For much (all) of my life, I lamented being born in an era my mind did not belong in. Le sigh!
I’m sure many of you are the same. You dreamt about being a beatnik riding your thumb, a lady in repose on the chaise lounge, so forth and so on. But now it’s 2018 and we have to work on something called your “author brand,” so sniff your smelling salts and let’s do this.
Self-Marketing Through Social Media
You can still live in a dream world. But, you know, sometimes you have to think about your social media presence while you pretend to sip martinis in the ’30s.
The nature of selling books is changing. Much of the responsibility of selling those books is being pushed onto the author. This means you, dear author, who has probably wasted good social media time on reading books or trying to enjoy your life.
Create an image of yourself. This image should be how you want the reader to view you (within reason—erase those abs). What do you write? Mystery? Fantasy? Romance, thriller, nonfiction, erotica, bathroom trivia? How do you see the perfect stereotype of an author in your genre? Think about these things, and ask yourself more questions to find out what image you’re going to try and sell to prospective readers.
When creating the different places on the Internet people can find you (i.e. Facebook, Instagram, personal website, blogs), keep this image in mind and try not to stray too far from it. The readers who enjoy that image, who enjoy your brand, will return to get more. If you write gore-filled horror, maybe keep the gifs of kittens to my inbox instead of your social media.
The Social Media
Now that you know the version of you you’re trying to sell, you need to put your wares on display. How you do this is up to you, just like this entire thing. What can you post that speaks to your readers in a way that fits in with your author brand?
If you’re a nonfiction writer, go ahead and post articles about subject matter you use for your books. If you’re a photographer, share your photography. There are many ways of going about this, but I suggest being regular with your posts. If you post once every time you publish a book, no one will be interested in your pages, or profiles. Or whatever.
To Blog or Not to Blog
Blogs are another way of keeping readers updated and interested in you author brand. It’s yet another free resource for you to use to let people know who you are and what you do. You can give people considering reading you a taste of what you have to offer using blogs.
A word of wisdom, one which you’ve probably heard before—do not blog if you can’t commit to updating it regularly. The times I see suggested the most are between seven to ten days. I suggest you do it weekly, at the same time. Then people will know to look out for your posts.
Try out different ways of connecting with your readers using any of these, or any other Internet resources. Most of these are free to cheap and can be done in the down times between writing sessions. Every new person you reach on the Internet is one more step to becoming the successful writer you want to be.