Monday, July 23, 2012

The Journey of Self-Publishing #8: Establishing Yourself Online

Thoughts At One In The Morning is proud to present a blog post series for unpublished writers on the self-publishing world. I have asked four indie authors to share with you the different steps they have taken on their journey. They will discuss the writing process itself, the steps in between, and publishing itself. Please join us every week for a new topic on the journey to becoming an indie author!

Our Indie Author panel:
Marie Landry, author of Blue Sky Days
You can find her on her blog Ramblings Of A Daydreamer.

A.M. Hargrove, author of The Guardians Of The Vesteron series
You can find her on her blog A.M. Hargrove.

Avery Sawyer, author of Notes To Self
You can find her on her website The Teashop Girls.

Michelle Flick, author of The Owens Legacy: Revelations
You can find her on her blog Oh! For the LOVE of BOOKS!.
This week on The Journey of Self-Publishing: 

~Establishing Yourself Online~

How do I establish myself online?

Avery Sawyer: It takes time. Set up a Twitter account and a Facebook page and start following people and making some noise. It helps if you’re naturally witty or able to link to cool/funny/interesting things online. Be generous. Retweet and Share other people’s good news and begin to establish friendly, reciprocal relationships.

Michelle Flick: Blogging, commenting on everyone's page, Goodreads, a Facebook page dedicated to you as an author, and Twitter. Social networking takes time - you have to be dedicated to it - every week.

A.M. Hargrove: Here's what I think is the most important thing to do in order of importance: 1. Goodreads (have I said this enough? LOL) 2. Twitter (5 tweets per day with 1 of them being promotional. Help your fellow authors here too…it will come back 100-fold.) 3. Website/blog. I hired a web designer for a basic site and I use Blogger for my blog. 4. Facebook.

Marie Landry: First, start a blog. Whether it’s a book blog, a blog about writing, or a blog about anything and everything, if I could tell you to do one thing, it would be start a blog and add original, quality content on a regular basis. I’d also recommend setting up a page on Facebook, a Twitter account, and joining Goodreads. Get your name and face out there, make friends, make connections, let people know they can expect great things from you.

What social media do you use?

Avery Sawyer: I use Twitter, Facebook, Blogger (not much), Goodreads, and LibraryThing. I have a Facebook page for Notes to Self, but it doesn’t get much action. I use Twitter the most, following closely by Facebook. I am online all day. I use social networking a ton. Fortunately, I don’t mind it.

Michelle Flick: Blogger, Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads.

A.M. Hargrove: Goodreads, Twitter, Blog, and Facebook.

Marie Landry: I’m everywhere. I have two Facebook pages - one for my writing in general, and one for Blue Sky Days. I’m on Twitter, Goodreads, Google Plus, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, you name it. I also have three (yes, three) blogs - a book blog (Ramblings of a Daydreamer), an author blog (Marie Landry, Author), and an everything blog (Lost and Found - Reflections of a Daydreamer).

Which one do you use the most?

Avery Sawyer:  I set up a website for Planet Explorers, but I’m beginning to think the Planet Explorers Facebook page is probably a better tool to connect with my readers.

Michelle Flick: Blogger is the one I use the most. I am branching out to Facebook more. I use Goodreads pretty steadily. Self-promotion is the key to success - well so I think. But if you aren't willing to promote your book because you believe in it, why would anyone buy it?

A.M. Hargrove: I spend almost 100% of my time divided between Goodreads and Twitter.  Any more than that and it takes away my time from writing as they both can become addicting and time-consuming!

Marie Landry: Definitely my blog, and specifically my book blog. It was where I got my start - where I started to make friends and contacts, and where I really found my voice. I owe a lot to the book blogging community. Other than that, I’m on Facebook and Twitter quite a bit, too.

Did you have a professional design your site? 

Avery Sawyer: Nope.

Marie Landry: No, I designed them all myself. Another way a background in design comes in handy! There are some incredible designers out there - recently, a lot of bloggers have started offering their services, and they’re just as good as any ‘professionals’ I’ve seen, and the money usually goes back into the blog through giveaways and promotions. Book bloggers helping book bloggers - one of the many reasons I love our little community.

Is there anything you would do differently?

Avery Sawyer: I would hire a pro if I could afford it.


Thank you for the great advice on establishing yourself online!

Join us next week when our Indie Author panel will discuss how to Contact Book Bloggers and how important it is in promoting your novel.


  1. This is one of the aspects of publishing that I'm worried about the most. I'm having enough trouble keeping up with my blog at the moment. Let alone getting on Goodreads and Facebook. But I imagine I
    ll get more excited about it once my book is published!

    1. I know what ya mean! I think that once the published author thing hits, you have to learn to divide your time up, or even cut certain things out completely. Which stinks, but the author part is a good thing. :)

  2. I have a question for any of the authors. This is something I've been thinking about, and I like to think I'm starting out okay, establishing a social media presence. I even have my domain under my first name, so that's pretty recognizable. But I've been thinking of self-publishing under a pen name, so I've wondered about starting a presence for that, or if I should use the presence I've already created.

    I'm not sure, though, if I want my book reviewing to be connected with authoring. Not that it's bad, or I'm ashamed of what I write - far from it. I just like to keep things separate. But I'm not sure if that makes the most sense.

    Any thoughts? Thanks!

    1. I see that Michelle posted a response below, but I've often pondered over the real name v. pen name issue. I should have an add on to the series done for questions like this! I'll try to send a message to the rest of the panel soon and find out their thoughts. :) Thanks for the question!

    2. Cool! Maybe you should do a post for gathering questions? I've really liked and appreciated this series, and I'm sure others have too.

      I've definitely thought about it a lot. I've written under different names before, but book blogging is the first time I've made a social media presence and all assorted under my own name.

    3. I have totally considered making a post like that. I'll start putting it together. :) Thanks!

  3. First, there is nothing wrong with you using a pen name. I toyed around with it for a really long time. I simply decided to go with my actual name. A lot of people have a pen name. My personal opinion, so please continue to ask around, is that you should establish yourself as your pen name. I say this because when you are talking about your book, you want people to know the author and not be confused. Would you promote yourself as Leeanna and your pen name? It just seems like if you have a pen name, you should take on that "persona". If you want to talk more about this contact me at mf060784 at gmail.

    1. Thanks for replying to the question Michelle! I appreciate your insights. ^_^ I went back and forth when I first started out because I thought a pen name would be so cool. I ended up deciding on using my real name too, since it's unique.

    2. Thanks for the reply! I have read quite a bit about using pen names, and why one might do so. I am thinking that if I write in different genres -- say YA and adult, that it might be beneficial to have a name for YA, and one for adult. Of course, I'm not sure how important that distinction is with self-publishing, I think that may be something that applies more selling physical copies.

      I wouldn't keep either name a secret. It's something that definitely need to think about more, but I have taken the precaution of registering the name I would use, getting an email address, Twitter, and wordpress blog, so that I could have that presence if I do go for it.

      It's sort of moot, right now, because I'm nowhere near ready to publish anything, but that's how I procrastinate :)

  4. It's so interesting that having an online presence is so important now. You can't be a writer anymore without one.

    1. I know! There were those days when certain authors were recluses in their homes and people piled into bookstores to get their books. Lol.


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