Saturday, February 11, 2012

One more important thing to do

By Bonnie Harris

I've felt for awhile that if I want to really succeed in the writing world, that I needed to get to know some of these new internet things, i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Blogging, Tumblr, etc. As I've attended writing conferences, others have confirmed that feeling and I've tried a little harder to stay on top of it. Then in this month's Nelson Literary Agency's Newsletter, Kristin Nelson said basically the same thing. (I'll share what she said in a moment.)

But that's one more thing to do, you may say. Yes. It is one more thing to do. It's an important thing to do, but it doesn't have to be done all at once. I started with Facebook and got the hang of that. Then of course they change/upgrade/create a new learning curve, but that's another story. Thanks to some encouragement from a friend, I figured out the blogging world and have even ventured into Twitter. I can't say I completely understand all of it, especially the new stuff coming out, but I can say that it's amazing how many people I'm able to reach with just those three things.

This day and age, internet exposure is a must. I'll admitt that I've read a few books, enjoyed them enough to look up the authors webpage/blog, and have gotten really frustrated when there hasn't been one. Frustrated enough to decide not to read any more books by them. (Well, at least for a little while.)

In our busy lives, I know it's hard to squeeze in more time to add something else, but it can be done in the most simple way possible. You don't have to spend hours on it, I don't think. But it is important to use it. In my opinion.

Now, here's what Kristin has to say.

Publishing is shifting and changing so rapidly, even I have no idea what it's going to look like 12 months from now. But one thing has become very clear to me. For authors to really succeed, they absolutely must embrace technology. Not only do they need to embrace it, they need to learn to love itรข€”even if it's not a natural fit.

Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, insert next big thing.

The days of Salinger scribbling furiously in his cabin alone, no communication with the outside world, are long gone. Although I imagine now there will be some story of a reclusive author with no Internet connection making it the old-fashioned way even in this always connected world. *grin*

And embracing technology holds true for agents too.

Seems like ancient history when back in 2003 I bought my first tablet PC (it was a Gateway) so I could read and edit everything electronically. No paper. Queries by email.

My fellow agents thought I was nuts.

I'd drag that eight-pounder around to editor meetings in New York so I wouldn't have to retype my notes post trip.

Eight pounds. That's crazy. Today, the iPad and Kindle Fire weigh mere ounces.

You cannot remain static. And no, I haven't decided to start tweeting, but I have begun a series of video blogs. The learning curve has been steep, but I'm glad I'm doing it. Man, I'm learning so much about my computer's capabilities.

What else do I not know? Time to find out!

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