Many people envision idle teenage chatter when they hear the words “MySpace.com.” MySpace is indeed a gathering place for high school kids; however, it is not widely known that with 200 million members, MySpace is the world’s sixth most popular English-language website. It attracts a large adult following, and can be an effective networking tool for many writers, publishers and editors.
I joined MySpace last year. It was easy to make contacts. All I had to do was enter keyword searches for things that I was interested in, like the movie An Inconvenient Truth. Instantly, I was able to locate other people with similar tastes in politics, current events, music, books, films and TV. I requested them as “friends,” which enabled me to leave comments on their message board. I read everyone’s profile, found something about them that I liked, or could relate to, and sent them a note or a message on their board. They’d respond and we’d strike up a conversation.
Then I began to blog on My Space. I wrote about everything from traffic problems to book reviews. I asked my friends to subscribe to my blog and whenever I’d see a new face flying by on my main page, I would request that person as a friend. I learned over time that it was best to keep my friend list down so that I would have the time to converse with people and get to know them.
People began to express an interest in my novel. Many bought directly from me whereas others purchased the book from the link to Amazon that I put on my MySpace page. It was that simple! But it was time-consuming.
I’d strongly recommend MySpace as a marketing tool, only if you plan to devote time and energy to it. There is no point in establishing a page and hoping that your book will sell itself simply because you’re a member. It won’t. You have to get active and request friends, make comments and join groups.
To start a MySpace page, go to http://www.myspace.com and register. Search for people with common interests. You can find friends automatically by seeing who is in your address book on Yahoo or Google that already has a MySpace account. Be as detailed as possible in your personality profile and include information such as the name of your high school or university so that like-minded people can find you. Devote a small block of time each week to building your circle of friends. Put your MS website address at the bottom of all of your e-mails or include it in newsletters and blogs. And don’t forget to have a good time! If you find it tedious, it’s not for you.
Sigrid Macdonald is the author of two books, an editor and a book coach, who lives in Ottawa, Ontario. She has written extensively for magazines and national newspapers and is a consummate blogger. Visit her MySpace page at http://www.myspace.com/keepalowprofile.