For starters, choose as many of the social media options you are comfortable with and check them daily to add material and reply to comments. If you are only comfortable with one form of social media, learn a second, and once you are comfortable with two, add a third. Work your way up to as many as you can truthfully be enthusiastic about and have time to visit almost daily (daily is best).
You don’t have to spend much time on any one of them and can upload nearly the same comment to each. I suggest gearing it differently for, say, LinkedIn than you would Pinterest. Keep the type, mood, and readership of the social media site in mind when you post.
Every writer is different. What your day job is, what your personal interests are, what genre you are writing in (especially to what age group) will help determine social media sites you might thrive best on.
Be sure to create a personal website, too. This website should be your name as an author, not a book title, because hopefully you will have many books (eventually) and you can house them all on your personal website.
Blog a couple times a week (500 words is plenty) and upload the link to sites like FB, Twitter, Google, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc. Once you are published be sure to have author pages on sites like Amazon and Goodreads. Be sure that your blog is also posted there.
Participate in blog shares with other authors you meet at conferences, author organizations you belong to, or in-house authors through your publisher. What is a blog share? You interview other authors and run it on your site (upload the link on all your social media sites, of course) and visa versa.
Before and during your ongoing author platform building, you should seriously consider having a publicist. A PR person will do the things you absolutely hate doing, like securing book signings, radio shows, local TV, etc. Of course, if you’re like me, you will refuse to do half of the things your PR person books, which wastes their time and your money, so I strongly suggest that you have good communication with your publicist.
Make it very clear what your comfort zone is, as opposed to what causes paranoia in you to the point of needing to pop meds.
It is also good to know your strengths. For instance, I know I am a good speaker because I give lectures all the time when teaching college. Practice makes perfect, and then becomes a comfort zone. I am all about signings, too. I love hosting workshops and visiting book clubs… but I refrain from TV and radio.
I cringed the first time I heard myself on radio and wanted to change the channel when I appeared on TV. I didn’t query others to find out if they had this same reaction to my voice on the former and appearance on the latter. I simply refused to ever do either one again.
Let’s just say it wasn’t my comfort zone and that was all too apparent, which I believe can be more counterproductive than helpful when trying to sell books. Of course, if I had the desire to improve at radio or TV, then I could dust myself off, polish my approach to both, and make them a comfort zone.
But I don’t want to.
And that’s okay.
No one expects you to be on every social media site or participate in every type of in-person promotion. You need to be true to YOU, which means respecting your personal interests and comfort zone, as long as you can find successful and meaningful ways to communicate with your readership.
It helps to be flexible. If suddenly I became a New York Times Best Selling author, you better believe I am not turning down an opportunity to be interviewed by Matt Lauer.
Speaking of Best Sellers, in Part 5 we will discuss what literary contest judges look for to determine whether or not your manuscript might become one. Stay tuned…
Kathryn’s next novel, Journey, will be released September, 2015 by Winter Goose Publishing
Personal blog and website: http://kathrynmattingly.com Edgy Words Unleashed
Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00EILN6YE