For both traditionally published and self-published authors, being prepared to market your own book is paramount. A successful promotion strategy will extend beyond networking, conferences, and Amazon—you’ll need to set up an author website, a blog, and most important, social media profiles. We know, we know…many writers are uncomfortable using social media to promote themselves and their writing. And some writers may not even know how to get started or how to actively maintain Facebook and Twitter accounts. Don’t panic! Here are tips and strategies to help you promote your self-published book using social media.
6 Social Media Tips For Self-Published Writers
1. Post widely and regularly. Having an active presence on several social media sites is beneficial for self-published authors. While maintaining various social media profiles may seem counterintuitive, they can help you reach a wider audience and build a fan base all over the Internet (and the world!). Goodreads is a must for serious authors; and Facebook and Twitter will get your name and book in front of some of the biggest audiences. If it gets too overwhelming, programs are available for busy authors to automate social media posts. And the Writer’s Relief Virtual Assistant program can set up, update, and regularly maintain your Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest accounts for you—so you can spend your spare time writing instead of posting, tweeting, and pinning.
2. Make following you on social media worthwhile. For new or relatively unknown authors, getting people to read your book will be a lot easier if you give them an incentive to do so! Try hosting book contests (within your budget, of course). Make the giveaway contingent upon people’s sharing of your content, or ask readers to leave a comment on your blog. Giveaways of book-related merchandise are also excellent incentives.
3. Get creative! Ready to think outside the box? What about promoting your book from the main character’s point of view? Tweeting or posting as your character can create fresh buzz about your writing and allow you to take advantage of trends and news in a way you might not have tried before.
And if you’re feeling especially bold, you can write a story on social media based on one of the characters or settings in your self-published book!
4. Hand the mic to your fans. Promote and host a Q&A session on your social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter and even google+! A real-time, virtual Q&A is an easy and fun way for fans to get to know you—just plan ahead and be organized.
5. Team up with other writers. You don’t have to undergo the promotion of your book alone—other authors and outside organizations are a great resource. Make a deal with another author to promote each other’s books on social media, or offer to give an interview or tutorial to a society relevant to your book’s content. For example: If you’ve written a memoir, think about giving a class at your local library about how to write from memories. Be sure to tweet and post about the event details.
6. Spread breaking news or popular content. All of your posts don’t have to be about your book or even about you as a writer. News trends, viral videos, interesting articles, and funny photos are all excellent ways to engage your audience and keep them coming back for more. Plus, sharing content that’s already well-liked will result in more interactions with your posts or tweets!
And take your social media strategy to the next level…
In order to successfully promote and sell your book online, you’ll need more than just an airtight social media campaign. If you don’t already have them, consider a blog and an author website. View these as investments in your future as an author, and use them to connect with even more fans! Plus, with all of these great tools in your virtual tool belt, you can use cross-promotion strategies to build your following (and your book sales!) higher and higher.
QUESTION: What’s the most useful strategy you’ve found for promoting your self-published book via social media?