Debbie Ridpath Ohi aka @DebbieOhi @inkyelbows and inkygirl, is not only a picture book author/illustrator but a Facebook, Twitter, Google + and Instagram-mer extraordinaire. She gave a social media master class on February 16 for the Tuesday night professional series.
Debbie, who hails from Toronto, was in the middle of a social media whirlwind of her own. She had just attended the SCBWI Winter Conference over the weekend and was also meeting with her agent, as well as the editor and art director for her newest picture book projects.
In her introduction, she stressed that first everyone should make sure their creative work is in order before delving deeper into social media. “Your work needs to take priority. Otherwise social media isn’t worth it.”
She added, “there is no right way to do social media. It’s a personal choice. Figure out what works best for you.”
Then she gave everyone 30 seconds to write down their social media goals. “I wish I’d done this myself when I started,” she laughed. She recommended that you pick one or two goals and stick to them.
Debbie shared many overall principles of social media, some of which she illustrated with her cartoons and drawings. Be personal but not too personal. Remember the internet is forever. Be wary of too much negativity. Be patient and plant seeds. Build relationships with people you think are wonderful regardless of how important they are.
Debbie gave out many tips during the Q & A session, where questions ranged from the technical: “Do you think Facebook fan pages are worth it?” and “How do you set up crosspostings so they look good on all of the platforms?” to “How much time do YOU spend on social media?”
Debbie smiled and said of course she should know. She was definitely getting better thanks to a new time management app and also her personal goal for 2016: to work on her middle grade novel first thing in the morning.
“And you can all ask me about how my middle grade novel is coming along next time you see me,” she added.
@inkyelbows (tweets about kidlit/YA)
@debbieohi (livetweets, chats, photos)
She’s also on Facebook and Google+
Annina Luck Wildermuth writes and illustrates picture books. You can see her work at https://allmycharacters.wordpress.com/ and follow her on Twitter @AnninaLuck