How To Internet for Writers

Welcome to How To Internet for Writers, our workshop on how you can most effectively use social media to promote yourselves and your books. I apologize that we have not been able to figure out how to get the computer to project our slides. Computers! They’re so complicated! I want to start by asking how many of you use a computer for your writing. Okay, I see most of you raising your hands. How many of you have heard of Facebook? Okay, again, most of you. That’s great. How many of you regularly Twit? Terrific. And do any of you have your own email addresses? Wonderful, I see we’re dealing with a sophisticated crowd today.

The first thing I want to tell you about social media is that it’s just like regular media, only it’s social. Which means it involves other people getting benefits even though you’re the one doing the work. Wait, I think I may be getting “social” confused with “socialist.” I would consult my notes, but I was unable to figure out how to get my notes out from inside the computer, so they’re not currently available. But if you send me a message on Microsoft Word, I will be happy to fax you a copy when I get back home, where I have the electricity access I need to power my web.

The biggest thing you have to remember is that you need as many websites as possible. The greater percentage of internet that you own, the more likely readers will be to find your books when they use their computers. I recommend buying a different site for everything you do, so people don’t get confused. We sell sites, by the way. I didn’t want to make this whole talk about me, but we do that, at my company. You can call us. We’re not on the computer yet, or anything like that.

One tool a lot of writers use is Google. I want to caution you against that, since they may be collecting your personal information and using it to steal your writing. We had an issue where someone took something we wrote and spread it all over the internet. They had the nerve to give us credit, and link back to our website — and, in fact, we ended up with a few opportunities because of it — but, if you think about it, why should other people be able to share your work with their friends? The key to good social media is keeping your work a secret and only sharing it with people you know. That’s why it’s called social.

It is impossible to post too often on the Twitter website. People follow people because they want to hear from them, hundreds if not thousands of times a day. It is your duty as a Twilt to post nearly constantly, and set up a great number of accounts on services that can post automatically even when you are busy sleeping. I unfollow anyone who doesn’t post at least twice a minute. It is especially important to post when you don’t have anything new to share. No one minds getting messages about old news, over and over again, for days.

What employers and editors are most looking at when deciding whether to hire you to write a book is how many LinkedIn connections you have. Be sure to collect all 32 possible LinkedIn connections so that employers know that you have the ideas and skills to write effectively and deliver their projects on time, via telegram.

The one secret we share with our clients is that for maximum searchability, you should make sure your book titles are as long as possible, packed with as many keywords as you can fit on the cover, even if it means you have to use a very small size of type. Our latest book is called How Writers Can Use Social Media To Effectively Promote and Sell Their Books, Articles, and Other Short and Long Pieces of Original Written Material to Audiences Including Men, Women, Children, Professionals, and Those Who Use Popular Internet Websites Like Google, Facebook, Altavista, President Reagan, Jesus, Suicide Prevention, How Do I Get A Free iPod.

It is also vital to use different passwords for every social media site you visit, because otherwise people can steal your car. We would like to now open the floor for questions. We were thinking about allowing people to send questions via a social media of some sort, but we don’t know how to do that.

“A friend was telling me about Pinterest and also about Tumblr. Those are just two different names for the same thing, right?”

“How many followers does it cost to get a book deal?”

“I’m writing a young adult novel and need to market it. Where do girls ages 14 to 17 hang out on the internet?”

“I’m trying to start two different blogs. I started one, but now I’m stuck. Is there a number I can call for help?”

“I was wondering where I can buy a Facebook. Do they sell it in Costco?”

“I do multiple kinds of writing. Should I have a different computer for each one?”

“I want to know how to tell how many people are coming to my website. How do I find that—is it on the internet?”

“I am interested in broadening my audience. Do you know if there’s a place where I can find girls ages 14 to 17?”

“My website doesn’t have an address. Is that okay?”

“I’ve written a bunch of books, but don’t know where I should publish them. Should I try my printer?”

“My friend has a daughter who is hoping to become a writer someday. She’s looking for other young girls, ages 14 to 17, to network with. Where should she go?”

“Is social media the same thing as radio?”

“I’m having trouble erasing the links, even with Windex.”

“I think there’s an untapped market of girls ages 14 to 17. I want to start looking for them. Where do you think I should go?”

“Can I get a refund for this event? I paid three angry birds.”

Jeremy Blachman is a freelance writer and the author of Anonymous Lawyer, a comic novel about corporate law. Well, not really about corporate law, because that wouldn't be funny at all. If you email him, he'll write you back. You can read more of his work on his website.