Monday, April 14, 2014

Author Interview on Social Media

Most of us pay attention to social media.  For some, it’s a chore to periodically check the Facebook pages, the Twitter feeds, comment on the posts and blogs of fellow authors.  For others, social media is a conversation starter, an online world brimming with possible connections and even new friendships.

The theory behind social media in Frances Caballo’s new book, Avoid Social Media Time Suck: A Blueprint for Writers to Create Online Buzz for Their Books and Still Have Time to Write, is to manage the time you spend on it – no more than 30 minutes a day is ideal in order to avoid the “time suck” that depletes energy and promotes procrastination, taking away from valuable writing time.   I found the book fascinating in its depth.  Caballo even analyzes the best hours and number of times a day to post on the various social media outlets. This book is worth a read for authors who realize that if you can't fight City Hall, then join it and at least have some techniques, apps and strategies that might work for you.

As part of the WOW! (Women on Writing) Blog Tour, I am pleased to welcome Frances to the Circle. Your comments and experiences with social media, pros and cons, are welcome.  ~ Susan

What prompted you to write a book about social media?

When I started teaching social media workshops to writers several years ago, at the end of each session the attendees would ask me, “Is there a book that explains this?” At the time, there wasn’t a how-to-book on social media specifically for writers, so I wrote my first book, Social Media Just for Writers: The Best Online Marketing Tips for Selling Your Books.

After that book was published, I began to hear writers say that they didn’t have time for social media or that social media took too much time out of their day. That’s when I decided to write a book that explains the process I use every day and that helps me to economize my time without sacrificing results.

The book is brimming with links and apps on every imaginable subject from how to improve traffic on your website/blog, increase Twitter followers, jumpstarting writing. How concerned are you that no sooner is your book out than many of these links/sites you reference will be obsolete? And if so, do you plan to update the book as time goes on?

You are right. Social media is a dynamic field and some applications are purchased and absorbed by larger enterprises within a year or two of development. I use my blog, Social Media Just for Writers, to update my readers on apps and tools that are no longer available and to introduce new applications.

How long did it take you to compile all the information and where did you find it?

I’m always reading social media blogs and books, and I learn quite a bit from those sources. I also used Safari, Google and Firefox to search for the types of applications I was hoping to find. I typically spend a year researching each book.

Where do you live and how long have you been a writer?

I live in Northern California, in Sonoma County. I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was about seven years old and I’ve been writing since at least high school.

What do you enjoy most about being an author?

That’s an interesting question. I’m an introvert and I love to explore ideas. Writing enables me to expand on ideas I have and it gives me a reason to spend time at a retreat center, in silence and writing. However, I also like spending time with writers so I’m pleased that by writing a book I’m surrounded by more writers. Finally, my books have opened doors for me in terms of teaching, meeting leaders in the field, and becoming a part of the San Francisco Writers Conference. I like how writing enriches my life.

Whether you’re a seasoned or a newbie social media user, this book will introduce you to posting schedules, timesaving applications and content-rich websites that will help you economize the time you spend using social media to promote your books. You will learn:

· How to create and perfect your author platform.

· Where great content exists on the Internet and how you can use it to further your brand within your niche.

· The importance of being social and applications that make this task easy and fun.

· Tools that enable you to track and measure your success so you can better understand the return on investment of your valuable time.

· Which tools prevent you from accessing the Internet when the time comes to sit and write that next book.

· Exercises for introverted writers to help you feel comfortable on the social web.

About the Author:
Frances Caballo is a social media strategist and manager for authors. Her clients include the San Francisco Writers Conference, the Women’s National Book Association—San Francisco Chapter, and the Bay Area Independent Publishers Association. A free ebook, Pinterest Just for Writers, is available on her website at

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