This is Day 8 of the Indie Block Party Blog Hop, where participants would be sharing tips for newbie writers on using social media and networking to build awareness about their brands. Here are some things you can keep in mind.
Be everywhere. If this sounds like a no-brainer, think of it: how many social media platforms are you already on? How many do you think you can be on and maintain a conversation with your followers? Whatever you can stretch to, it’s a lot lesser than what’s required. And it’s a lot more difficult than you can imagine. So, set some realistic goals on where you want to be and gradually build up your presence.
Converse, don’t sell. It’s very tempting to sell, sell, sell your book when you come across a new reader demography. Don’t. People already have enough door-to-door salesmen pounding on their doors. They don’t need one more. So, do yourself a favor and elevate yourself and your offering (book) to the level they need to be, and initiate meaningful conversations with your readers. Get them interested in you and your book. The rest will follow.
Have a landing page. You want to have one website that has everything about you and can talk to just about anybody who wishes to know about you and your writing. The whole idea of using social media and generating social presence is that readers can be finally introduced to the brand behind everything – you.
Get off your butt. I have seen many newbie writers execute some neat social media marketing and then put their feet up on the table, thinking they’ve done all there is to be done. Unless you physically get out there and actually have people listen to your thoughts and ideas, you are just another name and pic on the big bad internet. If you were blind-dating, would you be happy with just talking to an online profile or would you rather meet up in person? Well, you get the idea.
Listen. A lot. This helps in many ways. Critiques online can be very sharp at times, owing to the anonymity the internet provides. But, weed out the chaff and you may still some nuggets in the critique that you may have missed otherwise. On the other hand, you may be doing everything right, but readers may still unearth a better way to end a story or a better way to construct a dialogue. Listen to those. They may prove useful in your next book. Finally, a ‘listener’ tag will only earn you respect among your readership – aloofness can be misconstrued as arrogance, as many authors have found out to their detriment.