RWA National: So You’ve Written a Book – What’s Next?

In this session, authors Jennifer BlackwoodBrenda St. John BrownChanel Cleeton, Megan EricksonAJ Pine, and Lia Riley discussed ways to increase and enhance their online profiles through social media.  I was taking notes as fast as I could, so I’ll just clean them up a bit.

Create a profile for author you, interact as author self. Streamline everything. Make banners, etc. that apply across all social media. Interact as author you. Follow authors in your genre and favorite authors and see who they follow. Follow agents, editors, bloggers who blog about your genre. Interact as a person, not just for promo. If all your tweets are promo, you lose followers.

Market yourself as well as your work. Promote your book when you have a sale, hit a list or get a high profile review, and on release day. Twitter is an indiret way to promote yourself as a writing professional and as someone that readers will like, which will lead to support for your work.

Interact! Thank folks for a good review. Don’t engage with bad reviews. Support other writer friends by tweeting releases and doing giveaways. Jump on conversations about something you love (Megan loves ARROW, for instance).

You need a page and a profile. The profile is for Facebook parties and groups. Make sure banner pictures and author photos are consistent with social media. Post to page at least once a day—be consistent. Be sure to respond to anyone who comments; it increases visibility. Schedule posts so you can get engagement throughout the day.

Find out what kinds of posts are most popular with your readers using the Insight page. Most success happens early in the morning and around 5 pm. If you create ads, think about boosting a post or sending someone to a site to buy the book. Be sure to target a specific demographic and select a picture that will get attention.

Be sure to engage with readers. Brand yourself with certain things: like TV shows, actors, funny memes, things you love. Don’t complain about publishing or people in the industry; it’s tacky and self-destructive. Don’t ignore comments or pay for followers.

Can set up an Event in the newsfeed. Make it public so anyone can attend. Great for digital releases. Good to get books/swag in new readers’ hands. Can cross-promote your author friends. Get lineup secured in advance. Plan ahead even if just hosting for 15-30 minutes. You don’t want to host the party yourself. Plan a game for every 10-15 minutes. Have a giveaway for your time slot. Prewirte some responses and have images ready. Consider fun posts like “Let’s post pictures of hot men drinking coffee” with a prize to the best one.

Instagram very popular with book bloggers. Great for visual promo llike book covers, teaser images, selfies with your books. Try a hastag like #booksofinstagram.  Follow authors and bloggers. Post lots of different kinds of pictures, but not just promo. Connect to your Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter accounts. Use hashtags! 11-15 hashtags get the most engagement. Put about 3 in the post and the rest in a comment. You can also brainstorm unique contests or other promo opportunities.

Often called “The Wild West of Pubishing,” Goodreads helps to build your platform. Think about pre-release giveaways (print copies only). Goodread badges. Be a reader! Don’t feed the trolls. In the spot where you can review your own book, you can add a teaser of information about what the book means to you, etc. You can link to your newsletter, etc. in that.

Pinterest trends a bit older than Instagram: 30/40/50 while Instagram is late teens-30. Pinterest board for each book—make the book cover the cover photo. Teasers that readers have created, inspiration photos, etc. Choose public and private depending. Once book is out, put buy links on Pinterest as well.

Free, membership-based site for readers/writers. Can connect with readers during the writing process. Good for serials and chapter releases. Club function for chatting with readers and writers. Wattpad works if you spend time there. You have to read and vote to increase visibility. Wattpad can also help with exposure but conversion to readers isn’t guaranteed. Can maybe gauge engagement depending on reads and commenting.

Providers: MailChimp, MailerLite, iContact, Vertical Response

Subscribers: book backmatter (put signup link here so readers can find you), link on Goodreads, profile, Facebook, website, etc. Rafflecopter giveaways, Facebook party signups—post link at end of party.

Content/frequency: excusive chapter reveals and original content, monthly book news, teasers, etc., buy links, giveaways, releases.

PicMonkey, Canva, Pixelmator are all free programs to help you create these; you can also use Photoshop, etc.

Photos – licensing is key! Lots of photo sites online, like Mighty Deals, iStock, Shutterstock. Be sure you go through the proper channels before using a photo to create a teaser.

Uses – social media, countown, Teaser Tuesday, teaser blitzes, blog tours

Do them early, help them capture the spirit of the book.

Giveaways – Rafflecopter, Facebook pages/parties/groups, anthologies, social media. Talk about other authors!

Get to know them. Follow and read them. If you think a blogger would be interested in your book, check out their review policies on their websites. Build a blogger email list (ask permission before adding anyone).Respond to reviews and TELL THEM THANK YOU. Quote their reviews and send them to your publisher. Be polite!

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