Author´s and social media – One can´t really live without the other.
When an author starts out the first thing they need is to become a public figure. And what better way to become a name ( with or without a face) than on social media? There is no better way because, believe it or not… Social media is where half of the magic happens. Social media is, also, where an unimaginable amount of people spend a lot of their time.
And when an author is great at mingling with the common foot folk then social media is a blessing.
But have you ever stopped to think for a second about what exactly happens behind the scene´s? Does an author have to use all social media available for exposure? What does an author have to do in order to become known? Question after question….
The ugly truth is- Author´s cannot avoid social media. It´s nearly impossible. If they do try to avoid any social platform then there´s a high chance no one besides family and friends will ever get to read an author´s work.
Here are a few of the many places where author´s can hang out:
There isn´t really an end to the profitable social media list. With time, each social media site will celebrate their highs and suffer from lows but that still doesn´t change the fact that they´re still necessary. Author´s need to be where the crowd is, right?
But, where, exactly, is the crowd?
I don´t have an aswer for that question. Rumor has it that it completely depends on the genre. Some say it´s better for a paranormal author to spend all their free time on Facebook, and others say Twitter is the place to be for romance writers.
Many authors swear on Instagram being fully Fantasy, Young Adult/New Adult…..
But that´s just absurd because
- There hasn´t been an actual study done on the topic.
- Social Media platforms are not bound to genres / books. They´re for everyone.
No one and nothing can support that rumor because it´s different for everyone. Every author, every reader has their own thoughts on what works where.
There´s no true formula on which social platform´s the best.
There are a few author superheroes that make us believe they have it all figured out, though. Maybe they do know a few tricks on how to work social platforms. Maybe they develop 8 arms when the moon hits it´s peak. ( Okay, okay. That was unnecessary. But I often can´t help what pops into my mind.)
Unless an author has a wonderful team of minions who´re willing to help, there´s no way an author is able to be everywhere, at the same time. Aside from the miracle worker authors- I´ve noticed not all authors use every platform available. They use what works for them the most.
Some authors focus on Facebook and Twitter. Some work the Instagram, Tumblr and Pinterest mill.
Some even go through the efforts over at Youtube and upload book trailers, reading sessions, etc. Writers have become creative in alot of ways and it´s often really cool to witness.
My verdict on what social media is the best for authors is:
Everywhere! Meaning: Every platform is a good place for a writer because it doesn´t depend on where the most people are- It depends on which platform an author feels most comfortable with.
If Facebook works for an author- great.
Instagram? I´m on board with that.
The key isn´t to chase after the crowd. Author´s aren´t door to door salesmen. The key is getting the crowd´s attention.
Which brings me to my next point:
When a writer has their prefered social media platform where they´ve already grown roots.. It´s not wise to think all the work is done. Especially when the love gushing over a certain book has died down ( a painful fact author´s have to come to terms with ).
When the hype is gone, the fan base will cool down. Only a selected few hardcore book activists will stay. What then? Is it time for an author to move on and write something new? Perhaps it´s a better idea to stick with one book and find other ways to promote it? Maybe find more hardcore book activists?
This is where social media can be an author´s best friend.
Every platform is filled with book lovers from all corners of the book world. But what a few aren´t aware of is that Facebook and Co. are also filled with book clubs, book / author groups that offer wonderful extra´s for author´s and readers. Book people like to hide in groups where they can share their latest reads with fellow readers.
Let´s say the hype for an author´s book has died down. Comments slow down. Likes vanish. All the people who have been super supportive have disappeared into thin air. ( Don´t believe it doesn´t happen. It does. Every. Damn. Time. ) It´s a crucial moment. Even devastating because an author depends on likes, follows, shares, etc. Once the interaction slows or stops it can make authors doubt themselves and their abilities.
When that happens it´s time to take the next step. It doesn´t matter which step. It´s the action that matters. Preferably immediately. If an author doesn´t take matters into their own hands then no one else will.
No matter how many blogs support a writer with posts and graphic quotes or honorable mentions…. Blogs and fans don´t own the author´s work, therefore, their hands are tied.
Of course, there are author´s who depend on blogs and fans to do all the
dirty work promotion but that´s a different bedtime story for another night.
Author´s who want exposure and want their names to stay in people´s minds need to stay in the picture.
You cannot imagine how often I´ve seen certain books on social media. Sometimes it´s annoying when I see the same book over and over again ( especially after I´ve read it ) But that´s not the point. It´s the fact that the book is still around… even a year after publication date. Why is that?
Because author´s use their tools. They don´t fully rely on others to get the job done. They´re always on the look-out for new groups and games they can participate in so they can introduce their book to new readers. They collide with other authors.
They make it look like they never sleep.
It all ALWAYS boils down to the same point. Work the self-marketing mill as if it were your religion.
Social media is a warped place but it CAN be very useful for authors if they use their platforms well.
Get to know your social platforms. Learn to use them.
NOTE: This doesn´t just apply to authors. This article can be very helpful for book bloggers as well.