Get involved! Share YOU.
Ever met someone who loves reading the same genre you live for and suddenly the ‘so tell me about yourself’ becomes a gush fest over the latest books, authors, plot lines, and characters?
I love it.
That connection from shared hobbies & passions – connecting like this with total strangers always makes me feel like I’ve found a new best book bud.
Am I strange? Perhaps. BUT this is a part of marking 101 – getting to know your potential audience. Social media can play a huge roll in this.
How? By helping us find like-minded readers.
There are tons of places, but first we need to make ourselves visible. Let people know who we are and build relationships - friendships - but most of all trust.
Where to start?
1. Create a website.
It’s all about building your ‘brand’, but it doesn’t have to be expensive. I use weebly.com because it’s a cinch for semi-computer illiterate peeps like me. Look at other author websites to see how they set theirs up. Blurbs, freebie chapters, bio, contact information, images – your headshot and cover - news & events. The ideas are endless.
2. Build a blog.
WordPress or Blogger, it doesn't matter so long as you do it with purpose. Talk about what you’re going through in the writing, editing, or publishing phase, but don’t just write it for other writers!!
Let readers know how the process affects you, so they can get to know you better.
Visit other author blogs, leave comments, and build relationships. Offer to help promote their work. Scratching backs can go a long way to help you get exposure.
3. Join Twitter.
Is it really a useful social networking tool? I’ve argued with myself over this dozens of times wondering if I’m building relationships with readers OR writers of similar loves.
Then I looked at it a different way – how do I respond to other writers? I’ve found a few on Twitter who I now faithfully follow. As soon as I see a tweet indicating news of them I’m on it like a fly on … well, you know.
So, yes. I decided to stick with the little blue birdie.
4. Make a Facebook Page.
Is it any different than Twitter? Not really, but not every potential reader tweets. This is where automatic status updates comes into play. You can set up your tweets to post on Facebook and vice versa. You can also have your blog posts ‘share’ to both Twitter and your Facebook page.
5. Set up freebie accounts with other groups of like-minded peeps.
Goodreads has tons of groups in every genre. Join them then join in conversations. Make friends. There’s also:
Local book clubs
There are many more, but these are a couple I utilize. Ask family, friends, or cyber space buds where they go to chat about your genre of choice. Browse a bit and find new ones that look promising.
6. Be consistent.
Not just in posting, visiting, and commenting, but in making yourself recognizable as well. Be sure to use the same headshot for each media outlet!
Consistently be yourself. Remember, the whole point of social networking is to let people know who you are. You want to build a fan base of those banwaggoners who will help spread the word of your awesomeness!
7. Finally, set time limits.
This is my greatest struggle.
Allot time for each and every site, be it daily or weekly. Just be sure to stick to the schedule. Deviating like I do (much too often) can cost you time that you can’t afford – especially if you’re a busy parent like me.
Right now I’m under a deadline to complete the 2nd book of my contracted 2-book series, Pool of Souls. I’ve only 20k left to write, but I’ve been dragging my feet in every possible way, social networking and dreaming of my garden being the two biggest offenders!
Shame on me, I know. Daily I give myself a swift kick in the arse, but it doesn’t always have an effect.
Doubtless there are tons of other secrets to social networking, but these are the ones I’ve been dealing with the last two-ish years or so. Have a few YOU care to share? I’m all ears and willing to learn from those who’ve gone before me.