Recently, I attended a writers’ conference.
Not to worry, I’m not about to inflict my fictional ramblings on the world-at-large.
(But, on the off chance you may be interested, drop me a line!)
I went for two reasons.
First, to meet some world class writers in person.
Second, to learn how they used social media to promote themselves and their books.
Allow me to share what I learned with you.
I admit to a bias going in.
The bias being that social media can be as effective for writers as it can be for other businesses.
Also, given that writers are typically in the B2C arena as opposed to B2B, social media can be particularly useful for them.
One other interesting observation about writers that I’ve noted is that they are the rock stars of their fan bases.
Readers eagerly await their next book, want to be able to interact with their favorite writers-cum-rock stars.
And, while the traditional book tour may be dead, as one writer recently explained to me, if you want your book to be successful then you have to do the “dance” of going out and meeting your readers across the map. (Does this sound like a rock concert tour?)
The publishing industry has consolidated like every other industry leaving only a few major players.
Only the very popular writers (i.e., Stephen King) get the attention and the large advertising budgets to promote their books.
Publishers now want to know from aspiring writers what their social media footprint is.
What’s your Klout score?
How many followers do you have on Facebook?
These are just a small sample of the questions a writer is asked as they look for a publisher.
(Hint, agents often ask these questions too.)
Alright, you may be asking, just how does all this happen?
In this case, the whole is more than the sum of its parts.
And, unlike what Woody Allen says about life, social media is more than just showing up.
There are a few key concepts here.
To start, once you determine what your social media footprint will be, how will you engage with it, grow it, and how will you measure success?
(If you answered book sales, you’re only partially correct. What at the interim measures of success that indicate you’re on your way to a bestseller?)
What other third party tools will you use to help you?
How will yo engage with other writers?
(Writing a book may be a solitary profession but promoting the book is not.)
Most importantly, how well connected are you with your community before you even think to ask them to buy your next book?
And, don’t forget to ask them to buy extra copies as Christmas or Hanukkah presents?
Social media can be very effective in helping writers to drive sales and to enhance their reputations.
It offers incontrovertible proof to agents and publishers that you do exist and people do read your books.
Over the next several months, I’ll be exploring these and other concepts in more detail.
Please be sure to follow me!
That’s it for now!
Please check-out my 8 step approach for developing a social media program to get some more ideas on how to use social media.
Also, never forget to reach out to either ask questions or to ask for help from someone like myself!
In the meantime, thank you for following and reading my blog!
I look forward to any and all comments that you may have. I will reply to any comments made to this blog post as promptly as I can.
I do this for a living and if I can be of any assistance to either you or your organization, please feel free to call on me. Our initial discussion will be of no charge to you.