Three Social Media Tips for Aspiring Authors: Guest Post from Avery Phillips

It’s not easy being a writer – from writer’s block to wondering where your next paycheck is coming from, the difficulties of being a writer are aplenty. One area in particular that lot of aspiring authors struggle with is the promotional side to being a writer. Today, with the overwhelming amount of information out there, getting your voice heard above all the noise takes real work. Social media is an integral part of any content marketing strategy and is one of the best ways to distribute your marketing message. If this sounds confusing to you, and you’re struggling to get your book out there, read on for some social media tips that will get the ball rolling.

It’s Not All About You

Social media shouldn’t be used as a way to simply hype you/your newbook up and get sales. In an article on Bookbub, literary agent Eric Smith states “no one wants to hangout with that person at a party who is only talking about themselves. You know that person. They make every office party about them. We’ve heard the story of your vacation like a dozen times, Chet. Let someone else talk.” This should be your social media strategy in a nutshell.

Eighty percent  of your social media efforts should involve sharing blog posts, advice, recommendations, book reviews and boosting up fellow authors. Only 20 percent of your efforts should be sales related: info about your new book, where it’s available and such. If your social media feed is all about you, all the time, it won’t engage an audience or build a following — instead, people are likely to get bored with constantly hearing about only you.

Don’t Forget the Visuals

Online, you are competing with a lot of visual information. To be noticed, you need to ensure that your images and graphics capture people’s attention. Consider author Rupi Kaur, who built up a massive following on Instagram. Her short, heartfelt poems, paired with simple black-lined graphics on a white background, were a major hit among the Instagram community. She created something visually appealing while giving readers insight into her typeof writing. Eventually, Instagram acted as the perfect platform for the promotion of not just her first but also her second book.

Creating graphics and visuals that are suited to the social media platforms you’ve chosen is crucial to leveraging social media in your favor. So make sure your graphics, including your book cover, draw attention, and represent your writing in a positive manner.

The Power of Video

Videos are one of the best ways to grab someone’s attention. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, considering that YouTube is one of the biggest search engines around. As a writer, you might be wondering what you can use YouTube for — after all, you write, not produce videos, right? Wrong! The possibilities for authors are endless when it comes to YouTube. You could host Q & A sessions, hold live book launches, post videos of interviews with other authors, and re-post video recordings of yourself giving speeches or even doing book readings.

Chetan Bhagat, a famous author, regularly posts book trailers on YouTube prior to the launch of his books. His trailer for “One Indian Girl” received about 358,000 views in 2011. Fast forward to 2018, where his trailer for “The Girl in Room 105” received 1.1 million views. The lesson: much like all other forms of social media, YouTube requires time and effort to yield results.

Once you’ve got a handle on your social media strategy, you’ll want to start tracking your efforts to see what’s working and what isn’t. Using the right metrics, such as revenue earned and new customers gained can help you determine what social media platforms and strategies to focus on. If you’re new to social media, then maybe this step can wait till you’ve figured out your way around social media. For now, use the tips above to improve your social media game and reach thousands of potential readers.

About the Author:
Avery T. Phillips is a freelance human being with too much to say. She loves nature and examining human interactions with the world. Find her on Twitter; comment or tweet her at @a_taylorian with any questions or suggestions.

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