Oh, tumblr, how I love thee!

PJ here, and I’ve finally found a form of social media I love! Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy checking in with friends and readers on Facebook, but many of those folks are writers, friends, family, high school alumni, and adults who enjoy reading YA fiction, and it can often take up a lot of time getting caught up on everyone’s happenings. I engage in twitter on a regular basis, but as with FB, most of my twitter followers are other writers. After taking a Publicity 101 workshop with Heather Riccio recently, I was prompted to reach out more directly to my audience (namely teens), through tumblr. It turns out, tumblr is easy and really fun!tumblr icon 2 (2013_06_02 00_59_02 UTC)

I’ve been giving a lot of thought as to how I can reach readers and looking at where I’ve had my focus in terms of marketing and social media. Recognizing that I have to expand that all-important sphere of influence and try to connect with readers wherever they may be, tumblr was on the no-brainer list. It was highly recommended by my YA writing peers that tumblr and Instagram are the go-to locations for teens. For sanity’s sake, I chose only one.

I’m just getting started and I still have to work out a few kinks, but I really like tumblr. You can check out my new page here: http://pjsharonbooks.tumblr.com/ I will have to add my books to my page so readers will know where to find them, but I’ll add a little at a time as I figure out how to find teen followers. As with FB and twitter, it’s a slow build.

Tumblr is where I can post a cool pic right from my phone or computer, with a short blurb about the photo, about life, or about any number of things I think are awesome.

Basically, I’ll share snapshots of life as I see it—another way to share my message of hope with teens. I’ll post about my books as well, but 80% of my communication here is going to be about sharing pieces of me with teen readers.  You can add  a custom background, change fonts, and even connect your posts to FB and twitter, a great way for me to contribute to my brand on my FB PJSharonBooks page.

I realized a long time ago that blogging every day on a static website page was nearly impossible, despite the encouragement of publicity specialists who insist that consistent, frequent posts will garner attention and gain you an audience. Frankly, I don’t have the time or enough interesting, informative, or entertaining things to talk about every day. As it is, I currently use my web site’s home page as a way to keep readers updated monthly about sales, contests, and news about appearances. Keeping your content fresh and making your posts “value added” for readers is a challenge.  Blogs such as the one you’re reading now take significant time and effort and weekly blog posting is more than enough for most of us.

I figured a daily blog that literally only takes me two minutes to post would be a great way to start making a shift in the right direction. It’s kind of addictive and oh, so simple, I think I’ll be very happy there and don’t feel the need to explore Instagram at this point. I hope you’ll follow me or share with any teens you think might enjoy some clean, fun entertainment.

What about you? Have you tried tumblr? What’s your favorite mode of social media and why?

Additional announcements:

1.) The winner of last weeks audio book of HEAVEN IS FOR HEROES is Brenda Maxfield! Congratulations, Brenda! I’ll be contacting you to collect your FREE audiobook download.

2.) Readers have until September 11th to enter to win a FREE signed copy of WESTERN DESERT, book two in the Chronicles of Lily Carmichael trilogy as part of a Goodreads giveaway. You can enter to win herehttp://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/61971-western-desert

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19 thoughts on “Oh, tumblr, how I love thee!”

  1. I’ve been on tumblr for over a year now. I do have it connected to twitter, facebook and my blog. Tumblr is a great place to view photos and I have fun looking around.

    1. My library kids tell me the same thing, so i had to listen. The publicity 101 workshop I took last week was very helpful and heather was adamant that YA writers be on one or the other. We’ll see! The trouble I have now is figuring out how to draw followers who are teens.

    1. There are definitely adult readers there as well. You can go in and do a search for things you are interested in to see what comes up. Romance writers for instance. I think teens are hanging out there though because the “grown-ups” have taken over FB.

    1. I think many adults are hopping onto tumblr because it is quick, easy, and visual, but I still think FB gets you the most bang for your buck in terms of adult readers and followers. It wouldn’t hurt to have a presence on tumblr, though, especially if you can link your FB posts to tumblr so you don’t have to spend any extra time there. The more platforms you’re visible on, the better, but you have to be able to manage them without making yourself crazy. Hop on tumblr and search for historical romance and see what comes up.

  2. I am just learning to explore tumblr. My 17 year old grand daughter uses tumblr, but she also uses instagram and snapchat a lot. And she still loves posting on FB. She doesn’t use twitter at all. It’s hard to keep up with all these sites. I will link my accounts, though. Maybe that will help manage all of this.

  3. I think if you’re looking specifically to find readers, it would help to have a theme for your tumblr so it’s not just another version of a blog. The tumblrs I follow all have a focus–fashion, funny gifs, commentary on x. My ultimate favorite tumblr is The Hawkeye Initiative. I think you have to offer something other than day-to-day this is my life (like a blog). I’ve been using tumblr for five or six years, though I rarely post myself and instead follow other tumblr feeds. Maybe take a theme from your book and do a tumblr related to that? I think it has to be interesting to your potential readers. Just my thoughts!

  4. Just started Tumblr and I’m having fun with it. I don’t have any great tips to share yet, but I notice it’s mostly photos and quick visual posts. I don’t see many long essays and such.

  5. I haven’t tried Tumblr. I have tried to trace things back from Pintrest to Tumblr but found it difficult to locate those items. Maybe if I just browse I’d find it easier.

    1. Not sure how that works, Donna. I’m still a newbie with much to learn about tumblr, and I don’t use my Pinterest account all that much. Let me know when you figure it out:-) Thanks for stopping in!

  6. Tumblr was on my pinboard of ‘to do’ marketing stuff – I think you just moved it to top of the heap. And I like Stephanie’s advice of finding a theme, so I’m going to give it some thought and take a look – thanks ladies 🙂

    1. Excellent, Deborah. Finding a “theme” wasn’t mentioned in the Publicity workshop. I’m going to email Heather and suggest she add it for her next go around. It’s a brilliant suggestion. I do think it has to be something not too narrowly focused, but a topic that would draw a group of followers that would be specific to our target audience. “Teen Romance,” comes to mind. Or “Inspiration for teens” might work for me, though I wouldn’t want to give the impression that I write “insirational” in the religious sense. Not sure yet, but I’m mulling it over. Thanks for the visit!

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