My name is Susan Rodgers – as the winner of the Kobo Writing Life Social Savvy Author contest, I’m bursting with excitement! I won a social media mentorship with Kathy Meis, Founder and President of Serendipite Studios, creators of Bublish, a new social media platform where book bubbles provide authors the opportunity to publish book excerpts alongside personal insights.
My gallop through the daunting world of social media has been illuminating, fascinating, sometimes overwhelming and, above all, inspiring. I was feeling discouraged and unsure about how to move forward with the marketing of my ebooks. I did the usual big mailing list and then the small mailing list, created a Facebook page, and ground to a halt.
Kathy Meis came on board with a wealth of knowledge and a ‘you-can-do-it’ attitude. She took the time to make a personal call to ascertain my level of knowledge in the ebook and social media world, and then between emails and two in-depth sessions on GoTo Meetings, she dove in headfirst and started some comprehensive training. She even gave me homework!
My shiny new website still needs a few tweaks, but I wouldn’t have had the nerve or made the time to create it without Kathy’s confidence and support. By comparing the whole social media world to a wagon wheel with spokes and a central hub, Kathy made a visual learner like myself realize the importance of an author website. My site is now my central hub. Each spoke radiating from it is an aspect of social media like Twitter, Facebook, Google plus, etc. “All roads should lead back to your website,” encouraged Kathy.
Twitter has been a blast to learn and negotiate. I had an existing account but had no idea of Twitter’s power. Kathy took me through the platform step by step, starting with the presentation of a consistent image / presence featuring my books that should be reflected on all of my social media sites. I am now committed to Hootsuite, I’ve learned how to find new ‘follows’ via Twitter lists, I’ve created a calendar to schedule regular marketing themes and, most of all, I am dedicated to a daily 20/20/20 rule of (1) research, (2) actively marketing across all platforms, and (3) live chats / interactions.
By far the most fun I am having is creating book bubbles on Bublish. How often do authors get the opportunity to share their own insights with readers? And isn’t that what we authors love most – talking about our characters, our stories, our inspirations? Best of all, once created, my pretty little book bubbles are simple to tweet or post on Facebook.
Am I seeing an increase in sales? Not yet, but my burgeoning social media savvy is still brand new. I’m enjoying some amazing reviews for my Drifters series, and on my story A Certain Kind of Freedom. One reviewer compared my writing to Hitchcock – after I had a good laugh (I am no Hitchcock!), I immediately thought about Kathy’s teachings and how I can maximize the impact of this review.
Kathy has given me the gift of empowerment. I am now taking an active role in the marketing of my books. Yes, it takes discipline and time and, as a self-employed struggling filmmaker with two part time jobs to keep me afloat, I am very busy. But I need to follow up with what I’ve learned – because I can, because I now understand how the social media marketing cogs turn.
I want to evolve into writing full time so I can enjoy mystical east coast sunsets from my trailer on the beach next summer, and for many summers to come. It’s hard to picture that now as yet another snowstorm swirls outside my window, but eventually the snow will melt and my guy and I will drag our kayaks out instead of the snowblower I can now hear trundling up and down the laneway. And, because of Kathy Meis’ gentle teachings and Kobo’s Social Savvy Author contest, I will rock social media and continue to strategically develop my brand as an author.
Thank you Kathy Meis, and thank you Kobo Writing Life!
About the Author
Writer and filmmaker Susan Rodgers has been blessed by the opportunity to reside in serene Prince Edward Island, on the east coast of Canada. A Finalist in the 2011 Atlantic Writing Awards for her as yet unpublished first novel, A Certain Kind of Freedom, she is currently receiving rave reviews for a short story excerpt from that book as well as for her recent Drifters book series.
She augments her career with client films as well as a part time job at a local box office with the plan in mind to one day work full time as a writer.
And of course, check out her books on Kobo: