Proof That Social Media Works (Thanks, John Truby!)

This is part of the Bittersweet Book Launch case study, where Dan Blank and Miranda Beverly-Whittemore share the yearlong process of launching her novel. You can view all posts here.

By Miranda Beverly-Whittemore

I want to admit something. It’s about why I’ve been quieter than usual the last few weeks.

Lately, as I’ve gotten closer to publication, I’ve started to feel, well, less and less enthusiastic about social media. I went into this year knowing that I wanted to do everything I possibly could to get the word about Bittersweet into the world, and so I jumped into social media feet first. For the most part, putting myself “out there” has been a very rewarding experience- a great way to connect with potential readers; with writers, who are fueled by the work I’m doing on this website around the marketing process; with the writers who’ve contributed to FriendStories (and the readers who’ve loved reading the FriendStories). It’s also been a great way to keep myself occupied in the long year between selling Bittersweet and its publication.

On a good day, all these extra places I can “be” is an easy pleasure. I flit between Twitter and Facebook, post here on the booklaunch blog, email potential FriendStories authors, and keep my creative work afloat. But I’ve been finding that easy flit harder and harder to balance with the creative work I want and need to be doing.

Also, there’s something strange about an avid online life- it is nigh impossible to turn off. There’s always the chance to do more, always the reminder of missed opportunities. And although it’s a quick way to connect- someone across the country can Tweet at you with the news that they loved your book (a reader you’d never have heard from otherwise)- but for all that connection, there’s often the feeling that you’re just kind of yelling into the void. Months have gone by on this blog when not one single person comments.

Also, there’s something profoundly strange about my writer self- the deepest, tenderest part of me that unfurls into a book. That part of me is profoundly private. She kind of needs a dark room with no one in it in order to step out in all her glory. And it’s hard to trick her to come out with all these other connections being made.

Anyway. Anyway.

Proof came this week that although maybe I need to be thinking more carefully about where I’m connecting and when, I really shouldn’t be giving up altogether.

photo 2-11Remember those posts I wrote about how I use John Truby’s screenwriting bible, The Anatomy of Story, to help me outline a novel? Well, every day I wrote one, I tweeted about it, and included his Twitter handle, @JohnTruby. Lo and behold, yesterday I get an email from someone from John Truby’s office. Turns out he loves how I’m using his book (“It’s exactly what I intended when I wrote it. It’s also very gratifying to see someone who is obviously a serious novelist get so much benefit from the book.”). Turns out he’d like to feature some excerpts from my posts, and mention Bittersweet, in his e-blast that goes out to 15,000 writers at the end of the month!

So that’s pretty cool.

(Excuse me while I go tweet about this post).