Beginning writers face the challenge of finding their voice. Finding that way of writing, that way of expressing, that is uniquely theirs.
I spent many years studying and practicing to find my voice (and I’m still working on it!).
Voice is important. There’s a reason writers are encouraged to focus on it early on, as they learn their craft, hone their skills.
There’s another, completely different kind of voice for which authors don’t get much training: the dreaded social media voice.
We all use social media one way or another in our daily lives. I love using Facebook to stay in touch with out of town friends and family. I find Twitter valuable for staying on top of breaking news or tracking trends in the publishing business (and yes, wine).
But using social media to build an audience for a mystery book? That’s been a new adventure for me. One I’ve thrown myself into whole heartedly, though perhaps with less skill than I would have liked.
Until a few months ago.
My husband and I love to travel. I use these trips to gather ideas about people, places and histories that I can use in my books. My husband takes pictures.
His passion, his creative outlet, is photography. As we travel, he captures images of people, places and things that evoke emotions, that draw you in to a foreign place… images that tell a story.
Thanks to the wonders of digital photography, we return from trips with 4,000, 5,000 even 6,000 photos. Phew! Remember the days when the cost of film and the cost of developing meant taking fewer pictures but making each one count?
So there we were, me writing up notes and ideas from our travels, my husband organizing thousands upon thousands of photos. And both of us thinking of ways to use social media to reach a new audience for my books.
Which is when we discovered Instagram.
Instagram has been a great tool for us. My husband has a blast going through all his photos and pulling out the best shots to share. I write up a little description, occasionally throw in a book cover or a quote.
We’re having fun, using our particular interests and skills.
I’m no social media expert. I’ve definitely struggled with it. But perhaps that’s because I simply hadn’t found my social media voice.
Learn more about me and my books at JaneGorman.com or find me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
7 thoughts on “Finding Your Voice”
Great pictures, Jane. Other than the covers of your books, are there other comments from you on Instagram? Excellent post and lots of new ideas.
Thanks Carol! There are a few quotes from the books, some with pictures of the covers and some with other photos. But on Instagram, it’s mostly just the photographs. Which is part of what makes it so easy and fun!
What a great post. I’m not much of a picture taker–but I do when I’m scouting out a setting, or a type of house. Thanks for posting this.
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This was an interesting article. I as a writer have only done a blog, website and Facebook. Can you mention how twitter and instagram have helped in your marketing? Do you feel it has expanded your fan base? Also, it looks like you post to twitter everyday. Is that daily posting required do you think? Ann McAllister Clark
Hi Ann, I’m happy to share what I do, but please don’t take me as an expert! There are others with more experience and probably better results! For twitter, I think posting at least once a day is important — and more than once is even better. But twitter is about engagement as well as posting, so posting one tweet but replying to or retweeting other tweets as well is great. It’s a fun way to chat with people. I think of it as a big cocktail party. I haven’t made any new friends there yet, but I interact with other people I know and I hope that I could meet new people through it. Instagram has just been fun! I love sharing all our photos. I believe it has attracted some new people to my books, and also to me as a person. Which I suppose is the first step of social media, to let people know who you are, what you like, what you do. But Instagram works well for the type of book I write — I focus a lot on settings in my books, so I want to reach an audience who enjoy visiting new places. And people who follow travel photos on Instagram include those type of people!
Agree! I just keep trying different things until I find something that feels right.
I’m still trying to figure out the whole social media thing. Not my favorite part of being an author.
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