We're talking about our favourite social media apps at the PHS!
Vanessa Riley - I Heart Facebook
When I was asked to write about Facebook, I will say I had shivers, not the first-feeling-of-new-love kind of shivers, but the type I associate with the flu. I love Facebook, but it often makes me ill.
Yes, I have a love-hate relationship with Facebook. For an author, there is no better tool to reach my readers, to post pictures of my Regency research, to chat about an upcoming release or to scroll through cat pictures.
On average, every Facebook account holder logs into Facebook every fourteen minutes. There must be a lot of cat pictures or recipes videos to view.
To engage readers, I try to regularly post interesting tidbits to my author's page.
I hold contests there or hold giveaways. The best contest that I've done to date via my Facebook page was for a Coach Purse. The winner was thrilled. She sent me a picture of herself with her literal goody bag.
Facebook parties are a another fun tool. When I hold a party, I invite readers and other authors to come out, to interact with one another, and to have fun. They are a blast. Conversations are usually flowing fast over many comment threads.
I truly love when guests get into role play. I adore those who choose gowns to wear and beaux to bring, well pictures of famous beauxs. My forever date is Pierce Brosnan, but I digress.
Moreover, when I've hosted FB parties, I love to ensure my guests are well fed. I typically try to serve up a great imaginary spread. What else would a good Regency girl do?
As you see, I really try to think outside of the normal happenstance when trying to engage with readers. The best prize that I offered at a Facebook party was to select a winner in real-time, dialed them on the phone, and then ordered a Domino's pizza to be delivered to the winner during the party.
Imagine, a fresh hot pizza delivered to a great reader who was engaged with the party. It was a lot of fun and definitely something to remember.
Lastly, as author I often pop into reader groups. Sometimes I just say hello, but since I am an avid baker, I bring food pictures.
It sounds like I have a great deal of love for Facebook. I do, but what is the other side of the coin? Alas, I wish that my readers could see all my posts. There are algorithms I don't understand and patterns of what you see I'll never comprehend, but that all spells post restriction. Maybe it has to do with all those cat pictures. Perhaps, the restrictions keep cat posts to a minimum so we all can get work done. If that is not the case, please Mr. Zuckerberg, can you give a sister some love and show more author's posts to their readers? We have a lot to say, more words to share.
Vanessa's latest release, Unveiling Love, is out now. For more information about her and her writing check out her website, and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.
Heidi Rice - I Heart Instagram
What can I say, a picture paints a thousand words…. And a lot more than 140 characters that’s for sure. Which is just one of the reasons I love Instagram as a social media platform. It turns out you can also never have enough sunsets, quirky inspiration sayings or pictures of mouth-watering food in your life…
But what I really enjoy about Instagram is the huge variety of people using it and the way in which they use it. Mostly trying to spread joy and wonder (and great food) – not to mention the glamour and glibness of their everyday lives.
Twitter now has become a place of endless promo, dogmatic opinion and far too many trolls. Facebook is okay, but in the current politic climate it’s also a great source of fake news and polemic outrage. I’m not on Snapchat (because I will admit I’m not under 25) and Pinterest is such a seductive timesuck I have to limit my access to that…
Instagram though, lends itself to social media flitting.
You flit in, you flit out, you don’t get timesucked into spending too much time there (unless you’ve just discovered the @HotDudesReading thread – then you may be a while), but you can enjoy the perfectly captured snapshots into the lives of others – without becoming too invested (or too annoyed).
Did I mention I am naturally nosey? This helps when it comes to writing fiction and having a full appreciation of Instagram’s merits. I also love taking pictures when I see something cute or interesting or beautiful or just plain fun. So why not share them? Especially as all those filters and effects can add so much romance and drama to every shot (and I do love a bit of romance and drama, as we know).
I am an experiencialist as opposed to a materialist. This means I’d much rather spend my money on a night out in Dublin or a road trip to West Texas than a new pair of designer shoes (I have very few pairs of shoes!). So, Instagram is a perfect way to share the joy of each new experience and discovery – and show off about them too (because like all social media users, I am also a bit of a show-off, sorry!).
I also love seeing how my sons use Instagram (with their permission). Their quirky captions make me laugh and give me just enough insight into what they’re up to without being too intrusive (for them or me)... I also have a beguiling document of where I was and what I was doing in the last few years which is sometimes enlightening to look back on (still can’t believe it was nearly a year ago that I was sitting in a campervan in Cornwall listening to a retrospective of Prince on the radio).
I should qualify here that my husband does not love Instagram… He gets quite pissed off with me when we’re walking back through Hackney after a Saturday night out and I stop to take a photo of some graffiti. Fair enough. There’s nothing more boring that someone being more interested in their social media than you. So I have to be careful not to like Instagram too much. But isn’t that true of every social media platform?
So as platforms go, I’m voting for peace, love, glowing sunsets, Hot Dudes Reading and endless foodie treats. Go Instagram!
Heidi's latest release, Tempting the Deputy, is out now. For more information about her and her writing check out her website, and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.
Vanessa North - I Heart Twitter
For this writer, there is simply no social media I rely on more than Twitter. When I first joined Twitter back in 2011, I was a newbie writer with an eye toward publication. I wanted to learn as much as I could about the business of writing, so I immediately followed all my favorite authors, their editors, and their agents. I got a quick-and-dirty lesson on literally everything I ever wanted to know about publishing—and a lot of things I didn’t know I needed to learn. Six months later, I sold my first book. By the end of my sixth month on Twitter, I’d sold everything I had written to date.
Fast forward six years and Twitter is an integral part of my daily life as an author. Twitter is where the book community hangs out—our virtual water cooler. With my private lists, I can organize the people I follow so that I can find information fast. I have one list of journalists, one of publishing industry people, one list of romance bloggers (where I get most of my book recs!), and one of friends. I also follow my publishers’ lists of their authors and editors, so as they sign new authors, I get to see their tweets too, even if I’ve not heard of them yet.
As for book discoverability, most of my favorite reads were recommended to me on Twitter. That’s how I found Garrett Leigh—whose Misfits is my favorite desert-island-keeper. That’s how I found out about Kit Rocha’s Beyond Series, which is my ultimate binge-worthy series. That’s also how I found out about most of my now auto-buy authors—people like KJ Charles and Cat Sebastian who write swoon-worthy LGBTQ historicals, Lucy Parker who writes charming London-set contemporaries, and Alyssa Cole, who writes a mix of scifi, historical, and contemporary--and all of it great.
Once you find the right combination of people to follow, Twitter becomes a reader’s and writer’s haven—I would be lost without it!
Vanessa's latest release, is Roller Girl, is out now. For more information about her and her writing check out her website, and follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Amber Page - I Heart Pinterest
I have a presence on just about every social media platform out there. I have to. It’s part of the job description. But there’s only one network that sucks me in for hours on end. Pinterest.
Pinterest has all the things. All of them.
Need ideas for a kid’s birthday party featuring rainbows? Check Pinterest. Looking for the perfect rainbow-colored hairstyle? Pinterest has 5 million of them.
Trying to cast your hunky, sand-haired hero? Say hello to Pinterest.
I have personally used Pinterest to do all of those things. I have boards for crochet patterns, Halloween costume ideas, and yes, rainbow hair (I’m totally doing that someday).
I also have boards for all of my books. Some are quite beefy—especially when I need to do a bunch of research for something. Some, like the one for Dating the Enemy (link: https://www.pinterest.com/amberpagewrites/roar/) just have character portraits and setting visualizations.
And you know what I like best about Pinterest? It’s introvert-friendly. If I like someone’s pin, or a whole board, or whatever, I can quietly follow them. I don’t have to think of something witty to say or do.
And as for my own boards—I can just post whenever I feel like it. When I have something worth posting. There aren’t any formulas for what you should post or how often (at least not any that I follow).
It’s very... zen.
Oh, and did I mention you can keep some things just for you? Set your board to secret, and then you can brainstorm in private. No one has to see what you’re posting—until you choose to make it public.
It’s the quiet library nook of the Internet. What’s not to love?
All that said, if you’d like to see what’s currently taking up space in my brain, feel free to check out my Pinterest profile. You can find me at amberpagewrites.
Amber's latest release, Dating the Enemy, is out now. For more information about her and her writing check out her website, and follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.