Social media is thrown around a lot as a powerful marketing tool. And it absolutely is. It is not however, all there is to marketing your work. Tim Grahl defines Marketing as building long term relationships with people and then being relentlessly helpful. That’s all it is. If you walk up to someone and shout, “Buy my book!” chances are, they’re going to walk (if not run) away from you. So why do so many authors do this on Twitter and Facebook? Because they don't know how to market their work on social media. If you're not sure where to begin or are guilty of shouting at people, there's no reason to be ashamed. You're here and that shows initiative.
When you told someone you were going to publish a book or even just writing it, they likely asked if you were on social media and you rushed out to create your profile. But what kind of content should you share? I can’t answer that specifically. It will be different for each author based on their fans wants and needs. For example, if you write a book about healthy living, then recipes and exercise routines would compliment your book nicely.
Fiction writers tend to struggle with this because they feel like they don’t have a way to be helpful. But you do. Most fiction readers consume multiple books a month. When was the last time you published multiple books a month for more than one month at a time (there is a marketing tactic where you publish a whole trilogy at once but unless you can do that 12 months a year, it doesn't count)? Never? Me either. So I share my new releases and when I have sales in my books as well as other authors in my genere. While you’re at it be sure to tag the author. Most will return the favor.
The whole point of having your author profile on social media is to connect with fans right? So don’t be afraid to reply to comments and interact with people. Most fans want that. And if you come across a troll, block and move on.
When you sit down to find content to share think about what you like. Chances are you enjoy the genre you write whether its non-fiction or fiction, so use yourself as a guide and see what people respond to. You can also look at what you're favorite authors are sharing. As far as creating content, I'll talk about that in a future post.
Now that we’ve covered how to be helpful and talk to fans let’s talk about consistency and links real quick. There really isn’t much point in being active and helpful on social media if you don’t have it connected to your website, to where people can buy your books, and sign up for your email list. Social media is useless if you don’t connect it to the rest of your platform. Also Make sure you use the same name as the rest of your platform (Sounds obvious I know). And there is no bigger waste of time than social media. So connect it all. Make it easy to find you, reply to all the comments, and for goodness sake put links in the description of your book covers and if you have an image of all your books in a banner, link it to where people can read more and buy! One of the main objectives of marketing is overcoming objections. If people can find a reason not to spend money on your book, they won’t. Even something as simple as there’s not link.
**Something got a bit Lost in this post. Social media is a way to connect with people and build your email list. You can increase your sales but the effort for the amount of return isn't worth it. What social media can be used for though, is getting people onto your email list. Email list subscribers are much more likely to buy your book then social media followers.**
Marissa Frosch is the head of marketing at Amphibian Press and all writes under the pseudonym Cameron J Quinn. She is the author of The Starsboro Chronicles. She can be found on Facebook, Twitter, blog and her website.
Are you looking for help with your platform and book marketing? Marissa will be opening up for consultations and book marketing plans in May! Click here to learn more.