What social media platforms do new authors need to be using?

It’s the question every new author asks themselves – do I really need to start tweeting?

Social media can be an amazing resource for writers, but it can also seem a bit daunting. What if I say the wrong thing? What if I go viral for the wrong reason? And what if I just annoy my family and friends with MORE book photos? 

Here’s some tips for working out what is the best way for you.

Choose platforms you’ll be able to stay consistent with 

Social media may be an important part of marketing your book, but you don’t want it to take away from other activities – especially writing time! If posting content and being engaged on multiple platforms seems like too much work for you, it probably will feel that way. It’s better to start with what you know you can definitely commit to and do it well, than try to do too much and get overwhelmed. If you already have favourite platforms that you’re comfortable using, stick with these rather than trying to learn new ones. Make decisions based on how much time you want to commit to social media: Twitter for example is quite time intensive, whereas managing a Facebook page may only require a couple of hours a week. 

Keep things social – it’s a conversation, not a monologue! 

Imagine this: you go to a party, start speaking to someone, but all they can do is talk about their own personal project. They don’t want to discuss anything else, or hear other people’s opinions, or talk about your project that is equally interesting. Fair to say you won’t want to talk to that person for very long. 
Social media is a bit like that party. Don’t just talk about your book non-stop – engage with your online community by joining conversations, making virtual connections with other writers and book people, and getting involved in the real world where you can. 

Be as personal or as professional as you want to be 

Book social media is a space where some authors feel free to show their full self. Family photos, snippets of their every day life – you can find it all on certain author accounts. But if you’re worried that that’s not you, don’t be. You don’t need to model your own social use on anyone else; just do what feels right. Some photos of yourself are advisable – readers love to get a sense of the person behind the story that they have loved reading. But only do what you’re comfortable with. And if you do love sharing aspects of your personal life, go for it! Just make sure you’re keeping in mind the amount of people who can see your content, and the fact that you’re hoping these people will be loyal fans and readers for years to come. 

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