Posted by A.S. Chung.
Award-wining author of children’s picture books A Brand New Day: about divorce and Wishful Wedding: about LGBT equality and same gender families. Creator of Pigeonhole Books and blogs about self-publishing, writing, online book marketing, peer bloggers and illustrators.
4 SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS EVERY AUTHOR MUST HAVE
ONLINE BOOK MARKETING TIP
It is impossible to be consistently active on even 10% of what is available. I am sure I don’t need to tell you that marketing your indie book without social media is online suicide. Whether you are savvy with the computer or not, it is a necessary evil. I am also sure most of you know which are the top players in the market and would presume that most indie authors are already participating in some of these platforms.
If however you are not and wish to start, or perhaps only use 1 or 2, I would like to highlight, what I believe to be the big 4 social media platform must haves for all indie authors. To make the offer even more enticing, they are all FREE.
I have come across many indie authors who don’t have a Facebook page. When asked for their Facebook link, more often than not, I get a link to their personal Facebook profile. I don’t want to be their friend for social purposes. I am not interested in what they ate for lunch. I want to connect with them as an esteemed colleague and to be informed about their book ventures.
Facebook is still by far, the most popular means for connecting people. Facebook pages are specifically designed for businesses, brands and authors to share their stories and connect with people. These pages may be customised to suit your needs and you get to control the content. People who like your page and their friends can get updates in news feed and more importantly, they can share news worthy posts and help you spread the word.
Welcome to the world of microblogging! This is a platform where you only have 140 characters to convey your message. I am sure for most writers; this is a nightmare but nonetheless a brilliant exercise in using your words effectively. All good things come in small packages.
What is a tweet anyway? According to Twitter it is “an expression of a moment or idea. It can contain text, photos, and videos. Millions of Tweets are shared in real time, every day.” This is particularly prevalent in a society where our attention spans are dwindling. It is quite the art form to be able to express your message with so few words. Twitter enables you to be as candid or as business like as you wish and with full accessibility on our smart phones, you can tweet on the run!
LinkedIn is a social media website that specifically targets the professional business community. It is an excellent online networking platform. Through LinkedIn, you can chronologically list your books, list your qualifications and/or experience as an indie author and also send through professional updates pertaining to your writing.
No, you won’t get readers to buy your books but you will gain industry peers and business insights. You will also get some great ideas and strategies of how to market your book and learn any new trends in the world of self-publishing.
An entire website dedicated to book lovers! It is a site whereby you can connect socially with readers and authors, look at what everyone is reading, read their reviews and look at their book ratings. Goodreads also has a comprehensive author program dedicated to people like you and me.
They also have a very active group discussion format as well as giveaway options and the ability to include your books on Listopia.
This is a site where people are genuinely interested in books and the authors who wrote them. It is also a great way to meet other authors and writers who can help you with anything from writing conundrums to communication strategies. Well worth considering if you haven’t already joined.
I have no doubt there are many others to explore, which have worked well for many indie authors. If you are about to embark on your social media journey and find this overwhelming, you are not alone. At a minimum, get your Facebook page up and running and once you get the hang of it and can navigate through it comfortably, move onto the next platform. You will at some point have to learn to juggle them all but I promise that it gets easier and before you know it, it will become a natural extension of your work. Besides, it’s all about writing!