Since 2000, I've had a website typical of what most writers put up on the Internet. There's a brief biography, a list of my published works with lovely book review quotes of how great they are, some photographs, links to bookstores that sell my books, a way to email me, and an events page that now directs folks to my Facebook page.
Although it has been updated several times over the years, the website (www.michaelmcgarrity.com) now basically sits there as is, lonely and neglected as I've developed new author "platforms" on the World Wide Web.
Author platforms are those things writers are supposed to do to expand their presence, enhance their media exposure, and draw new audiences to their work. For example, because of my past experience as a police officer, I should be blogging a lot about crime. Or, I should be using my background as a clinical social worker to be posting about problems such as homelessness among veterans with PTSD. By doing so, I establish myself not only as a writer, but as an "expert," thus giving me more "chops" that draws more fans, readers, and media attention to me and my body of work.
So now I Blog, and I'm on Facebook, the Goodreads Authors page, the Amazon Authors Page, and something called LibraryThing, which I don't have a clue about other than it lets writers sign up. And I'm wondering nine months on, if it's worth it. Has this attempt to make me more interesting, more accessible, more of a desirable commodity to readers, achieved any payoff in terms of sales, growing celebrity status, or heightened anticipation for my next book or public speaking event?
The answer is a resounding, "I don't know, but I doubt it."
What it does is consume time I could be better using working on my next novel "Residue." That's not to say I'm going to stop. I just plan to pay less attention to social media, unless you, dear readers, can convince me otherwise. Your job here, as I see it, is to vote on the simple question:
Is my enhanced presence on social media important to you? Yes or No.
And thanks for voting.