i didn’t really understand this part at first, but now that i do, i realize just how vital it is. i took an RWAU class  last year about how to use social media effectively to promote yourself and your books. fascinating stuff, by the way, and i recommend checking out the rwau classes if you are a writer. i’ve done several and found them very helpful.

anyway, the instructor (the wonderful Catherine Bybee, author of the weekday bride and not quite series), talked a bit about the importance of using your online presence to establish your brand. this basically is saying that you let your friends and followers know what they can expect from you, what kind of writing you do, the voice they hear when they’re reading. if your books are snarky and funny (ala love the one you’re witch), then be that kind of person. set your website up to reflect it with the pics and graphics you choose, the comments you make on fb and twitter, etc. at this point in your process, your books haven’t actually been read by the majority yet. the idea right now is to start building your presence and the anticipation of your debut.

you are going to start this by setting up your fb author page, a twitter account just for your author name, separate from your personal account; a website with blog, and any other platform you are comfortable using (goodreads, google plus, instagram, pinterest, etc.). be active on these sites!! don’t just sign up and leave it there. get friends and followers and keep them. talk to them, joke with them. make connections with other writers, and their friends and followers will see your posts, comments, and tweets, too. also, these writers are in the same boat as you and you guys can help each other out. you retweet theirs, they return the favor. same with links and facebook posts. this is a great way to make friends and get your name out there.

my favorite branding tool is pinterest. seriously, how awesome is it that i can look at pics of hot guys and find inspiration for my cheeky heroines for hours and consider it work?! the branding part comes when you share these pics and the character they are representing. i created boards for them so my followers can check them out any time. when i get more established, i will consider letting some of those followers (street team members?) to even add pics to them, too. this not only lets people know about the stories and characters, but also lets them in on the creative process you’re going through. as you pin each pic, keep in mind your purpose here: branding. if you are writing a funny book, add some funny pics, cute sayings, etc. if it’s a sexy romance, get some sexy pics in there. if it’s a thriller…well, you get the picture (ha! picture. get it?).

now that you’ve gotten establishing online, you have something to show agents and publishers. you have something for them to look at. you have an audience ready to receive you and a wide network. key. absolutely key. good luck and have fun with it.

oh, and find me on pinterest. see what i like to call work 😉