I have been on G+ more than Facebook or Twitter now. As a selling platform, not that good. But as a networking and collaborative platform, amazing.
First thing I want to share is make sure people can find you and circle you. The nice thing about filling out your Google profile (and you better, because it is necessary for G+) is that you can private and share what you want. Under occupation, set it to everyone. Then put in there how you want to be viewed. Why? Because if you name comes up in a stream and I want to find out about you, the first thing I do is hover over your name.
A little bubble pops up. It will have your name and you occupation listed. If you are a writer all you have to put in occupation is writer or author. You don’t have to put where you are working for a pay check, unless you want to connect to people that way. There is a place to list your employment, that you can set to private.
You are easier to find, now what. Connect with a few people and jump into the conversations. As you read the responses, check out who is responding. You might find a gold mine. And don’t be afraid of adding them to a circle.
I use two circles for people I find interesting, but not sure where to put them right away. The acquaintances one (which G+ gives you when you start out) and one I made called suggestions. That is for everyone G+ suggests to me. I can watch them for a bit and decide if they are worth moving to a different circle or dropping.
Find someone you don’t like, you can drop them from your circle, ignore, block, and block with reporting. Ignore means they are following you and you don’t have to read their posts, but they can respond to yours. Block; stops them from seeing your posts. And Block and report, reports the profile to G+ as well.
Those are some quick tips to help you out.
Why have I stayed, since selling isn’t that good. There is more to being an author than selling. Something I think a few of us have forgotten. Selling only on G+ will make you a pariah very quickly. There were a couple of authors I followed on Twitter and Facebook that when they went to G+ I dropped. Why? They were cross posting the same thing (word for word) on all three platforms. And all I saw were “Buy my book” posts. They gave me nothing to interact with.
But as for networking and collaboration, G+ is wonderful. I have posted problems I have had with a recent manuscript, within minutes I get suggestions, links and pep talks. And collaboration: I am working on a horror wiki with other writers and artists.
Maundbury came about because I saw a post that said. “We should make up a horror setting.” With in an hour the wiki was in place and over the last month it has grown. We haven’t seen any writing, except for the entries, but I am sure that will change.
I am also using it for my beta readers, and the people working on my book trailer/mini films. (More about that later, if everything falls into place, it will be very interesting.) G+ makes a nice little place to sort out who I talk to and why.
One negative: The real name policy. I don’t like it. If you write under a pseudonym, you maybe asked to delete that profile. G+ users are fighting it. Because it makes no sense why Lady Gaga can keep her stage name, but a blogger that has used their Internet handle will be kicked out. They have also kicked out people with unusual, but real names. So if you are known under a pseudonym, I would wait and see if G+ changes that policy.
Last piece of advice. G+ is not Facebook. It’s not Twitter. It’s another community. One that you have a little more control over. Facebook is the frat party. Twitter the cocktail party. And G+ is the small town.
If you want to meet more writers; connect with me ( http://gplus.to/MariMiniatt ). One of the circles you see on my profile is my writing one. Jump in.