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Sunday, 13 September 2015

Launching Forth - How Much Is Enough? Books and Social Media by Amy Boucher Pye

I’ve been waiting for this moment for years. This week, my first book – Finding Myself in Britain, my wee baby – will start its launch into the world. It will first appear at the Christian Resources Together retreat (a gathering for publishers, authors, retailers and distributors), when all of the participants will receive a copy. Then 27 September I’ll be preaching at our church and we’ll share lunch together afterwards, celebrating and giving thanks. Then 1 October is the official launch date, when bookshops and online retailers should have their stock – woo hoo! – and hopefully my social-media and blogging campaign hits its full gear. The following week I get to speak at the Grange Coffee House in Wokingham (5 October) and at St James’ Church in Shirley, Southampton, on 9 October. I’m so grateful.

All of these events, all of the ‘likes’ on my new profile picture on Facebook (the cover of October’s Woman Alive – wow), all of the blogs and posts and tweets, amaze me. And so it seems right to stop and pause for a moment before the activity of the coming weeks to give thanks. For so many years I’ve wanted to write a book, but I faced many false starts and jaunts along the wrong path before reaching this point. Thank you, Lord, and thank you to my publisher, Authentic Media, and to the many editors and reviewers who shaped my book.

As I’ve been in the publishing business for loads of years, I have a pretty good grasp of what needs to be done in launching Finding Myself in Britain. And yet I know I won’t have everything perfect – my website is in the midst of being revamped, for instance, and isn’t something I’m shouting about yet. (I don’t even have everything tickety-boo on the book announcement page there yet, for instance.) The internal pressure to reach perfection is great, and yet family and work demands mean it’s not all going to get done. What I’ve done will have to be enough.

As I enter this busy period, I’m thinking a lot about social media. It’s certainly a key platform to get one’s message out. And yet, how can we get the balance right in talking about our book on the various channels and yet not annoying our peeps to the point of hiding/unfriending/unfollowing us? In the past an author friend private-messaged me and said I was getting it wrong – they wondered if I was too vociferous as I was writing my book. (Perhaps they were right; I did need some strong work from my editor to dial down the level of conversations about Britain which I included in the manuscript.) Yet a different friend, not an author, said she’s found watching the process over the past months really interesting. We won’t please everyone.

But how do we get this new world right? How do you manage this balance on social media? Are you conscious about how often you post about your writing versus on other subjects? Do you have separate social-media accounts for connecting as an author and personally?

I want to hear from you! Thanks in advance. 

Amy Boucher Pye writes devotional notes for Day by Day with God and Our Daily Bread and runs the Woman Alive book club. She’s recently joined Instagram, and loves it – you can find her at amyboucherpye.

9 comments:

  1. Hi Amy, What a great post! I've never thought you've 'got it wrong'. On the contrary, I both admire and envy your ability to put yourself across in a way that entertains, informs and encourages. Wish I could do it as well as you do. Looking forward to seeing your book in print at CRT, and I wish you well with future sales. xx

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  2. Oh Mel thank you so much for your vote of confidence! I'm grateful. So glad to know you'll be getting a copy of my book at CRT; that makes me happy. Maybe you'll write a review! :)

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  3. I echo what Mel said. Perhaps she and I are just not of the social media generation. Although she packs a pretty good punch (to use an un-Mennonite image) on Facebook too.

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  4. I loved this post and find it really hard to know the right balance too. I suppose it's all about building relationships, something I think you do well, from what I can tell. If people think we're only interested in them for their buying power, they won't stick around long. But building a genuine interest in others, because, as writers, hopefully we're fascinated by all humans anyway, will be beneficial in all sorts of ways, Great post :)

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    1. Thank you - indeed, you're right about it coming to building relationships. I count so many of my FB friends as dear friends, and get a bit miffed when people say they aren't 'real' friends.

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  5. I started an author page separate from my personal Facebook page at the end of last year and find it's useful. Some overlap but not too much. It means I can create my author image which is a bit different form the everyday FB me. Good luck!!

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  6. It's a tough one, isn't it? With you 100% on your excitement about your book and the upcoming marketing and worry about boring and alienating people. Just the other day I was reminded of my first boyfriend - when I was 13 - who broke up with me because, he said, all I talked about was dogs!

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    1. Sounds like you were better off without him! :) Loving all that you're doing for your Poppy launch. (Will I see you tomorrow?)

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