In Part 1, I introduced the idea of setting goals. Goals are important. I talked about sales goals. Let’s say you have a goal to sell 5,000 “copies” of your title in one year. If you break that down to a goal of 14 books a day, then it becomes much more “doable”. Well, how do you sell 14 books a day? In this post we are going to begin exploring this very idea. Keep in mind this is just a number. You may want to sell 10,000 books in one year. That is up to you.
Let’s look at social media networking.
I’ve blogged about this before but I’m going to be more specific today.
1. What social media accounts should I have?
Pick your media platforms and really commit to them. Do some research – figure out how you like to communicate and how often. I suggest twitter and facebook with a goodreads thrown in for good measure. Post at least once a day. And interact with your followers. Engage them. Start following people you know and they will follow back. But also do some research. Go to the pages of people or publishers you like and follow the people they follow. You need to build your follower list on a regular basis. If you follow someone, chances are, he or she will follow you back. This applies primarily to twitter. Seek out good people to follow – readers and reviewers and people who write the same kinds of books you write as well as other writers from other genres. Not everyone will follow you back. That’s okay. But your goal is to build your network. Twitter suggests people for you to follow. So that’s a good way to find people too. But I did it the old fashioned way. I went looking for them. 🙂 Just as you have sales goals, you should have goals to get more followers. Having a few hundred followers isn’t enough. You need to keep building your followers because they are potential readers of your books. I cannot emphasize this enough. You need to build your followers.
2. What should I call myself?
Use your real name!!! Or if you write under a pen name use the pen name. I’m not a fan of cutesy twitter or facebook monikers. I find it hard to track people if they have different nicknames. Keep it consistent. All of your social media accounts should have the same name. You don’t want readers to have a hard time finding you.
3. Should I have one or two accounts on facebook?
If you want to keep in touch with family and friends, then I suggest you create separate accounts. One for your close family and friends and one for your fans. If you’re on facebook you might consider an author page (which is unlimited in terms of how many “friends/followers” you have and the other account should be your personal/family/friends page. Why? Because it is just uncomfortable, awkward, and unprofessional to “air” your private life in public i.e. disputes, family grievances, where the next family reunion will be, or even personal information. Or if you only want one facebook account then keep it strictly professional. Yes, you can include pictures of family vacations and your kids playing with the dog, but other, more personal info you should keep to yourself. One time I was scrolling through my facebook stream and came across a major fight between a writer and a relative about an upcoming wedding. That’s not the kind of thing you want readers of your books to see.
4. What do I post?
You certainly don’t want to inundate people with “buy my book-isms”. Instead, share snippets of what you’re working on – just a few lines here and there. Or talk about where your next book is set and post pictures of that place. Or if your book is about a chef, share some tasty recipes that your character might be making in the book. Or if your hero is in the army, share some heart warming stories you read about in the news, about how families and towns celebrate their home-coming heroes. If you write steampunk novels post pics of some cool fashions that your characters might wear in your books.
Run regular contests. Give away free copies of your books. A lot of authors give away swag that they get from conferences. Think of a fun contest. Ask your followers to name your next hero or heroine. If your heroine runs a horse ranch give your followers your top three choices for the name of the ranch and ask them to pick their favourite. Or offer interesting prizes – for example the winner’s name could be the name of a character in your next book. Or you can include the winner’s name of one of your contests in your acknowledgments or with a special thank you in your next book. Who wouldn’t love that? Be creative and have fun. And make it a routine or a habit to do giveaways or have contests. You don’t have to do one a week, but a few contests a year would be a great idea.
5. I don’t have time for social media, I have to focus on my writing.
Bull! Most successful authors who sell a lot of books are very active on social media. Simple. As. That. Consider this: your social media accounts are an extension of your books. What you write on your facebook page is original content, created by you! Fans of your books will love your sneak peeks, your contests, or any information that you share with them about your characters and your stories. Social media is the easiest way for you to keep in touch with your fans, to gain new readers and to make announcements. It is part of your writing process from start to finish. Just as you nurture your book, so you must nurture your facebook and twitter accounts.
To be continued . . .
See you next week!
In the mean time check out some of our books right here at Lachesis Publishing.
Joanna D’Angelo is Editor in Chief at Lachesis Publishing Inc. She loves Cinnamon Dolce Lattes, and social media networking.