Take a good look at this image. This used to be the summation of the publishing process, as a writer, all you had to do was write and the publishing house will take care of the rest. This is in no way to say that writing isn’t hard work. However, welcome to the 21st century, because these days are over. Most authors today, self-publish, this means they encompass the entire process- writing, packaging and selling and building a plethora of readers to purchase their books.
Writing alone is just scratching the surface. Today we have social media, which means there are a multitude of platforms in which you can engage your readers, directly, from around the world for reviews, opinions and ideas, isn’t that grand?
Let’s guide you in making productive connections that turn to sales. Here we go.
Create a Facebook Group
The Facebook group you’re creating is not a fan page – that’s different. What you’re doing here is starting a group based on your book’s theme or the kind of author you are; Romance, political, sci-fi. Facebook has the largest audience of any social media, imagine what you can sell from using f=Facebook alone.
A Group allows you to discuss shared interests with people of your own selection. Facebook allows you to make a group private if you don’t want anyone accessing it – and secret if you never want it found.
Engage your members with personal information – this is after all about you. These are many other groups so give them a reason to be there. Engage your members with conflicting and controversial discussions around your story, if it has them. You can share release dates, excerpts from your new book and other information that will allow you get immediate feedback and help your writing journey. Does this well enough and you’ll have a nice community supporting you whenever you need one.
Get global with a Tumblr account
While Tumblr isn’t the most popular social media site, it’s quiet easy for posts to go viral. If your work is good people will gravitate towards it, to share and comment. One writer that has made remarkable stride in Tumblr is Ijeoma Umebinyuo. She started getting attention for her writing in this space, such that when it was time to publish her book, she had a strong following that translate into sales.
Talk to People on Twitter
Host a question and answer session. Even better get a mediator involved, preferably an influencer who can leverage on their followers to get you a lot of attention. This is a great strategy for before and after your book release
Engaging with your readers about relevant topics is a given. Whenever you need a break from that, share quotes from your books or other insightful statements that can help you secure your readers attention.
Show your personality on Instagram
Instagram is one space where you prove you’re human. It’s a visual space, therefore the concept of, ‘show, don’t tell’, is the cornerstone of communication on Instagram. Use pictures and videos to invite potential readers into your writing space, your other activities, etc. Creating your quotes with images, you can use Canva for that- we do, see our instagram
Make videos for Youtube
Videos are vital to social media communication. The fact that most of the online space is riddled with comedy skits and video presentations is proof of this. While you’re not a comedian, you’re still a writer- which means you can create. Take that energy and;
Create Youtube Trailers in anticipation of your book release.
Does that sound strange? It’s not. There are book trailers all over youtube, from authors around the globe. To build anticipation for their books. Once done right, they are sharable, something you can pass on to your Facebook community and they pass on to people outside your immediate scope.
Make videos of yourself reading an excerpt of your book instead of just sharing it.
Meet real readers on Goodreads
Once you have your book on Goodreads; Take control over your author profile and your books’ descriptions, so you can respond to comments and reviews. It’s an objective space to feature your work, as far as reviews go, you’ll get both sides of the coin -criticism and praise.
Goodreads is great for tracking what you’re reading and books you want to read. You’re connected to other authors, as well voracious readers. While you’re at it, decide on a Landing Page to direct your followers for more information- besides your website, it could be your product page on Okada Books.
Please Get a Website
You can have all the social media accounts but if you don’t have a well-designed author website, you haven’t quite started. This is the one space where all your branding efforts come together.
Websites are easy these days; you can do it yourself with wix, squarespace, wordpress or hire a web designer. Your website is only as expensive as you want it to be. Authors often use minimalist designs to have the basic: Bio, Contact information, Book Blurb, Subscription sections, purchase links and share buttons. Some authors go ahead and include a blog too. Regular blogging also helps to engage readers on your site and introduce them to more of your work than they are already accustomed to.
Your website would also send out newsletters to people who have subscribed. Do this sparingly, so the medium remains effective. Take advantage of these strategies to sell more books, some of the most successful authors have and they are better for it.
Social media needs consistency, you can’t show up once in a while, you can’t talk exclusively about books or just yourself.
Remember you’re talking to actual people, let that awareness set the tone for your conversations. .