As the days tick by and the publication of my debut novel creeps closer (24th May!), I can’t help feeling increasingly embarrassed by the threadbare nature of my web presence (or ‘platform’, as I believe I’m supposed to call it). The received wisdom is that I should be on every online social medium going, bigging myself up with trumpets and yelling about my wonderful book. And plenty of people are telling me to do just that. It’s interesting though that my publisher’s advice was simply to ‘do one thing, and do it well’. And as more and more on-line voices (here, for example, and here) speculate that you can’t sell books on social sites anyway, or that blogging and even facebook have peaked, the advice to keep it simple and strong sounds appealing. And yet, the trumpets…
I’ve had a quick scout around my platform (ugh) and thought I’d share the sorry results with you.
- I have a blog. Obviously. I like blogging, even though I don’t post as often as I once did. Whenever I think of something to write, my internal editor usually shouts me down with either ‘Bragging!’ or ‘Boring!’. But he hasn’t killed it off yet, and won’t -- I have met some very interesting people here.
- I’m on facebook. And I (sort of) like it there. I started facebooking (French word) in order to keep in touch with my scattered family, but I’ve since expanded my ‘friend’ criteria to include anyone involved in writing, art and publishing who’ll have me. And yet, I still have personal stuff on it, and a brother who thinks nothing of tagging photos of me with underpants on my head, etc. I haven’t managed to divide my personal side from what might be called the public at all. I wonder if it’s too late. Or maybe a facebook page for me as a writer is the answer. Though that might be a very lonely place.
- I am on Twitter. I don’t really get it, and rarely have any sense of a conversation, but I’m hanging on in there. @ThomasHTaylor. Any advice?
- I have joined LinkedIn. But my eyes immediately glazed over.
- Google+ as above.
- I have signed up for Goodreads. But can it really help raise my profile to tell the world what I’m reading right now? Maybe I haven’t explored it enough. I only joined last week.
- Other things. I’m dimly aware of sites like Bebo and Gothise, but don’t expect to see me there soon – I’m all social media-ed out. I have noted, though, that some kind soul has expanded my Wikipedia entry, with a bibliography and everything! Thank you, whoever you are. I had planned to do this when Haunters was published. Honest.
- Website. More about this soon.
So there we have it. My on-line platform. All I need to work out now is do I expand it as far as I can, or trim it down to one node of ‘excellence’ (ha!)? Whatever I decide, I see little room for any trumpets.
Any thoughts? And what about your own ‘platfoms’?