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 reputation
- 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.