Aww, I like that option.
It depends on the intent of your social media account. Once you’re an established author, the account will serve to communicate with your audience (followers). That’s where the marketing comes in, and if you have less than 3 novels it may not be worth the time.
But if you’re building a following to market to, you want to do that before your first novel is published. This way you’ll have people to sell to. So in this second scenario, your presence can’t be about your novels. It has to be something else the people who would buy your book is interested in. It’s like building a mailing list.
I wouldn’t wait until you have a novel under your belt. Social media is not “buy my stuff media.” It’s SOCIAL. The way to use it is to establish connections and followers who like YOU, who value YOU and what you share. You should start that now.
When you’re about to launch, you can share your excitement – and your followers will celebrate with you. Once you have a book then you can, very occasionally, give an update and a buy link.
You absolutely want to work on your social media right now. Because if you publish your book and only post things about your book, no one will follow you.
The other thing is - social media is a relationship, not just sales. So you need to find a niche to post about. Is it motivational stuff? Is it beautiful places you visit? Is it awesome quotes from your novel that inspire others?
Then you can sprinkle in details about your book, making a post ratio of 1:5 1=the times you post your book and 5=everything else.
The reason why you need to be on every platform is because if you aren’t, people don’t know you exist. I didn’t know you existed until you made this post. So it’s all about exposure, in the end. But people don’t want to follow platforms that only talk about their book.
The best thing is is to build a genuine following and then when you get to release your novel, you’ve already got a crowd. One thing I also recommend is find other authors you like and support them. They’ll love it just as much as you do. But pick people you actually like, or stories you like.
I find that the niche for many authors revolves around writing advice. Personally, I think that attracts authors, not readers.
I agree. A better one is related to the genre you write in. Or related to your branding!
Or editorial services. I know a few who do this and it’s helped them out big time.
Agreed. You never know who’ll see your posts, especially if you have a wide diversity of followers etc
That’s definitely true!
But it doesn’t just have to be a niche that attracts authors. Maybe you review books. Maybe you make posts about books you’re reading and then share pictures of cozy places for people to read (sounds generic, but it works).
In the end you want readers to think, “Hey this person really contributes to the hobby I enjoy. I should follow them!” and posting stuff only about your own work won’t attract anyone. But eventually you cross a threshold when you get a ton of fans, and then you can post mostly about your book.
Social media, if trying to build a brand outside of your novel, is a part-time job for many. If you cannot commit to that (many can’t for obvious reasons) you can always find authors/reviewers you really enjoy and follow them and support them. Some will eventually friend you back and they return the favor by supporting your book.
fab, that’s the outcome i was hoping for when i started this thread! i set up a lot of stuff yesterday and already made some awesome connections with friendly people on twitter which is really cool
i think i was going to go down the book-reviewing, genre-contributing, hopefully-interesting person sort of route; i don’t really feel comfortable writing advice sort of articles at the moment (part of me is like…what gives me the authority lmao?) and i definitely don’t have time to offer editing services, but perhaps in the future!
like a lot of people said, it’s a slow build. i think i’m just going to try and make some friends first.
You can still have a Pinterest account and use it to save images for reference. Like, if you’re working on a novel and you need some images to inspire you or something. Pinterest is very useful in that regard.
But to take the images there and post it on your blog, never.
In the 20 years I’ve been online, I will tell you what actually is needed and what you can do without.
You can use Facebook if you have a large following or Twitter for the same, but blogs are useless and so are author websites.
And if anyone says otherwise, they are free to check under the numerous dead blogs I’ve got up on the internet and the only one or two author websites that never went anywhere.
And I would steer away from making friends with writers and other authors, unless you want your head bitten off on any given Tuesday evening.
Same with writer groups on Facebook.
I mean, just because you’ve had bad experiences that doesn’t make them objectively bad. So far, the authors I’ve made friends with haven’t bitten my head off. We encourage each other because we write in an age demographic that isn’t very well covered in the published world. It’s nice.
So only based on that, I’d recommend Twitter. Writer-Twitter is super nice, enlightening, encouraging and pretty damn wholesome.
Not true. Making connections with other writers is pivotal in this industry. It’s how you find you critique partners, writing buddies, and people who relate to the road we are on.
But here’s the thing - if you bully, troll, and insult other writers then (surprise!) they won’t want to interact with you and there may even be push back. If you intend to publish then you need to be in groups where all aspects of publishing are discussed. This industry changes fast and you need to keep abreast of developments. That discussion takes place in a lot of closed forums and private groups. If you want an invite, then it will hinge on how you interact on social media. Authors aren’t going to invite known trolls into the groups with their fingers on the pulse of publishing.
i think makayla was just warning me with context to using images that aren’t mine for my blog, rather than suggesting i don’t use pinterest - you’re right, though, pinterest is really cool for building inspo for stories and characters!
thanks for reviving this thread by the way, you got me some more responses and perspectives!
hi schuyler, nice to meet you, i don’t think we’ve spoken directly around here before!
atm i’m not using facebook for anything because i haven’t come across any communities on there yet (possibly because i don’t really use it behind personal stuff) and i don’t have a huge following on twitter, but i’m trying to build a following. just following some people who share the same interests as me or write the same stuff so we can get to know each other, and maybe support one another’s writing. i’ll see how that goes.
i also do have a blog/website. it’s hosted on wordpress and i’m actually surprised by how much traffic it gets, considering i registered it this month. i’ve barely followed anyone else yet, but i’ve posted 3 book reviews on there and tagged appropriately and all of them have actually gained some response. it isn’t a lot, but it’s a few people finding and liking it. so there’s that. what did you use for your sites? were you tagging stuff/writing blog posts?
& as far as making friends with other authors, on here and on twitter, so far i can’t say i’ve had a negative experience at all. everyone has been kind and supportive with me, and answered my questions in great detail and with care when i’ve reached out for help. it’s been nice.
the writing community on twitter is SUPER welcoming. there are some tricky areas to navigate balancing the following back thing, if you’d prefer to only follow people you have a connection with; but so far i haven’t had a problem with anybody. i’ve made some friends already, which is really great.
thank you for coming into this thread, i’ve read a lot of your advice on other threads and everything i’ve seen you say has been really helpful!
Oh yeah, I’m horrible at following back. I kind of just wanna follow people I wanna follow?
I don’t know if that makes me a total dick or not. Twitter is still very much a mystery to me, but it’s fun! I definitely like it.
it doesn’t!!! i’d rather do that too. i started out following everyone but then ended up going through every profile i followed to check their content. makes for more organic connections imo!