Insights into Social Media for Authors: Interview with Man of La Book

Authors on Twitter: A Weekly Series
In the next month, I’ll be interviewing authors, book bloggers, and other experts in the entertainment industry on best practices for using Twitter to grow a following, in all of its myriad promotional and informational ways. I’m launching this series with Man of La Book, who I first noticed on Twitter. His tweets encouraged me to look, to link, and to read–whatever he was telling me to. And at 3,000+ followers, I couldn’t have been the only one who felt similarly compelled…


Tell us a bit about you.

I am a father to two mischievous kids, a husband to a wonderful wife and I rest 40 hours a week as a software engineer.  I spend way too much time on my hobbies: reading and wood working. We recently moved so wood working is no longer an option for the near future, which leaves me more time to read. However, my little corner of cyber space has brought me great joy and I met wonderful people who share similar passions to mine.

Why blog?

I have always been an avid reader. I might have not read the volume of books I read today, but I always had a book at hand. Two years ago I joined the LibraryThing challenge of reading 50 books that year. In the midst of the challenge I felt as if I needed to discuss these books, or even just write my thoughts about them. That is when I started my Quixotic blog Man of la Book.

The blog is not only an outlet, but allows me to discuss books I want to discuss, not merely join other conversations (though I do that as well,) but to start one of my own. The blog also helps me think deeper about what I’m reading, see the book from different angles, arrange my thought process and write better (I think).

You have over 3000 followers on Twitter. Tell us how we can be more like you.

For me, managing Twitter means:

  • Creating different Twitter streams based on logical separation of accounts. Which logic? That’s up to you, but here is a link on how to create one: https://support.twitter.com/articles/76460-how-to-use-twitter-lists.
  • Creating Twitter groups (authors, book bloggers, publishers, etc.) and using a third party utility to view. Currently, the third party utility that I like to use is cotweet (www.cotweet.com). As of now I like it, cotweet allows me to easily schedule posts, keep track of conversations and more. Cotweet also allows you to maintain and track several Twitter accounts or the protagonists of their books.
  • Scheduling Twitter posts is a great way to keep order in the promotional offers I have on my blog (free books, giveaways, etc.). I can set a message to go out on the last day of a week long giveaway to remind followers to enter, or tweet about a book I posted in about last month which only comes out now.
  • Regularly updating my tweets, as well as interacting with other users.
You can find me on Twitter @manoflabook.

Any joys you find in Facebook for authors?

I use Facebook to follow authors whose books I like, period. Very, very rarely do I follow an author whose books I have not yet read. I believe Facebook could be an integral part of an author interacting with an existing readership, being able to answer questions, write essays, updates on writing, get ideas etc. The idea of social media is not to sell a book, but to make people aware that you exist, be able to connect to people and if you’re lucky, get talked about.

[Lucinda insertion of an Author Facebook Page that Man of La Book agree is really excellent: http://www.facebook.com/DouglasKennedyBooks]

Do you think it’s necessary to use other social media devices beyond Twitter? For instance, if I’m already on Twitter and Facebook for promotional reasons, do I now consider Google Plus?

Twitter, like everything else, has its strong points (140 characters), and its bad ones (140 characters). Like any other social tool, if you can’t manage it effectively, you’ll feel quickly overwhelmed. And worse, unpopular.

From my research, it appears that Google has drawn the best of Twitter and Facebook to combine them into their own application. For those who like to promote their products/services through social media, the interaction between social media and search engines is priceless. It’s best to star thinking of Google+ as a hub for every Google product (calendar, docs, SEARCH!!!!!, YouTube, etc.). These products will eventually be tied to your G+ account.

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This series continues all week. Come back tomorrow to get more insights from Man of La Book. You can also read my interview, a perspective on how book bloggers are changing the book biz at: http://manoflabook.com/wp/?p=4661

If you have some insights to share on social media and would like to voice them on my blog, contact info@lucindaliterary.com.

Ron Friedman

Ron Friedman, Ph.D., is an award-winning social psychologist who specializes in human motivation. He is a frequent contributor to Harvard Business Review, Fast Company, Forbes, and Psychology Today. His forthcoming title DECODING GREATNESS (Simon & Schuster) shatters outdated myths of success, revealing new scientific truths behind achieving top performance, as told through the stories of popular culture's most beloved and inspirational icons.