Social Media - Where to Start?
A few years ago, my best friend told me about this cool website called Facebook. I moaned. I groaned. I was not going to subject myself to making friends online when I didn’t like it in school. Then a funny thing happened. I joined. I don’t know why. I just did it on a whim. I became addicted to it, searching for people I knew, playing games, and taking quizzes. I connected with old friends from middle school and stayed in touch with friends who moved away from Michigan. When Twitter became the rage, again I moaned. I groaned. I refused to join. Somehow, I got sucked in and this time, it had nothing to do with my friends. In addition to Facebook and Twitter, I use Google Plus. While it’s not as popular as the others, it has some benefits.
When I began my foray into the social media world, the thought of becoming an author hadn’t entered my mind. Now, I can’t imagine my life without it. I still use social media to network with friends, but mostly, I use it for my career as a writer.
On Twitter, I follow agents, editors, publishers, and other authors. The biggest mistake I see on Twitter is that people use it solely to promote their books. There is nothing more annoying to me than to receive a tweet an hour with a link of how to buy their book or a direct message thanking me for following them and encouraging me to buy their book. Twitter is meant to communicate information and connect. It’s fine if you want to tweet that your book is on sale, but it means a lot more if you add a personal memo to it. For example, I’d let people know how excited I was to get my printed copies of A Year to Remember in the mail or how I’ve got a wrist cramp from signing the ten copies of A Year to Remember for my Goodreads contest which ends on July 19th. I didn’t ask anyone to buy it, although I may add a link just to make it easier if they want to. The other thing you need to do on Twitter is respond to other people’s tweets. Don’t let anyone intimidate you. I’ve actually read that some agents will pay closer attention to a query if it comes from someone they interact with frequently on Twitter. I’m looking forward to going to RWA Nationals to finally meet some of the people I’ve communicated with through Twitter. I’m even going to add my Twitter handle to the badge. So if you’re an author and you’re not on Twitter, I highly recommend it. If you’re a reader, authors want to hear from you! It’s a great way to tell them how much you loved their book or ask when the next one comes out.
For Facebook, I still have my personal page which I use to talk to friends and family. I also have my author page which I only use for book related communications. You can tie it to your blog so your followers know when you have a new post. You can run a contest through it. And use it to update your fans on the newest developments such as release dates. Personally, I think it works better than a newsletter because you can relay all the same information but without the cost or time commitment.
I love Google Plus, although most authors haven’t joined the bandwagon. Anytime you use a Google product, it’s integrated with the other Google products and that’s helpful for optimization. I also love the cell phone application. It displays beautifully. There are other benefits including speaking with your fans through a Google Chat Room. I don’t have fans yet, but if I did, at least I could chat with ten of them at a time. A great idea would be to throw a book chat or hold a contest in which ten fans win a chat with you to ask questions. Give it a few more years and Google Plus will rule social media.
I’m on Pinterest and I know so many people, including authors and readers, who love it. I don’t get the appeal. I’ve used it to keep track of my family’s horses and make boards of who I’d cast in my books. Maybe I’ll get more into it in the future, but with all the others, who has the time?
If you are not using social media and you’re a published author, you should pick just one to start. I’d recommend a Facebook author page. If you’re an unpublished author, I’d recommend Twitter. You can learn so much about the publishing industry reading the tweets. If you’re a reader, you should definitely check out Twitter and Facebook for your favorite authors. Don’t be shy! Find me. Tweet me. Friend me. Follow
A Year to Remember
Heat Level: some sex and conversations about sex, ages 18+
Currently available in e-book and print
Book Trailer for A Year to Remember
When her younger brother marries on her twenty-ninth birthday, food addict Sara Friedman drunkenly vows to three hundred wedding guests to find and marry her soul mate within the year. After her humiliating toast becomes a YouTube sensation, she permits a national morning show to chronicle her search. With the help of best friend Missy, she plunges head first into the shallow end of the dating pool.
Her journey leads her to question the true meaning of soul mates, as she decides between fulfilling her vow to marry before her thirtieth birthday and following her heart’s desire. But before she can make the biggest decision of her life, Sara must begin to take her first steps towards recovery from her addiction to food.
Soul Mate Publishing
E-BOOK EDITION ISBN: 978-1-61935-075-5
PRINT EDITION ISBN: 978-1-61935-098-4
Soul Mate Publishing
Barnes and Noble
Barnes and Noble
Shelly Bell started reading at three years old. In elementary school, the librarian gave her books to test out for the school library. As a teenager, she spent her allowance each week on romance novels, enjoying both young adult and adult romance.
Married to Jason in 2003, they have two children and reside in the metro-Detroit area, where she reads on her Kindle each night when her family falls asleep.
She is a member of Romance Writers of America and writes both women’s fiction and paranormal romance.
Google Plus Goodreads
Plunged into darkness as the door closed behind me, I couldn’t find the light switch. I hit my knee against a chair and groaned from the pain.
The door opened and someone entered the room. I assumed it was Missy coming to rescue me once again.
"I can’t find the light switch, Missy. Do you know where it is?"
Without warning, someone yanked me tightly against his warm, solid body. I heard his slight intake of breath and then he kissed me.
I know I should have fought against it, but whoever he was, he kissed sinfully well. At first, his soft lips whispered lightly against my own, seeking permission. When not only didn’t I stop him, but made a little moan of approval, his tongue caressed my lips until I opened my mouth. Only then did he allow his tongue to touch mine, first tentatively exploring the hidden depths of my mouth, and then hard and passionately, as though he’d never get enough of me.
He tasted like a heavenly combination of whiskey and cake. His tongue teased mine in sweet caresses, heating my blood to a fevered pitch.
Desperately needing to learn the identity of my mystery man, I lifted my hand to touch his face. He grabbed it away, nibbling on each fingertip then gently brushed his fingers across my cheek. I licked my lips in preparation of more kisses, but instead of kissing me, he spun me around in circles, confusing my sense of balance. As the world tilted on its axis and I tried to regain my bearings, he silently left the room.
For a few minutes, I stood rooted to the spot, attempting to recover from the encounter and craving more from my mystery kisser. Blushing from my response to him, I knew although I never saw his face, I would have made love to him if he asked. Before him, no one in twenty-nine years made my body burn that way.
Suddenly, I remembered the room’s two floor lamps. I floundered around the room until I smacked into one. After finding our coats, I left the synagogue with Missy.
Ending the evening of my twenty-ninth birthday with a kiss from my mysterious suitor should have thrilled me. Instead, I wondered why he (as drunk as I was, I was pretty sure I would have noticed if it was a woman) didn’t unmask his identity.
Was he married?
Fifteen or eighty-five years old?
Or even worse, embarrassed to be discovered kissing me?