This week's Let's Ask question is for Bethany Telles
(see below for her bio info):
My question for Bethany:
Why do you think it is important for a writer to have social media connections? Could you share your experience with being interviewed by multiple broadcasting stations about your book and how you went about getting the interviews?
Alright, first things first: I believe social media connections- if done correctly- are important because that's the way this world operates these days. It's sad to say, but times are changing and fast pace is as fast pace does. If you have any social media outlet, it allows for others to notice you at their leisure. I have seen many writers showcasing their talent/writing abilities through their blogs (like this one!). Your audience gets the chance to know you, the writer, and that connection might encourage future sales, reviews, and word-of-mouth recommendations.
Now let me share my experiences with the wonderful world of media!
During the MeeGenius Author Challenge, I tried my best to reach as many people as possible in order to get votes. I come from a relatively small town, so I knew that my best chance of spreading the word about my involvement would be getting on TV and radio, as well as sharing with one of the local newspapers. First, I contacted people that I knew personally, that ran radio broadcasts. As lame as it is, it truly IS all about the people you know. I sucked it up, and drove through my usual boundaries and asked for help. I loathe asking for help! And I'm quite shy when it comes to my writing. But all it took was me asking, and it blew my mind how eager those contacts were to help me! Then, I sent out an email (carefully written for each specific station and paper), and was fortunate enough to get some great feedback from 85% of the people I queried. What I really had to understand (and I believe this is something we ALL need to learn) is that you are not only trying to sell YOUR project, but you're also helping them sell theirs. I put it this way- and still do when I contact other bloggers- I have an already established audience, so if you allow me to come and share my own (insert whatever-it-is, HERE), then I can promise that you will get a good sized influx of new people checking out what YOU have.
When it came to TV and radio, their major battle is ratings and competition. So, I used my querying skills, and delicately mentioned in each email to each station that I was contacting EVERY station that our little town has. Truth be told, yes, I had an interesting story: Here's a teeny school, suffering from budget cuts and here's the former student/aspiring children's book author who's trying to help AND give back. But, the selling point for them was also the who's-going-to-get-the-story-FIRST. It worked. I landed two of the three major news stations (one that aired more than once, and the other was our highly rated FOX Great Day morning show). When it came to radio, both stations I landed put my story on repeat, and aired it several times a day for over a week. Then the newspaper that belonged to the town that housed the school, called me for an interview.
It was a great experience. I really learned that you MUST play to your audience, but you also MUST know the selling points of the specific medias you are wishing to grant you air time. So, much like researching agents or different houses for your manuscripts, do your homework! Remember that you have an important brand to sell... YOU! And your books, articles, blog, etc. are all a very large part of you. Pull out your inner publicist, and don't be shy!
I think you know everything about me... Wife to a man who has a job that I can't talk about, Mom of 2 crazy boys, living in the armpit of CA, Freelance writer for local school district paper, author of the book with the longest title ever (HA!), tea drinker, the only person who has a serious case of balloon phobia, and anti-fan of chocolate.
Bethany's blog: http://perchedinblogspot.com/atree.
Her Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/#!/BethanyJTelles
Thank you for your visit today!