You have written your book. It’s the best it can be, and it’s out there. Now what? Marketing on social media can be anything from a dreaded chore to…wait for it: fun! I swear. If you’re like me, the stereotypical introvert writer, promoting myself is only a few steps up from shouting in a crowded room how good my books are. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely believe in my characters and their stories—but I understand everyone who’s a bit hesitant at promoting their own work. There are reasons for that.
When you browse the Internet in search of help, you’ll find a lot of DON’T EVER’s. Some of them make sense—if you connect with someone new on social media, chances are a book link in a private message isn’t the first thing they want to see from you.
It takes away some of the stress if you can prepare in advance. If you have a few months before your book comes out, set up that Twitter and Facebook account if you haven’t already, and try to get a feel for your genre and the people in it. Or maybe you’ve had those for a while already, and add some information about your book(s) every once in a while. When you have a moment, take part in conversations.
I tend to do that either once I’m happy with my daily word count, or if writer’s block is upon me. Find your community. Find what interests you, and don’t stretch yourself too thin. You don’t have to have all the platforms—stick to the ones you are most comfortable with, and engage with readers and fellow authors.
Social media does present a bit of an advantage for introverts, but in my experience, that advantage isn’t limitless, so make sure to take breaks as well, just as you would with in person-interactions.
And remember sometimes things can get lost between the lines. No matter how careful you are not to annoy anyone, somebody will be annoyed. Whether you make your posts every week or once a year, chances are, you might find someone on a bad day when another promo post is just the last straw. Don’t take it personally. Over time, you’ll figure out what amount of promotion is okay in any given group, and how to vary it. There are tons of free and affordable stock photos out there that make a great base for a promo graphic. You need to write blurbs and taglines anyway, so why not experiment with some one-liners for your books?
Just like with writing, you have to figure out a schedule that works best, for you, your readers and the social network you’re on. I found these numbers to be helpful: http://digiwriting.com/book-promotion-news/social-media-series-the-best-times-to-post-to-your-author-pages/
Maybe you’ll find that a dislike for promoting yourself comes from the fact that as women, we’re not usually pushed to toot our own horn, and that makes you look at some of the DON’T EVER’s in a new light.
There’s a reason why this book exists.
Real life and too much worrying can really pull you out of those conversations with your imaginary friends, and it doesn’t help when your writer friends say that writer’s block is only in your head. Next time, we’ll talk about ways to re-focus.
Barbara Winkes writes suspense and romance with lesbian characters at the center. She has always loved stories in which women persevere and lift each other up. Expect high drama and happy endings.
Discover a variety of genres, serial and standalone. Women loving women always take the lead.
Learn more about Barbara online at her website.
Coming September 8, 2017: The Exodus Strategy