It’s so easy to get lost in social media. There’s the Facebook, and the Twitter, and the Google+, and the Blogging (BREATHE), and still trying to come up with new and innovative ways to connect with readers. …it goes on and on. For a while there I think I got so lost in social media that I forgot to do the actual writing — something that I fear I am not alone in. So how does one balance it all? Here’s 5 ways help you find time to market your work and still have time to write:
- Hook Your Immediate Circle: As a self-published author I know the difficulties of having to market oneself. When my book was first published I hosted a book release party to get my friends and family psyched about the book, and hopefully become fans (see my previous blog on Hosting your Author Book Release Party). But what do you do to get the word out beyond your immediate social circle?
- Social Media Set-Up- With this day and age an author should have an author Facebook page, as well as a Facebook page dedicated to the book/series. In addition to Facebook, I recommend that an author create a Twitter account. Why not? It’s free and gives you the opportunity to publicize your book, talk up yourself and your writing journey, or say whatever the hell is on your mind (love of chocolate, travelling, etc.). Lastly, I suggest you look into starting your own author website. This unfortunately is not free, but talk to other people and writers and many of them may have connections to people who created their website, or know people who do website design. So why go through all this trouble? Because there is a big world out there with people dying to read your novel, and these are ways to connect with them without having to spend thousands of dollars to do a cross country book tour, or get on a plane and fly and sell your novel on the other side of the country, or world. Everything can be done with a click of a button.
- Start a Blog– Now you need to engage with people who may be interested in your story. The fabulous target audience. This is the time consuming part. You have this great novel to sell but they don’t know you or your book. And there’s thousands of other authors trying to sell their own book to the world. How do you differentiate yourself from the competition? How about by showcasing your writing talent by starting your own blog. You can make it weekly, daily, monthly, or whatever floats your boat. I am now attempting a weekly blog to try to share my personal writing experience, thus far, and help other new or recently published authors avoid some of the pitfalls that I encountered. The blog itself is helpful because it helps drive people to your site with new and helpful information, and hopefully this person will want to hear more and subscribe to your blog for future updates. Also, while this person is on your site, it gives him/her a chance to browse around for a little to check out your books and find out a little more about you, the author. It’s all about building relationships with fans, fellow authors, etc. so you want your site to be an interactive experience. There are a lot of great blogs and author websites out there, so definitely take some time to check them out and see what works for you. Then take some time to think about what you would want to blog about and it can be anything you want it to be. Remember, you will be taking time out of your busy schedule to write this blog so make it something that you are excited about, and don’t feel like you have to copy what other authors are doing. There is not just one way to blog, just like there is not just one way to tell a story.
- Interact on Social Media- In addition to blogging, don’t forget to use your social media sites to interact with your prospective audience. It could feel overwhelming with all the different social media sites out there. Next you will tell me it’s impossible to think of something new and innovative to say on each site! Believe me, it’s not easy! Sometimes I develop more writer’s block with social media than when working on my novels. It’s challenging because you don’t know your audience personally, and they don’t know you. So why should they care that you just finished 50 pages in an all-night writing binge (even though that is something to be proud of). It takes time to build relationships via social media, even in real life, so start out with asking questions, or talking about your journey. Comment on other people’s posts to interact with fellow authors. Maybe offer to raffle off one of your books or do a contest to build awareness and get people excited about your book. There are a lot of different ways to engage with people, but it does become time consuming and could interfere with the actual writing process.
- Time Manage– Something great that is out there is Hootsuite (www.hootsuite.com), and this enables you to interact with different social media sites all in one place. It can save you a lot of time by sending out tweets on Twitter, and Facebook posts on a schedule that you assign them without having to go back and forth between various sites. Also, something that helps me is to try to make a schedule. Put something on your calendar that says you will write tonight, almost like you are making a date with yourself (wine, soft music….LOL). Or write that you will work on your blog during your lunch hour or tweet while on the train commuting home. Whatever works best for your schedule. The main thing though is that you don’t get so engrossed in the social media marketing that you forget what it’s all about…your writing.
Would love to hear about how you balance social media in your writing schedule! Feel free to share and reach out with any questions. Remember that the best book is yet to be written so the more you write the more products you have to sell! And that will be another advantageous way to market your work, and grow as a writer.
Wishing you much writing success!!