I walk from a subway station deep below ground level and then climb a series of stairs until I reach a city street. I have something important to say to the multitudes of people rushing past on a busy avenue. I spot an imposing building on the corner of Here and Now and then rush up its marble steps. When I reach the top, I begin shouting at the harried commuters below.
All around me, others are shouting as well. Some shout from open windows, while others stand along the street hoping to be noticed. Occasionally, someone stops to listen while an unending stream of people continues past.
As a writer I get to spend time in a literary underground creating characters and devising plot lines. But, when these elements take shape and a book is born, it’s time to take the long climb up into the sunlight to start shouting. Now, websites, blogging, Twitter, and Facebook, all become part of the story.
Welcome to Social City, where websites are the billboards, reliable and content rich, but slow and difficult to change. Facebook is the bus advertising, moving past with messages and images scrolling by block after block. Twitter is the constant chatter of the moving crowd with short comments coming from every direction. Blogs are the local coffee houses buzzing with conversation.
I believe the key to social media is not spending too much time posting, tweeting or coding, instead of creating the next page of the next book, which is the real job. Making your message rise above the rest and getting noticed is also challenging. Good content is imperative, but sadly it’s the outrageous that sometimes gets the most attention. The art is in balancing the two. I recently received good attention from a tweet about my latest book, Beneath the Veil. The tweet read - The residents of this town eat zombies for lunch. It’s not literally true…as far as I know, but it is outrageous enough to draw attention and tied in well with elements of my book.