One of the biggest tools we have with self-publishing now is the ability to promote our writing with social media. Today I’m going to talk about the different types of social media and how they should be used. If you have anything you want to contribute, comment or shoot me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Social media isn’t going away any time. As you (almost definitely) know, it’s a great way to connect with thousands – if not millions – of people all across the world. What better way to promote your writing than by using social media? Each time, I’ll include why you should use it and how to use it.
PS – I hope you don’t mind, but I’m going to include the links to my pages for these things. See it as shameless self-promotion if you will, but I’m including them as examples. And besides, the entire point of this post is to tell you how to best shamelessly self-promote.
Why – It’s a really good idea to have a Facebook fan page for your book or for you as an author. You can invite your current Facebook friends to like it, ask your friends and family to invite their friends, etc. When people asked me why I made a Facebook page for Aureole, the reason I came up with was that this way I wasn’t overloading their newsfeeds with book information on the daily. If they wanted to like my page, then they would get book information. If it was just going to annoy them, then they didn’t have to like it.
How – When you create it, include plenty of pictures. Invite everyone you know, whether or not they are likely to actually like the page. If you’re comfortable with it, ask other people to share the page with their friends. Post regularly, including links to your other social media pages, the pages to buy the book, and any reviews.
See my example – the Aureole by Kate Mitchell Facebook page
Why – This is an incredible way to network with so many different people. You can connect to readers or potential readers, as well as to publishing or promoting companies. There are even some companies that will tweet information about your book (for a price, of course). This is also a great way to show your human side and to build a rapport with all of those readers who you may or may not be able to meet any way other than online.
How – It’s a good idea to tweet benign things – such as my extremely clever tweet that C.J. Cregg used “I was born this way” before Lady Gaga did – as well as book things. I use Hootsuite to schedule tweets throughout the day and week. This is great for blogging purposes as well as for regularly getting out links to buy my book on different sites, like it on Facebook, leave a review, read a review, etc. By using a scheduler, I’m sure that I’m not constantly bombarding my followers with tweets at the same time every day, that they’re not all coming out at once, and that I’m using Twitter the most productive way possible.
See my example – Kate Mitchell (@kmitchellauthor) on Twitter
Because it’s wicked fun Because it’s a great way to connect with people in so many different categories and with many different interests. This is also a really easy way for your information to go viral. By easy I mean it’s easier than it is on the others, but not that it’s easy in the first place. (Like every other kind of social media, success comes from using it regularly.) The reason why it’s easy is that it’s essentially just the practice of constantly sharing pictures/links/information. So someone doesn’t have to be following you to stumble upon your material.
How – Like I said, use it regularly. Pinterest works by putting things into different categories. I strongly encourage being super organized. I have a board for Style/Clothes, Style/Jewelry, Style/Shoes, for example. Book wise, I have one board for books and quotes about books, and other for writing. I have a separate board for blogging. The reason why it can be really helpful/important to be overly organized like this is that people can follow you as a whole as well as individual boards. I have people following my writing board but not any of my fashion boards. This enables people to follow what they are interested without anything they’re not.
See my example – Kate the (Almost) Great Pinterest
Why – This is an excellent way to build a community of people who are interested in your writing, or at least interested in reading about/learning about your writing. It is a lot of work, but it’s also very rewarding.
How – I’m not going to get really into how to blog. However, I will say that there are two key ways you could go about doing this. One is basically what I’m doing right now: a separate blog, it’s own website, etc. The other is a blog section of your author website. (Because you obviously have that, right? Right??) I do have one of those, and there I solely post writing updates, book updates, details about promotional events, etc.
See my example – well, you’re already at one of them, but the other is Straight from Kate
Why – Goodreads is like THE social media site about books. So not only is it awesome (and I should definitely use it more), but you can also create an author page for yourself. This is also a great way for people to post reviews or just say that they’re reading your book. Awesome publicity for you!
How – Create an author page, as well as a normal profile page. You will need to keep this up to date, because if you have a common name like me, occasionally books that you didn’t write will be attributed to you. Like, I’m all for good publicity, but I’m sure that the Kate Mitchell who wrote those books would like to be recognized for her work.
See my example – Kate Mitchell author page on Goodreads
Do you have any advice? Are there any social media websites that I didn’t mention that you think I should? Comment below or shoot me an email! Next week’s topic will be the magical thing called the virtual book tour.