 How important do you think it is for authors to utilize Twitter/Facebook/Linkedin and why? As I've said, I'm still on the fence. But as long as I take care not to spend too much time on Facebook, I think it's another option for getting my name out there. And if you get your name out there enough, something has to stick, right?
susanwrites
March 18th, 2009 05:15 am (UTC)
Re: Survey
Thanks so much for participating!
slatts
March 16th, 2009 12:13 pm (UTC)
susan survey
#1 What is your connection to the publishing world?
aspiring Illustrator and Author


#2 Which of the following to do you participate in?


Blogging yup
Facebook yup
Myspace yup
Twitter yup
Linkedin yup


#3 List your favorites from above and explain why and/or how you use them.
Live Journal...the most .html friendly, the most interactive....

#4 Has Twitter/Facebook/Linkedin helped you in any way with your job? Research? Finding a job? Making an important connection? Please give any examples.

No. Other than Linkedin, I don't think the others are intended as such. The others are like "high school on-line."

#5 What is the best and the worst about Twitter/Facebook/Linkedin?
Twitter...don't know really.

Facebook...it's quick and you can basically "spam" people with something that's happening. But if you're suppose to be "friends" why would would spam them?

Linkedin....this is like "Resume-ville" and so maybe folks looking for a job might find it helpful. I've written some recommendations but other than viewing the updates and adding a friend here or there, I don't really know "what and why" of it all.

#6 How to do you manage to participate in social media and still have time to write/edit/do your job?
You have hit on the major problem I have with them all!

I suspect I may reduce my participation down to Live-Journal and Blogger as the formats are similar enough that I can just dual-post.


#7 Have you ever made a mistake in the social media network and wish you could take it back? Can you share?

Not that I'm aware of yet.

#8 How important do you think it is for authors to utilize Twitter/Facebook/Linkedin and why?

See answer 6. I'm not sure I know....

Live-Journal sends people to my website.

Illustration: Friday sends people to my website and my blog.

Blogger gets my name searched and occasionally sends people to my website and or my blog.

The others don't.

So, that's where I see the benefit and the priority.
susanwrites
March 18th, 2009 05:16 am (UTC)
Re: susan survey
Thanks so much, Slatts. I appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions. I hope I can pull this into useful stuff for others for the presentation.
(Deleted comment)
(Anonymous)
March 16th, 2009 02:04 pm (UTC)
#1 What is your connection to the publishing world?

Other. We're a nonprofit for literacy. We connect via donations publishers send us ... our reviews are the *thank you* for donating a book we can give to at-risk readers.

#2 Which of the following to do you participate in?

Blog: http://readingtub.wordpress.com
Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter, LinkedIn, JacketFlap, and Ning Groups, and a NearCircle group for KidLit

#3 & #4 List your favorites from above and explain why and/or how you use them; benefits derived.

Twitter: It's short and sweet, and with TwitterFox easy to follow. I have gotten a number of leads for books, reviews, and articles about reading from Tweets.

LinkedIn: I like being able to connect in several industry-specific groups and the discussions. Last week's discussion: managing social networking tools.

Goodreads: It's a nice alternate bookshelf for our collection and reaches an audience who wouldn't otherwise know about us. Have gotten author requests based on GR presence.

#5 What is the best and the worst about Twitter/Facebook/Linkedin?

Twitter - The best is its conciseness. The worst is the pop-up when I'm trying to do something in another program.

Facebook - My page is in large part an extension of my *business* presence. Get a lot of social fun/games stuff and it takes time to turn all that off. There is no easy way to say "Please don't send me apps."

#6 How to do you manage to participate in social media and still have time to write/edit/do your job?

To keep it in balance, I use email notifications. That helps alert me to things I need, without spending hours trolling the Internet.

I don't hit every media type every day, Twitter being the exception since it comes to me.


#8 How important do you think it is for authors to utilize Twitter/Facebook/Linkedin and why?

These are media outlets and promotion is part of the author's toolkit (not the responsibility of his/her publisher. Even if an author uses social media, they still need a well-crafted website and/or blog to back them up. You can't get the full story (no pun intended) without the more comprehensive tools. The media offer an opportunity to dialogue and to identify broader interests and trends that can help hone your message, give you a new angle, or get a sense of what works/doesn't work. Gail Gauthier had an excellent piece about 10 days ago about building a "following." I'm not an author, but I found it very insightful.
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WHO AM I?



Who am I?I was born on the Cancer/Leo cusp and share a birthday with Ernest Hemingway and Robin Williams. The similarities don't stop there as I can go from depressed to ecstatic without ever passing go. I feel scared most of the time though my friends call me brave and I find it easier to believe in my friends than to believe in my own abilities to make what I want out of my life.

Who am I? A wife, a mother, a daughter, and even, gulp, a grandmother.

Who am I? A writer who never gets tired of playing with words, even when the words are hard to find. A writer of books for children and articles for grown-ups and many things in-between.

Who am I? A motivational speaker, writing instructor, workshop leader and full-time follower of dreams.

Who am I? Read and find out.






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