Social Media for Authors

Among the laundry list of things each new author “has to do” in order to be successful, social media is one that comes up often. You may be stressing about figuring out how to tweet or trying to decide what to share to Facebook. And Instagram? Forget it.

The thing about social media is that you don’t have to be everywhere. Sure, it might be helpful to be everywhere, but your #1 job as an author is to write. Give people a reason to find you on social media. At the end of the day, that’s the most important.

If figuring out Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Goodreads, or any of the other social media sites is taking away from your writing time, you’re heading in the wrong direction. If you have a lackluster account at 5 different sites, you’re not likely to get many followers at any of them. But if you have a spiffy account at one of them, readers know that’s where you hang out and are more likely to engage.

That’s not to say they won’t be talking about your books on their favorite social media sites. That’s what you want. Word of mouth marketing.

Even if you only focus on the two biggies, Facebook and Twitter, if you generally dislike it and are bad at it, you’re better off staying away from it. Maybe only use the accounts to announce a new book.

An important thing to remember about social media is its unlikely to sell books. Unless you’re paying for ads. The sites just aren’t designed for that.

The main goal of being on social media is to engage with your readers. Share things that they’d like to see and reply to their comments and interact with them. By showing that you’re a real person and displaying some of your other interests that don’t across in your books, your readers will become more familiar with you and will likely stick with you for the long haul. They’ll tell their friends about your books and that’s when you’ll make new sales.

Like everything with indie publishing, you need to decide what’s right for you. Building a social media presence takes work and time. Time that if you only have one or two books out, might be better spent writing more books.

Personally, most of my attention is focused on Facebook. I don’t care for Twitter, I don’t even have an account on Pinterest, and I really only use Instagram and Goodreads for personal use. Although, I make both of those accounts public. My following at each isn’t very large, but it’s always nice to see the likes and comments when I do share stuff. In the very least, it’s motivation to keep going.

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