Flying high . . .
When my first book was released in December of 2008, I had a vague idea that as a complete unknown I would be responsible for a large proportion of my own widening profile. I had no idea that in 12 months it would have covered such a lengthy ride over a vast techno-landscape.
Last week Writer Unboxed had a marvellous post by Jane Friedman:
and many replies from published and unpublished writers who were either working on creating or maintaining a web presence.
The creation of a website seemed like a giant step in that month before my first book was released . . . to have my name, my book’s title and images on the web. I had a brilliant designer, a relaxed and efficient web-builder and aimed for a simple site that was clean, clear and easy to navigate. Fourteen months later, it’s probably time for a bit of tweaking . . . but I still quite like what it offers. And best of all, in fourteen months it has had 18,000 hits! Utterly and freakishly amazing!
Okay, that was the web dealt with. The media had to be approached and interviews organised. Some newspapers and the national broadcaster, the ABC, were supportive. I wrote articles on my experience for the major writers’ journals around Australia. I became involved with forums, and reading groups.
But Facebook was waiting and so I joined and expanded my profile, meeting a small but incredibly loyal and hard-working fan-base. My web hits increased exponentially and I had such fun with these new friends.
On the horizon though, a thing called a blog hovered. I decided to take the step because every step so far across the great techno-galaxy had been positive. I was an explorer, discovering a new and exciting landscape. That blog thing, it had to be explored.
So I design it myself from day to day, I write in a ‘me’ voice with no editors to pick me up and put me down. I pick images that appeal to me. And I work on the principle that if I am enjoying myself, if it is clean, clear and uncluttered, that it is filled with short, conversational blogs, that the enjoyment may pass down the line.
In the beginning there was a major, major hiccup . . . I had met my techno-nemesis. I needed some help to become a blogger and so turned to the utterly brilliant Elisabeth Kricfalusi of www.techforluddites.com and with her help, managed to get myself up and away.
Now I have visitors from as far afield as Rome, Washington, London, Sao Paolo, Los Angeles and more. Every day, I find more and more of fascination in Blogland . . . people with diverse and stunningly beautiful sites of great interest and information and people who seem to want to find out about me and my books. Most recently I have been persuaded to hold a virtual Masked Ball on my blog with the aid of a dear friend from Facebook. The ball scene is a crucial moment in the second book, The Last Stitch, and in terms of advertising, it was deemed to be an idea full of potential. (Ye Gods, says I! Can I do this?) Rather like a trapeze act.
There is the dormant book-trailer, (a book-trailer, I ask you!) almost ready to be launched onto YouTube. And YouTube is something I am still coming to terms with . . .
And Twitter . . . now how can anybody possibly say all there is to say in 140 characters? That’s something I’m still working on . . . big time. I watch the master frequently (alias Stephen Fry). But one thing at a time . . .