By Char Jones
Recently I was asked about my explosive growth of Facebook Friends from one — thanks author Louise Mangos! — to 3000 Friends in the first two weeks. As any writer knows, social media is king these days. So pulled some thoughts together about the journey to how a red-haired girl whose first-read words were Burger Beer from a billboard.
BOOKS IN WOMB
Always a reader. Came out of the womb with a book in both hands. Made a living as a writer for many years. Spent an equally long time in PR and healthcare marketing. Reviewing its full-circle coming.
Rejoined two years ago to connect with far-flung theater friends across the globe ... in Australia, Malaysia, Saskatoon, and across the U.S. Wrote short pieces, got positive feedback from my creative tribe, which meant a great deal, so started doing more reviews.
THANKS, MAGGIE HOPE!
One of my favorite authors Susan Elia MacNeal announced on Facebook that early advance review copies were available on NetGalley for her fab upcoming THE PRISONER IN THE CASTLE. So I joined, got approval to review Susan’s book, and then did many many more. Just completed my 300th book review today!
Earned NetGalley Badges for doing 10, then 25, then 50 reviews — all posted on Goodreads — and when I stumbled on my Goodreads ranking I was shocked — #2 as a reader and #12 as a reviewer globally. Whew!
ROLLIN’, ROLLIN’, ROLLIN’
Writers and publishers began to contact me directly, and Friend Requests rolled in. I did sweat equity too, spending time each day making requests myself.
JOURNEY OF 1000 CLICKS
Began clicking “People You May Know” button to request friends among my bookish tribe. Soon found that potential friends already had upwards of 400 mutual contacts. A critical mass had been reached — Malcolm Gladwell’s “Tipping Point” — and the more I clicked, the more swiftly the network grew.
WISHING UPON A STAR
Now, I’ve set more goals ... for 5000 Friends (max #) on Facebook and on Goodreads. And 500 reviews by summer’s end on NetGalley.
LIES, MORE LIES AND STATISTICS
Ignore the header. These current stats are true!
• 3642 Facebook Friends
• 2078 Goodreads Friends
• 300 NetGalley Reviews
As I write, the Beatles’ “Long and Winding Road” plays. It’s been the best kind of trip so far, one for which I thank my many new friends! Brief update: reached NetGalley pinnacle over the weekend of 500 reviews. And just yesterday added new Facebook Friends from Moscow, Paris, Rome, Belgium, Brazil, Germany and Spain. Plus, this week had review requests or consultations with a London historical writer, an Israeli author of thrillers, an Egyptian literary short story author, and an American historical fiction biographer of Hedy Lamarr — all reflective of the power of social media.
Char Jones writes book reviews and sundries on her Facebook blog, Literary Soirée. She’s a past entertainment journalist, medical writer and healthcare marketing executive. When she dies, Char wants to be buried in red lipstick, distressed jeans, and ruby cowgirl boots — with a book clutched in each hand! Social Media: Literary Soirée https://www.facebook.com/literary.soiree.5