Wednesday, December 5, 2012

IWSG: Social Media Insecurities

It's time once again for the monthly meeting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group, hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh. This month, Livia and Tasha  are helping out as co-hosts. Thanks to all of you for hosting this great group!

I was really excited recently to learn from my publisher that my novel Polar Night is on track to come out in the first few months of 2013. In fact I shouldn't say "was" because I'm still beyond excited about it! But, being the insecure writer that I am I couldn't be excited without allowing some insecurities to break through and try to rain on my parade.

While I know this is a good problem to have since it means my book really is on its way to being released out into the world, I can't help but feel insecure about the marketing and promotion aspects of the publishing process. I know how important that is for any writer and I want to do my best to get the word out about my book.

I also know that we are fortunate to have so many options to help with promotion now thanks to social media. But that's where my insecurity really starts to come in. While I love blogging, I can't say I feel confident or secure in any other aspect of social media. I'm working on it, but to say it doesn't come naturally is an understatement. And I can't deny that sometimes social media feels totally overwhelming to me.

I know many authors use and love Twitter, and I do love to read along on Twitter and keep up with people or things that I like or that interest me. But I liken the experience to how I am in "real life." If I'm at a party or in a group of people in the real world, I'm rarely the one who is talking. I'm generally content to listen in and "lurk." But when you do that in social media, and especially on Twitter, it means you're invisible. And while that's fine if all you want to do is read along and support others, it doesn't cut it if you want to start making connections and getting the word out about your work.

My challenge for myself is to break this habit and start putting myself out there more. I've been saying I'm going to do this for months, and I have made some progress, but I know I still have a long way to go. And I'm feeling totally insecure about it! So that is my vent for this month.

Thanks as always to Alex for creating this supportive forum where we empathize with others who share our insecurities.


  1. Julie, I hear your pain. I am the same way - at parties and in life. Just try one little baby step at a time and you'll get where you want to get.


  2. I'm the same way. Total introvert in person. I'm a little more outgoing online behind a keyboard, but I prefer to listen rather than talk most of the time. Most of my tweets are just promoting a blog post, though sometimes I have something stupid to share about my life, which is what Twitter seems to have been designed for. :P

  3. I'm with you too.

    Maybe just take it one day at a time and do one self-promoting act a day - start with tiny ones and build from there. Eventually you'll be at Books on the Banks and at bookstores and doing readings with no issues.

  4. It gets easier. I promise.

    The marketing part is not my favorite. I think most writers feel the same way. On the flip side, it does pay off. My post on IWSG mentions the power of Facebook for a local signing.

  5. My Twitter usage goes in phases, I can leave it alone for days at a time - not good, I know, but I'm aiming to get better once Christmas is out of the way.

  6. Hi Julie - excellent news re the book .. and I'm sure Twitter will slot into place soon ... as you know I'm starting out too ..

    Come and join us in the Let's Be Positive Day tomorrow ..

    National Be Positive Day .. and tweet something positive with the hashtag # e.g.:

    You are special!!#bepositive

    Cheers Hilary

  7. @Karen, thanks for the encouragement!

    @LG, LOL, I don't think your sharing is stupid! But you're right, that does seem to be the intent behind the site sometimes LOL.

    @Tonja, oh, that would be a thrill to be at Books on the Banks next year, I hope so. Thanks!

    @Brinda, I'm glad to know it gets easier. And I need to check out your post, congrats on the signing!

    @Annalisa, that's my thought too, once the holidays are over I will be able to concentrate more on it.

    @Hilary, thanks! And thanks for the invite, what a great idea for a day. I will be there! :)

  8. Baby steps like Karen said up top. I was new to Twitter in January of 2011 and forced myself to get out there. I love it! I'm still boggled by all the promo that has to be done. Figuring it out is a daily challenge, but we'll make it. :)

  9. Julie, you rock, and not just because of that most awesome first name! Congratulations on the book. Please let me know if you need a reader/reviewer and when/if you need to do blog tours. I'm in your corner!

  10. Did you write this about moi?? Cause that is me, for sure. That's why #bepositive Day is needed.

    I'll be all the help I can to ya with your book release. Need a review? A stop for your blog tour? Look NO further. And a HUGE congrads. Yay for Julie! Yip, yip. *waves peace sign*

  11. Social media can be way tricky, but once you get the hang of it it's not so bad :)

  12. I totally understand that hesitation. I felt the same way and sometimes I still do, but I think once you dip a toe in it becomes much easier.

  13. There's a time to listen and lurk, but also a time to get out there and Twitter and Facebook are two ways. I also like Goodreads. That's about all the social networking I can handle though.

  14. @Melissa, I'm so glad to see you love Twitter now. Thanks for the encouragement!

    @Julie, oh, thanks so much. I will let you know about the reviews, etc. Thank you!

    @Robyn, thanks!! I will be in touch about the blog tour as well, thanks so much. Looking forward to #bepositive Day. :)

    @Samantha, I'm sure you're right, I just need to jump in and get the hang of it.

    @Johanna, I hope so, thanks. I'm glad to know you are feeling better about it now. I'm sure like anything else it just takes practice.

  15. @Stephen, I like Goodreads too, that's a great site. Thanks!

  16. I know what you mean. You can't lurk and be heard. Some good advice I heard at several writer's conferences is to do what you're comfortable with. You don't have to market to every social media. If you're more comfortable blogging, then focus on that, etc.

  17. I think you can listen on Twitter and still participate (by reTweeting things) ... I actually love people who RT useful/different things all the time.

    I've had to reconcile with the fact that I'm just not a very good marketer. I enjoy blogging, but don't love it. Facebook is Facebook, Twitter is by far my favorite, but I still don't want to be on it 5 hours a day--or whatever it takes to get 10,000 followers.

    I do believe book growth and readership can be organic. I'm not going to be completely passive, but I'm not going to invest as much time in promotion as I do writing. In this age, I believe content is king, so I'm going to focus on creating more of 'me' if that makes sense?

    Can't wait to read Polar Nights, and please include me in any 'word spreading' you do. I'd be honored and thrilled to help in any way I can. :-)

  18. @Cherie, that's good advice, I know the worst thing I could do is try to focus on all of them at once. Thanks!

    @EJ, you have a good point about RT's, I need to do more of that anyway. I definitely know what you mean about your focus. And thanks for the offer about getting the word out on my book, I really appreciate it!

  19. I cannot get the knack of the whole Twitter thing. I mean, I know how to Tweet.haha. But, man, talk about time consuming. Just...sitting on Twitter talking to people.

    I realize nowadays its a part of marketing, but I'm with you. I'm not much of a talker to people I don't know in person...I guess it's a little easier on line, but not much.

    Make sure to check out Hart Johnson's post today (Confessions of a Watery Tart) she had a really good post on branding ideas. Totally simple stuff that really made sense.

    Good luck with this. glad I found you through IWSG. New follower :)

  20. Blogging is where I feel most comfortable although I do use Twitter some. When the time comes, the secret is to get as many people help you spread the word as possible.

  21. @Tamara, thanks for coming by, it's great to meet you! And thanks for sharing about Hart's post, I will definitely check that out.

    @Alex, thanks, I know you are a great role model for that very thing.

  22. I still don't quite have the hang for Twitter. My tweets are hit and miss. Good luck!

    If you're doing a blog tour, I'll be happy to host you at the Tiki Hut.

  23. I'm definitely the same to a large extent.

    I write about football (soccer) a fair bit, so there's usually some debate raging on twitter I can chime in on.

    But when it comes to self-promotion, I shrink away a bit - why would anyone want to read what I have to say? I always feel like a bit of a jerk when trying to draw attention towards myself.

    But it's a skill like any other, and I think I'm getting better at it with practice!

  24. @Carol, thanks so much for the offer, I really appreciate it and will get back with you when I know for sure about the book. Thanks!

    @noonebutabloghead, I am actually a big American football fan so I mean to chime in on that, but then I just don't end up doing it. But I think you are so right about the practice, that's why I know I need to just do it. Thanks!

  25. The release of Polar Night is so exciting! The prep for it as I can see, is maybe not so.

    Twitter is a bit like a hectic party and I think you are doing the right things Julie. You are taking your time, getting the feel for it and talking where you feel comfortable and before long, you will suddenly realise the group with who you feel comfortable with, is actually much larger than you originally realised.

  26. My Twitter twin! Yes, I stand at the cocktail party listening, nodding...saying nothing.
    Facebook is a little better. I share cartoons. :P

  27. You're welcome on my blog when Polar Night comes out. :D Let me know when you do and we'll arrange a date. lol That sounds funny.

    I tackled social media one at a time. I learned to love Twitter. I've met so many fascinating people on it. I get fan mail on it [which is uber awesome]. Then I started getting better at FB. I'm still not great at FB, but I'm way better than I used to be.

    The thing with marketing is to use your strengths. If you're comfortable with blogging, blog. Go tap your friends and the friends of your friends.

  28. @Rebecca, thanks!! I think you are right, it's just a matter of feeling comfortable, I hope that will come.

    @Laura, I'm glad I have a twin! And I like your cartoons LOL.

    @Mary, thanks, I can't wait for our date LOL. That's awesome you've received fan mail on Twitter! I'm glad you've learned to love it so much, I hope I will too.

  29. Ahh yes, I too have issues with Twitter. Not sure I'm really getting it although I'd love to use it more, time permitting! I sympathize there! I'm a lurker on Twitter for sure!

  30. LOL! We're dealing with the same insecurities today. I'm in the throes of it now so I'm hoping you'll be in a better place with things when it's time to TOOT your own horn about your novel.

    Wishing you the very best success and that your debut shines brightly :-)

  31. I'm with you on social media! I've learned a lot in the year-and-a-half I've been blogging, but I know I still have TONS to learn. I'm still excited about your book release! Good luck with marketing stuff! If you do a big release blog tour I'd love to be a part of it!

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse

  32. @Lisa, it sounds like there are lots of us who are lurkers LOL, I'm glad I'm not the only one. :)

    @Angela, yeah, I hope we both can TOOT our own horns better! Thanks so much! :)

    @Shannon, thank you! I'd love to be on your blog, thanks so much. :)

  33. I feel it too. Social media is like another full time job. Where's the time to write? I'm still trying to find my balance while learning to use the social media tool efficently (because I don't have extra hours a day). Your book is almost here! So exciting. :)

  34. It's great that Polar Night will be coming out so soon! I'm not on Twitter, and I think that you're brave for even trying it. In the meantime, I know that all of your blogging fans will be cheering you on! Julie

  35. @Michael, you're so right, it does feel like a full-time job sometimes! It's hard to figure out how to balance it all. I am so excited about the book, thanks!

    @Julie, aww, thank you, I appreciate that!


Thank you for your comments!

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.