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Social Media and the Indie Author


January 16, 2023

We’ve discussed social media and the indie author before. It's important to be active on a variety of social media platforms in order to reach a broader audience and sell more ebooks. But while the end result can be to sell more ebooks, being on social media isn’t about selling. It’s about creating relationships. If you really want to be successful on social media as an indie author, you need to approach with the idea that you will be building a presence, being present, and making connections with current and future readers of your work.

The Wrong Way Indie Authors Do Social Media

While it’s absolutely crucial to your success to make sure people know about your ebooks, if all you do with your social media accounts is promote yourself, you will be very unpopular. As well, if you make offensive comments to specific groups, you will find it difficult to grow a following. Finally, if all you do is reshare other people’s content, you’ll also be considered too boring to bother with.

Social Media Success Tricks for Indie Authors

To really succeed at social media as an indie author, the key is authenticity. Here are our best tips for being authentic on social media:
  1. Show your personality. Share bits and pieces of your life that let your readers get to know you. Share pictures of your pets or kids. Be real.
  2. Don’t over-post about your ebook or get pushy with people to buy it. Occasionally remind people it’s available, definitely let them know when it goes on sale, and announce new ebooks when they come out - but keep about 60% of your posts on other topics.
  3. Occasionally share excerpts and host giveaways that are only for your followers. Show your followers that there are benefits to being a fan by offering coupon codes and exclusives to them that aren't available to the general publish.
  4. Share image-based content that is interesting and fun. Memes are always a hit, provided they are more humorous than offensive. Selfies, depending on the platform, are always fun, too. Readers want to get to know you.
It’s not all about posting – be sure you check in regularly to respond to comments and messages. Social media is about making connections. Ryan White offers great advice for building a strong personal brand that can help you grow your presence online effectively.

5 Social Media Platforms Indie Authors Must Embrace

Social media connects indie authors to existing and potential readers, transforming them into dedicated and loyal fans – a street crew of sorts – that are willing to carry part of the burden of marketing your eBooks.

How do you turn social media connections into a street crew? You give them a glimpse of you: the author. Your social media efforts should not – and cannot – be only about sales. In fact, the biggest way social media can help you is in branding yourself as an indie author and providing you with a variety of platforms from which to share, grow, and develop your visibility as an author.

The following social media platforms are crucial for authors, and we’ll discuss why and how each should be used in coming blogs:

Goodreads: Goodreads is an author and reader platform for connecting, discussing, and sharing books. Readers can share their favorite quotes; authors can build profiles and answer interview questions to help readers get to know them.

Facebook: While you can allow people to follow your personal profile on Facebook, it is through your author page that you will realize the most benefit. In fact, having readers interact with your personal profile on Facebook, where you might also interact with grandma, might be a bad idea. Create an author page from which you can interact with fans, hold live events, and promote your books in unique ways.

Twitter: Twitter is a must-have for every author and one of the quickest platforms on which you can launch and build a following. Even with the relative volatility of the platform right now, it's still a great place not just to connect with readers but with other authors. Be sure to follow the hashtags #WritingCommunity and #AmWriting.

Instagram: Instagram is another alternative platform for those who prefer more visual methods of communicating. It is one of the most popular platforms available. Instagram is hashtag heaven, so don't be afraid to use many hashtags on your posts.

TikTok: TikTok is growing in popularity as a place for authors to connect. The short video format allows authors to be even more authentic with their readers. Share weekly updates, read excerpts from your books, and participate in themed events.

Remember, not everything you post on these social media platforms has to be about your ebooks. In fact, it’s better when you keep your ebook promotions to 30% or less of your posts. So whether it’s your penchant for knitting and sharing your project photos on Instagram or putting together a playlist that you like to write to to share on Twitter or Facebook, the more you can share the real you, the more willing your audience will be to help you grow as an author.

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