So, and remember I know absolutely NOTHING! about this, I thought I might have a Facebook presence after all. I have avoided most social media with a vengeance for years. I have been online for 20 years and never felt much of an urge to post pictures of cats I have known, voles I have strangled or oddly erotically shaped vegetables I have found or grown. It all seemed rather purposeless, especially as my previous occupation didn’t exactly encourage publicity.
Recently however, I have begun thinking about how I can connect with more people to get them to read my writing. I’m still hooked on hard copy and eBook publishing. Hard to think that eBooks have acquired a sort of ‘traditional’, almost fuddy duddy, status already, but they seem to have passed into the realm of the staid almost before they became cool. I still like vinyl records and regard CDs as modern, but I know that makes me sound like a judge at the Assizes asking if the Rolling Stones are a ‘modern beat combo’. Streaming and downloads rule and many casual readers consume writing in a similar fashion (so my 16 year old daughter tells me – although not her she snorts in contempt, having now transformed over the last eighteen months into a hard back book snob). Now I can’t pretend that I am aiming at the 16 year old reading market, but I am aware that many people, some even older than I am, do pay quite a lot of attention to the various social media platforms, for a steer at least, on what to read. I have a feeling that I should not let this avenue of contact with readers pass me by, but I am, at the same time, aware that I sound less than enthusiastic about the idea. This is not true, I have bags of enthusiasm but my knowledge of what I am doing is in inverse proportion to my enthusiasm. I am fairly confident therefore, that I am likely to be barking up any number of wrong trees regarding which platform is appropriate for what I want to do.
Take Facebook. At last he gets to the point again! I read, online that Facebook was easily the best platform for a writer to use to put themselves out there. Then, in three Google results, I got three different sets of advice, all from supposedly knowledgeable and independent writing sources, about what I actually need. I just thought Facebook was Facebook but apparently within the house of Zuckerberg there are many mansions. I need a Page for professional look to separate my personal page, no I need to use my personal account to boost my immediate contacts and build my following, no I need a Profile not a page as it is more friendly and welcoming and can be extended by allowing followers and… Already in half an hour I am lost. I ask my daughter. She looks happy, Dad is moving with the times, and here is something where she is the expert and I the tyro. She gives me a completely different account of what I need.
I think I may take ads out in local newspapers instead, or walk the streets of Cardiff and Bristol wearing sandwich boards.
Watch this space: but don’t hunt too hard on Facebook just yet. I’ll let you know.