Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Creating Your Own Publicity

It's not enough to just give birth to a story these days. After those initial heady days of first conception, nurturing and monitoring the progress of your little creation comes the first time you hold it in your hands...and it's wonderful, don't get me wrong. But then you start to worry, how will it do out there in the big world. Will it be a success, will people like it? What can I do to help? How can I help it to make friends?

Increasingly, publicity is becoming the responsibility of the author. The internet provides fantastic opportunities...which while exciting can also seem quite daunting. It's simply not enough these days to have a web page. We must blog, facebook, tweet... and I must say I find it tricky to decide what to put on line. How much do I want my year 10 students to know about my life, should they stumble upon my blog? What is the etiquette when someone you've never met requests to be your friend on facebook? Will your friends be annoyed if you keep putting up what can sound like blatant plugs?

While not a luddite, I do like to know that things work before I jump right in. I remember thinking that a friend was quite mad a few years ago when she started up a myspace site. I took it as evidence that she was undergoing a mid life crisis. While she had chosen an alter ego, she was still easily identifiable. I have an alter ego myself. Actually it's just someone else with my name. She lives in Limerick and I know a lot about her. Mainly because when doing a bit of 'self googling' her bebo posts would pop up while she was young. I knew what she did on a Saturday night and wondered if she knew this middle aged woman on the other side of the world was stalking her. She's now at university and trying to get in to modelling. Sometimes I hope that people searching for me will find her because her photo is much nicer than mine!

With this in mind I tried to keep facebook for friends or people whom I had personally met. I figured if my daughter threw up all over the bench in the school library, my friends might get a laugh but the whole world didn't need to know. However, this doesn't allow me to use the full power of facebook as a networking tool. So I now have a facebook fan page. It's only got about 8 fans. I'm hoping for more! The beauty of this is that when I look, these aren't people I've met and they are still interested in what I have to say...maybe!

Twitter! I thought I could avoid that altogether but apparently I shouldn't. I have a twitter page. A tax adviser in the US is following me after I tweeted about my frustrations completing my UK tax return. I know many writerly friends use it for chatting on subjects writerly but I haven't quite worked that out yet. I'll have it figured out by the time the next new big thing comes along.

And now to blogging. A friend put this quote on facebook...never has so much been said by so many about so little. Or words to that effect. However, there are some fantastic blogs out there. I just have to work out what mine is about.

I'm setting myself little technology goals this year. Inaddition to blogging, I'm going to undertake my first blog tour, where I visit other people's blogs to promote my new book Puggle. So far only one person has offered to host me. Fingers crossed more wil fill up.

Then the NEXT BIG THING. Well for me anyway. Book trailers. Lots of great book trailers on youtube. Arrrgh...can't the world just stay still and let me catch up!


  1. Great post Cat and I had that very same thought the other day - stop the world so I can catch up! Oh and if you haven't heard already I'd love to host you and puggle on my blog :-)

  2. Yep, you're reading my mind too, Cat! Feeling your pain!