It is simultaneously the easiest and the most difficult time to be an author. While writers no longer have to wait to be picked up by a publisher, and can easily self publish their book either in print or in e-book format, there is now so much out there that it is easy to get lost in the sea of content.
In order to stay afloat, authors need to be adept at promoting. One of the most helpful tools today are the vast array of social media websites available.
Probably one of the most wide-reaching platforms, Facebook can be used to create contests, share information, or post content like videos and photos which will lead people to the book. Contests are beneficial for gaining visibility because it offers people who are already connected with the author an incentive to share the book with their friends, who might, in turn, share it with theirs. Word of mouth is one of the best forms of advertisement, and social media makes it spread like wildfire.
Facebook reaches individuals from a wide variety of demographics and has an almost endless number of groups focused on virtually any topic that allows people to share content and connect with likeminded individuals.
Twitter’s hashtag system is highly beneficial and easy to use. Authors should always use relevant hashtags when creating posts about their books. In addition, authors can tweet at certain people or accounts like @FreeDailyBooks which has nearly 40,000 followers, or @BestEBooks_ca which has over 70,000 followers. Accounts like these will often share the author’s content, or retweet the author’s tweets. There are so many profiles like this, but it does require some searching and patience to find them.
Although much lower on the radar than some other social media websites, Pinterest is a fantastic resource for promoting a book. It provides spaces filled with people who have similar interests, allowing authors to target an audience directly, and not relying on already existing networks of friends and family.
Like Facebook, there are also a plethora of groups that allow their members all to post on a certain topic. Authors can locate such groups and promote their content to thousands of people in a very short amount of time, and with minimal effort.
Instagram is great for contests as well because it, like Twitter, effectively uses the hashtag system. In addition, Instagram does not implement a word limit, like Twitter does, meaning it is easy to nest hashtags into a post, without making people read them all. It gets potential readers visually involved in the book, and authors can place a link in their personal bio linking new readers directly to their book.
A note on using social media
Every social media site has unique features for authors to use to promote their book. Authors need to use a variety of these features to keep their content fresh and post consistently to enhance interest.
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