Finding Time to Write a Book in the Digital Era

The surprising thing about being a writer says novelist Ellen Crosby is “how hard you have to fight to find the time to write.”

Ellen Crosby

Ellen Crosby spoke about her latest book, Multiple Exposure, at the Library of Virginia.

Crosby shared her thoughts on the topic during a talk at the Library of Virginia.

Her editor told her she had to be on Facebook. The publishers “Really believe that’s the future,” she said.

Publishers are less likely to send the authors to a bookstore. “They want the magic of the internet,” Crosby said.

That means she needs to be on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. She also writes a blog and maintains a website, although she said, “I have eight visitors on a good day.”

“It’s a very big part of my day,” Crosby said. “I try to do it cheerfully, although I’d rather be writing.”

On her social sites Crosby shares about upcoming book appearances and signings. She also shares tidbits related to her books. She’s currently doing a photo blog, which ties directly to her latest book, Multiple Exposure.

(Courtesy of Ellen

(Courtesy of Ellen

Engaging on social does require time and effort. A few tips gleaned from numerous talks include:

  1. Align your social media profile picture with your brand. Use a photo of you that appears on your book jacket or use the cover of your book.
  2. Include a short description of your books and links to purchase books.
  3. Respond to replies and comments. You want to engage with your community.
  4. Plan your posts and tweets so you have fodder and aren’t spending all of your time writing for your social sites instead of writing your book. It’s acceptable to share information related to your subject matter. For example, Crosby can share about photojournalism or wine country.
  5. Cross pollinate. Not everyone will visit your website or follow you on Facebook. It’s okay to use content more than once.
  6. Post photos because they help your posts stand out and they create an emotional connection with your fans.
  7. Ask your fans to retweet and repost or to write mini reviews.

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