I wrote something on Twitter recently that seems to have been popular with the author world, so I thought I would expand on it a bit.
I am a reader, a librarian, and a book reviewer. I am very active on Goodreads, Instagram and Twitter. I consider myself to be at least a minor influencer in my circles, and I want to help you all reach people like ME. People who can help spread the word, especially if you have a small publicity budget. Because I have now learned just how skewed the publishing world is toward books with a huge publicity budget. I won’t rant on that now, but what I will say is that money does not always equal quality. At all. And that’s a massive shame for the rest of the books that DO deserve to be known.
I am the consumer of your work. I am the critic of your work. I am your target audience. You may not want to hear what I have to say, but I really think you should at least listen. You don’t have to like it. You don’t have to change your behavior, but according to my January growth mindset mantra for my students ~ feedback is a gift. Accept it.
With all that being said, I love you guys. You are the dealers who feed my addiction. You keep my reading life full – THANK YOU! I’m telling you these things because I want to HELP you, not criticize you.
Here is my advice for connecting with people like me – and THANK YOU to all of the fabulous authors who are already doing all of these things! You rock!
- Get your book on Goodreads ASAP. And while you’re there, make sure to have an author page with a picture.
- Have a Twitter account and use it for at least 10 minutes a day. Use it to connect with reviewers, other authors, the world in general. Gently spread the word about your book, but don’t ONLY spread the word about your book. REPLY to people who @ you and RETWEET positive reviews and mentions of your work. It takes just a second and goes a LONG way toward relationships.
- Have an Instagram account (my FAVORITE social media platform – I’m @theloudlibrarylady) and use it for at least 10 minutes a day. Try to include your full name or include “writer” or “author” in your account name. Use it to connect with reviewers, other authors, the world in general. Gently spread the word about your book, but don’t ONLY spread the word about your book. Engage in the community beyond just talking about your work. REPLY to people who @ you and REPOST positive reviews and mentions of your work (there’s an app for that). It takes just a second and goes a LONG way toward relationships.I will tell you honestly that I am a lot more inclined to post multiple times about a book on Instagram if I can tag the author. Reply to direct messages, even just with the little heart thingy. Use Instagram stories to share tidbits of your authorly life. Figure out what hashtags to use and how. The #bookstagram world is a pretty giant one (16.5 million + posts with that tag) and publishers are finally taking notice of it. You should too. You know why? Because people buy books based on covers, and if readers see a cover enough in their Instagram feed it will get stuck in their brain! (Have you heard of the Rule of 7?) That translates to a more likely purchase or library check-out down the road, even just for the casual reader.
- Facebook? Meh. Perhaps others care about this one a ton, but me not so much. If you already spend a ton of time there, just make sure to invest time in the others as well!
- If you are getting totally overwhelmed by the social media stuff, hire a virtual assistant to help manage your accounts. And yes, I know people don’t like to talk about that, but it is done all. the. time. Personally I care not at all if it’s you or your assistant liking my post – possibly others do, but seeing your name like my review of your book makes me happy. Pretty simple.
- Reach out to influencers who may be interested in reviewing your book early. But target them carefully – look at their blogs, Instagram feed, etc to see if they read your genre. And if they say yes, recognize that they might not read your book right away – be patient. They might not like your work, and that’s their right. And if they say no, be thankful, because it wouldn’t be a good review anyway if they aren’t interested in the book! But if they DO like your work, they’ll shout about it from the rooftops and that is AMAZING. Reviewing is a LOT of work, and if someone takes the time to thoughtfully review your book and post it on the interwebs, share their review!
I’m going to end with just these things today, and will probably be back for a part 2 because my thoughts are coming out faster than I can type! (ETA: PART 2 is published now!)
Please share your thoughts/feedback with me in the comments here ~ I would love to hear from you!
If you found this helpful, please go and read my follow-up posts on this topic!
Are we connected on Goodreads, Instagram and Twitter? If not, let’s fix that!
Goodreads ~ kateolson
Instagram ~ @theloudlibrarylady
Twitter ~ @theloud_library
If you would like to connect with authors and reviewers, please head to my Authorand Reviewer pages here! You will also find social media tips for authors and disclosure guidelines for reviewers there.
If you are an author looking for critique services, look no further! Head to my Critique Services page!