This thingy called social networks

I’m an old dog, and it’s hard for me to learn new tricks.

I tell my class I was privileged to start my career on a newspaper that still used linotypes. They stare at me as if I was using stone flints and talked about the invention of fire.

I won’t go into all the technological changes I have seen in publishing in the past 37 years. Gah! Has it been that long?

But as I say in class, you never stop being a student if you are serious about being a writer.

And so I am confronted with the new age of independent publishing, e-books and social networks. I don’t have any choice in the matter. I can’t pretend it’s the 1950s, and I can’t teach my classes that way either. I am serious about writing, and selling–or at least sharing–what I sell. And what I learn is what I share in class as well.

Today I learned something that has bugged me for several weeks, but may seem totally naive to some of you. We have a Facebook page for my two books, Tom Horn and The Kiss of Night. We should have developed two separate pages, but that’s another blog topic….Anyway, I have been trying to build up “like”s on the page, both for exposure and to try to make it more user friendly. It’s been slow going, partly because I haven’t sent out any invitation to friends to join. Today I figured out how to do that. Silly, I know. But regardless of what my daughter might think, having a PhD doesn’t mean I know everything….

We are learning as we go how one uses Twitter, Facebook and other social media to promote your books and yourself. I try to read everything I can on the subject, but the impression I get is that there’s no silver bullet, no magic formula. Relationships is the key word. Problem is finding the time to build those relationships.

I can very easily understand why celebrities and businesses hire people to do their social networking for them. And I am tempted to do that same. But I really do want to learn this thing. And the fact of having nothing to pay a person to do it for me might be a factor.

So we will toddle on for a while and learn this, brick by brick.

Later, dude.