We LOVE working with authors. Whether we’re talking about our clients who are Best-Selling novelists, up and coming authors or those who write articles and short think-pieces for online publications, working with the creative mind of a writer is one of our favorite things! And our marketing work with authors over the years has taught us a TON about how authors can best utilize Social Media.
Here is what we know about Authors and Social Media:
Authors have to work really hard
We never realized before we started working with and talking with authors is how much authors are really on their own. The publishers provide a little support up front, but, for the most part, authors are responsible for their own success.
Did You Know: Publishers prioritize the books they are publishing based on a “tier-system.” Tier A books will get a full campaign with a big PR push and large ad dollars to support the promotional timeframe. Tier B might get a short online PR campaign plus a blogger push and social media ads. Tier C might end up in a catalog sent to librarians plus some social media mentions on release day. While each publisher handles their titles differently and all books should get some support, the level of support coming from your publisher depends on a number of factors, many times independent of how good your book actually is.
You may never know the level of priority for YOUR book (but it should be clear which books and authors your publisher IS prioritizing!), so that just means you need to prepare to do your own marketing: from Social Media, to PR to Advertising.
Authors need to network
Successful authors have successful author friends. They get together for Book Cons. They put on their own book tours. They are constantly talking online: to each other, people they follow and fans. Many of their fans are crossover. Fans of Author A find out about Author B because of the banter they see from the interactions online. Who doesn’t want to read the book of their favorite author’s best friend?
Make some author best friends. Get in with an up an coming “new author” crowd. Support your new friends, and ask for support in return. Not only will YOU benefit from a new group of like-minded creative pals, but your book sales will probably benefit, as well!
A Book can be Popular even if the author is not (online)
This happens! All it takes is a good book in the hands of the right influential person. There are successful books that make the best-seller list with authors who don’t know what a “Twitter” is.
Develop relationships with Bloggers! If a few big bloggers or reviewers jump on your book’s bandwagon, the whole sales trajectory can be altered in a very positive way.
Don’t stop working in your downtime
Maybe you are an arm deep into your edits and you don’t have a new book out for another year. Or maybe you’re a new author who just inked your first deal. NOW is the time to focus on your audience online. By building up your “brand” in this down time, you’ll make it easier to approach tastemakers when it’s time to sell books and convince them that your new book will be their favorite new thing!
A huge Social Following does not guarantee Book Sales
We know an author who has more than 175,000 fans on his social media accounts and is still struggling to sell his books. The latest book from this author sold less than 7,000 copies. In our opinion, we don’t think the book resonated with readers. Just because there is a huge audience for the author doesn’t guarantee the book will connect with fans. We talk more about this in our post: Social Media does not Equal Sales.
Authors need to be fans of books and part of the Book Community
The book community is lovely and inviting (though it can be intimidating at first glance!). Authors need to read each other’s work and reach out to authors they love. They need to interact with bloggers, hold meet-ups and get to know people in a real way. When authors get behind each other’s work, it not only benefits the author selling the latest book but it benefits that community as a whole!
If you’re an author, share your experience and tips in the comments! And check out our Blog Series Social Media for Authors.