The topic of the day here on Mostly Mystery is social media. Frankly, I’m a relative newcomer to using social media with my books and I’ve been learning as I go along. This month my website will be totally redone and my blog will be added to my website. So I guess you could say at the moment I’m under construction. My current website is here and it updates my news about my mysteries, but it centers more on my memoir about teaching. When the site is reconstructed, the mysteries will take front and center.
I have an author page on Goodreads, but I find that site inscrutable, and I use it simply to post what I happen to be reading and reviews of books I have read. I’m hoping that Amazon will do some restructuring to make it more user-friendly now that the book giant has bought Goodreads.
My own blog, andsometimesshewrites, is where I spend my most time on social media. I’ve written this blog since March 2012 and have 74 posts. The first year I posted fifty times and was very active, writing about everything from life in Phoenix to imaginary towns for novels. Since that first year I have posted less because I’ve been working more on novels.
More recently, my blog posts have been about writing and research. I’m in the middle of four posts about experts I’ve interviewed for my first mystery. So far I’ve written about the police chief, the fire chief, and the coroner. Last will be the homicide detective I’ve used for both novels.
Because I can see statistics on my posts, I enjoy thinking about my readers. In the two years I’ve been blogging, I’ve had 26,700 hits (which means that is how many times my page has been opened and, hopefully, read by a reader.) The most popular piece was one of nostalgia about growing up at the drive-in theatre in the 1950s. That post has had 1,560 hits. It’s also interesting to see where my audience lives. The United States, by far, is my biggest readership, but I also have myriad readers from the United Kingdom, Russia, France, Germany, Canada, Ukraine, and China.
The second social media I use most is Facebook. While I have a personal page that centers on my children and grandchildren, I also have an author page you can reach by going to Susan Van Kirk Author. On this page I update my progress on my current novel, direct readers to a new blog post on my site or on Mostly Mystery, and sometimes share funny things from my publisher. I use this Facebook page to keep people up to date on my Work In Progress and the publishing date for my next book. This page, like Goodreads, does have limitations. I’d like to be able to connect with other groups, but that isn’t possible at this time. The third Facebook Page that is important to me is the page for Desert Sleuths, a Sisters in Crime chapter to which I belong. I post on that page when I have book news from my publisher or blogs that I think might be of interest to other members.
It’s very time-consuming to keep all these dishes spinning, but it’s also a necessity in today’s world of publishing and reading.