Early on in my career as a self-published author I realized the value and importance of use of social media as marketing tools. In the last year, I feel like I’ve progressed in my use of these tools by leaps and bounds. And then I run across something awesome that makes me realize I’m still a novice.
For fun, I’ve broken up the different social media options I’m aware of into levels. There’s basic, rock star, and out of this universe. Personally, I feel like I’m at rock star and teetering on out of this universe as far as use. But I’m sure there are many things I could be doing better. I’ll be really curious to see what you guys think about the different marketing tools out there.Which ones do you like best?
Level 1: Basic (Facebook, Twitter, Blog or Website)
These are the social media/marketing tools every author seems to (and should?) have at least set up and a basic working knowledge. Someone once turned me onto a “how to” book for authors by H.P. Mallory that went into good detail on each of these. My blog/website and Facebook I feel like I’ve got down pretty well. I enjoy interactions with readers on both and have settled into a good method of keeping up with them.
I’m still playing around with what exactly I use Twitter for. I recently decided that I’m not a huge fan of people with Twitter accounts that only ever post promotional stuff. I personally like to read about what they’re doing. But who cares if I have cheerios in the morning. So, just lately, I’ve decided to mix up the promo stuff with observations… situations, funny conversations, interesting people I’ve seen… all things I might write into a book someday.
Level 2: Rock Star (Goodreads, Pinterest, Email List)
A Goodreads author page was a must. It’s been really interesting to see readers put me in their “to read” category and the difference in ratings vs. Amazon. I’ll admit, I haven’t figured out how to do other stuff with it. I know you can do events, post status, etc. But I’m not there yet.
Pinterest is a favorite spot for me. I use it for a lot of things. For any book I’m working on, I’ll pin various things that are being written into the book – pics of people that look like the characters, places where settings will be, different creatures or things key to the plot. I also have boards for brainstorming – pictures that might inspire me, etc.
Thanks to MailChimp I’m finally on a role with my email list. I feel like the people that sign up for this list are my personal rock stars. They’re the ones who really care about when my books come out and what I’m doing. So I enjoy putting together stuff for them.
Level 3: Out of this Universe (Blog Tours, Release Parties, Book Trailers)
I’m just nearing the end of my first big, organized blog tour. And I’m kicking myself for not having done one sooner. The impact in terms of reaching new readers, and the fun in terms of getting to write guest posts like these means I’ll definitely do this again.
Five other authors and I released an anthology called “Here, Kitty Kitty”. It’s a set of short stories featuring exotic feline shapeshifters. One of the other authors organized a release party on Facebook. I had no idea what to expect, but the participation and fun was awesome. Not sure I’m there yet in terms of having enough people to ask to participate, but it’s on my list of things to try.
A book trailer sounds really, really fun to me. But I’m not savvy enough to do one myself. So it’s also on my list of “to dos.” No eta on when yet though.
What am I missing? I’m sure there are lots of other fun, zany ways to interact with readers, reach more audiences, and get the word out about my book. I just haven’t experienced them yet. What are your favorites?