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.
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:
- Create an author email account. Gmail is my favorite.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- You can connect your Twitter and Facebook accounts if you’d like, and you can also add your blog to Goodreads.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
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