Monday, 8 March 2010

Social Media - The View From Rome

{{w|Caroline Lawrence}}, American author of no...Image via Wikipedia
Author Caroline Lawrence is best known for The Roman Mysteries series of historical novels for children. The series spans seventeen highly popular books although Caroline has now written twenty books in total.

She's coming to Dubai to attend the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature - and she's also coming along to the EAFL public session on social media on Friday at 8.00pm to join in the discussion about social media, writers and readers. If you'd like to join us there, you're more than welcome - there's a Twitvite here and Facebook event here.

 Caroline's a pretty online person (@carolinelawrenc on Twitter, for a start!), so who better to ask a few 'establishing questions' before we get down to the nitty gritty of writerly socialism on Friday?

Do you have a ‘social media strategy’?
My strategy is once I've set up my profile on Facebook & Twitter to keep active, but not flood people with tweets or other messages.

How much time do you spend socialising online every day?
 At least an hour.

Do you find social media time consuming/a distraction from writing?
Absolutely! That's why I installed FREEDOM software which stops you surfing for a specified amount of time.

What elements do you use?
Facebook (two accounts - one personal, one fanpage), Twitter (two accounts - one for my Roman Mysteries hat, one for my Western Mysteries hat) and two Blogs (Roman Mysteries & Western Mysteries). I also touch base with YouTube to see what's popular. Oh and my website, which I update myself!

Do you tend to shun social media, use it socially only, use it warily or try and make the most of it?
I try to make the most of it!

Do you feel you ‘get’ it or are you flailing about a bit? Is there one element you relate to most strongly as a writer?
I pretty much get it.

Would you ‘go E’ if you thought you wouldn’t drown in obscurity?
Yes, I would totally go E if it mean royalties of 70%! Or even if not. (In face, I think I already am E as well as in print! Here...)

What is the one thing you think publishers have to offer to a writer with, say, 10,000 social media connections already?
If you've got that many followers etc you're probably on the telly and don't need any help from publishers who are probably behind the times anyway!

Where do you see this going in less than 25 words?
Social media? It's going to explode.

What’s the ONE question about social media you’d like to have answered.
Does Social Media really help raise our profile or is it just another way of procrastinating?
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