As people are always reminding us, it's a brave new world for authors, we have to leverage social media platforms to build our brand, blah blah blah.
(Pet peeve aside: the current vogue for using "leverage" in any situation where "use" would work just as well. So, so, annoying. So, so prevalent.)
Nobody knows what this means, really. Or, more accurately, nobody knows which social media outlets actually help you sell books, or how using them might help you to sell books.
Most "experts" will tell you that the best way to go about this stuff is to sell stuff by not acting like you're trying to sell stuff. That's too complicated for me, so I just kinda blunder through all this stuff, mostly because I like it.
So here's what I am doing these days, and my operating philosophy behind each one.
This here blog: I now got smart and am pushing it to both Amazon and Goodreads. I am trying to keep my rantings here more focused on writing and book stuff than on, like, movies I've seen. Well, I have done a bunch of rants about education, but that's kinda related to Losing My Faculties. I'm still interested in movies and TV and whatever, but with so many excellent blogs out there focused just on movies and TV, I don't think random people are going to be attracted to this blog by my tv rantings and then check out my books. So I'm trying to keep this blog related to my writing, at least tangentially.
Facebook: The overwhelming majority of people who are my facebook friends are people I actually know. Former students, co-workers, classmates, etc.
Facebook Fan Page: I'm using this one as a way to share interesting info about my books and what's going on in my writing career. I have also had nice interactions with people who've read my work here. I'm also trying to use it as a way to have conversations with people who like my work.
Twitter: Probably my favorite of the social media services. I enjoy having conversations with people about whatever random crap is on our minds. Like many people, I'll share links there if I see something interesting on the internets. And my posts here get shared on twitter (synergy, baby!). I always follow people back when they follow me, unless they are clearly marketers or spambots. The part of twitter I really enjoy is the back and forth, and I don't really get people who don't follow back. I mean, okay, if you're a big celebrity, I understand. But a surprising number of my fellow YA authors , as well as book bloggers and agents and editors, have way more followers than people they follow. I just unfollowed a bunch of those people, and since they won't read this anyway, I will humbly suggest that they get over themselves.
Goodreads: I post my honest opinions about books I'm reading here. I've also got one of their author pages, which features this blog as well as info about books I've written and books I've read. I friend pretty much anybody on this. Not sure if posting my honest opinion is the greatest strategy, as I believe I've earned myself at least one professional snub as a result of being honest about a book I didn't really care for. Because I have so many friends here, I can't really keep up with what everybody's reading.
Good ol' email: With so many other ways for me to share career news, I'm not really using this to push info out the way I used to, but I still welcome random emails telling me how great my books are. Send 'em to brendan at brendanhalpin dot com.