I've been writing commercially for 10 years and together with Suzi Love have published Self Publishing: Absolute Beginners Guide.
Over the years we've both helped multiple authors in achieving their desired outcome to publish (either self publish or traditionally) so it seems as good a time as any to "share the love." In this series, I'm going to focus on a particular topic and explain why I do what I do.
I got burned out really quickly. These days, with a multitude of platforms my mainstays are really only 4 platforms bar the ones I control. I like to be around, I like to chat. I want to help others, so I've tailored my delivery methods to suit my needs. I've also whittled down the number of groups I interact in. (More on that another time.)
So what are the benefits of Social Media to new authors?
1. You want to SELL copies of your book. Social media gives you a voice, and for very little outlay (and in some cases, none) you can build a following and a buzz well in advance of the actual release date.
2. It's a great way to interact with other authors. Readers see you interacting, and that gives you an element of cachet with them. You're not riding on their success (besides many authors are more than willing to work with upcoming authors,) from offering blog spots and interviewing them on Facebook to participating in Take Overs (I'll talk about those another time) and learning about book signings.
3. By having an active presence, you can also encourage your newly minted readers to talk to you. This can be the biggest buzz when they fan-girl. (I'm still coming to terms with that one!!)
Why shouldn't I be on a bajillion platforms? After all, they all have their own followers, right?
Take a moment to consider what platforms you are comfortable with. Twitter can be... tense. Facebook has lots of rules and are quick to clamp down on "community standards," and so on. It's where you feel the most comfortable that you'll gain the best outcome. Don't think you have to be on them all. I'm on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and (with a number of caveats) Twitter. I also have an active blog. This means I can control what I say and how I say it. (No Facebook rules or prison!)
Participating in Social Media is all about being present - chatting, participating and being honest in who you are.
The one caution I would throw out, is keep it light. Stay away from politics, negativity and bashing other authors and readers. It looks bad. You don't want to be know as "that bad author X" because while it might be ok in the short term, readers remember. And an overload of negativity builds up, like cholesterol in your veins! Eventually it clogs your message.
I like the more social side of interactions, as I said, though I am on in fits and starts these days, purely because I keep very busy. I have a street team and they're great and an ARC team who review before my books release. These (thanks to my Trusty PA !)
Remember, when you're first starting out, you don't have to do everything, because to be honest, this is an ever changing and evolving business. Baby steps are ok. Asking questions is ok. If in doubt ask.
You can do it!
In 2011, Imogene Nix (the pen name not Imogene herself) was born. Imogene sat down and worked tirelessly for 3 months culminating in the books Starline, which became the first in a trilogy titled, "Warriors of the Elector."
Imogene has successfully been contracted for twenty-five titles. She has also completed several others. In 2017 Imogene decided to self publish most of her further works - a plan which is in train.
Imogene is a member of a range of professional organisations world wide, and believes in the mantra of mentoring and paying it forward.
She loves to drink coffee, wine & eat chocolate and is parenting her spoiled dog and a ferocious cat along with her husband and 2 human daughters.
With Suzi Love, Imogene released Self Publishing: Absolute Beginners Guide and as Ciara Cave she has released Book Sighings for Absolute Beginners to assist beginning authors on the road to success.