Posted by J Russell
I’ve been ‘working’ with the team at RO Literary since April this year. I put working in inverted commas, because actually they seem to be the only ones who are putting in a professional shift – attending book fairs, workshops, and other writing events, quite aside from all the reading and editing and so on they do for their authors.
I, on the other hand, have been blundering around in the world of social media trying to get my author platform up and running, prior to going to market in the publishing world this autumn.
In the past I thought I had been pretty quick to jump onto the various emerging platforms:
- Facebook – check
- Twitter – check
- WordPress – hell yeah I’ve been on this shit since 2007
But no, as it turned out, my social media was shot to hell with various pseudonyms (Westmead Hawk being my personal favourite) and my blog was a catalogue of personal musings running to the length of *insert the title of favourite doorstop*.
This blog has 1968 published posts and 203 drafts (this being 1969) and surely runs into a word count in excess of 600,o00 words – far too unwieldy to navigate for a slick platform for a writer hoping to make the big time. Italics intended as irony, just in case you know me and are worried my head has suddenly become super-sized.
The truth is, I squirm at the thought of a platform, but I am a realist. I believe in the book wot I wrote. The fact is that is that I was entrusted with a story to tell and I owe it to those people who gave me the story to ensure it reaches the widest possible audience. Writing was only the half of it. The other part is getting my act together.
That’s where Sandra and Laura at RO Literary have been invaluable. Clear-sighted and professional, they tell me what I need to do, and offer to help and support where they can. Determined, in my usual way, to be as self-sufficient as I can, I buy the domain name I can afford and launch myself headlong into a world in which there is a whole new language that I do not understand, in which I attempt to link the new domain name to the relevant pages on this existing blog. So far, it’s not been going well.
When you buy a domain name, and either don’t want to or can’t afford to make the registration private, the first thing that will happen is that your inbox will get jammed up with spam offering website building services. The second thing that will happen is that you will find out the thing you want to do (transfer your new domain to your existing platform) is not possible for 60 days. It will take you a long time to work this out. Then you will forget when the 60 day period was up and go through the whole process of finding out how to transfer your now less new domain to your existing one, only to find out you can’t do it for 6 more days.
As part of the process, you might, as I did, do the wrong thing: namely map your existing domain to your not-so-new one. This means no-one can read anything you wrote over the last 9 years for a day or two, until you figure out how to fix your mistake. Fortunately, no money changed hands in erratum, although I came close.
As I said about 500 words ago, I used to think that I knew what I was doing more or less on social media. Today, I put my hands up: I don’t.
Will I connect my blog to my new domain jessicamrussell.com?
Will I figure out if Instagram has a ‘retweet’ facility as Twitter does?
Will I ever be brave enough to drop my Facebook pseudonym that I adopted on police advice?
Will my book ever be published? If RO Literary have anything to do with it – yes.
I am going to play my part as best I can, even if it’s a muddle for me in getting there, so watch this space and enjoy the ride. And if you were hoping for an explanation of the title of this post – sorry. I might be in the world of these new words for now, but I am never going to learn the lingo.