You’ve self-published your book, celebrated your launch, and sold books to most of your friends, family members and colleagues. Now, you’re even blogging.
But you may be wondering, “What can I do to reach even more readers?”
Reaching out to the press, contacting book clubs, and reading at bookstores are great ways to promote your book offline. To reach potential readers around the world, you need to use social media.
The thought of creating an online presence can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. All you need are 30 minutes a day and these tips.
6 Social Media Tips Every Indie Author Needs to Know
Decide who your intended audience is and use the social media networks that your readers are most likely to use. For example, if you write young adult fiction, you’ll want to have a presence on Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram. If your readers are primarily women, create accounts on Facebook and Pinterest. I’m not suggesting that you limit your online presence to those websites; I’m recommending that you include these networks and focus some of your energies on them.
- With about 2 billion people now using Facebook, it’s hard to ignore this social media behemoth. Creating a profile (profiles are for people and pages are for authors) on Facebook is your first step. Your second step is to create a Facebook page so that you can promote your book, blog posts, signings and workshops.
- Allocate 30 minutes a day to your social media marketing. In the mornings, spend 15 minutes curating information for your posts by scanning your friends and followers’ posts and using a curation site, such as Alltop.com. Once you have the information you want to post, use a social media dashboard such as HootSuite or Buffer to space your posts throughout the day. (Note: I only recommend using an application to schedule your posts for Twitter and LinkedIn. On Facebook pages, users can schedule their posts within the status update box.)
- In the late afternoon or evening, spend 15 minutes being social. “Like” your Facebook fans’ posts, add comments, and share information or images that your friends post.
- Twitter is tremendous (and my favorite social media network). Use hashtags (#) to target your tweets so that users searching for a new book just like yours will find it. Genre hashtags are common—#chicklit, #romance, #memoir, #YA—as well as the hashtag #readers. You can even create your own hashtag to track mentions of you and your book. Follow 20 new users daily, use an application such as ManageFlitter.com to drop users who don’t follow you back, and retweet different users each day.
- Pinterest is a fun social media channel that excels at driving traffic to your website, blog, and wherever you sell your book online. Create a pinboard titled Favorite Books and add your book to the list. Start a pinboard with your blog’s name and pin the images you include in your posts. Add photos to a pinboard dedicated to the city where your novel takes place. The possibilities are endless.
Now it’s your turn to share your own social media tips! How has social media helped you as an author?
Frances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. She’s a regular speaker at the San Francisco Writers Conference. In addition, she’s a contributing writer at TheBookDesigner.com, blogger and Social Media Expert for BookWorks, and blogger at Bowker’s Self-Published Author. She’s written several social media books including The Author’s Guide to Goodreads and Social Media in 30 Minutes a Day. Her focus is on helping authors surmount the barriers that keep them from flourishing online, building their platform, finding new readers, and selling more books. Her clients include authors of every genre and writers’ conferences. Not sure how you’re doing online? Sign up for my free email course.