Whirlabout started in September of 2011, but the idea started a few months earlier. I studied Book Publishing at Portland State University, in the Ooligan Press graduate program, and when you graduate, after you’ve turned in your portfolio and your final paper, you sit and drink tea and eat sweets with a select group of your professors, and talk about the future.
My talk culminated in a call to action. There was a need for someone to teach authors how to set up and manage their social media presence, and I really couldn’t think of anything I’d rather do for a living. A few months later, Whirlabout New Media was born. I worked with two other friends on and off in the beginning, but ultimately Whirlabout is my baby, and I’m happy to say that I’m still here over two years later.
I really believe in the power of new media to connect the reading community. I believe, because I’ve seen it in action. Many of the most successful and influential YA authors right now have very active online lives. They maintain blogs and websites, are constantly interacting with their fans through Facebook and Twitter, and are paving their own way through the internet with sites like Youtube, Tumblr, and Goodreads. I also know that everyone is different, and not every website appeals to every person. Here at Whirlabout, we take a goal-oriented approach to social media. I aim to work directly with authors (established, new, and even prospective) to help figure out what strategy works best for each of them.
Social media is just that, social, which is why I teach my clients to manage the sites themselves, instead of doing the maintenance for them. There’s nothing wrong with hiring someone to handle your marketing and social media efforts, but many of us don’t have the money to invest in that kind of long-term position, and I feel social media is most effective when it comes from the authors themselves. Social media is about connecting directly with your fans, and who can do that better than you?
If you’re feeling a little lost amid all the sites out there, have a publisher requesting you establish a presence on specific sites, or are looking to set up an online platform while you query your novel, I can help. To see the different services we offer, check out our Services page, and for pricing information go to our Packages page. You can also browse our Tips for Social Media, to get some free ideas.