If you decided to open a store selling furniture, you would want
windows on the store so people could see inside, right? You'd want a phone so they
could call and ask about products, delivery, and so on. You'd want a sign posted so
people would know when you have something new to sell. Having an online presence with social media is like all
those things combined into one -- but for authors. Our furniture is books.
3. social media (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest)
Why have a website?
Because it will be yours and no one can take it away from you.
It is your home on the net. It's where anyone anytime can find out
about you, your characters, and your books.
Why a newsletter?
Because again, this is yours. It's like real estate. You could
send everyone to amazon to buy, and perhaps they will. But when you release the
next book, wouldn't it be nice if you could just contact the buyers of book 1 and
say, hey -- here's the sequel? With a newsletter, you can. It's the #1 thing you
should have after a website. The purpose of your website is to get people to sign
up for your newsletter, and to learn about your books.
Why social media?
Facebook is where adult women gather. They are usually our audience. But don't pass
up Twitter. It's the #2 source for book sales, behind Facebook and ahead of Pinterest.
It's EASY. You can only write a sentence or two at a time, so it's not time consuming.
Pinterest is HUGE for sales. Make boards where you share pictures from online of
things that inspire you, places you'd love characters to go in a story, material
from sites where you gathered research, books you love, fancy quotes, funny animals,
anything that catches your fancy.
On all these, get an account with your author name. Don't get cutesy with "mom2aboy"
or "justawriter" or anything like that. Use your author name, because
when someone wants to mention you, they would write your name and expect that
would work. So you don't want something weird. Your author name IS your brand. It
should be on everything.
Then start following other writers, and follow the people they follow. On Twitter,
you'll see things set up where someone has to fill in a code to follow. Don't do
that. You are a public figure as an author. You need to be found by fans. So make
your account public and use an avatar for your brand or your book. Fill in the bio
about yourself with something that says writer or author.
Don't follow people who offer for you to buy followers (in fact, block them). They
come out of the wordwork, and blocking them alerts Twitter to remove these people.
They are annoying spammers, and they are violating the TOS for Twitter, so don't
go near them. But be aware, you will see them every week the rest of the time you're
on the site. They try, and they get newbies who don't know any better, so if they
make a sale before they're axed, they just get a new name and try again. >_<
It's part of online life so just deal with them and move on. I wish it wasn't so,
but I will not give up a great source for sharing my books and talking to fans because
of spammers. Besides, these people are just so obvious. Look for people with a string of numbers behind their names (i.e., jason97349857). You will spot
them even without trying. You'll see. They can't seem to help themselves.
But oh my goodness, yes yes yes get Twitter! It's so much fun. It's so easy. It's
so great for boosting sales. When people guest on my Romance Lives Forever
blog, I put their Twitter handle in the post title. It gets shared dozens and dozens
of times. That boosts sales. Those authors get followers.
What are you waiting for?
Go get Twitter and other social media and move forward.
Let's do this.
Kayelle Allen writes Sci Fi with misbehaving
robots, mythic heroes, role playing immortal gamers, and warriors who purr. She
is the author of seven books, three novellas, and multiple short stories. She's
also a US Navy veteran and has been married so long she's tenured. She is the
founder of Marketing for Romance Writers.