I attended a New York Writers Workshop in November; The Pitch Conference; one of the speakers John Cusick from Greenhouse publishing recommended that you build a social platform. He said that had tried blogging, and it wasn't for him; but twitter seemed to work for him, he had 6998 followers.
Sitting at the conference wondering how I would build my social platform when I was not able to speak about my book, because at this point; I had just begun my queries into how to get it published.
Leaving the conference with a new insight into the writing world; I continued to write, edit, delete and repeat. The idea of building my social network was always in the back of my head.
Fast forward to January, book one complete, and currently with one agent and two publishing houses. What if they don't pick up my book? This crossed my mind again and again, so I decided it was time to build my social network. Time to prepare for self-publishing.
I set myself an ultimatum; if I don't hear back for the agent or publishing house by April; I will begin the self-publishing process. I needed to raise money to get my book professionally edited; so I decided to try Kickstarters to help me raise the funds. Crowd funding only works well when you have a crowd to work with; I needed to build a social network.
I tried starting with a blog and I it was taking too much time; I work full time as a designer, and have an active 5 year old little girl. I didn't have time to blog, and my first novel needed editing, I have the typo/grammar curse.
My current schedule allows me fourteen hours a week; twelve hours spent on the new book and two on marketing, meaning I have to plan my time wisely.
In the past, I had signed up for Twitter, but never understood the reason behind it, but I thought I would give it a try with a fresh perspective. Signing up with my pen name, and began to follower writers and indie writers for writing tips etc. After a few days, I became addicted and followed more people who had the same interests as me.
Within three weeks of being on twitter, I had 1835 followers, one of my tweets retweeted 303 times and I have posted 466 tweets with writing tips from authors. I spent 10 minutes in the morning, tweeting/retweeting and following back. Not a bad start.
Today I have 9000 followers, which took around 4 months.From twitter, I have gained knowledge from other authors, received help and motivation tips, and some of my twitter followers have begun to follow me on Facebook.
Tip 1 - once you get to 2000 follows you are blocked from adding more, in the evening I delete 100 people which are not following me back on www.justunfollow.com (100 per day is free).
Tip 2 – Follow people that you find interesting, it’s not all about the numbers it is about the content of the tweets from the people you are following.
Tip 3 - Try converting Twitter fans into Facebook fans; because it is easier to build a fan base quickly on Twitter without paying for it, unlike Facebook.
Tip 4 – Remember it is a social platform, be social and don’t constantly tweet ‘buy my book’
Tip 5 – Find the social network platform that works for you, and stick at it.
Hayley Lawson is the author of War Kids. She has written a young adult contemporary novel set in Syria; a story about the Syrian Civil war though the eyes of children.
She was born in Lancaster, England. Growing up in a single parent household with five other siblings; was hard, and also character building.
As a young child she found a passion for drawing, and continued this into adulthood, graduating from the University of Central Lancashire, England with a BA(Hons) in fashion design.
At aged twenty seven, Hayley and her husband packed up their belongings for a lifelong dream to move to California. Her America dream was complete with the birth of her daughter. Her love for traveling, continued after the birth of her daughter traveling around America with the family, and the best travelled dog.
A new job positioned opened up New York, and the family decide to relocate to Long Island, NY, which is where she currently resides.
On August 21 she was moved by the images of the Syrian conflict, and embarked on an unlikely journey of writing her first novel.
All profits from the book will be going to the save the children charity.
When fourteen-year-old Jada wakes up in a hospital, the last thing she thinks is that her life has completely changed forever. But when the very real civil war forces her to flee from every open space, she must use the firearm skills her father taught her to reunite with him and protect herself. Armed with a single gun and a key to an unknown locker, Jada crosses Syria on a journey with a group of children called the Fearless Freedom Fighters. With the leader, Zak, they mount a plan to rescue their fathers while they try to cope with the merciless murders of their families. As Jada and Zak lead the group together, love blossoms, but with soldiers hot on their tail, they need to stay vigilant in the face of war.
Reviews from Wattpad
Very interesting story, very powerful. I can really feel the emotion...Peter
This book really touches my heart because there is so much truth is in this book. The detail is so brilliantly displayed, its beautifuly written. There are pretty intense chapters, its good... scrap that its excellent. Loe the work ...although I am upset. I know this is a fictional story, but I just can't help but feel extremely bad for all the lost lives especially the innocent and young ones...Saddy
A REMARKABLE BOOK, DEMANDS TO BE READ Goodreads review from Joe Eliseon
Genre - Young Adult
Rating – PG-13
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