Monday Morning Fika with Sue Lyndon: Developing an Online Presence

Today Governing Ana is proud to host Sue Lyndon for “Monday Morning Fika*”!  On select Mondays, we will sit down with a ttwd author to chat about topics such as books, love, electronic readers, and even biting!

*”Fika” is a Swedish term for enjoying coffee, tea, and sweets over conversation with friends.  It is a sacred tradition in many families, friends, and even workplaces, and it offers a chance to chat informally on a number of topics.  While “Fika” may refer specifically to the coffee, in practice it refers to the moment of community.  In this hectic world, it is nice to take a moment to stop, pause, and savor time getting to know a little more about each other.

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When I first began writing about three years ago, I didn’t give much thought to my online presence.  The few stories I had published back then were written under my real name and weren’t in the erotic romance genre.  I had my personal Facebook account and nothing more.  And guess what?  I wasn’t interacting with potential readers or other authors.  My stories weren’t selling many copies.  I didn’t have an online presence.

Skip ahead a year to when I started writing erotic romance.  After doing some research and observing the online actions of successful writers, I slowly but surely began to develop an online presence.  It didn’t happen overnight and I was always second guessing myself, probably because I’m extremely introverted and naturally avoid interacting with strangers, however once my first stories were accepted last summer, things began to fall into place and I became more confident.

Here are a few basic tips to help you kick start your online presence:

  1. Create an author email account.  Gmail is my favorite.
  2. Use your author email account to set up a Facebook account, a Twitter account, a Goodreads account, and create a blog.  Follow and friend other writers and users with similar interests.
  3. Create an author bio.  Try to use the same bio, word for word, on your Facebook, Goodreads, blog, and Amazon author page if you have one.  Twitter is tricky because of the limited character space, so you’ll have to improvise there.
  4. If you already have books available on Amazon, take advantage of author central on Amazon to create an author page with a bio.  Make sure to add all your books to your author page and create an author page URL.  For example, mine is http://amazon.com/author/suelyndon *You can do this for Amazon US and Amazon UK.
  5. You can connect your Twitter and Facebook accounts if you’d like, and you can also add your blog to Goodreads.
  6. Decide whether or not you want a website and lock in your URL.  Something like www. yourauthorname .com.  Mine is www.suelyndon.com and it’s really just my blog.  I bought the URL through Blogger and it only costs me $10 a year.  BUT if you want to be really fancy, you can.  Do your research.  The options for creating a website are endless.
  7. Be nice.  This seems like a no-brainer, but I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen authors behaving badly on social networking sites.  Don’t attack another writer or a reader who didn’t like your book.  If someone is rude to you, take the high road and ignore them.  You can easily block people on Twitter and Facebook if you have to.
  8. Try to use the same image as your icon on all your social networking sites so people recognize you more easily and come to associate that picture with your name.

Now that you’re on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and a member of the blogging world, what’s next?  Don’t just sit there and expect people to come to you.  This isn’t the field of dreams.  Talk to other authors.  Like and comment on someone’s Facebook status.  Join book related groups on Facebook.  Interact with other users on Twitter.  Retweet.  Share a picture of your cat.  Trade blog posts.  Mention how hot Johnny Depp looked in his last movie.  Sure, social networking and developing an author presence can be intimidating, but I think it’s essential if you’re an author or aspiring author of ebooks.

If you write under a pen name and want to keep your real identity a secret, you can still do so while developing an online presence under your pen name.  Obviously, Sue Lyndon isn’t my real name.  I applaud writers of erotic stories who are open and comfortable enough in their own skin to publish under their real name, but I still prefer to maintain my anonymity.  God forbid my mother downloaded one of my books to her Kindle – LOL awkward!  I had to decide how much of my real self I would share online as Sue Lyndon.  Ana pointed out that I’m more open in interviews than I am on my own blog.  This is true and I think it’s because I’m more comfortable answering questions about myself than I am blogging about my personal life.  My author bio is also pretty vague.  I don’t mention where I live or what my day job is.  I don’t talk about how long I’ve been married or how many kids I have.  I feel more at ease with Twitter though and probably share more personal tidbits there.

You don’t have to stop at Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and blogging either.  Many authors use Pinerest, Goggle+, LinkedIn, MySpace, Shelfari, etc. etc.  Make sure you aren’t spending all your time social networking though.  Don’t neglect your writing!  😉

If anyone has any tips about developing an online presence, I’d love to hear them!

Thank you for having me today, Ana!

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About Sue: 

Sue Lyndon is a multi-published author of steamy BDSM romance AND spanking romances. She enjoys a good book in any genre, loves Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica, and runs on coffee and chocolate.  Sue’s latest book is a spanking romance novella called Dark Without You.  Her short story Punished by the Cowboy is also featured in Halloween Heat VI, which was released this past Friday 10/5.  Learn more at www.suelyndon.com

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30 thoughts on “Monday Morning Fika with Sue Lyndon: Developing an Online Presence

  1. Cara Bristol says:

    Good information, Sue. I can relate. When my first book was published, I was in the same situation you were — all I had was a personal FB account. I had no idea how to blog or how to even get one. It seemed daunting at first. I’m 2 years past my first book now and am quite connected!

    There are so many social media out there. If I had any advice for new authors it would be to focus.

    For the social media to work for you, you have to be social — and you can’t be everywhere at once. Think of it like a party where you’re going to meet people and possibly introduce them to your book. You can accept as many invitations as you want — but you can only attend so many,parties. You’re better off spending quality time at fewer parties than just dropping in to many. It’s also important to find the right party for your work, and what worked for one author won’t work for another.

    That said, every author needs a blog and a presence on Facebook and Twitter. Once you get established there, you can start adding/joining other things.

    Like

    • Sue Lyndon says:

      Good advice, Cara, about finding the right party for you and your books. Obviously, if a spanking fiction or bdsm romance writer joined a regular romance forum, it would probably be a waste of time. Someone invited me to a Triberr group a few weeks ago that was just a general writing group – it had a mix of sci fi, romance, and other genres but nothing even close to erotic fiction. I declined because I didn’t think I’d fit in. It wasn’t the right party for me! 🙂

      Like

      • Ana says:

        It is great to have writers like you sharing your experience so newbies like me can learn. 🙂 Sometimes the parties we want to join or think fit best turn out not to be a good fit after all. It’s also very difficult to find the balance between promoting and writing. Lots of writing with no promotion will not do much, but lots of promotion with not enough writing will mean the same thing. I am very surprised at how quickly you turn out new books!

        Like

        • Sue Lyndon says:

          Sometimes I don’t interact online much with anyone online for days. Then I have other days where I’m probably spending way too much time online. I don’t think I’ve found the perfect balance yet, but hopefully I’ll get there one day:) Finding the perfect balance for you takes trial and error.

          Like

  2. Pooky says:

    Loved this, and Sue after your six sentence sunday I had to run right out and buy Punished by the Cowboy. That was sexy and fun. Thanks for sharing the tips today.

    Like

  3. Bas says:

    It’s hard work, being an author.
    Good advice Sue, not forgetting about the writing itself.
    Marketing is fine, but you still need a product to market.
    Wherever can you find time for writing a prospectus?
    I thought Facebook did not accept alter ego’s?
    Isn’t that a problem?

    Like

    • Sue Lyndon says:

      Hi, Bas. I’ve heard some people say that FB will not accept alter egos but I didn’t have a problem opening my account. FB did make me verify using a cell phone number though. It turned out I had the same cell phone number registered to my personal FB account, and I got an error when I logged onto my personal FB account saying that this cell number is registered to another user and it was removed from my about page. Both accounts are still open and I haven’t had any problems with this yet, fingers crossed though:)

      Like

      • Ana says:

        Yes, it did require a cell phone confirmation. Considering how fast and loose FB plays with user privacy as well as the long-standing tradition of using pseudonyms I really am not concerned. 🙂

        Ah, the prospectus. But today is Sue’s day. 😉

        Like

  4. Celeste Jones says:

    Sorry I’m late to the party…but that never stops me from offering my two cents. 🙂 Great info Sue, thanks. It is tricky to find the balance between writing and promoting, especially when the social media options appear to be endless.

    Like

    • Sue Lyndon says:

      Hi, Celeste! Yeah, I guess the possibilities for social media are endless. Just when I think I know about all of them, I hear about a new one – like Pinerest a few months ago was new to me. For now I’m sticking with the basics (Twitter, FB, blog, Goodreads). I don’t know how people have time to do more than that!

      🙂

      Like

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