Oct 26

Social Media & Promo

I’ve noticed some authors don’t have social media other than their blog. No way to contact them except via a contact form on said blog (and even then, sometimes not even that). This is the part where I make a face and cross my arms over my chest.
Authors! You need to have some kind of social media presence!
I know I’m relatively new to the game, all things considered. But I’ve been in and around the business since 2009, and I’ve learned a few things by befriending some amazing authors and publishers. So, pull up a chair. I’ve got a little something to say. :)
I urge you to get on Facebook, at the very least. Twitter can be a bit overwhelming and/or confusing. I’ll be the first to admit that. Like I said, I spend most of my time on Facebook because it’s easier. Also, a good majority of my “impulse buys” have been through something I saw on Facebook. A blurb. Someone talking about the book they just read. An ad (which can get expensive, so think about them before you pay for one).
My point is that in this day and age, you need to have some kind of social media presence as an author. You don’t have to use your real name, or even your real picture. I have another profile for my alternate pen name and the profile picture is one I got off 123rf.com (paid for, of course). And you must interact with your readers. The quickest way to get “unfollowed” is to ONLY post “BUY MY BOOK!” links. Be engaging. Be friendly. Talk about your cat/dog/bird/hamster/fish/unicorn, whatever book you’re reading, the TV show you’re into, the movie you just went to see…anything to make a connection with the reader.
Nora Roberts, Stephen King…they make more money than we could ever dream of seeing (okay, I dream of seeing that much–and spending it) and they’re still online. I follow Stephen King on Twitter and have his tweets sent directly to my texts on my cellphone. I have Nora Roberts’ posts on FB set to show first (because I’ve been a fangirl of hers since I was nine). We all know they have better things to do than Tweet or Facebook. But if they want to continue selling as well as they do, to meet new fans from their office or living room or wherever it is they’re posting from that day, they’re online.
Did y’all know I used to be a book reviewer? It’s true. I was known as MamaKitty from 2009 until 2014 when I closed down my site to pursue writing and editing more seriously. When I went to conventions, because of my online presence, people knew me. I actually had authors jump out of their seats to hug me because we’d established a relationship online. I met Sue Grimshaw from Random House/Penguin, and not only did she remember my name because of our many Twitter conversations, but she mentioned that she habitually read my blog and looked forward to my upcoming release (before I was published). Someone from Random House actually wanted to read my book! Without my submitting to them or begging them to read! I don’t know if she ever actually did, but the fact that she even expressed excitement that I was being published still blew my mind.
We live in a digital age, my friends. If we embrace it, it’ll embrace us right back in the form of sales and exposure.

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