Social media is one TOOL in an author’s marketing toolbox
Day 28 of the 5-Week Author Blog Challenge asks participants to talk social media. All 35 posts for this Challenge will be focused on writing, publishing, and book marketing. I hope you’ll stick around through all 35 posts. And if you want to take part, come on in – the water is great! You can register here.
Day 28 writing prompt:
How are you using social media to promote your book? What aspect of social media would you like to learn more about? What are your next steps?
Social media is a tricky beast. Authors get all kinds of bogged down in mastering the perfect post to help them sell more books. In reality, however, social media is about connection. This is not to say that sales can’t and won’t come as a result of an author’s social media efforts. But increased sales, specifically, is probably the wrong goal.
Better goals would be:
- Increased visibility – so that people have heard of you before
- New relationships which can lead to unexpected doors opening
- Partnerships with other authors, near and far
- Speaking opportunities
- Ideas sparked by watching what other authors (or non-authors) are doing
I’ve written before about the success of Robert Scanlan, author of Tigers Under My Bed: Life Lessons Tamed During Three Organ Transplants. Initially quite skeptical about the value of social media, Robert did his research and rightly determined that LinkedIn was the best platform for him. Through his LinkedIn connections, he was able to get his book in front of several renowned transplant surgeons shortly after its release in May 2014. Now, it is being used as an ancillary textbook in both the USC and UCLA medical schools. Sure, his sales have increased. But more importantly, this positions Robert as an expert on his subject matter, which will lead to more exposure and paid speaking gigs. These sure offer a better payday than selling a single book to one new follower on Twitter.
My novel is about a guy who travels around the world. Not quite the gravitas of organ transplantation, but I do manage to touch on some important issues along the way. For example, the story ends just after Hurricane Sandy devastated the Atlantic Coast in the fall of 2012. Social issues are always relevant and good conversation starters for social media.
Another thing to keep in mind is that social media is not a marketing strategy. It’s a tool you apply to your specific marketing efforts – like a media release or email signature.
Personal social media goals
- Facebook author page for Laura Orsini
- Tweetchats about travel to the countries Stan visits
- A video book trailer, using the cartoon version of Stan I created on com
- Get started on Instagram – the one platform I’ve been hemming and hawing about
- Jump into Periscope with both feet
- Connecting with English-speaking readers from other parts of the world
All of this will be in support of a Pacific Coast train tour I am planning for summer of 2016! It’s still in the early idea phase, but it will happen. And I’m looking to take 5 to 7 other authors with me. So if you can afford to take a couple weeks off and want to invest in the trip of a lifetime with some other amazing authors, please be sure to contact me!
Please also make sure to check in again tomorrow, when I’ll be discussing my ideal business and marketing partners … some of whom may actually exist!
And for the record, I’d love your feedback on my Author Blog Challenge posts! And, of course, would really love to have you support all of the bloggers in the Challenge. Find their links here.
Here’s to using social media as a tool to enhance all your other marketing efforts!
We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.
If you’re new to social media, my book Social Media for Authors goes into much greater detail about when, how, and where to post for the greatest chances at succeeding with your specific goals. Get your copy today! It’s never too early to begin planning!