As you read this, I’m probably landing in New York City after flying all night to attend the national conference of Romance Writers of America.
My two male housemates are at home plotting new ways to use my dog to pick up girls.
I’m expecting to be overscheduled, over-stimulated, and sleep deprived all week, so I may or may not be blogging.
But I did want to leave you with a thought. Well, a few of them, really, but they all tie the basic notion that social media makes a difference for authors. I can prove it.
I know a lot of us get overwhelmed by all the blogging and tweeting and Facebooking involved in building a platform and a career. It’s easy sometimes to beat your head on a wall and wonder if it even makes a difference.
Here’s how I know it does:
On Friday I told you I was attending a concert of one of my favorite performers, Marc Cohn. It was my seventh time seeing him, and the show was spectacular, as always.
Then he started to introduce the song “True Companion.”
“I saw a blog post today that said someone was considering throwing a brassiere at me,” he began.
I swear to you, my knees buckled.
He went on to talk a little more about the post, leaving no doubt whatsoever he was referring to my blog. At the end of the show, my hands were still shaking as I walked up to the table where he was signing autographs.
“That was my blog post you mentioned,” I stammered like an idiot. “The one about the bras and 'True Companion' and—”
He stood up and gave me a giant hug. Marc Cohn – one of my favorite musicians on the planet – GAVE ME A HUG!
And then he smiled at me. “You’re an author, right?”
I did not French kiss him right then. I also didn’t hand him my bra or grope his ass, though I strongly considered doing all of those things.
Instead, I asked how he came to read my blog. “I have people who keep an eye on that sort of thing,” he said, which is probably a cryptic way of saying his publicist has Google alerts on his name to watch for potential stalkers like me.
Still, I’m dumbstruck. Sixteen months ago, nearly every single one of you reading this blog right now had never heard my name before.
Now Marc Freakin’ Cohn knows who I am?
That’s the power of social media.
And here’s a second piece of evidence. The morning after the concert, I woke to an email telling me I had a private message on Facebook. The message was from author Xandra James, and I asked her if I could share it with you here:
Hi - just wanted to say something without sounding really nuts... :)
Have been following you and your blog for some time now and was looking forward to your book release from the start. I clicked on your link today to pre-order at Amazon and suddenly realised something. I have no idea what the book was about! How dumb was that? lol.
I guess what the point of this message is (and there is a point, promise) is that the power of social networking and blogging is just as big as the experts (Kristen Lamb for one) say. I knew I'd purchase your book because I liked your quirkiness and fun personality that's apparent in everything I read about you and from you. It didn't matter what the book was about, I'd have bought it anyway. (note - I've read up on it now and it sounds great, LOL).
So congrats on the up and coming release and am looking forward to reading it.
Have a lovely day :) Xandra
In the sixteen months I’ve been blogging and tweeting, there have been moments I’ve wondered how much it matters. Will it make a dent in book sales? Will it really get my name out there?
Though I believed the answer was yes, I also knew that could never be what it was all about for me. If I didn’t come here every day because I genuinely love interacting with you guys, I would have burned out months ago.
But seeing now that it has made a difference – at least in small ways – well, that warms the cockles of my heart.
So thank you from me and my cockles.
And behave yourselves while I’m in New York.