Thursday, September 18, 2008

Networking: Quality Versus Quantity

A year and half ago when I first developed a marketing plan for my novel, I made a list of websites to check out. In time, the sites ended up in categories: places to send my novel for review, places to list my novel in their database, places with general information, and social networking sites.

The social networking sites I put off until last because they take time. I started with MySpace but never got into it. Eventually I created a Facebook page, then let it sit for months until I called in my niece to help me get going on it. Now I have 1200 friends and enjoy the time I spend there. In between those events, I created a CrimeSpace page and spent enough time there to develop a presence and to introduce myself to hundreds of authors. I’ve also been active on Twitter, which doesn’t require a lot of time.

But the networking opportunities keep coming. I’ve since joined LinkedIn, BookPlace, and recently Multiply. And I notice other Twitterers talking about Squidoo and other sites. But my memberships in the last three are just sitting there un-nurtured, and Squidoo is not even on my list. I also belong to six list servs, so the e-mails keep coming too.

I’ve decided that I’m maxed out and will not develop my new memberships. I only have so much time each day to spend on promotion/networking. For me, fewer venues with quality time spent on each one is more productive than a minimum amount of time spent on a multitude of sites. But I may be wrong about this. What do you think is more effective marketing? Quality time in fewer networking sites or a minimal presence in as many sites as possible?

12 comments:

zhadi said...

I'm for quality time in fewer markets, with things like Twitter to help get your name/links out there. It's just a time suck otherwise and we all have to find the time to write as well.

Kim Pearson said...

I agree with you, LJ. I have limited myself to Facebook and Twitter primarily, with a secondary of Biznik (www.biznik.com). Otherwise I'll have no time to write, and without production, marketing is useless.

Chris Redding said...

Quality time. I very rarely use my myspade page except for bulletins.
cmr

Helen Ginger said...

I agree with the consensus. Quality. Twitter is easy and doesn't take much time. I joined LinkedIn years ago. Lately, I've been getting emails about people wanting to link to me. Frankly, I don't even remember my password or how to get back into LinkedIn. That's a testimony to how much I didn't use it and to how many hard drives I've had since then.

©Hotbutton Press said...

Definitely quality time! You have to pick your poison. Squidoo and Knol are good sites to develop, because they are more static and should link to your blog. Raises your SEO because they are so viral. They are more like mini-websites than interactive though.

I still haven't spent time on the community sites. I try with GoodReads but the format seems awkward to me. The Y! groups take up tons of time... mods pay out the nose there. And speaking of quality over there, I'm thinking of limiting the group size to 150. To keep things on-topic. You think?

Dani

http://quickest.blogbooktourguide.ever.com

Sunny Frazier said...

I don't think flooding lists is working anymore. I skip all the ones you mentioned. HOWEVER, take the time to create your own network. I also concentrate on two mystery lists: Short Mystery Fiction Society and Murder Must Advertise. I'm known there and will update them on a blog or my website.
When I choose to comment it's not to get my name out, but to let you know I've checked out your blog. This one was good.

Emma Larkins said...

Well, quality is good. Quantity is also good. I went to a networking presentation by Patti Wilson, and she says that she signs up for every networking site she comes across. Never know how someone might find you. You can set it up so you get email alerts if someone connects with you, or just sign in every month or so to check. Although, I don't think I'd do every site. There are thousands out there! :)

Marvin D. Wilson said...

Temperance with both in the early going. Sign up for everything, get your name anywhere you can. Put some initial feelers out. Then feel your way as to where the most energy is coming from and when you get a bite, BUST IT WIDE OPEN AND GO FOR BROKE!

Timothy Hallinanw said...

I have enough trouble keeping up with people I know personally without spending a lot of energy on social networks. I do the occasional update on CrimeSpace but my MySpace page hasn't been touched in months and months, and to me Twitter is the sound a bird makes. I'm probably missing a bet. On the other hand, I blog a lot, even if nobody reads it. Hmmm . . . wonder whether there might be a connection?

©Hotbutton Press said...

Yeah, we definitely all Twitter about our latest blog posts and leave the permalink. Gets you blogs some hits. Don't you all agree? We tweet about each other's blog posts, too.

http://twitter.com/blogbooktours

Alexandra Sokoloff said...

Great post and question, LJ - I definitely know what you mean about maxing out. MySpace has gotten me a lot of readers even though I rarely update it, and of course it's great to be on a blog like Murderati.

Twitter is my new best friend because it links so easily with Facebook and MySpace and my own blog.

I haven't figured out the use of Linked In, but I like Goodreads. And Redroom and Author Tours.

(As always, just listing it all makes my head hurt.)

Debra Purdy Kong said...

Wow, I'm amazed you do that much, L.J. I'm on MySpace, AuthorsDen, and GoodReads, and that's about all I can handle for now. I haven't even heard of half the sites you mentioned and I'm leery to even visit them in case I feel compelled to join only to discover I can't keep up. I've heard authors say Facebook is great, but others say it's a waste of time. I'm still on the fence about that one.