Please welcome author Elizabeth Naughton to the lair. Today's topic--My Space vs. Facebook--should stir up some fascinating discussions. Take it away, Elizabeth!
Thanks to KJ and everyone at the Romance Bandits for having me here today.
My first book, STOLEN FURY, released in January 2009. It's a sexy romantic adventure about an archaeologist on the hunt for three ancient Greek reliefs, and the rogue thief who steals from her. They soon learn they have to work together to find the remaining relics if either want to succeed, and that they aren't the only ones on the hunt…other treasure hunters are after the prize, too, and they'll kill to get to the end first. As this is my debut book, I've been in serious promo mode the last few months, trying to figure out what works where. And I've discovered only one thing for certain after a year of research: I'm still fairly clueless. However, there is one promo aspect I am truly enjoying. And that is what has come to be known as my Facebook addiction.
How many of you are on Facebook? I must admit, I'm Myspace challenged. I spent hours creating a Myspace page, making it look nice, adding elements to jazz it up. And then I went looking for friends. I think I have like 30. Still. And I created my Myspace page months ago! Thing is…friending people on Myspace is a time consuming pain. I have three kids, a husband who travels and books that need to be written and promo'd. I don't have time to sit online trying to find people who like me! (Or pretend to.) And, okay, maybe I'm just too old for Myspace. My head spins when I log on because there are all these sparkly things flying toward me and pages that seem to take forever to load. (My attention span is obviously short.)
On the flipside though…Facebook is a piece of cake. And I can't believe how many people I've found that I thought I'd forgotten. My friend list is huge (in comparison to Myspace), and I often find myself logging on at odd hours just to see what my "friends" are up to. I've found and met lots of fans, get to talk about my books with people who are truly interested, and when I add writer updates like, "Elisabeth is stuck on a yacht off the coast of Belize, but this is an improvement because last night she was running for her life in a Mayan temple" people don't think I'm completely psycho but actually get excited over what I'm going to be doing next.
Recently, I read an article called Why Facebook is for Old Fogies. (http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1879169,00.html), and it was so good, I’m going to summarize for you here (and add my additions in parenthesis):
Facebook is about finding people you've lost track of. (This is Facebook's charm. Other old fogies are on Facebook, too. Because, they can't handle the sparkles on Myspace either. High school friends, college roommates, sorority sisters, ex boyfriends. Facebook is very useful for finding all of these…especially exes (one friend of mine managed to locate all her exes)…and seeing how much hair they've lost or how much weight they've gained. You can either pat yourself on the back for ditching them when you did or kick yourself you didn't marry the nerd whose locker was next to yours because he's now a multi-millionaire.)
We're no longer bitter about high school. (Most of us, that is. But this is true. At 28, I didn't go to my high school reunion because I still harbored resentments. I didn't WANT to know what my old high school friends were up to. In my mid-30s finding old friends is fun. (And again it's fun to look for exes. And show them all our books.))
We never get drunk at parties and get photographed holding beer bottles in suggestive positions. (Okay, some of us don't. J But most of my friends are mature enough not to post those incriminating photos on Facebook…though one friend says she's saving them for the day I hit it big. I have yet to get her to explain what "hit it big" means.)
Facebook isn't just a social network; it's a business network. (Bingo. Did you hear me talking about books, readers and fans? I know people technically use Myspace for this, but Facebook is just more fun. And let's face it. The people who are going to read my books are, well, people just like me…and my friends.)
We're lazy. (We, meaning the old fogies. Facebook is not only fun promotion, it's mindless entertainment. I can waste two hours on Facebook without even realizing it, and at the end of those two hours don’t necessarily feel like I did nothing, like I would if I'd crashed in front of the TV. Compare that to Myspace where I feel like ripping my eyebrows out after ten minutes.)
We're old enough that pictures from grade school or summer camp look nothing like us. (Isn't this true? Not so for a lot of people on Myspace. Many of my friends have added old pics from high school that have made me laugh for hours. And last night I found myself going through old high school pictures myself to scan in and post to my page then stopped and said, "What ARE you doing?" (My kids looked at me quite strangely at that point.))
We have children. (Old fogies love to share pictures of their kids and make all their friends suffer. Every single person on my friend list has pics of their kids up on their site. Except me. Since I use my page for promo I don't add kid pics, but you can bet I would if it were just for fun. Suffer, friends!)
We're too old to remember e-mail addresses. (Sadly, this is true. It's EASY to find people on Facebook. Just type in a name, and voila. There they are. And for some strange reason, though I'm not sure why, people are more apt to answer emails through Facebook than through regular email programs. Why IS that exactly?)
We don't understand Twitter. (Ack! I have no idea how to use Twitter. If you know…please email me privately and explain how it works!)
We're not cool, and we don't care. (Cool is Myspace and Twitter. Especially if you're in that 20-something demographic, which I, obviously, am not.) That time has passed. Facebook now has 150 million members, and its fastest-growing demographic is 30 and up.
Okay, this is not to say that Myspace isn't equally as fun for those of you who aren't me. I've discussed the pros and cons of both with lots of authors. I'm just saying, for me, at my age and with my sparkle-aversion level, Facebook is easier for me to navigate. I hear a lot of authors talk about the "promo beast"…that necessary evil we all must endure if we want to spread the word about our books, and I'm in awe of writers who are not only successful at multiple methods of promotion, but who seem to enjoy it all. One thing I've taken from this past year is to do the promo ops YOU find fun and that you don't mind doing, because you'll be more apt to keep up with them. Surprisingly, Facebook has been a fun promo tool that I would continue to use even if I didn't have a book coming out, mainly because it's just plain fun. And really, after a long day of running for my life in a Mayan temple, who couldn't use a little fun?
How about you? Are you on Facebook? If so, come find me and friend me. And how do you feel about the social networking sites…either for promotion or fun or for spreading the word about what you're up to in your life and work?
And before I forget…I'm giving away an autographed copy of STOLEN FURY to one lucky commenter. Because, well, like Facebook, it's just a really good time. So comment away. J
We'd love to hear your thoughts on My Space vs. Facebook! Thanks to Elizabeth for joining us today! Don't forget to stop by the Romance Bandits on Facebook and say hello.
Elisabeth Naughton writes both sexy romantic adventures and paranormals for Dorchester. Her debut, STOLEN FURY, was a January 2009 release and a 2007 Golden Heart Finalist in Romantic Suspense. The next two books in her Stolen Trilogy are scheduled to release in August 2009 and early 2010, respectively, followed by an all new paranormal adventure series which will hit store shelves spring 2010. A former junior high science teacher with three young children who loves to travel, Elisabeth has served as a board member for her local RWA chapter for years and was the Mid-Willamette Valley RWA chapter president in 2008. Visit her website at http://www.elisabethnaughton.com/ for more info on her and her books.