Welcome to an entire month of Top 5 Tips for Authors!
Every day this month my friends and I will bring you a new set of Top 5 Tips to help you along on your author journey. 2017 was a year of change in the Indie author world for sure. So many happenings. So many new things to learn. So many old things that didn’t quite do what you’d hoped. Well, every day is a new day. And every year is a new year. So we hope that this month’s worth of tips will get you the kick start you need to make 2018 your best yet and please feel free to ask questions and leave comments.
JA Motherfucking Huss is the NYT bestselling author of 321 and has been on the USA Today Bestsellers list eighteen times. She writes dark shit that isn’t for everyone but once in a while she gets a joke in her that comes out as a romantic comedy. She’s a workaholic who lives on a ranch in Colorado. (This is her blog, BTW, so her links are all over the goddamned place so I’m not gonna post one here.)
This is the third post in a three-post series about using social media. All indie authors who want to sell books online need to use social media effectively. The three platforms I’m going to discuss are Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The most important thing you can take away from this mini series is that they are all very different and attract a different kind of user.
Using Twitter as an Author
1 Understand what IG is
It’s a place to post PICTURES. That’s it. It wasn’t set up for advertising, it was just a way for people to check in with their friends using a picture. I’ve tried doing some ad campaigns and it wasn’t all that impressive. I’m sure there’s people out there using it for ads and doing well, but in my experience, the interaction on IG is mostly organic.
2 Make your picture stand out
Meaning, don’t just post your book cover. Even if you’ve got a cover reveal (in which case, the cover is the whole point of the post), a book cover in and of itself tells people very little. Especially the people who use IG on a regular basis. they’re cruising through nothing BUT pictures so yours really has to catch their eye. What catches someone’s eye? Who the fuck knows. lol you just gotta guess, do your best, and then every few weeks you go through and look at all your IG posts and see which ones got the most heart clicks. These two pictures of mine have gotten the most organic attention lately. Meaning, I didn’t promote these IG posts anywhere or tell anyone about them. This is just random people scrolling by.
3 Use IG mostly for “you”
And not so much about “your books”. I’ve tried it many different ways over the years and in my experience, the posts people are most interested in are the ones that tell them something about me. A video of my donkeys or my bird. Something personal. If you have a big announcement and you’ve got a great picture, post that stuff too. But first and foremost, it’s always about the image.
4 Put links in, but don’t expect much
People aren’t on IG to click links. It’s just not set up that way. They’re there to scroll on by, clicking the heart if they stop for a second. In addition, most links don’t’ work anyway. (Unless you’re paying for advertising.)
The one place you CAN put a link is in your profile. You get one. Just one. So make it count. Right now I think my IG is linked to my Amazon page but you can put your website or your Facebook.
5 Use author/writer/reader hashtags
#kindle #audiobooks #amazon #fridayreads #writerslife #readersofinstagram #readstagram
This is just a small list of the ones I use. You can find them all over the web, so by no means is this an exhaustive list. I’m honestly not a big IG user, and I never click hashtags, but just because I don’t use it doesn’t mean other people aren’t. So don’t forget your hashtag.
6 Decide early how you want to use your socials
And make them different. For instance I use my Facebook Author Page for business stuff (and to run ads). I use my Facebook group to talk to fans and run giveaways. I use my Twitter to post updates when I’m writing and for release day giveaways. I use my IG for release day stuff, but it’s really only effective for posting personal pictures of me and what I’m doing.
It’s all divided up so when I have something so share the first thing I ask myself is, “What’s the best platform to use to get this message out there”.
Sometimes I’ll post on all my socials at the same time. For instance, during release week. The whole point of release week is to get the word out and what’s the point of gathering u pal these followers if you’re not gonna blast them with your news. But when it’s not release week I tend to use one or two at a time. I admit, IG often gets left behind because I just don’t see the business aspect of it yet.