Social Media are the catch words of the day. I've been hearing it from everyone - my publisher, my editor, my agent and even my writer friends. Facebook and Twitter, I think are the biggest examples of social media. And there are lots of articles out there on how to use social media to promote books.
I'm all for spreading the word--writing is a business, but...I don't know if it's truly working. And it does take time - time that could be spent writing books and short stories. I'm sure I'm not the first person to wonder if the time spent is worth it in a business sense. In general, would readers prefer more stories and less interaction? Or more interaction and not as many books? Do you make discoveries online?
However I enjoy doing the social media thing in a more personal sense and will continue to do what I can, which is maintain two Facebook pages (one more personal and the other a Fan page), be on Goodreads, blog, and maintain my website.
Speaking of my website (http://www.mariavsnyder.com) I've updated it...finally! The bio is current - my children no longer look like hobbits and I've added a picture of Valek. I actually updated the FAQs page and put in 15 FAQs and answers. The press kit is an old fashioned media thing from before the dinosaurs roamed the earth when people used snail mail and telephones and information was harder to find - so I didn't include it and will change the name of the page...er...sometime.
I also updated my UK page and the Cover Galley page (I have the foreign covers of my books on there, but not all of them because I don't get all of them - so if you see my books in the following countries: Poland, Vietnam, and Hungary - buy them for me and I'll refund you - I promise! I'll even throw in something extra for your trouble ;)
I updated my Short Stories page and then.....arrrrggggghhhhh....had to update it again! April and May were busy anthology months for me - I had stories in 2 anthos released in April, Bewere the Night and Corsets & Clockwork, and one story and one article released in May, No Man's Land and Many Genres One Craft. Phew! I thought I was done, but nooooooooo, I learn that my short story, Cursing the Weather (about a weather wizard in an Asian town) was published in Black Gate Magazine Issue # 15.
Why didn't I know this? Well, the publisher/editor John O'Neill bought the story from me back in December 2007! One good thing about John - he pays for the story when the contract is signed and not on publication, which is good 'cause it took 3+ years for it to see print! He gave me a vague, "sometime this spring," but I've learned that until I have that baby in hand, I wasn't going to get too excited (I still don't have an actual copy, but other people do). It's a heck of an issue - my story is part of the warrior women theme (surprising, I know :).
For more info on my short stories go here: http://www.mariavsnyder.com/shortstories.php
To read excerpts from my two Black Gate stories (one from 07 - but they still have copies) go here: http://www.mariavsnyder.com/books/curse.php