Social media is something most take for granted these days. Not only is social media something that helps close the distance between friends and family who are far apart, but it can also be helpful in a person’s work life too. Social media can be very beneficial for authors, from building relationships with readers, to book marketing and gaining knowledge and feedback. In addition to all these things, social media makes an author more visible to people like book bloggers and journalists, who are looking to interview authors. It is very common that many authors discredit the importance social media takes in both building reader relationships and book marketing. Social media is one of the best and fastest ways that an author can interact with their readers which is why, as an author assistant I feel every author should be on social media. Not only does social media make it easier for authors to interact with readers, but it also makes it easier for authors to interact with each other and people who could potentially interview them.
Building Reader Relationships
One of the most important things an author can do is build relationships with their readers. This is something that social media simplifies, therefore solidifying the importance of an author using social media. If you’re on Twitter, or Facebook it is much easier for a reader to reach out and let you know they enjoyed your book or ask you questions. Social media also makes it possible for your readers to get to know you outside your writing, by sharing cute photos of your dog the adorable thing your child did last week, it makes you more relatable. If your reader base knows you on a more personal level than just your biography on a book jacket, they’re more likely to read your books and recommend them to friends and family.
One of the great ways that you can use social media to get to know your readers better and build a community with them is to do Q & A sessions or share things from behind the scenes. Give your readers a look into your workspace, update them on the progress of an upcoming book, or do a post on your inspiration for a character or story. A great way to create a community around your book is to have a street team where your loyal readers and fans can gather together and talk about your book. Another great way to build a community around your book is to offer to do a phone call or Skype session with book clubs that have chosen to read your book. Not only does it make your readers feel special, but it is also great PR.
Social Media and Book Marketing
Building reader relationships aren’t the only thing that social media simplifies, social media also makes book marketing a more convenient thing to do. As an author, marketing books can be a very difficult task, but social media can make it easier. Some of this is because readers can interact with each other. As a reader myself, if I enjoy a book I like to take to social media and let the world know about it. I’m not alone in this practice, so in some ways, if an author has social media, their book could sell itself. Another way an author can utilize social media to assist with book marketing is by creating shareable content around your book. Sharing videos of readers, or other authors reading your book, or make graphics using original quotes from your book.
Social media can also simplify book marketing by allowing an author to market their book directly to readers. In an addition to creating content around their book, an author can create posts on social media to sell their book. Many authors take quotes from their book or a line from a reader review to make a social media post to sell their book.
Connecting with Other Authors
Throughout the writing process, an author may want feedback, advice or even support. Social media is a great way for authors to communicate with each other. There are several hashtags on Twitter alone that authors can follow, for writing advice and support. While you can offer words of encouragement to other authors, another great way to support them on social media is to share their books with your readers. It is quite common in many genres to cross-promote authors in your genre. If you’re willing to help them out and support them it is more likely that they’ll return the favor.
One social media platform that is particularly popular among authors is Twitter. There is a huge community of authors who love to support each other and offer advice and encouragement on Twitter. There are several great hashtags an author can follow or use on Twitter to connect with other authors. One of these is #WritingCommunity, many authors use this hashtag to ask for feedback or look for tips and ask questions.
Social Media and Visibility
Visibility is a huge part of book marketing, an author could write the most amazing story in the world, but if they aren’t making themselves visible no one will ever know about it. Having social media accounts not only makes it easier for readers to find an author, but it also makes things easier for book bloggers to find them as well. Book bloggers often do blog posts interviewing authors and getting to know them better if you’re active on social media it is more likely bloggers will find you.
Making sure book bloggers can find you is important for an author because they present a unique opportunity for authors. Often, bloggers will do interviews and spotlight authors on their blog. While making yourself visible so bloggers can find you is important, it can work the other way too. As an author, you can reach out to bloggers you’ve worked with in the past when you launch a new book to see if they’re willing to help you.
Though social media can be distracting and stressful, it is something that can be positive as well. It is important for an author to use social media, even if it is only one platform. An author can use social media to build relationships with readers, in book marketing and to gain visibility.