Social What?! Social Media Myths and Etiquette.

In the already hectic process of writing and publishing, social media is another obstacle an author will have to tackle in today’s market. It can prove to be a confusing and daunting process, which is now considered an essential part of building your author platform. 

Whether you’re traditionally or self-published, a strong online presence is essential if you wish to make the most out of your market. Many authors believe that readers will simply discover their book/s whilst browsing online or in a book shop, however that’s simply not enough in such an overcrowded industry. The strength of your online author platform, which should consist of a well presented website, social media accounts as well as details elsewhere, can take time as well as effort, but many authors won’t even know where to begin, which is why many companies offer social media training (Author Design Studio included). 

Social Media does not have to take over your life, and it won’t. You’ll still have plenty of time to write and socialise with ‘real’ people! There are many options, from scheduling tweets, to simply popping in and out for a short time per day. Whichever way you decide is best, it must become something you keep up. Ignoring it will be no help at all…and you never know, you may just begin to enjoy it!

Social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter offer authors huge opportunities when used in the correct manner. Online etiquette can be difficult to grasp, and simply opening accounts and shouting ‘BUY MY BOOK’ is not going to work, but with a little training, you will be able to target readers as well as other authors. The interaction gives you valuable visibility.

It takes time, and it is the quality of your followers, not the amount you have that really counts. You could work up (and indeed you can now BUY followers!…please don’t!) a list of random people, who share little interest in what you do or your work, but build up a list of fellow authors, companies and people in your genre, and readers will join you there too. What could be better than talking with people that share your interests and can give you advice, inspiration and encouragement?

Just think of this too…direct access to your READERS! Sounds good doesn’t it? No one will blame you for being so tempted to shout ‘BUY MY BOOK’ from time to time, but there are other ways – less intrusive and aggressive – to encourage interest. Contests, polls, reviews etc are all interactive, and will tempt sales to increase. You all know what it’s like when you walk into a shop and you’re automatically pinned to the floor by the sales force, insisting to know what you want and how they can help. It’s a similar concept…almost! It’s simply etiquette. Be interactive, be interesting and get to know your readers. You’ll be better for it in the end.

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