Hello Lifers! Today, we're diving into the vibrant world of social media and its potential for book promotion. Whether you're an extrovert who loves to share or an introvert who prefers to keep things low-key, we've got you covered.
Let's start with a question: Is understanding social media crucial to making money as a self-published author? The answer is a resounding yes! Social media is a powerful tool for connecting with readers, building your author brand, and promoting your books. It's a platform where you can engage directly with your audience, and it's (sorta kinda mostly) free!
For newbies, it's a way to build your author platform from scratch. For veterans, it's a way to keep your audience engaged and attract new readers.
But HOW? HOW do I capture this lightning in my bottle o' success, beyond just posting cute pix of my cat? Well, let's talk about some strategies. When? NOW
We're not just talking about posting a link to your book and hoping for the best. We're talking about engaging with your audience in unique and interesting ways. Social media is not just about broadcasting, it's about engaging. It's about creating a community around your work and your brand. Here are some specific strategies that go beyond the usual:
A virtual book launch can be an exciting event that brings your readers together. You can host it on Facebook Live or Instagram Stories. Here's how:
1. Create a schedule for the event, including a reading from your book, a Q&A session, and maybe even a guest speaker or two.
2. Promote the event on all your social media platforms in the weeks leading up to the launch.
3. During the event, engage with your audience. Respond to their comments and questions in real time.
Twitter threads are a great way to share insights or tell a story in a series of tweets. Share daily writing tips or insights into your writing process. Create a thread that tells a backstory of a character or a subplot of your book. Anything that interests you might well interest others. Remember to think of the AUDIENCE FIRST (not "What do I want to share?" but rather "What do THEY want to know?"). And remember to use hashtags related to writing and self-publishing to increase the visibility of your thread.
Instagram is a great platform for sharing visual content. Share photos of your writing process, your workspace, or your research trips (this one can be ESPECIALLY fun). Post short videos or Instagram Stories where you talk about your book or your writing process. TALK to the camera (and to your audience). Again, use relevant hashtags to reach a wider audience.
The secret, in the end, is to ENGAGE. Do stuff that people will enjoy. Make it about them, and serve a bit of fun!
But what about us introverts? What are WE to do?
Look, I totally get that the thought of sharing your work and your thoughts with the world might feel daunting. The constant buzz of social media can seem overwhelming, especially when you prefer quiet contemplation to the hustle and bustle of the digital world. But here are a few tips to help you navigate the social media landscape without draining your energy. Heck, some of 'em might even make you feel GOOD!
First and foremost, remember that you're in control. Social media platforms are tools that you can use in a way that suits you best. You decide what to share, when to share it, and who to share it with. You don't have to share every aspect of your personal life, or even your writing. Just make sure that whatever you DO share is genuine: something you love, and think will be of some use to others--either amusing or edifying them.
I share pictures of my family, my writing space, dumb things that happen to me. People love that kind of thing. Today, especially, we're hungering and thirsting for connection. You can provide that, and what a wonderful thing that is!
Speaking of which...
As an introvert, I prefer deep, meaningful conversations to small talk. The good news is that social media can facilitate these kinds of interactions.
Respond to comments on your posts, engage with other authors' content, and don't be afraid to ask thought-provoking questions. Show appreciation for your followers and the support they give you. You might be surprised at the depth of connection you can build in the digital world.
You don't have to be everywhere at once. It's better to choose one or two platforms that you feel comfortable with and focus your efforts there. Whether it's the short-form world of Twitter, the visual appeal of Instagram, or the community vibe of Facebook groups (my go-to), go with what suits your style. Don't try to be everything for everyone. Be YOU. That's quite enough (and more!).
Remember that it's okay to take a break. Social media is a marathon, not a sprint. It's important to maintain a balance and ensure that you're not spending so much time on social media that it's taking away from your writing or causing you stress.
Set boundaries for yourself, like designated social media times or a maximum amount of time to spend on social media each day. And if you need to, take a step back. Your followers will understand, and you'll return to the digital world refreshed and ready to engage.
Navigating social media as an introverted author can be a challenge, but with these strategies, you can make it work for you. Remember, Lifers, it's all about connecting with your readers and sharing your author journey in a way that is genuine, kind, and fun!
I'm Michaelbrent Collings, an international bestseller and produced screenwriter, as well as a multiple Bram Stoker Award and Dragon Award finalist, and maker of a fair-to-middling chocolate chip waffle.
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