Social Media for Authors

Education concept. Bookshelf with books as like symbol. 3d

Social Media for Authors

Part One

Social Media is a must for authors.  Whether you write fiction or non-fiction, are self-published or have a publisher, authors across all categories, need social media to let people know about their book.  With fewer book retailers, the discoverability of a book depends more and more from influencers online.  I am the Marketing Manager of a medium-sized publisher and I see every day how much building a social media buzz around a book can directly impact sales.  In fact, according to Digital Book World, more than 35% of all books are discovered from social media, and more than 40% from word of mouth (which much of that most likely originated online)

Top Benefits for Authors to Use Social Media

  • Build buzz about your book
  • Follow influencers
  • Establish your brand and personal reputationproxy
  • Pitch your book in a more human, interactive way
  • Listen to customer feedback
  • Showcase your talents and establish yourself as an expert
  • Know your competition
  • Build your business contacts with those in the industry
  • Build reviews of your book- i.e.- Amazon and Goodreads

How to Get Started

It may seem daunting at first, especially for a new author.  The first question to ask yourself is—who is your audience? Using that information, you can do some research to figure out which social media channels they use frequently.

Twitter profile: for everyone, and a great way to follow other authors, influencers, and those in the book world

Blog: if you are really committed to building your brand, especially in non-fiction, blogging regularly can help you build a fan base

Instagram: with an engaged audience of 400 million— if you have visual aspects to your book, you cannot get better than this platform.

Pinterest: If you publish in an enthusiast category, this platform can help you reach those who are passionate about a specific interest.  Pinterest also has many book specific boards such as Book Riot, Goodreads, Book Community Board, and many more!

Facebook– You can create a Facebook page that not only can help you promote your book, but build your brand and in turn be a central place for future books, articles, publicity, etc.  Facebook also has great targeted advertising tools which I will give details about in Social Media for Authors: Part Two.

YouTube: This is an amazing platform for authors that are writing about a visual experience or a how-to. Not only do videos make a lasting impression but YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine- Hello SEO (more on this later)!

There is much more to the why to and how to of social media for authors.  In the next blog post, I will discuss in more detail:

  • Book specific social websites like Goodreads
  • How to utilize Amazon
  • Blog Tours
  • Paid social media marketing
  • Promotional tools for authors

Follow my blog and Twitter at @Sara_Given for more info on Social Media Marketing.

10 thoughts on “Social Media for Authors

  1. Hi Sara –
    You have made a compelling argument for authors to be on social media. I follow my favorite author, Stephen King (@StephenKing) , on Twitter. He has posts not just about his novels and writing, but his personal life, his dog, and just other interesting insights to his life. He will also post when his books will be made into miniseries or movies. That is how I found out his novel 11.22.63 was being made into a miniseries last year by Hulu. It actually made me buy a subscription just so I could watch that miniseries. Now I know he is rather famous and well-known already, but by being on social media, he can make sure his audience is aware of what he is up to, as well as reaching a whole new generation.
    I’m curious, since you are in marketing for the publishing industry, how much do new authors or even not so new ones, actually try and stick to a social media strategy? Does your firm help them out by giving them pointers and guiding them on appropriate content?
    I really appreciate the layout and design of your post and web blog design. Very clean, classic looking. My only suggestions is to consier adding more graphics which would be a great way to add a bit more flair to break up the blocks of text.


    • Hi Christina,
      We do help authors with social media strategy and how to best reach their audience and how we can integrate what they are doing with our marketing. Some authors really take to building a social media following and some do not. After I read your comment, I checked out the mini-series 11.22.63- I loved it! I wish it was more than a mini series.


      • Hi Sara! Happy you enjoyed it, the book is great as well! I have been trying to make my way through all of King’s books, and blogs have been a great way for me to pick which book to read next. It’s a great way to get insight on how his fans rate his books. So far I’ve had great success and have enjoyed every book so far.


  2. Sara – I found this blog post very interesting. I self-published a book for a fundraiser. Sold it at the fundraiser, then stopped there (due to time constraints). I know I need to use social media to promote the book and start selling again – this has given me the itch and made me start thinking what the best strategy is to do this. Thank you!


  3. Pingback: Social Media for Authors, Part Two | lanternmarketingblog

  4. Hi Sara, I agree that social is a perfect venue for authors. I have a friend who is one and she uses all the social channels to promote her book. Word of social mouth helps sell her books to those that normally she would not reach. This should be fairly easy for an author to write creative content to promote their books, blogs or articles. I would think that they would see increased traffic if they promote themselves creatively on social channels. Great blog.


  5. Pingback: Social Media for Authors — lanternmarketingblog | Arrowhead Freelance and Publishing

  6. Pingback: Social Media for Authors, Part Two — lanternmarketingblog | Arrowhead Freelance and Publishing

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