The 21st century has given writers a new way to talk with their readers and connect with other writers and fans. It also gives writers different ways to market and sell their books. Today’s Push to Publish Series talks with the social media guru Don Lafferty. He will be at the Push to Publish event helping writers find their way towards all the great resources to help writers promote themselves (http://www.philadelphiastories.org/push-publish-2012-strategies-and-techniques-get-your-work-print-and-online).
Here is an interview with him that discusses just a small sampling of the resources for writers.
WITTLE: For those that may not be familiar with The Liars Club, could you explain what it is and how people can benefit from it?
LAFFERTY: The Liars Club is a group of positive thinking, like-minded Philly area writers who understand and cherish the value of their relationships with other writers, and the cascade of benefit that our fellowship brings to each of us.
We provide a physical, living, breathing, FREE community for writers here in the Delaware Valley. From that community, writers in all stages of their careers can draw on the community’s collective body of experience. Outside of a pay-for conference, it’s one of the only forums where you can ask a New York Times bestselling author or other publishing industry expert for advice about your query letter, the first page of your manuscript, an agency issue or a marketing question.
The Liars Club is all about writers helping other writers – for free. We all know what it was like when we didn’t know the first thing about the process of becoming published, and we want to help shortcut that learning curve for up and coming writers. Be sure to join our Yahoo group to stay plugged into our schedule of FREE events where we share everything we know about the world of writing and publishing. Go to Yahoo groups and search “WritersCoffeehouseOnline”.
WITTLE: What are the three social media avenues every writer should have and why?
LAFFERTY: Facebook, because 75% of the readers in North America are there. Twitter, because if you know how to “listen” for the key words that will tip you off to the conversations being had by your target connections, you can discover and connect with them and larger pockets of community. Goodreads, because it’s a community of readers and writers, telling everybody what they love, what they hate, what they’re going to read – and who they’ll never read again.
WITTLE: How much do you think social media and networking plays into being a writer?
LAFFERTY: I don’t think it has anything to do with being a writer, but good social media and networking skills will help a good writer become more widely read. The Amanda Hocking story is a great case in point. She was a self-published author, badly in need of an editor, but her solid story telling ability and stellar social media chops got her a three million dollar payday, one of the best editors in the business and shelf space in every bookstore in the world.
WITTLE: In your opinion, how has e-publishing enhanced the publishing world?
LAFFERTY: Ebooks have blown the lid of the long tail of the commercial side of writing. The lack of friction in this distribution channel, combined, again, with good social media skills, makes this the best time in the history of the written word for writers to reach their readers, no matter how niche the market. It has and will continue to change the business of publishing, but I know the trees are very happy about it.
WITTLE: What is one piece of advice you would give a writer trying to get his or her work out in this digital age?
LAFFERTY: Most importantly, make sure your writing doesn’t suck. Then, connect in person with a local community of writers. Be sociable. Play nice. Be kind. Check your ego at the door. Do unto others, and all that stuff. Take advice from those that have demonstrated success, and then pay it forward every chance you get. Yes, that’s one piece of advice. 😉
DON LAFFERTY’S BIO:
Don Lafferty’s short fiction has appeared in NEEDLE MAGAZINE, CRIME FACTORY MAGAZINE, SHOTGUN HONEY and a number of other markets and anthologies. He’s written corporate communication, marketing and advertising copy, and feature magazine articles. Don is a regular contributor to the global conversation about marketing through the social media channel, and blogs at www.donaldlafferty.com.
Don is a regular speaker, teacher and the Chief Marketing Officer of the digital marketing agency, Mingl Social. He’s a member of the Philly Liars Club, the social media director of the Wild River Review, and serves on the board of directors of the Philadelphia Writers’ Conference.