With the creation of sites like Amazon and Goodreads, the job of being an author has changed. Writing is no longer about sitting in front of a typewriter or computer to enjoy the adventure of crafting a story and handing it to someone else to take over. If you write the novel and want others to read it, then you must also be an active part of marketing the book too!
Whether you are self-published or traditionally published (I’m a hybrid), marketing expectations are the same. Truth be told, most publishers only spend marketing dollars on the George R.R. Martins and Stephen Kings of the industry. Having a successful book launch is decided by the amount of work the author puts into it.
I’m not an expert at marketing by any means, but I’ve been enjoying researching and learning about it. Over the next few weeks, we will break down my research into small digestible pieces because let’s be real – marketing can be overwhelming.
Let’s dive right into social media…
Whether you’re a new author or a bestselling author it’s expected to have an author’s platform. Most traditional publishers will ask for your links and check in to see how active and how much of a following you have. This can be a lot of work for any author to keep up with, especially if you work full-time and also plan on writing.
Instagram – The great part about marketing on Instagram is the hashtags. Using the correct hashtags can help you build a following quickly. A lot of younger readers, fans of YA and romance, spend the majority of their social media time on this platform. Fan’s love to see pictures of their favorite author’s everyday life, so don’t forget to share a picture of your favorite coffee in your favorite mug!
Tumblr – This platform is a mystery since it hasn’t gone public, not a lot of stats are known. The majority of users on Tumblr are under 35 years of age, college educated, and split evenly as male and female. It hosts over 102 million blogs and I think could be a great marketing tool for authors. I have yet to master this platform, so expect a blog post later with what I find out!
Facebook – With being one of the first social media platforms to hit the public, Facebook supports a lot of older (and loyal) users. This is a great outlet for Fantasy, Mystery, Sci-Fi, and Romance. Make sure to create an author’s page and take a minute out of your week to schedule a few posts. Unlike Instagram, the hashtag game doesn’t really work to attract followers. So, make sure your advertising your link on other social media.
Twitter – Oh boy, could I spend a whole blog post on this platform. Twitter is where the authors are at! There is a huge community of supportive writers that will help build your following quickly. Hashtags are a huge deal here. If used correctly you can jump followers in a day. Twitter is used by most age ranges and is good for all book genres. And hey – it’s fun mingling and getting to know other authors.
Snapchat – An image and video hosting app, this platform is popular with 17 to 24-year-old fans. Which is why I’ve never used snapchat. As for marketing, find your YA readers here.
YouTube – What a beautiful wonderful place to be. EVERYONE is on YouTube! From how to videos to book trailers, this platform is a marketer’s dream. The secret for a successful channel is learning how to use tag words and the title of your video. How much time do you spend on YouTube? Why not use the popularity to your advantage. That is if you have the confidence to put yourself out there.
Website – If you don’t have any other platform, I would recommend at least having an author website. You’re reading my blog post on my website. Newsletter sign-up, links to books for sale, and bio, it all screams marketing. You can spend thousands of dollars on an amazing professional website, but you really don’t need too. You can sign up for a free website and start building your own. Website hosts make it easy with fancy templets and user-friendly website builders. Don’t delay. Make an author’s website today!
What social media have you used as an author?
The last few weeks have been an interesting one for me. Late one Thursday night a vengeful wind tore through my backyard, ripping a large limb from a tree. The loud sound of its landing followed by the instant loss of power startled me from my writing. I powered down my laptop and emerged back into the real world.
A week had gone by without the pleasure of electricity. I found myself unable to write because of it. Excuse after excuse, I was completely full of them. Once the “POWER” was restored, I still found myself uninspired to write due to the lack of internet at my home.
Edgar Allen Poe, Nathanial Hawthorne, Mark Twain, and Louisa May Alcott did not need the comforts of the modern author to produce an amazing and engaging story. Not having google at their fingertips didn’t stop their imagination. So, I have to ask myself, why did I allow these things to get in the away from doing what I love?
Pressures of being faster and better, I - like most modern authors - have relied on advancing technology to meet the ever-evolving expectation. What we are losing in the process? I believe I'm missing out on the joy and magic of writing.
As I think back on what I could have done differently during my “dark times”, I’ve decided to change my approach to writing with my next novel. It’s time to turn off the electricity, light a candle, challenge my inter Poe, and rely 100% on my own imagination.
If you’re a reader, you have that one book you go back and read over and over again. That book for me is A Slipping Down Life by Anne Tyler. Shocking, right? I know what you’re thinking. But Amber, that’s not fantasy…
I was introduced to author Anne Tyler during a high school reading assignment. My teacher at the time thought it would be a great idea to allow the class to pick their own book to read from a list of course he provided. As expected from the pimple-infested, hormone-raging young adults, the book with the fewest page count won out. So, Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant (the first book I’ve ever read by this author) found its way into my book bag and I, unlike most of my classmates, read the book and finished my report.
Fast forward a few years later and I found myself standing in a local bookstore. Ok, I was working and shelving books, but that’s a topic for another blog. Sitting on the shelf was the book from high school. The memory brought a smile to my face and since I was looking for my next book to read, I thought, why not. After my shift, I bought my first copy of A Slipping Down Life because the back synopsis sounded interesting…
Now when I say interesting, I had no clue how much I would come to love this story. I gobbled it up within hours of starting it. Why, you may ask. I connected with Evie Decker, a slightly overweight, shy girl who comes out of her shell because of music. In a way, the character reminded me of…me. (Only slightly braver once she found her confidence.)
I think I’ve read this book at least 30 times. I know because I just had to throw away my beat up and torn paperback copy. But I keep going back to the story to remember how I felt as a teen and how far I’ve come. Time to buy a replacement!
Tell me about your re-read book.