Lane’s take on the advantages/disadvantages of social media as it is today in relation to her personally or authors in general. Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, tumblr, GoodReads being the most obvious examples.
Thank you for having me on your blog today, Gigi! Your question regarding social media is a particularly interesting one. People either love it or hate. Some know how to manipulate to help build their brand and amass ridiculous amounts of virtual “friends”, while others self-destruct under the pressure of dealing with “too much information”. From a purely professional standpoint, social media is crucial. It’s a necessary evil that doesn’t have to be evil or scary in the slightest. It’s all in how you manage your presence. There was never a question about whether or not I would embrace the medium as an author. To be relevant today, I think it’s a necessity. However, I think it’s equally important to do only what you’re comfortable with and choose the outlets you enjoy the most.
I’m most active on Twitter, Facebook and my blog. However, I do check in on GoodReads every so often. As of now, I don’t have Instagram, tumblr or Snapchat. Not because they aren’t “cool”, but because I can’t manage my presence everywhere and still carve out enough time to devote to my writing. I try not to overextend myself. And let’s be honest, social media can be a time vampire. How many times have you sat down to do a quick update on FB, only to find yourself scrolling through someone else’s vacation pictures and commenting on everything? Hours can go by before you come up for air and realize you didn’t get anything on your “to do” list accomplished. Or how about the people who post a million (no exaggeration) selfies? Wow. Get a life. Unless you’re David Gandy, I’m not interested.
The other obvious drawback is online negativity or cyber-bullying. I’ve experienced a minor incident involving an online moron, but I’ve learned to be careful. People can be kind, but they can also be nuts. On the positive side, social media is your opportunity to brand yourself in your own way with a fresh outlook. I truly enjoy Twitter and my small interactions on FB, especially in private groups where you’re chatting with people who love the same things you do, like MM romance! 🙂
When my first novel, Better Than Good was released in 2013, I clued in pretty quickly that it was important for an author to “sell themselves”, particularly to blog sites that specialized in my interest. One of the first ones I contacted was Jessewave. I didn’t know anything about proper procedures. I just winged it. I believed in my book so I acted like the reader I am and went to sites I used for MM recs and asked them to review the book. Thankfully, you liked it too. 🙂 I’m thrilled Jessewave is back, Gigi. This genre needs strong voices with social media savvy people who are willing to spread the word.
Better Than Safe (book #4 in the Better Than Stories series) is my seventh published novel and I’m not looking back! I love writing. I love romance. And whether or not I love social media, it’s not going anywhere, so it’s best to learn to get along! Lol.
Lane Hayes xo