Social Media as Author's Platform
There is an ongoing discussion on author sites concerning the merits of marketing one's books via social media, as well as through cross-reviews and cross-promotions. Within that conversation there remains a thread of consensus by many authors on the efficacy of social media as a useful conduit for sales; that being that it works. It is also openly understood that efforts to utilize social media may also be unproductive, even damaging if done sloppily or clumsily. That issue as well as cross-promotional relationships should be of interest and concern for any indie writer, as all the above have everything to do with how the public ultimately perceives you as a writer and a person. Social media has been a wonderful boon to everyone wanting to connect to others, even in other parts of the world. It is pretty amazing to chat dynamically with someone in another part of the world, show photos or videos, and for authors, showcase their work to let potential readers know you have a book for them to read. What is being worked out over time is the socially expected behavior of sharing members. For authors who open themselves up to scrutiny by anyone from the public sector, how you go about that can make all the difference. I confess upfront that I do not have the definitive answer to how best to promote yourself to best effect, as I have observed individuals referring to themselves as authors, working on their first ever attempt at writing, garnering hundreds, even thousands of likes on their facebook page or social site, while other authors with several books in print go begging. The truth being there are a great many intervening variables involved in such a relationship as to make a definitive answer unavailable to anyone being honest about it. Reader's tastes and personality preferences, author's presentation and style, genre of the book in question, and how well that matches the interests of those viewing said presentation, as well as so many other potential variables, that such a task seems daunting. Well, it is. Speaking for myself. If I were to offer up advice on using social media for marketing and promoting your book I would say the best approach is keep it simple, keep it short. Make it interesting and fun for viewers and give them opportunity to read a short excerpt, or offer a link to a blog or site where they can read an excerpt. Long, involved descriptions of writing style, story plots or characters are bad for marketing but great for an author's blog, whereupon a potential reader is able to peruse what they want on their time frame.
I will speak of this in future blogs, focusing on different elements of the process. Posting on social media includes blogging. Here I am in text. There are elements of blogging that are necessary, and some annoying, in style or substance, and that may just bounce the reader off the page entirely. I will be addressing that subject directly in an upcoming post, and hopefully, readers will stick around to read it.