A Brave New World - Social Media Tips For Authors

Over the last five years, self-publishing has undergone a significant boom. It is now no longer necessary to hire a publicist, or even have the backing of an in-house marketing team, because the new trend is to go do it yourself. The number of social media channels grows every day, and so do the opportunities for self-promotion. 

The biggest hurdle is getting started. What is an author supposed to do first? Which of the social networks is the most effective? How do you learn to grab the attention of internet users who are being shouted at by hundreds and thousands of advertisements every day?

This is a guide to some of the most effective self-promotion tips and tricks. 

Start Right Now 

If you want to build up an online brand for your book, you need to start working on it before the book is finished. It is not helpful to wait until afterwards, because building an appealing online platform takes time. The ideal scenario would be to start working on your online presence before you start work on a book, but this can often be easier said than done. Begin by building a website to promote you and your book. The next step is to get active on social media.

Focus On One Platform 

You do not need to be active on every social media platform. Yes, the more that you work with, the more exposure you can gain, but if your profile pages and interactions are rushed and not valuable, your audience will fail to pay attention. It is about being relevant, and making the right choices for your book. 

Introduce Yourself 

There is no value in joining a network and refusing to introduce yourself to the people whom you are trying to interest. For each page, you need a clear photograph of yourself (preferably a head and shoulders shot), so that prospective readers can see that you are a real author, with a real book to offer, and you would like them to engage with it. 

Expose Your Book 

There are no rules against referencing your book in Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, YouTube, and LinkedIn bios. It is also a good idea to add the book title to your email signature, so that every person who receives an email from you will see it. These are simple promotional tricks which take minutes to achieve, but they can be very effective. 

Avoid Over-Promoting 

One of the biggest mistakes authors make is to assume that social media platforms are simple tools—akin to a sandwich board outside a café. This is not the case, because social media has given audiences the power to turn away in an instant. As human beings, we dislike being told that we should do something—keep direct promotional posts to around 10% of your input. 

Make It Relevant 

Whilst the more direct promotional material is naturally going to increase around the launch of your book, you do want to avoid constantly telling your followers that you have a book due. Instead, give them a reason to keep reading your posts: link to interesting articles, blogs, and other material which is relevant to your own genre, style, or subject matter.

Large, active and engaged social communities can help you immensely by giving your promotion a boost. Facebook's current algorithm, for example, can show your posts to friends of your fans if they like or comment on them! Stay active, stay interesting, and get socializing!

Adam user

President & CEO,
Steuben Press

Adam Ellis has worked in the book industry since 2002, when he was first exposed to the wonderful world of Self Publishing. Over the years he has worked with thousands of authors and helped to produce, print and publish countless books.

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