Each month we aim to bring you a question which tackles some of the Big Questions in the world of writing. This month, we’re trying to show you why the answer to the question above is an emphatic Yes. (Unless you really, really don’t want to.)
Having an online presence can take a few forms. You could have a page on Facebook, you could be on Twitter, or maybe you document your journeys through the day on Instagram. There are many forms to choose from, but there’s one thing you have to do if you’re going to have a useful online presence, and that is to be active. Having a presence online is a great way to market your work and yourself – without being spammy – but you have to make sure people can find you, and that when they do, that your content is fresh.
If you’re new to all things social media, there are some great authors who are doing it right who we’d recommend following: Tara Moss is on Facebook and does it brilliantly, and authors like Charlotte Wood, Stephanie Dowrick, Benjamin Law and Walter Mason bring real charm and insight to their Twitter feeds. If you want to attend our upcoming Social Media for Writers course with Zena Shapter, you can get all the basics on Twitter and Facebook, as well as information on Goodreads, LinkedIn and Google+.
If you’re interested in blogging, we often run courses such as Blogging For Beginners with Angela Meyer of Literary Minded, which gives you all the basics to start putting your thoughts out there for all to read. Sadly, Angela’s popularity has meant this course has sold out, but for those who weren’t able to secure a booking, we’re doing another blogging course in July with Will Kostakis. Keep your eyes out for our new program later in the year for that one.
So what comes next, once you’ve started contributing to Twitter, making status updates on Facebook and blogging about books you’ve read or the one you’re writing? Well, if you want to be published but have found getting your foot in the door of the major publishing houses difficult, crowdfunding could be a great way to get your writing project out there with financial help from those fans and friends who follow you on social media.
What is crowdfunding? Here’s a great breakdown by the folks at ABC TV’s Good Game, explaining the basics and how they relate to the game industry. ArtsHub have also put together an informative article that looks specifically at crowdfunding platform Pozible. Anna Maguire of Digireado is presenting a seminar at the Centre called Crowdfund It, covering the different platforms out there, example case studies and the possible costs involved. If you don’t think something like crowdfunding could possibly work (People just give me money? Impossible!) , we recommend watching a recent TED talk by American musician Amanda Palmer, who not only eloquently explains the power of crowdfunding, but also reminds us that the simple act of asking can be both terrifying and liberating for people who create content – whether musical, written or something else.
You don’t have to be a slave to the online world as a writer: you still need time to write, after all – in between all the tweets, status updates, photos uploaded, crowdfunding projects maintained and blog posts published. Take some time to get a feel of all the options out there, and see which one suits you best.