Of all the articles we’ve reviewed, this one is probably the best thus far … at least the best we’ve read about Social Media and authors simplified. The credit goes to Where Writers Win, a website dedicated to supporting the writing and publication process.
In #23 of the Author’s Marketing Mastery series, Where Writers Win lists the pros of utilizing social media to build your audience:
And for authors, these are the seven key benefits we most often see among clients:
- Social media is the fastest, most economical way to refer traffic to your blog, website, even Amazon.
- Social media provides instant feedback and market research for your work.
- Social media will let you discover and benefit from a community of fellow authors promoting similar work (cross-promotion)
- Social media is the biggest way other book influencers are sharing your book (reviewers, book clubs, festivals and indie bookstores)
- Social media lets you develop relationships with other people and companies who can assist you in your journey (like Where Writers Win!)
- Social media allows you to quickly inform readers about contests, giveaways, book sales and upcoming appearances
- Social media provides you a platform to build your list, and talk about and sell your work to readers, worldwide!
As a publisher, we work hard to support our authors in multiple social media venues. Our goal is to increase visibility and help to build the author’s brand. The hardest part can be to help the writer understand that, while we work hard on each social media platform, the publisher can never replace the personal touch that comes from the author. In other words, “fans” don’t want to chat with the publisher, they want to chat with the author directly. Think about it. Would you rather Tweet with J.K. Rowling herself or chat with a representative from Bloomsbury? Most agree that a message from J.K. Rowling would be akin to riding a Nimbus 2000 for the first time!
All kidding aside, staying on top of social media, maintaining authentic interaction, all while avoiding an annoying appearance online (aka spammy) is tricky — particularly to a writer who just wants to write. We get it.
Thankfully, Where Writers Win has pared down the “to do” list and the “don’t do” list for us.
DO be authentic – People want to connect with YOU, the author, not a fake persona or worse, publicist.
DO respect your fans – Like you, readers’ time is valuable. They may be pleased to know you share a love of animals; they’re probably not as interested in what you had for breakfast (unless it’s at a place they all need to visit!). VERY important – If they take the time to comment on what you’ve written/posted, answer them and thank them, always. Social media is a conversation!
DON’T overwhelm yourself – Begin with just one or two social media platforms where you feel the most comfortable connecting with YOUR readers. Aim to spend just 20-40 minutes a day connecting (we like 20 minutes with morning coffee and 20 minutes with afternoon tea).
This is just a partial list, and fortunately, Author’s Marketing Mastery #23 details more of the benefits of social media for authors. We couldn’t agree more. Publishing a book and getting it “out there” has changed from only a few years ago. Readers utilize the internet to find what they’re looking for. Staying up with the changes is the trick. How to do that comes with keen attention to the details of social media’s evolution.
How visible are you, the author, online? Will your readers be able to find you easily? Think Google search — where are you?
Of course, the media race is evolving. “It’s a marathon, not a sprint,” something we’ve said before and repeated by Where Writers Win.
“… be in it for the long haul and keep the pressure on with consistent author social media posts. Bonus: Just by being consistent you’ll break through the “noise” of hundreds of thousands of other authors who will give up too soon.”
We couldn’t agree more. As authors, it’s time to commit to social media. The summer reading list has begun — are your books on it?